He loves a Koga

He loves a Koga

Guest Article: Black Is Not The New Black

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 @kogalover is singing my song here. Bikes are beautiful. ’nuff said.

VLVV, Gianni

With all those posts on riding in winter and being visible, either by putting Eyes of Sauron or other car melting devices on one’s steed, or by even considering a YJA instead of donning plain black kit, it was about time to finally get this article on paper. I’ve been thinking about it now for quite some time and it simply irritates me. (Also I was utterly fed up with the fact that it has become impossible to upload pictures and since I just got a new bike last week, I need to find a way how I can post a picture of it.)

There’s confusion on Mount Velomis my dear Fellominati!

Rule #8, Rule #26 and Rule #57 all deal with our bikes looking fantastic. And, these are not the only Rules that revolve around keeping our Tools in pristine condition. We adhere to Rule #65 but then why, oh why, are some of us not proud about our steeds and their provenance by buying black bikes with black or dark-grey decals.

While on the bike, I do not only turn my head at every shop window, but also at every bike passing me (on the other side of the road of course). I have developed a keen eye to spot the maker at 60km/h (footnote: me at 36km/h in one direction and opposite traffic at 24km/h) and take pride in being able to name at least 2 to 3 bicycle brands for every letter of the alphabet when I wake up at the oddest of times.

But this fun gets spoiled by black on black decals. And it’s going viral, it’s an epidemic. Even my own favourite maker, Koga, which became famous for their regal blue metallic steel Miyata frames, now has several dull black options. Their top six models are all some form of grey, and their prime machine has grey decals. I was desperate 30 years ago to get a blue frame but could not afford it, so ended up with an Indian Red Koga. Two years ago, after I took up cycling again, I chose an aluminium frame for my new Koga over a carbon frame, because it came in said blue with white clearly visible decals. For my latest addition, a Koga track bike, I chose a violently orange colour with black decals against a white background. (Note that any Rule violation is only because it’s still at the LBS where it was built up and I have not yet got it in my possession, so there’s no need to refer me to look better into Rules #26, #45, #60). It’s actually a NOS frame but you’s gotta love me them colours! It will look so cool with the V-decals and the cufflinks and and and. Totally compliant.

I mean, a black Bianchi, who would want to throw any money at that? Why put down lots of money if no one knows what bike you ride? It’s not as if you are riding your Beemer and your garage offered the free option to remove the type-indicator on the back because everyone will know what car you drive. That’s not how it works with bicycles. And if you’re still not convinced, look at what the Pro’s do: do they ride on bikes that conceal their makers?

Be a sport, and have Merkxy on your Fellominatus, ride a bike that shows off that you are proud to ride it!

kimera

generic black, wtf?

 

 

// Guest Article // The Bikes // The Rides

  1. That is a sweet looking machine and the gumwalls seal the deal. I hear ya on the all black though. My #1 (which actually looks a lot like the black Koga pictured above), #2, graveur and fattie are all all-black. My almost 10 year old Giant is white and black with prominent graphics and looks pretty damn nice.

    What pedals are you putting on there?

  2. I agree with you on the black on black options-it makes no sense. I also pride myself on being able to identify bikes at speed and the BOB option also frustrates me while tying to ID manufacturers.

    My #1 steed is matte black but no one would fail to identify its make as the large white and smaller florescent yellow decals scream PINARELLO from every visible angle. Italian frames have never been known to be subtle, I consider them to be rolling art.

    Personally, I wouldn’t own a BOB bike, where is the fun in that!?

  3. Great colour scheme, perchance did you get some inspiration from nature…….

  4. clownfish are cool, and this is a fucking SEXY bike. the only thing cooler than looking at gorgeous bikes, is riding them at insane, unsustainable rates of speed, at astronomical (to road riders) cadences, until your molars hurt from lactate, and you’re hacking up cigarette residue from 7th grade. track racing, ya know.

  5. I am from the non orange wearing portion of the SEC but have developed a modest affection for the color (thanks to this site). That said, would the mountain bike version of your bike may allow for less wearing of the stuff?

  6. @kogalover Interesting, that track bike looks identical to the Bianchi Super Pista. I had one myself a few years ago and every detail is the same, down to the contour on the fork legs, the shape of the top of the seat tube and clamp area, and the cutout in the seat tube for the rear wheel. Most likely the same exact frame sold under both brands, not too uncommon for aluminum track bikes actually. The Super Pista was a fantastic bike on the track, by the way, and mine was black :)

  7. I’ve never really been drawn to black bikes either, although I really liked the high gloss Pinarello, with yellow flashing, that they made after Froome’s first tour win. Like Wiscot, I think the gumwalls cap the bike off perfectly.

