Is it just me, or have paint jobs become ugly?
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  1. #1
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    Is it just me, or have paint jobs become ugly?

    I'm looking for a new road bike frame. I've looked at Trek, Giant, Scott, Ridley, and a few other brands. I'm aware that some manufacturers offer custom paint jobs, but I'm talking about what they offer from their production lines.

    Paint jobs have become ugly. Bland. Dull blues, grays, reds.

    Don't get me wrong, I do like subtle (most of the time). I ride a Litespeed titanium, so a bike frame doesn't get more subtle than that. But for a carbon fiber frame? Doesn't one want a little bit more flashiness in the paint job?

  2. #2
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    It comes in phases.

    We just got out of the all black schematic. Before that it seems everything was black/red/white. It'll be something else next year. At least the manufacturers seem to be learning that their logo in the biggest font possible plastered twenty-three times over the frame isn't a good idea. We went thru that phase as well.

    p.s., naked ti is one of the best paint schemes out there, that never goes out of style

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogre View Post
    ...At least the manufacturers seem to be learning that their logo in the biggest font possible plastered twenty-three times over the frame isn't a good idea. We went thru that phase as well...
    Ain't that the truth. I have a '12 Madone that has Trek plastered over the bike in 11 places and Madone in 4 places. I will be getting that frame painted soon as I've lived with it long enough. I don't like being a billboard for free. Too many bike paint jobs are too busy for my taste...2 colors is max for me, but prefer one color.

    I built an Emonda last year and offered to pay Trek not put Trek on the bike, but they refused.

  4. #4
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    As my screen name implies, I love loud paint jobs, and I love it that frames might be festooned with the maker's name. It's part of a long-standing sport aesthetic. If there's going to be an arty shot taken from pavement level, why not put your moniker on the downtube, as well?

    It might be said, too, that a bicycle frame doesn't have a lot of real estate upon which to advertise. If you want to get your name out, you gotta do what you can.

    In other words, unbutton yourselves a little. Succumb to the craziness.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mapei View Post
    As my screen name implies, I love loud paint jobs, and I love it that frames might be festooned with the maker's name. It's part of a long-standing sport aesthetic. If there's going to be an arty shot taken from pavement level, why not put your moniker on the downtube, as well?

    It might be said, too, that a bicycle frame doesn't have a lot of real estate upon which to advertise. If you want to get your name out, you gotta do what you can.

    In other words, unbutton yourselves a little. Succumb to the craziness.
    If I were racing and being sponsored and they were paying me to advertise, then I'd deal with. I'm just a regular 'ole Joe. To me the paint job reflects one's personality. I am a humble, subtle and laid back type of person, which is why I don't like loud paint jobs. Maybe you are more the artsy, life of the party type person...who knows.
    Last edited by Methodical; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:37 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    Ain't that the truth. I have a '12 Madone that has Trek plastered over the bike in 11 places and Madone in 4 places.
    I can top that. I have a Specialized (6 places) SWorks (11 places) Tricross (2 places). Would have been more if I kept the original saddle.
    Insert something clever here:

    Insert list of every bike I own here:

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    I built an Emonda last year and offered to pay Trek not put Trek on the bike, but they refused.
    Trek bikes, like America cars, are typically ugly as hell. Refusing to not put decals on should have told you to get something else. Their bikes are mediocre at best. I canít understand their popularity.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogre View Post
    It comes in phases.

    We just got out of the all black schematic. Before that it seems everything was black/red/white. It'll be something else next year. At least the manufacturers seem to be learning that their logo in the biggest font possible plastered twenty-three times over the frame isn't a good idea. We went thru that phase as well.

    p.s., naked ti is one of the best paint schemes out there, that never goes out of style
    Bike manufacturers canít keep up with skyrocketing sales related to the pandemic. To slow sales down they have conspired to paint all new bikes purple. Itís going to suck.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notvintage View Post
    Trek bikes, like America cars, are typically ugly as hell. Refusing to not put decals on should have told you to get something else. Their bikes are mediocre at best. I canít understand their popularity.
    I think a big part of their "popularity" is simply that for many people, its the only option. They have booted out others OEMs from their stores and pushed out a lot a smaller operators. If you want to test ride a bike in some markets is Trek, Spez, maybe C'Dale or nothing. I think Trek makes a decent bike but I can't see myself ever buying one due to their prevalence

  10. #10
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    Happy to disagree. I may not be a seasoned rider ( 2009) like most people here but I've see paint jobs improving over the years. It's a matter of taste of course,but back when I've started ridind 2009-2011 everything was white-red-black or white only,black only and red only. Think about the all red Specialized mid tier bikes back in 2012. I've drooled so much after a red Epic Expert back in 2014 but when the bike arrived it looked like a fire truck. I like today's simple paint jobs. Not sure why people hates Treks so much tho..one day I'd like do own one...

  11. #11
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    Few paint jobs speak "iconic" or memorable. They're all done in haste. And I agree with the 'too many, too large" trend in logos, and I LIKE a bike with a sufficient number of decals so it looks "pro" or dressed up.

    I think most of it died with the advent of shapeless carbon frames. Serotta, lugged Colnago's, Klein and Fat Chance fades; even single color DeRosa's were all art and class. Today's stuff-including Trek's Project One-junk.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    Ain't that the truth. I have a '12 Madone that has Trek plastered over the bike in 11 places and Madone in 4 places. I will be getting that frame painted soon as I've lived with it long enough. I don't like being a billboard for free. Too many bike paint jobs are too busy for my taste...2 colors is max for me, but prefer one color.

    I built an Emonda last year and offered to pay Trek not put Trek on the bike, but they refused.
    They might have been load bearing decals.

