I was driving home looking at the black skies the other day and I wondered about bike design and what makes a bike a classic? In this post I’ll state my thoughts and propose a few designs I think might be classics. Hopefully you can share your ideas and classics as well.
So what is a design classic?
Clas-sic (kla-sik) adj.
Belonging to the highest rank or class
Serving as the established model or standard
Having lasting significance or worth; enduring
Formal, refined and restrained in style
Simple and harmonious; elegant like the classic cut of a suit
My first thoughts on this are a design that has stood the test of time, probably been refined and improved but one that you can see a resemblance if stood along side an original model. For me this must indicate something about the design that actually worked in the first place.
Subsequent design changes might well be because of fashion (i.e. public demand for longer forks, slacker head angle) or genuine tweaks to make the frame more durable etc. I guess for me the Orange 5 would be such a design. Stand the current 5 next to a Sub 5 and you can see the similarities.
I suppose another take on the design classic might be something that does something differently. This probably comes down to changes such as suspension design. Lets face it, a bike is pretty much recognisable as a bike whatever you do to it (recumbents aside!), especially hard tails.
Another factor that might well alter your own view of what a classic is could be your own choice of bikes or indeed the bikes your mates had that you lusted after.
So, I’ll start the ball rolling.
- The Orange 5 as it’s a testament of steady evolution
- The On-One Inbred Classic – again a design that has developed as forks have developed and offers excellent value for money. (You could equally have an Orange P7 but I’ve never owned a P7!!!)
Over to you, what are your classics and why?