  8. I couldn’t care less if people know how fancy a bike I have. I ride a fancy bike for the joy it brings whilst riding it. It’s all about the ride. But then I don’t use Strava because I don’t care to impress strangers on the internet so maybe I’m the odd man out.

  9. @wiscot

    What pedals are you putting on there?

    Group San Ultegra SPD SL. First time on a track bike so I do not think my guns are yet big enough to go shopping on www.keirincutjeans.com.

  10. @Teocalli

    Great colour scheme, perchance did you get some inspiration from nature…….

    Actually, I had to find the right bike to match the jersey that @ErikdR kindly sent me for this year’s Eroica!

    Or was it because I like orange?

    All jokes aside, this frame is indeed nicknamed “Nemo”. If you google Koga Nemo, you’ll see.

  11. I couldn’t give a tuppence about ID-ing other folk’s bikes, but in all honesty I do find black-on-black to be a bit boring and unimaginative. But hey, if that’s what gives you that tingling sensation in the scrotal region, then by all means go for it!

    Nice one, @kogalover, for the article and sharing Nemo with us. You are calling it Nemo, right? Hope she rides as well as she looks.

  12. @Ccos

    I am from the non orange wearing portion of the SEC but have developed a modest affection for the color (thanks to this site). That said, would the mountain bike version of your bike may allow for less wearing of the stuff?

    Not sure I understand your question, but blue remains my favourite colour.

  13. @Brenmitch

    Most likely the same exact frame sold under both brands, not too uncommon for aluminum track bikes actually. The Super Pista was a fantastic bike on the track, by the way, and mine was black :)

    Very likely and if so, even for the better, since Bianchi is for an n+x purchase.

    Koga continued to sell this same frame beyond 2009 but in a different colour, which I found less appealing.

  14. The Koga Nemo bike here is a beauty. Very cool. And it’s because of black that the orange, white and gumwalls pop. Black is perfect. And black on black bikes? Can you have too much of perfect? No. Black bikes are good ol’ good ol’ and will be classic forever. Black cars, black leather jackets, and black Gibsons too. Love your bikes @KogaLover and when you find a black on black Koga beauty be sure to post a pic! Cheers all

  15. @KogaLover

    All jokes aside, this frame is indeed nicknamed “Nemo”. If you google Koga Nemo, you’ll see.

    Well now, don’t I feel a bit stupid.

  16. >>> when you find a black on black…<<< uhhh, never mind, looks like you did ! BTW: as for black Bianchis ? This beauty has had captured my thoughts for some time:

    Let’s not forget black motorcycles too btw!

  17. @Randy C

    it’s black on black that I do not like. As long as decals are clearly visible, fine with me.

    However, a Bianchi should be Celeste if it is your first.

  18. As the proud owner of a turquoise bike with ‘matching’ pink groupset, I’m all in favour of plenty of colour, particularly a la AG2R. Lots of colours, whether or not they match, has got to be better than matte black with a hint of shiny black.

    I have never understood why people would want to paint black carbon black. Lacquered carbon looks so much better, with all the interesting swirly bits of unidirectional fibres, or a nice regimented weave – and it’s still black! Also, any aluminium parts really should be mirror polished – it would be a shame not to. If you’re going to go down the understated route, let the materials speak for themselves rather than covering them in paint.

  19. @KogaLover

    If someone is on an orange bike, can they wear less orange in the woods (during hunting season)? The track bike looks fantastic btw.

  20. @KogaLover

    @Brenmitch

    Most likely the same exact frame sold under both brands, not too uncommon for aluminum track bikes actually. The Super Pista was a fantastic bike on the track, by the way, and mine was black :)

    Very likely and if so, even for the better, since Bianchi is for an n+x purchase.

    Koga continued to sell this same frame beyond 2009 but in a different colour, which I found less appealing.

    Just discovered, the frame I posted in the previous comment is actually aluminium (called Senko), while the Nemo (Offical name Fullprotrack) is Scandium. Koga did continue the Scandium Fullprotrack frame but with again a different colour scheme.

  21. @KogaLover Looks like there used to be a non-integrated headset version of the full pro track frame, and the Senko is the low budget version of it. It seems likely to me that Bianchi took the Koga bike and called it the Super Pista after they discontinued the Pista Concept. Super Pista is a 7005 aluminum bike.

