Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bicycles and Curb Appeal

By the River
One aspect of a bicycle that usually gets omitted from reviews, but I feel is nonetheless important, is "curb appeal" - how noticeable or attractive it is to passers-by (who are not usually bicycle aficionados) at first glance. I've had bicycles in my possession that, while considered excellent and gorgeous by those who know about bikes, are virtually invisible to "normal" people. And then there are bicycles that barely allow me to make it down the street without strangers asking about them. 

While it may seem like a superficial thing to care about, the "curb appeal" factor can be important from several perspectives. From the manufacturer's and retailer's point of view, bicycles that are appealing even to those who are not into bikes have the potential to draw in new customers - who may then grow to become serious cycling enthusiasts as a result of the initial lure. From the customer's point a view, a bicycle that is admired by others in their community can enhance their feelings of satisfaction with the purchase and can even result in their riding more often. Even from the point of view of cycling activists, bicycles that are attractive enough to draw in non-cyclists are good news for the obvious reason that they will get more people cycling, or at least thinking about cycling. 

On the other hand, some may specifically not want a bicycle with the so-called "curb appeal." Getting constantly approached and asked about one's bike by strangers is a negative thing for those who don't like to attract attention. There may also be a heightened concern of theft to worry about.

Either way, I feel that the extent to which a bicycle is appealing to and noticed by the general public is meaningful and worth mentioning when discussing bicycle design. Have you noticed the "curb appeal" of your bicycle? 

65 comments:

  1. You have made an interesting observation. When you ride a recumbent its like curb appeal times ten. Moose often draws a question or two.

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  2. I don't get many comments about my bike, but the handlebars (touring bars) and saddle (well-worn Brooks) draw attention - the former from cyclists and the latter generally from non-cyclists. If I was still in London I'd probably want something more anonymous, because of theft and because in London everyone's far to busy pretending to ignore everyone to admit they've noticed your bike so you'd be constantly disappointed...

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  3. I am always tickled when riding my '84 Bridgestone, a bright blue w/silver alloy, a female university student will remark "nice bike" as I am riding thru campus.
    Actually I would prefer a comment from a guy, so I could stop and discuss its lineage & set-up, but that rarely happens.

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  4. I'm guessing that the size of the community/city/town makes a difference? I generally enjoy how much people round here seem to enjoy seeing my Pashley, and to some extent my Ariel (Orco Cicli), and I feel slightly protective of my non-Pashley bikes because they don't get so many spontaneous compliments from non-bike people. But here there are few who mainly bike or walk for transportation, so any kind of human contact feels positive, and it doesn't get overwhelming. Also, I have a vague hope that having bikes that are almost or entirely unique in the area will help protect against theft (touch lots of wood!!!). In a city like Boston I'd imagine things would be very different.

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  5. p.s. will be really interested to see how the "curb appeal" question works out on the Paper Bike. Based on photos I'm still undecided whether I find it a Lovely Bike, or just an interesting one. Definitely it has appeal for me, of some kind - but equally it's not so unequivocally, accessibly lovely as the new Mercian, or as lots of the other bikes we see you riding or photographing on the blog.

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  6. One thing I've noticed about the Paper Bike is that kids are especially drawn to it. I think the commentator after the last post who wrote that the bike looks like a kid's drawing was right!

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  7. My first bike was a black Electra Amsterdam (after I fell in love with bikes I saw in Europe.) I didn't know anything about bikes and bought it for curb appeal- it was the closest I could find to a Dutch style bike. I was constantly stopped and complimented which I liked, but I also had to constantly stop to screw the bike back together. It was also very slow and the posture did not allow me to stand up and pedal aggressively which is sometimes required on American streets. Once I moved to Boston I was fed up with it with it and bought a hybrid bike with no curb appeal but that was sturdy, easy to ride in the city, and would not fall apart. Now I'm sad because it's not pretty and I miss being an ambassador to non-cyclists.

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  8. I ride a Bacchetta Bella ATT long wheelbase recumbent, and many kids seeing it for the first time comment "Cool bike!". Adults are usually mum.

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  9. Giant Revive DD21 - we had people running into lanterns about staring at it. Fugly for every bike-lover, I guess.

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  10. The inside joke of the Rivendell-crowd is that people are always asking (good-naturedly) "Wow, that's really nice for such an old bike! How old is it???"

    It's fun to tell them "Three years now. Holding up great, isn't it!"

