Ideas for Tastefully Adding Color to a Boring Black Bike
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  1. #1
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    Cool Ideas for Tastefully Adding Color to a Boring Black Bike

    I recently purchase a used 2020 Trek Domane SL7 and while I think the bike is loverly, it's my 3rd boring black bike from Trek.

    What I'm finding particularly challenging with this bike is that the logo on the bike is a metallic purple color which is kind of neat, but makes it really hard to tastefully add any other color to the bike that isn't also purple... I'm not a fan of the color purple.

    Do you have any thoughts on how to make a boring black bike not so boring looking?

    I realize my question is very subjective as to what a good looking bike is. Regardless, if you have a black bike that you've converted into something less boring, please post-up a picture of it so I could at least get some ideas.

    One thing I've considered is trying to find custom decals to cover the painted-on TREK logo with some other color or pattern of my choice. Finding such a decal that is an exact match of the logo on the down-tube has proven difficult, especially since I'm sure Trek wouldn't be happy about someone selling TREK decals. Beyond that, I'm not sure how I could get away from the limitations of the purple color w/o spending a gazillion dollars on a repaint.

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  2. #2
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    That's a good idea, I ordered my new bike but they only had solid black in stock, i wanted the blue one.....
    You have some options, are you artistic?
    I think you could actually paint it with acrylic paint (like highlights or images), you would have to clean it pretty good before starting, and you would have to know your way around a paint brush.
    Options: Go to an art store and get some colored tape to add pinstriping or get some sticky back shelving or wallpaper and cut and stick. One advantage to these options is if you don't like it, get tired of it, or go to sell, you can always just peel it off. Or move on to more permentantly installing what you did.

    I'm looking at this...
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/d-c-fix-...6003/206876236

    When I upgraded my engine on my kawa, I printed out some new nameplates for the plastic panels and stuck them on the panels. They really have stayed on a lot better than I would have ever imagined, it's a dirt bike!
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  3. #3
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    Don't think purple. Think colors that work with purple. Silver, gray, white, some blues....

    Then go the route duriel suggested - play with tape, stickers, custom cut vinyl (meaning, you custom cut). As duriel said, if you don't like it - peel it. And, it will kind of act as form of frame protection... for sort of.

    Brighter - silver, blue - graphics on the inside of the fork legs and seat/chain stays would look great.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Options: Go to an art store and get some colored tape to add pinstriping or get some sticky back shelving or wallpaper and cut and stick.
    Being kind of a perfectionist, I'd like the decals to be cut by a machine as an exact fit, if possible. Fortunately, the logo "TREK" on the down tube has a gloss finish instead of matte finish like the rest of the bike, so in theory, a die-cut vinyl decal should theoretically stick pretty well. I'd lean towards the decal being made from a 3M or similar film, vs. a craft store film, to be relatively tough a resistant to fading.

    What I really like is what Trek did with the white SLR 9... they matched the blue logo with the colors on the inside of the fork. It'd be really neat to be able to get similar vinyl decals that are multi-color like the logo on the SLR 9...


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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    Don't think purple. Think colors that work with purple. Silver, gray, white, some blues....
    I like where you're going with this. I was thinking maybe I need to examine a color wheel and figure-out what colors compliment purple rather than fight it

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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    Being kind of a perfectionist, I'd like the decals to be cut by a machine as an exact fit, if possible. Fortunately, the logo "TREK" on the down tube has a gloss finish instead of matte finish like the rest of the bike, so in theory, a die-cut vinyl decal should theoretically stick pretty well. I'd lean towards the decal being made from a 3M or similar film, vs. a craft store film, to be relatively tough a resistant to fading.

    What I really like is what Trek did with the white SLR 9... they matched the blue logo with the colors on the inside of the fork. It'd be really neat to be able to get similar vinyl decals that are multi-color like the logo on the SLR 9...
    Why aren't you thinking about bar tape, cable casing, saddle (more expensive), etc.? Lots of color opportunities there. Plus just "artistic" stickers for the top and seat tubes to add color. Stickers on the rims would work as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Why aren't you thinking about bar tape, cable casing, saddle (more expensive), etc.?
    Almost all cables are internally routed on this bike, so that's not really an option. Seats don't really come in too many colors these days... black, white, and occasionally silver or red. I did the white seat thing already and that wasn't a good idea as it's too hard to keep nice looking.

    That pretty much just leaves bar tape. Cinelli makes an interesting bar tape that adds a little color without being gaudy (IMHO)...


    Beyond that, I'm not sure which tape would actually make the bike look nice and still function well. I'm a fan of LizardSkins DSP tape, but none of the color options really floated-my-boat.