    Scandium is excellent, I would know as I have a 2001 Eddy Merckx Team SC. I’m also a mechanical engineer who works on rockets and understands material properties. The addition of scandium to aluminum alloys reduces the grain size of the metal and allows alloys with tensile yield strengths of nearly double of 6061 and 7005 to be easily weldable.

    Enjoy your bike!

  22. I’m with you – I’ve done some N+1 research and had to disregard load of bikes because they are just dull, dull, dull….have you seen the colour schemes of the Ultegra standard Felt road bikes?

    My road bike is matt black but the decals are white and there’s also plenty of red on it. I think I’d be inclined to go more colourful than less colourful.

  23. @KogaLover

    Is pink allowed?

  24. @Le Baz

    @KogaLover

    Is pink allowed

    Any colour is fine with me as long as I can see the decals clearly.

  25. I thought Miyata’s team colors were red and white….

  26. Guilty. Handlebar tape, trim on the Super Record crankset and Roadworks sticker by @Oli offered in mitigation.

  27. Orange….

  28. @KogaLover

    @Randy C

    it’s black on black that I do not like. As long as decals are clearly visible, fine with me.

    However, a Bianchi should be Celeste if it is your first.

    Rule breaker here. My first, and only, Bianchi is silver/chrome. But hey, that bike got me into daily riding as an adult 14 years ago.

    I didn’t even know what a track bike was, but when I saw an all silver frame with white logos hanging in the shop window, I was reminded of the freestyle GT Dyno I had as a kid. Seeing that bike sparked something in me…and the rest is history. That was the first bike I bought as an adult (though I’m a kid at heart!) and now, well, now I have a pretty serious N+1 situation going on.

  29. @Ron

    @KogaLover

    @Randy C

    it’s black on black that I do not like. As long as decals are clearly visible, fine with me.

    However, a Bianchi should be Celeste if it is your first.

    Rule breaker here. My first, and only, Bianchi is silver/chrome. But hey, that bike got me into daily riding as an adult 14 years ago.

    I didn’t even know what a track bike was, but when I saw an all silver frame with white logos hanging in the shop window, I was reminded of the freestyle GT Dyno I had as a kid. Seeing that bike sparked something in me…and the rest is history. That was the first bike I bought as an adult (though I’m a kid at heart!) and now, well, now I have a pretty serious N+1 situation going on.

    Hang on, there is no rule that says your first bianchi should be celeste. Mine is midnight blue (dark purple), but the decals and even the little columbus sticker are celeste.

  30. @KogaLover

    Tried to send pic of steel Daccordi but it didn’t fly. How to?

  31. @Le Baz

    Try a different browser. Explorer does not work but Firefox does in my case. I do not like apples (bananas instead) so no idea about safari.

  32. @Le Baz

    Also you must be logged in to get the little camera icon above the text box and use that to insert a photo. You can’t simply cut and paste a photo into the text box.

  33. @Le Baz

    Safari is fine by the way.

  34. @osbk67

    Flat out gorgeous Cannondale. Love it. And Cannondale gets it when running a mech is best to simply run the cables outside no muss no fuss and best bet for smooth shifting. Cheers

  35. @Randy C

    Word!

  36. @KogaLover

    Second Bianchi. First was Celeste as well albeit slightly greener in hue

  37. @Oski Bear

    Ooh, what a beauty – I like!

  38. @Oski Bear

    @KogaLover

    Second Bianchi. First was Celeste as well albeit slightly greener in hue

    Yep, sold. That’s the one I need for next year’s Eroica. Super leggera. Celeste comes in many different colours. Next time please: put valve stems at 6 and quick release levers in correct position unless you want to pick up garbage.

    @DVMR

    You are correct, there is no rule that says that your first Bianchi should be Celeste. There’s also no rule to state that you should own a Bianchi. If there would be, I’d better buy some Bianchi stock.

  39. Upon reflection: maybe a celeste Bianchi is the only bike that would be exempt from my frustration about not being able to read the bike’s maker if the decals show little contrast to the frame’s colour.

    Reminds me that when I was still a student in Amsterdam, I sprayed my commuter’s frame celeste because I thought it was a beautiful colour. Did not know about Bianchi then…

  40. @Oski Bear

    @KogaLover

    Second Bianchi. First was Celeste as well albeit slightly greener in hue

    Wow! Just perfetto! Thank you for sharing that! That pic alone was worth my daily visit to the V site.

  41. And I was so happy about this frame coming in orange. Appears someone knows how to handle a spray can of black paint.

  42. There should be more bikes with orange in their paint schemes, especially if it is paired with bright yellow, and a bit of black thrown in… Just sayin’.

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