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  11. I've had quite a few favourable comments about my Linus from both men and women. They seem drawn to its simple clean style and North Road bars. It looks at a quick glance like a classic roadster, not a racing bike. One guy, about my age (66) complimented me on my "nice bike" with an additional comment, "sensible handlebars".

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  12. You know Dave, there might be a young woman capable of having that same conversation. Admittedly, anecdotal evidence is that more guys will geek out over stuff like that but it's not an entirely male tendency.

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  13. My two bikes (a 1989 white/mint Trek 1200, mostly stock, and a fixed gear built on and old black Nishiki frame with gold pinlines around the lugs) both seem to provoke a lot of interest from both bike people and "regular folks". I welcome both, most of the time.

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  14. I know what you mean about kerb appeal it can really be a lot of fun if you don't tell people it's your bike i.e., watching the tourists take photographs of each other next to my bike at the seafront http://tinyurl.com/5uue87y while I was enjoying a pint of Guiness outside the pub.

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  15. Three bikes. Different curb appeal.

    The Rescued Raleigh, which you'd think would get notice (it's over 50 years old. A quadrant shifter. Painted handlebars, because chrome was a strategic material in WW2) but it doesn't much.
    http://gallery.mac.com/dr2chase#100060/IMG_2808

    The Rattlecanned Capo gets some notice, mostly because it has gorgeous lugs, and elegant fork and stays. The handlebars are now non-standard, I decided I like riding upright, and it's light and zippy in traffic. I need to work on cleaning up its lights.
    http://gallery.mac.com/dr2chase#100060/IMG_3288 (and following)

    The Big Dummy is soup-to-nuts. Some people love it. Some people are mystified. I am sure some people think it is weird and ugly. It has a certain it's-a-tank appeal that some people love (not for nothing is it a military-looking olive green).

    I need to take some current pictures; current Big Dummy configuration has updated lights, chain run, rear IGH. Still tinkering with the lights; I HAD to add low beams, but I am not happy with where I put them. Right now they're high, aimed somewhat down, and I wonder if I would be better off with low, aimed less down.

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  16. my 1963 schwinn collegiate doesn't attract any attention from other cyclists. little kids love it, especially. my bike always gets a head turn (their parents don't give it a second look). older people on foot or in their car will compliment it, and usually express some nostalgia about having a similar bike.

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  17. I love bicycles for the aesthetics of them, so curb appeal is important to me. But I frequently ride my mtb around town because I worry about my 'good' bikes being stolen... while the mtb is worth just as much as my standard 'commuter' bike, I feel like people don't take it as seriously. I'm told the opposite is true in England.

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  18. I definitely get a lot more nice comments when riding the Pashley Sonnet Bliss than I do when riding any of my other bikes. People often stop and stare which can sometimes be a little weird. One guy practically ran me over to yell out his car window and tell me it was a nice bike. I guess even if it were to motivate just one person to ride a bicycle; I'd be happy with that.

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  19. I had a guy run out into the street once (I was waiting at a red light, in the left-turn lane) to ask me where I bought my gear shifter! (He wanted to put hub gears on a drop-bar bike, like I have.) Also got a "nice saddle" for my black-&-orange Charge Spoon. But for non-cyclists I don't think my trusty Peugeot has much curb appeal -- just looks like any other 80's road bike!

    On the other hand, now that my '75 Raleigh Sports has its creme tires, new saddle and black cork grips, I suspect that one will be an "ambassador" bike that will bring people over to chat.

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  20. I kept waiting for you to run through YOUR bikes, but alas, no. So tell us, which of YOUR stable are the real attention-getters?

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  21. Today a neighborhood near mine had a garage sale event and there was a flyer mapping out which houses were participating. I spent more time talking to people about my bike than actually browsing anything. One Dutch guy had fond memories of his dad's pre-WWII Gazelle bike and everyone else were having their eyes glazed over by either the bike or the panniers. Some didn't know what to make of the panniers either (what are those cool bags and where can I get them?) And I advertised for our local Tuesday night Ladies' Ride since they were looking at the placard in my spokes as well. Great thing about curb appeal is that it gives an ice breaker for strangers to talk about and meet other people who maybe can share an interest or gain a new one.

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  22. I had a brightly colored Electra Amsterdam. Like Bikeyface, I was stopped all the time, or people would smile and point or wave. I never had problems with it staying together or with the quality; however, I would agree that it's not easy to stand and pedal on the Electra's though.

    Even with the current bicycles that aren't as bright in hue I find people still smile and have questions, so I think having nice "curb appeal" is certainly a good way to get non-riders to give it a try... and I have to say that I can't help but be drawn to bicycles with more appealing aesthetics than to a less visually interesting bike.