  13. #13
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    well at least we're out of the all bikes get painted black phase. Two of my bikes are Colnago which is known for some attention to detail. Thought the coolest paint jobs were always on Pegerotti which I believe are still available. Other than that Seven and Firefly do some unique custom things. I just don't think you're going to get a great visual paint job out of a Trek these days.

  14. #14
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    ColorWay... I dont' let it influence my decision.
    I want a good frame. A Good Bike.
    And in the end I'm glad to except the bike color as is , rather than get hung up about it every ride.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notvintage View Post
    Trek bikes, like America cars, are typically ugly as hell. Refusing to not put decals on should have told you to get something else. Their bikes are mediocre at best. I canít understand their popularity.
    And, what bike do you own?
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    And, what bike do you own?
    Maybe one of these?

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  17. #17
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    Paint is pretty low on my list but 'all else equal' I'll take the simple one and definitely like the options new as compared to say 10 years ago.

    Don't miss loud complicated paint jobs. And especially don't miss tube shaping just for the sake of making the bike look funky (despite marketing claiming otherwise).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    And, what bike do you own?
    Time Skylon, Time NXS, Time VXRS.

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    My first two bikes were steel: 1972 Raleigh Super Course (it got stolen) and a 1977 Gitane Interclub. Both were green metallic with gold outline at the lugs. Both bikes were very pretty, although the French paint was lousy; if I tried to wax it a bunch of green came off when I buffed.



    Nothing seems to be like that now. Trek in particular seems to have eyesore paint jobs down to a science. Worst Iíve seen was a Trek Domane (2018?) colored gravel (think bland grey) with Miami green (think harsh greenish teal) trim. I was lying through my teeth when I complimented the owner on the new bike.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Paint is pretty low on my list but 'all else equal' I'll take the simple one and definitely like the options new as compared to say 10 years ago.

    Don't miss loud complicated paint jobs. And especially don't miss tube shaping just for the sake of making the bike look funky (despite marketing claiming otherwise).
    Agreed. I actually like the mat black color and it's even better if it has a discreet pin stripe along the tube. Far, far better than 10 or so years ago when so many bikes were white with flashy lettering.
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  21. #21
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    paint adds grams. for the weight weenies out there this is unacceptable and makes for fat looking spec sheets. its gotten that silly

  22. #22
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    Im surprised no one has mentioned safety with regards to bike color. I ride a bright red Bianchi which stands out compared to the flat black newer bikes I see around. Why anyone would consider a dull dark color as acceptable is beyond me. Can't be about keeping it clean, a bike is not a minivan, you could do a spit polish job in minutes compared to a car. Bike safe and help the poor eyesight of many drivers by giving them something easier to see.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by night mission View Post
    Im surprised no one has mentioned safety with regards to bike color. I ride a bright red Bianchi which stands out compared to the flat black newer bikes I see around. Why anyone would consider a dull dark color as acceptable is beyond me. Can't be about keeping it clean, a bike is not a minivan, you could do a spit polish job in minutes compared to a car. Bike safe and help the poor eyesight of many drivers by giving them something easier to see.
    A few years ago, I read a reputable study which showed that, counter-intuitively, dark colors and objects, which are not part of the normal "background noise" drivers see when driving, are noticed more by drivers than objects that are bright yellow, orange and red, colors which are repeated on signs and warnings.

    I'll see if I can find the article. It's fascinating.

    The reasoning was, IIRC, that dark out-of-background objects are unexpected thus triggering novel brain activity... whereas drivers have become accustomed to the bright warning colors and tend to accept them as simply the noisy part of the moving background they have learned to largely tune out.

    I'm not diminishing your idea that a brightly colored bike is more noticeable to drivers. I ride an orange bike (orange is the fastest color; proven), but I perceive that I get a wider berth by passing drivers when I wear my navy blue shirt and black shorts. I used to wear bright yellow shirts and a fluorescent vest. The bright warning colors seemed to make me invisible.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    A few years ago, I read a reputable study which showed that, counter-intuitively, dark colors and objects, which are not part of the normal "background noise" drivers see when driving, are noticed more by drivers than objects that are bright yellow, orange and red, colors which are repeated on signs and warnings.

    I'll see if I can find the article. It's fascinating.

    The reasoning was, IIRC, that dark out-of-background objects are unexpected thus triggering novel brain activity... whereas drivers have become accustomed to the bright warning colors and tend to accept them as simply the noisy part of the moving background they have learned to largely tune out.

    I'm not diminishing your idea that a brightly colored bike is more noticeable to drivers. I ride an orange bike (orange is the fastest color; proven), but I perceive that I get a wider berth by passing drivers when I wear my navy blue shirt and black shorts. I used to wear bright yellow shirts and a fluorescent vest. The bright warning colors seemed to make me invisible.

    Boldfaced: Is this not so obvious that it even needs to be said?

    Re your attire, allow me to add my speculation: When I ride my old mountain bike (black and grey Cinelli) in the city, people give me a wider berth than they do on any of my faster-colored bikes. I also noticed I'd get odd looks from some people, not hostile or anything, but they looked as if they'd never seen a guy on a bike, and/or looked at me as if I were going to do something. I found all this puzzling, because it'd happen on my city rides a lot, and then it hit me: I sport a ride with lights fore and aft, and one of those racktop bags, and wear a blue jersey with black shorts and black street shoes as well; they thought I was a bike cop.

    FTR, I'm not a bike cop.

    But with your navy blue shirt, etc., you fit the profile.
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  25. #25
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    Cipollini's used to have some pretty bold paint schemes, but I just looked at the 2020 and they are much more muted these days. Kind of meh to me.

    scott s.
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