“A fine suit is only as good as its lining” once said someone more versed in the art of the clothier than me. They didn’t actually, I just made that up. But it sounds like it could be something that an Italian tailor would say, but I’ve never met one of those either. The point is, a suit, or a bicycle, or even a person, can be shiny and attractive on the outside, but may not be all it’s cracked up to be underneath.
It, or they, may not have any soul. (*Not ‘a’ soul, because that is merely a concept dreamed up by nuts to scare other nuts and their offspring into conforming to and fearing some other nonsensical notion which most kids would see through in five minutes if they weren’t the spawn of the spawn of a long line of morons. But I digress.) I’m talking James Brown soul, not the misogynistic bits, but the funky hip shakin’ do the splits bits. I’m talking Soul Train audience soul. It’s not an entity, it’s a sensibility.
The finishing touch to a nice suit, or jacket, is the lining. You can have a jacket that is so expensive you won’t even tell your friends how much it cost, but if the lining is pink and white stripes then people are gonna notice. It can spoil an otherwise outwardly attractive garment. Sometimes, a matching plain liner can be a bit too boring, so a balance of understated yet attractive is required. Same with a bicycle. The metaphoric suit lining for a bike has to be the inner surface of the fork legs.
Matching the fork to the bike isn’t something that has always been done, in the carbon era at least, with a history of plain black or exposed weave units with whatever brand all over them, totally mismatching and taking away any aesthetic uniformity. Conversely, having every component painted exactly the same colour (and every wheel decal or logo the same) can have the effect of monotony, and depending on the base colour, be a bit dull. A painted inner fork leg gives the counterpoint needed in a subtle way, and depending from the angle the bicycle is viewed has that suit liner quality down pat. It says “I may Look Fantastic, totally relaxed and at ease with my Awesomeness, but take a look inside, just there… yeah, I’m all business, but when it’s party time, I’m on the soul train.”