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  23. Going anywhere with my Brompton is like walking a cute puppy, especially when it is folded or in shopping cart mode. People who look like they haven't thought about a bike for 20 years stop me and engage in conversation. Anything that gets people to start thinking about bikes is a good thing.

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  24. When I take my Raleigh DL-1 out for a spin, only other cycling enthusiasts take notice; no one else seems to care -- it's just an old bike to them. My girlfriend's red and silver Gary Fisher hybrid, with its rear rack and trunk bag, has received more compliments from strangers!

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  25. Dave, Dave, Dave. Are you insinuating that women aren't actually interested in the technical specs of bikes... on a bike blog written by a woman?
    I will say that, as a woman, my first thought when men comment favorably on my beat up old commuter bike is something along the lines of "nice try."

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  26. Anon 3:02 - Of the bikes I've owned or had on loan for review so far, my former Pashley Princess was the biggest attention getter. I am actually quite reserved in "real life" and the constant questions and comments about the bike were too much. Second place, it's a tie between the Gazelle, the Raleigh DL-1 and the Bella Ciao. Usually people think they are really old bikes and ask historical questions. My other bikes only really get noticed by those who know about bikes.

    "as a woman, my first thought when men comment favorably on my beat up old commuter bike is something along the lines of 'nice try.' "

    Hah yes. Having a bike has made me an easier target for pick-up lines. I've had my discouragingly aloof stare all perfected for years, but the bikes undermine it.

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  27. No one ever notices my bikes... except for the Sinclair C5. Everyone stares at it like I'm a Martian. It's seriously retro, but not sexy. 1985 was a great year.

    On a normal bike, my dog running along side steals the show every time. He's the most popular person!

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  28. My '69 Raleigh looks beautiful in pictures, but is really a bit of a beater in real life, so not too many comments on it. I always expect older people out riding bikes to comment on it, as it would be familiarly nostalgic for them, but they never do. I've had maybe three/four comments in a year.

    The Viva Kilo (still for sale, folks) gets constant compliments. Every time I ride it, someone tells me what a gorgeous bike it is. I think it's because it's a classic "new" bike, so they think of it as more valuable, which is certainly is.

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  29. No bike in my fleet garners more attention from passersby than my Bike Friday tandem, especially when my 7-year old daughter is stoker, but even when I'm riding it solo. Not only do strangers ask me about it, but people all around smile as they notice it passing by. That doesn't happen with any of my other bikes.

    The second most approached bike is my Jeunet, presumably because of its mint-sage color, shiny bits and French-styled porteur rack and bars. The first question is always "what kind of bike is that?".

    But my most cherished road bikes generate the least interest. They're practically invisible to every day cyclists. The only people who ask about them are the bike cognoscenti that might be part of group rides I go on.

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  30. I ride a 1977 Raleigh Sports that's in mint condition (I'm the original owner). It's usually teenagers, especially inline skaters, who comment on it when I ride it on the local Greenway path (amongst all the road and "comfort" bikes it really stands out). The most interesting comment I've have was when someone called it RETRO. My thought was, "yes it is". I think it has tons of curb appeal. That's one of the reasons I've kept it all these years.

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  31. I sometimes get friendly comments on my Jamis Commuter from non-cyclists, mostly about the "cool handlebars" (Soma Moustache II bars) or how retro it looks, but sadly what I mostly get are the same three somewhat annoying questions
    "How much did that cost?"
    "How much does that weigh?"
    "Is that one of those electric bikes?" (people think the 8-speed hub is a motor)

    Usually, though, it goes pretty unnoticed, which I'm actually OK with, as it spends most of it's life locked up outdoors.

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  32. My mixte definitely has the most curb appeal of my bikes. There's nothing high end on it, but it does have a lot of shiny chrome parts on it. People frequently ask me how old it is and so on. I got a couple of compliments at the tweed ride last year too.

    But the one that really made my day was when I was riding my (somewhat of a beater) Raleigh USA Sports and a woman said to me, "That is a lovely bicycle!"

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  33. I find my SWB bent gets the least attention from passers-by. I ride a velomobile and that gets a lot of attention (and a lot of "$6000! You could buy a car for that" to which the reply is "or you could run that car for a year or two"). My 20" wheel upright bike gets quite a lot of attention because it looks "wrong" even to non-cyclists (I'm ~1.8m tall). And my four wheeler loadbike gets everything from tradeys to little old ladies going "ooh, that looks practical".

