Why are most modern bikes ugly?

Discussion in 'Vintage and Classic Bikes' started by SkipdiverJohn, 22 Jan 2018.

  1. @GuyBoden that's a lovely looking bike, and it's a quite interesting example of a phenomenon whereby a new material is first worked using techniques applicable to the material it replaced. The other example I'm thinking of is the iron bridge at ... er ... Ironbridge. "The structure was assembled with the use of many tried and tested ‘timber’ jointing techniques, such as dovetails, wedges and mortise & tenons" ( linky )

    I wonder if there's a word for it?
    Last edited: 23 Jan 2018
    Alan O, Andy in Germany and GuyBoden like this.
  2. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    Beautiful looking frame, but carbon tubes bonded into aluminium lugs are a potential weak point.
  3. Amanda P

    Amanda P Veteran

    I find myself sometimes wincing when I turn a page in a bike magazine to be confronted with a photo of something with hardly any spokes and a thick plastic - sorry, carbon frame. I think it's partly because the fat tubes and deep rims mean that the garish decals can be larger and more garish, so naturally they usually are.

    In the days of lugged steel frames, the thinner tubes and flat profile rims necessarily had smaller, subtler decorations.

    (Owner of a Spa Tour, which while modern(ish) is steel, is black with tiny gold logos. While it's welded together, it does have a gusset which you could pretend was a lug at the head-to-down tube joint).
    raleighnut likes this.
  4. Bonefish Blues

    Bonefish Blues Banging donk

    52 Festive Road
    Doubtless the weakness might show up over its next 30 years!
    Leaway2 and screenman like this.
  5. wonderdog

    wonderdog Well-Known Member

    How much music from the past 20 years or so survives to the extent that people still say, "Sheeesh that was a marvellous song." Or in the antipodean argot, "Ripper tune Boris."
  6. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    But how many songs from 60 years ago are still fondly remembered (and listened to) today

    View: https://youtu.be/ty31QY5ZGHo

    20yrs ago still seems too modern.
    dave r and biggs682 like this.
  7. MikeG

    MikeG Veteran

    You're asking someone in the wrong age range. Ask a 25 year old.

    My parents were still humming tunes from Oklahoma into their 60s. The Beatles were just some long haired louts to them. They wouldn't have got 5 minutes into anything by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Rolling Stones, ABBA and so on...... "Pah.....rubbish. That stuff won't be remembered like Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby......."

    As I said, 'twas ever thus.
    dave r and Dogtrousers like this.
  8. Dirk

    Dirk Veteran

    Devon's Gold Coast
    If it had been designed correctly, a gusset would not have been needed.
  9. Tin Pot

    Tin Pot Guru


    SkipdiverJohn and raleighnut like this.
  10. OP

    SkipdiverJohn Senior Member

    I don't read bike magazines - I just wince when I see them out on the street! You're right about the garish outsize frame decals, and why the hell would anyone want a bloody great logo on their wheel rims that must be visible from outer space? Those deep section CF rims are about as subtle as a Baboon's backside as it is, without drawing attention to them even more.
  11. Elybazza61

    Elybazza61 Veteran

    But those deep section rims (and aero frames) serve a purpose to help retain speed;if your're not riding at least over 20mph you don't need them.

    And if you don't like gaudy graphics most carbon rims come with a dark graphic option.

    Oh and I am biased but I think this 2013 'plastic' frame based 7kg build looks awesome:whistle:


    As does this steel bike;


    And I relly want this( ti Kinesis Tripster ATR (with lots of Hope plus the Lauf forks,Sram 1x11 and Halo Vapours form my XLS);

  12. GuyBoden

    GuyBoden Fat, old bloke, on an old bike, pedalling slowly.

    Elybazza61 and dave r like this.
  13. woodenspoons

    woodenspoons Senior Member

    North Yorkshire
    I would suggest ugliness often comes from mass production requirements: the maker has to drive down price, material quantity and quality, and meet the tastes of a mass market. The object becomes a design of lowest common denominators.
    There are some exceptionally beautiful objects mass made, and a few ordinary bikes are quite handsome.
    But, for real beauty you have to buy time and materials, and skill. Great objects are made to fit the function, but form has to be perfection. You’re not just getting the object, you’re getting all the years of effort, mistakes and reworking the designer / craftsman / musician etc has invested before the thing / sound / book / unicycle
    raleighnut likes this.
  14. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Veteran


    Not a bad looking beast and only 8kg, which is pretty good for a recumbent.
    Smokin Joe and cyberknight like this.
  15. dave r

    dave r The Little Diesel

    Holbrooks Coventry
    Superb track.
    raleighnut likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice