30 May 2008

In Praise of Red Bicycles

Velorbis Red Victoria
I was down at Velorbis to have a coffee with my mate Kenneth yesterday and I saw a limited editions of the Victoria and the Churchill in 'post box red' - which is 'fire engine red' in other countries.

Beautiful. They are a special order for Hillerød County Council who have ordered them for their staff. Corporate bikes are big here in Denmark, with many county council and companies providing bikes for their employees.
Velorbis Red Victoria
The girl who owns the shop next door was sitting in the sun so we got her to test drive the Victoria.
Velorbis Red Fender

Kenneth showed me a colour catalogue with the most amazing array of colours that bikes can come in. Chocolate brown, screaming orange, lime green, you name it. Black has been the primary bike colour for the better part of a century but now the bike lanes are rainbows with all sorts of new colours to be seen.

Tyres are the next on the list. Any colour is possible but tyre manufacturers are rather conservative. Their craziness extends to white, creme or brown. It would be great to see some more untraditional colours on the bike lanes.

I figured I'd check my archives for Red Bikes and a selection of photos follow. Some have been published here before so you might recognise some. Among the brands that make red bikes are Kronan, Old Dutch and Van de Falk.

But here's a question:

What colour would you choose for your bike if you could choose any colour at all?

Redbike Red Light Waiting* Red Bikealiciousness Purple and Red Morning Lightaciousness Red Ride in Hood* Malmo Red Bike My Money Is On the Red Bike Flower Transport Bad Bad Girl Vive la France * Red Overtakes Red


Anonymous said...

That is an absolutely delicious bicycle. I so want to work for Hillerod Country Council right now.

Milton Pires said...

No color. Brushed steel.

Anonymous said...

Great bike. I want to visit Copenhagen

Gratistotal said...

My bike is blue, but i prefer the red. Probably my next one! And my motorbike is pink, adorable!

Milton Pires said...

Zakkaliciousness, Copenhagen is getting more turism because of your blogs (Tejvan post). Talk to the tourism bureau! ;)

Charlotte said...

Velorbis question:
My husband and I got to test ride one recently. Just this morning we were talking about it again and he asked me if I remember the rationale for the bolted-together rear triangle. I don't, and I don't see the info on the website.

Does anyone know why they do that?

As for colors, I've thought about that a lot with respect to my dream ANT. I think a pearl white would be stunning, but perhaps I'd end up with a sky blue. My town bike is a vintage aqua enamel and the paint glows with a quality I don't see in modern paints. Do manufacturers bake on enamel anymore? (not powdercoat!)

Colville-Andersen said...

Brushed steel. Cool, milton. My bike is steely cool.

Raquel, I KNOW you love the red, amiga! .-)

charlotte... i'll get back to you on that. i have no idea what you're on about, but i'll get the answer. :-)

Anonymous said...

There's a company called Sweetskinz that makes bike tires in patterns.

Anonymous said...

Velorbis wins again! We were wondering if their bikes came in anything other than the bog standard black. I'd have a hard time having a bike in such a standard color.

I think that my ideal bike would be this 'post box red'. Red is my favorite color anyway - one that I use around the house as my favorite combination is the modness of black, white, and red - and I love the bright, eye-catching red of the classic old British phone booth. Sure, there are red bikes here but they are always Soooooo muted and dull.

I was very unhappy with the color selection when I bought my 8-speed Townie last year. I wanted the most eye catching color but both the women's and the men's options came in such muted colors. So I bought one of the men's as the emerald color was the most striking to me. Of course, there are many more fabulous color options in the new models. :/

I replaced my bubblegum pink bike that always had bystanders squealing over it here. That was a sad day but what can you do? It had no gears!

Anonymous said...

certainly silver.

Colville-Andersen said...

thanks, jennifer, anon and peacet.

charlotte: the reply is "Bolting is stronger than welding....."

which seems to sum it up rather concisely. :-)

Anonymous said...

Just got a "classic" black bike- now I am having a little bit of buyer's remorse seeing these bright red beauties... I'm definitely going to have to start a collection now :)

2whls3spds said...

Most of the big international manufacturers seem to have gone to the muted colors. I happen to love RED. I have always wanted a classic British 3 speed in the red, but have never found one in the taller frame I require. I have two bikes under construction (rebuilding old ones) There is a fair chance they will be painted Red. I love the chrome crest on the Velorbis front fender.


Charlotte said...

Thanks for the update, that is what the Velorbis agent said before. I wonder why this unique upgrade is not more prominently featured on the Velorbis website?

If a bolt is superior then why don't other companies do it? I should think it is cheaper than a weld. Am I wrong?

The enginerd is coming out in me - I'll go talk to my metallurgist friend. Thanks for the update!

Michael said...

We should be getting an Ivory Victoria here this week. I'll be posting photos.

I love this red one...

I also like a green bike right now.

melanie said...

J'adore my red bike, but I think it would be neat to have one in glittery gold... though that might be a little flashy for everyday. Hurray for a red bike post!!! You're my hero.

Stéphane Brault said...

Velorbis is my number one for realy high quality bicycle. The Victoria is a piece of collection to ride. thanks for the details in image.
I like to share with you a part of the bike history in Montreal.
Montreal company called "Victoria Precision" made bicycles since 1900 or before. Information is lost but i do some research and if i found it, i give you an upate if you want it.
Victoria Precision made CCM bicycles in Hochelaga-Maisoneuve and it was one of the bigest shop in Montreal. They made the Victoria bike in honor fo the Queen of England and the victory of world war II. Heres the only picture i found.

They made the realy cool "CCM Flyte" to.

My life change since i toutch the ground of Denmark last year, i go to work every day on my bike now. Your blog inspired me.

Thanks for sharing bike culture with us.

Anonymous said...

Melanie a glittery gold bike would be GRATE! I just saw an acquaintance's glittery gold drumkit and was so taken with it. Now I'm picturing that on a bike and it's quite the visual! Good call.

Stephane, that Victoria Precision CCM Flyte looks fab!

Colville-Andersen said...

thanks for your comments! i'm itching for a chocolate brown bike with creme tyres.

2whls3spds said...

Re: Bolted vs welded on the Velorbis...

I think it is more a matter of aesthetics. A PROPERLY welded joint is very strong. A bolted joint can be just as strong. Typically a bolted joint is going to be more expensive. In my industry (industrial construction) we use both, I have seen both fail when done improperly or used in the wrong application.

Raleigh and the other British manufacturers from years ago used bolted rear triangles because the full chain case was a stamped unit that wrapped around the rear stays, and you had to get them off.


Unknown said...

I like the Victoria! NICE!!!