    I am most fond of the four-wheeler because it attracts fewer morons. The velomobile and SWB get a lot of "you should get a flag" and "I will tell you how weird you are and how wrong your choices are". The quad seems to skip those people in favour of "mate, you have too much stuff in that thing". The boys gossiping in the timber shop carpark last weekend kept me there for 20 minutes asking questions about it, broadly "mate, that's hard core, you wouldn't see me lugging 200kg on a bike".

    Also, if you want bike geek attention, Rohloff FTW. Less so now that they're more common, but people still go "oooh, shiny" (even though it's not actually shiny).

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  34. It's funny you mention "curb appeal" because I realize that was precisely why I was so in awe in front of the bellaciao in sabbia frizante that you showed us two weeks ago. The way they interpreted the classic Italian top tube design gave that bike so feminine curves, I mean, reminiscent of a really pretty woman. The way the (gorgeous) curve of the top tube gets integrated on the seat tube, and the way the seatstays are thinned and welded on the very top of the seat tube, giving them even more finesse, just like legs, actually.

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  35. Don’t remember a civilian ever saying boo about my road bikes but the DL-1 sure attracts the affection of sentimental old geezers wherever it goes. Overcome with nostalgia they shuffle toward it like zombies. And I have to say, ‘hey pops, keep your mits off my hardware‘.

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  36. When I get remarks or questions and sometimes compliments it's mainly about my helmet (a Yakkay Cambridge); people think I'm going horse-riding.

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  37. I get lots of favorable comments about my 1996 Rivendell Road Standard. One of my favorites occurred when I was cycling on a path next to a local elementary school. Some of the young boys (about 6-7 years old) were out for some activity, as I road on the path beside them one of them exclaimed "What a pretty bike!".

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  38. My old Speedwell, circa 1955, gets many comments and looks. I think it is the loop frame, the vintage aspect of it and the colour - red - there is something about a red bike (I would not choose it myself, but as it is the original colour it is staying). The comments are mainly from men I find, I just think men are more interested in bikes than women or am I being naive here?
    Vicki

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  39. Much to my surprise, people--both cyclists and non-cyclists--absolutely love my 1968 Bottecchia Professional kitted out as a fixed-gear commuter, complete with Tubus rack and cheap Planet Bike fenders. Everyone from total bicycle gearheads to potbellied construction workers to office desk jockeys, men and women alike.

    And it's painted a dull brownish green!

    Here's a picture:

    http://flic.kr/p/5Wg6vB

    They like the beat-up old Carradice bag too. Always asking where I got it.

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  40. Folks in my neighborhood have complimented me on my bright yellow step-thru Electra Townie. The general comment is "what a cute bike", or "it looks like a cruiser". Then, if I get a chance, we get into a discussion of "flat foot technology"/crank forward, etc. Since there is a contingent of older folks in the neighborhood, they are generally interested in the possible health benefits and advantages of the design. We are in an area with lots of bike trails. The flat foot/crank forward design gives folks another trail riding option.

    At some point, I may have my Peugeot mixte reconditioned and see if I can ride it again. No telling what comments I will get.

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  41. While I am particular about the "curb appeal" of my mountain bikes (they have to look 'just right' in my eye),I'm glad my CX (go-to townie bike for me),is a muted charcoal color with few shiney bits...attracting less of the wrong kind of attention ;)

    Steve

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  42. Curb appeal -or in the case of one bike, potential curb appeal- brought me all three of my steeds.

    The full chaincase DL-1 is like having a really cute baby or a full-grown giant-breed dog with you. People stare, and want to chat you up. Plus, one generally has a radiant smile when riding something like that. And I sometimes ride in a white pith helmet just for the S & G of it.

    I think I am somewhat less reserved than our hostess.

    The Pony U-framed folder is damned cute, and often invites double takes. The little aluminum fenders, bottle dynamo lights, and bright white paint set it apart from the usual dark-colored Dahons and such.
    Vintage folding bikes do something to people's imagination, I think.

    And the freshly acquired Raleigh Competition GS is so beautifully restored that most everyone who sees it goes "wow!", whether they are bikenoscenti or not.
    (Thanks again, Somervillain!)

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  43. I get quite a few comments on my helmet. Helmets are mandatory here in New Zealand, so I wear a navy velvet horse helmet when I ride. Most common is "Nice hat!" (mostly yelled by men in cars) but I also get lots of heckles from drunk people; "Hey... that'sh not a horse..." is popular.

