Thursday, June 23, 2016

"You can have any color as long as it's black"

That's what he said. Well, not exactly. Nevertheless, this was the meaning. Ford Model T was offered in black only, which was one of the measures to lower production cost and simplify assembly.

I've been bitching here on this blog about many things that are just "wrong" with the bicycle industry and now it's the time to discuss the next one - color.

Color is a very personal thing. Everyone has own preference and bike brands answer with frames, forks and accessories painted in all colors possible. Some offer their products in so many different options that it's likely you will find what you're looking for. Headsets, hubs, bar tape, even pedals and saddles come in plethora of colors and if you are thinking about making your bicycle stand out by using these components, you are well served.

Headsets - one of the few bike components offered often in many colors. 

But for some reason, unknown to me, many bicycle component manufacturers release their products in black and black only. Handlebars or stems? Almost all are black with few exceptions. If you find the one you like (and comfort is priority here) you can get it in black. Anything else? Tough luck.

Even worse - try finding a modern non-black crankset. They are almost non-existent. SRAM or FSA just make everything black and don't care. Campagnolo has many polished silver options but... Campy is the Apple of bicycle world - those who use it, love it, but it's expensive and incompatible with everything else. Then, there's Shimano that pretends to have some "silver" options but it isn't really silver at all - just a bit brighter shade of grey. Same rule applies to their derailleurs (the newest ones).

I'm not saying that everything should be offered in all the colors of the rainbow but a polished silver (or aluminum, actually) option next to the black one could be considered. Maybe I'm the only individual here who would like to see more of such parts again. What happened to all those classic, shiny cranksets? Or those beautiful derailleurs, like my old Ultegra RD-6600? Do we need to all buy black because Henry Ford said so?

Shimano RD-6600 - one the last Shimano's truly silver (polished) derailleurs.

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