    Of course, there's always the little bits like colored headset spacers and the like, but I'd still need to pick a color for those that isn't purple

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    You aren't going to find decals from a factory that will do what you want. Take your picture to Kinko's and have 5 copies made, then get some acrylic colors /paint brush and do your worst. Pick the best version, that's probably as good as it's going to get without getting a professional involved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    You aren't going to find decals from a factory that will do what you want. Take your picture to Kinko's and have 5 copies made, then get some acrylic colors /paint brush and do your worst. Pick the best version, that's probably as good as it's going to get without getting a professional involved.
    I can get pretty close by looking overseas to people who are apparently willing to risk a lawsuit... but probably not exact. It's kind of a bummer as I think that custom color decals would be a neat business opportunity.

    eBay: Trek Graphic Set


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    OK, that would change the color of the 'trek' logo, and would probably work for that. I was thinking you wanted to go beyond that, I do!
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  11. #11
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    I've never understood the all black 'stealth' look. Short of sending the frame off to get a new paint job, I think you're limited to bar tape and saddles. Home made decals are just going to look silly. The same with artsy stickers. Just live with it and don't buy such a boring looking bike the next time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I've never understood the all black 'stealth' look. Short of sending the frame off to get a new paint job, I think you're limited to bar tape and saddles. Home made decals are just going to look silly. The same with artsy stickers. Just live with it and don't buy such a boring looking bike the next time.
    IMO, we are not talking artsy stickers, and being a cromugine is not what this thread is about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I've never understood the all black 'stealth' look.
    I think all black is "safe and cheap" from the manufacturer's perspective. With the Trek line-up, it seems like the bikes that are likely going to be the hot sellers are the ones that come in the most boring colors.

  14. #14
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    IMO, we are not talking artsy stickers, and being a cromugine is not what this thread is about.
    I agree. The thread is about correcting for poor choices.

    Next time, buy something pertty.
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  15. #15
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    For me I've done: skewers, headset spacers, cable housing, bottle cages/bottles, anodized bolts, tape, saddles, pedals, rims, hubs, and tires in different colors in the past to spiff up a boring frame/fork. Most of those don't sound like options for you in this case, though.

    I agree with others that stickers can look cheesy if you're not careful. I have had some luck with colors of electrical tape. A wrap or two around a few points on the frame can set it off nicely and if it gets dirty or scuffed, just peel it off an reapply a new piece. You can trim it to different widths to create more of a pinstripe feel also.
    Last edited by Opus51569; 12-20-2019 at 10:01 AM.
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    Tires with tan sidewalls?

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    I might get fired from the RoadBikeReview forums for even proposing this (and I'm sure I'll get flamed), but I'm considering the following water bottle cages to add some color to my bike. I figure they'll compliment the TREK logo on my bike's down tube which, while looking purple in the picture I posted, is actually one of those 3-stage colors that looks different in different light. The other bonus is that these cages are crazy-light... 18g and a lot less many than other light weight cages.


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    I might get fired from the RoadBikeReview forums for even proposing this (and I'm sure I'll get flamed), but I'm considering the following water bottle cages to add some color to my bike. I figure they'll compliment the TREK logo on my bike's down tube which, while looking purple in the picture I posted, is actually one of those 3-stage colors that looks different in different light. The other bonus is that these cages are crazy-light... 18g and a lot less many than other light weight cages.

    Picture isn't showing up for me, but use whatever colors float your boat and don't listen to any naysayers around here. It's your bike. Make it look the way you want it to.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    I think all black is "safe and cheap" from the manufacturer's perspective. With the Trek line-up, it seems like the bikes that are likely going to be the hot sellers are the ones that come in the most boring colors.
    __________________________________

    It's not super safe from the "actually being on the road" perspective.

    People in dark kits on black bikes...It's like they're trying to camaflouge themselves as pavement and shadows. I never understand it.

    Might as pin a "Hit me" sign on yer back.

  20. #20
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    color decals on wheels would help - some manufactures of carbon wheels over something for color options.
    Gravel Rocks

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    BrandNew 2020 Trek Domane SL7 .
    Just ride it .
    Focus on the performance of the bike and your body.

    I think your bike looks fine please donít mess with it.

  22. #22
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    Add some silver bar tape. Bar tape doesnít have to match saddle. Add two strips of silver tape close to each other that are each about 1cm wide on the top tube or seat tube near the TT/ST. Sounds like youíre confident in your abilities with that kind of tape.

  23. #23
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    Add the same silver tape to the inside of a fork blade or inside the NDS chain stay.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    being a cromugine is not what this thread is about.
    A what? Google is no help. It doesn't even suggest an alternate spelling. What am I missing?

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    curmudgeon
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