    I do think that an attractive bike/helmet/outfit can be a good advertisement for cycling! Recently I've been deliberately trying to smile while riding my bike. I feel like my default expression is angry-grumpy-scared, which isn't really helping the cycling cause. It's hard to do, especially while in heavy traffic/strong winds/on the way to work at 8am, but every little helps...

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  44. " I've had my discouragingly aloof stare all perfected for years, but the bikes undermine it."

    Your eyes say "no," but your bike says "yes?"

    I have a Brompton and a Bike Friday and they get constant attention and comments from people. Some of whom have heard of the bikes but never seen one...and from others who are just intrigued by the idea. It really is kind of astonishing.

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  45. For some reason in the past 6 months or so I've been getting many more comments on my Surly Cross-check. I can't really figure out why though.

    I've owned the bike since 2002 and ridden it regularly since. I haven't made any major changes to the bike since 2003. The only change recently was getting cleaned and waxed as part of it's pre-winter service.

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  46. The one that gets attention for me is a cheap Chinese-made accessory. A bunny rabbit horn. Really just a kids' squeeze toy with a handlebar clamp. Kids of course love it. Adults react too.

    Don't even want to mention my own experiences. Houseguests of the young, male variety always want to borrow it, clamp it on whatever they're riding, so they can "meet chicks". And it seems to work. All the boys want to take it home.

    Seems to work for the young women too. In fact it works for all ages, all genders, all orientations.

    Any bike it goes on, no one looks at the bike. Everyone wants to touch the bunny. Squeeze the bunny. Run their fingers up and down bunny's ears.

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  47. My wife's Raleigh tandem gets more looks than any of my own bikes, though it wouldn't matter what brand it was to most onlookers. Men, women and kids all have different responses to a tandem. I am ambivalent about the attention, some times (mostly) it's positive, other times I just wish it would go away !

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  48. As much as I love a pretty bike, I feel self-conscious riding them. I don't really want the attention. I just want to enjoy them for myself. My prettiest bike is a red Peugeot mixte. It gets a few head turns, but I'm usually moving too fast to hear or notice comments. I think my other bikes just kind of blend in when I'm riding. No one is likely to take notice unless they see them up close and share a similar appreciation for vintage steel.

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  49. The Swallow tandem gets a fair bit of comment, but nowhere near as much as when we had this
    http://sandsmachine.com/a_swa_t1.htm

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  50. Curb appeal is high on my list when I buy a bike. Its also got to have a good ride quality and a nice color. My vintage mixtes are the most noticed - the pink Centurion Lemans and red Raleigh Sprite. I've seen smiles and stares. My newer bikes seem mostly invisible, accept to other cyclists. My Surly Pacer gets "nice bike" compliments from cyclists.

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  51. yeah, those swept back albatross/northroad/moustache bars. I used to get a few comments from folks on the Raleigh's albatross bars and their inverted/path-racer style setup. But what really turns heads are the dual E6 halogens. As soon as I moved those over from the ANT (the ANT now has a very shiny eDelux), all of the positive notice that I got on the Club Racer transferred as well. I crossed paths with Chic Cyclist last week and while looking at the Raleigh she said, "I've seen it around town but I didn't realize it was yours."

    which is, honestly, I think the highest compliment someone can pay to a bicycle. That you can see it in different places and you know that it's the same bicycle because of something distinctive.

    though, given the position of the lights, I am sometimes bemused that when talking to people it brings about a variant of 'the male gaze'. "ahem, my eyes are up here."

    though, now that rickrise is in this thread, I should also say that when it comes to bikey-things eliciting positive comments, my E6s are nothing compared to what happens when I wear his Classic Wool Knickers around town.

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  52. My bike gets a few comments (it looks like this http://ucycle.com/products/bikes/commuters/opus-nuovella).

    But what really gets people excited is the wooden cargo box on the back, which was built by my grandfather. People - cyclists and non-cyclists - just love it and can't help but comment on it. Someone even came up to me the other day while I was locking my bike up on the street and said, "So you're the girl with the box!" Apparently I had been spotted around town.

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  53. My bike's got very little curb appeal, and I'm happy to keep it that way. She's a fairly generic navy city bike like this
    http://po-ru.com/diary/in-praise-of-granny-bikes/

    I swapped out the straight bars for swept back handlebars, which makes for a more comfortable ride, and it feels a bit more Dutch. I think I want my bike to just be low-key and unobtrusive, riding something that attracted more attention would be like going out wearing a jester's hat - I just wouldn't be comfortable!

