The Suit Lining

“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.”

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59 Replies to “The Suit Lining”

  1. @azryder

    From the front you see black, from the rear you see red. Same with rear of frame. Kinda cool

    I had this bike!  It was just a bit too small for me so away it went.  It was a good climber though – light and stiff.

  2. @Michael

    Can’t stand that bikes only come in two colors; murdered out black or flat black. Years ago one of the British mags was reviewing a team Koga and said how it looked slow: black frame, black wheels, seem, saddle, bars/tape. The early days of deep black carbon and the perception was heavy, not slick. Times change, unless you ride Celeste!

    It took a while before I could post the picture, but here’s to show that Koga has stylish suits with classy linings.

  3. @KogaLover

    Woohooaow!! Yours? Damn, that looks hot… Details and specs, please?

    Something about that deep indigo colour strikes me as a subtle reference to the olden days of bright blue Koga Miyata Pro and FullPro models. Nice touch from the Koga people.

  4. @ErikdR

    @KogaLover

    Woohooaow!! Yours? Damn, that looks hot… Details and specs, please?

    Something about that deep indigo colour strikes me as a subtle reference to the olden days of bright blue Koga Miyata Pro and FullPro models. Nice touch from the Koga people.

    Yep, mine since about a year. Koga Signature, AL 6069 (aluminium) frame, carbon fork. All Ultegra Group San. Blue is my favourite colour, hence my fondness of Koga (although my steel/ninebike is Indian Red; I could not afford a bright blue Koga Pro/FullPro back then), so I had to get me a blue one this time round. Which is reason why I abstained from carbon, which nowadays only comes in black or black and last year in red or white.

  5. @KogaLover

    So those wheels on your blue beauty are Ultegra too, then. How do they ride? (I spoke to a rider in the U.S. last summer who had a titanium rig with an Ultegra wheelset – he seemed very pleased with them.

    Blue Koga’s are hot. If I can figure out how to upload a photo, a nice 1979 specimen should appear below: The all-blue ProLuxe. Seriously: if I ever come across one of these with a 63 cm frame, my bank account will be in grave danger.

  6. @ErikdR

    Blue Koga’s are hot. If I can figure out how to upload a photo, a nice 1979 specimen should appear below: The all-blue ProLuxe. Seriously: if I ever come across one of these with a 63 cm frame, my bank account will be in grave danger.

    This would be the one that I could image: 1981 Koga FullPro. Imagine without the framepump…

    On the Ultegra wheels, they do the trick for me and are supposed to be light, but when it comes to having experience with different rims, I am a Pedalwan. I can hardly compare them to anything else, so first let me get some carbon rims and then I let you know.

  7. @KogaLover

    I’ll gladly admit that that looks very sweet as well. The black rims look really cool – and the white handlebar tape doesn’t hurt, either. Beautiful bike…

    If you should ever get stuck with one of those at 63 cm, I’ll be happy to find a good home for it

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