Children's Bicycles, Then and Now
When I see children's bicycles today, the colours and graphics tend to be super bright; there are often depictions of cartoon characters and action heros on the frame. And while in some ways that's fun, in other ways I feel that this aesthetic in children's toys can be overpowering. Why can't a child's bike be just a simple little bike? A bike that will let the child's personality shine through and ignite their imagination, rather than feed them the same ready-made stylized imagery they see on television and on cereal boxes?
I wonder how typical it is - if at all - for parents today to pick up vintage children's bikes for their kids and restore them, instead of buying modern ones. Based on what I have seen, not very typical. Limited availability is probably a big reason: I don't actually see many children's vintage bikes around, even in Boston.
And I suspect weight may be a reason as well: The older bicycles are steel. Modern ones are plastic or aluminum, which makes them easier for children to maneuver. But when it comes to the weight factor, I wonder whether lighter is necessarily better. A flimsy bicycle feels like just another toy. A substantial bicycle feels like something important, a right of passage. After all, twenty years ago children were riding steel bikes with no problems.