    Plus, I don't worry too much about her getting stolen - she's not flashy enough or an obvious branded bike.

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  54. Sorry ladies, didn't mean to say that a early 20's woman would not want to talk about bicycle mechanics (they would?) but that I, as a 60 yo male do not want to appear to be hitting up. I enjoy the privilege of roaming the campus. It is the world we live in.

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  55. Duna, it would be really great if you could show us a pic of your bike with its box, it sounds really unique!

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  56. Once, while stopped at a light, a gentleman on a newer road bike looked over at my bicycle (a mid-70's mixte with stickers and splotches of rust) and said, "Your bicycle has beautiful lugs!"

    My 1961 Raleigh Sports gets commentary here and there...but mostly from people who insist it must be worth a lot of money because it's old. Um, no. It's in fairly good shape and it's definitely rideable, but 1. the fenders are bent and rusty and 2. there are TONS of these bicycles still out there! They were built to last!

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  57. As a 64 year old enthusiast of bicycles, bike commuting, and this blog, reading Bif's entry makes me wish V screened the comments more. Tonight, Bif makes me feel excluded from the community. I will get over it, but still...

    RJD

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  58. RJD - I am pretty sure Bif's comment was meant to be positive and good natured!

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  59. Hit me the wrong way, obviously. Thanks for the other POV. RJD

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  60. Yes, good natured, I swear. I myself am spiraling toward eligibility for AARP membership, soon to be followed by the Holy Grail (i.e. senior discounts at Denny’s!), and that ought to pre-qualify me for some sort of latitude, I hope. If not, I can hardly wait!

    In my comment I am referring to close encounters that have arisen from parking the DL1 in front of our local market. In some cases elderly gents have approached to look it over and to let me know they have a connection to this particular model. One guy revealed to me that he has collected vintage bikes, (including a couple Raleigh Tourists) for many years. Long story, but he did his best to acquire mine out from under me. Another guy told me about how he rode a Raleigh DL1 almost every day while stationed at an Air Force base in England in the early 1950s. He rode it to town on weekends to meet girls. Nice. And yet another guy told me he has a DL1 that has been languishing in disrepair in his garage for many years. Subsequently I have helped him to acquire some missing parts.

    Younger people have never expressed an interest in that old bike, mostly just septuagenarians and octogenarians. I ride my road bikes much more often than the DL1 but those are apparently invisible in the bike rack at the market, as never once have I caught anyone gawking, much less fielded a question such as on the merits of Campy vs. Shimano, etc.

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  61. Ok, I've had really weird experiences with this. My Surly always gets attention from city kids even though (to me) it isn't all that appealing-looking. I spiced up the black frame with some green bar tape but, still...come on.

    On the other hand, my DL-1 whch was, in my humble opinion, a really remarkable looking bike, never got comments. Oddly enough, when I *did* get a comment on that bike, the people who took interest were from India and they always remarked about how the bike reminded them of the old, English roadsters that people rode back in India.

    I have a green Raleigh Sports now and I get far more comments about that than I ever did with the DL-1. People are odd. ;)

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  62. I find curb appeal interesting. I've got a Salsa Vaya that gets no interest other than the handlebars (dirt drops) but strangers go out of their way to talk about my wife's Pilen, mostly from non-cyclists. But she gets stopped quite a bit by friends and strangers in admiration. My favorite bike (a Rawland Sogn) gets little interest, which is probably all to the good.

    Second to the Pilen is the Beast our Big Dummy, it's got a black, silver and honey leather path racer look that people really love. And the interest is a bit more across the board. Non cyclists are interested in the amount of junk I can carry. Cyclists love the build, to the point where I've had full lycra roadies out on a ride turn around and follow me a bit to talk about it. The biggest reaction to it was a Norwegian grandmother at the playground the other day who gushed about it for the entire time we were there and apparently for half an hour after we left for home.

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  63. Ok, I must admit I'm the one not aging gracefully. Thanks Bif for the good natured reply.

    So à propos the original blog entry, nothing else in my stable has come close to the number of enthusiastic comments I get on my blue diamond frame Pilen 7 speed (old knees you know). V was right about the color. And the whole bike has a strong presence to it.

    RJD

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  64. @Bicyclesinnewcastle:
    Well, it's not unique in a flashy sense, but I haven't seen any others like it around here. And there's definitely something about it that people really like.

    Here it is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69573337@N06/6324009422/ (sorry for the crappy cellphone picture, I don't having a working real camera at the moment).

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