The bicycle is a timeless mode of transport that has never gone out of style. In fact, with modern technology, new government initiatives, and an increased focus on being environmentally friendly, bike commuting and attention to bike safety are at an all-time high. More and more people are taking to the streets with just two wheels.
You want your ride to look as cool as you feel while riding it this summer, right? Thankfully, there are several small touches that can give your bike that hip, vintage look (and heighten its safety) without the drawbacks of vintage technology.
Get a Grip
Bar tape and grips have a big impact on the curb appeal of your bike. The handlebars are one of the main contact points, which means that it’s an upgrade that doesn’t just give you a vintage look, it can actually improve your control and change the way your ride feels.
Cushioned grips for flat-bar bikes, like the ODI Flangeless Longneck Grips, come in fun colors and offer all-weather grip and reliable cushioned rubber—so you can ride safely, rain or shine. If your bike is set up for traditional bar tape, legendary cycling brand Cinelli makes this stylish Caleido Ribbon Handlebar Tape that can freshen up the look of even a brand-new bike. Depending on your frame color, classic white bar tape could be just the accent your bike needs to stand out from the crowd.
Take a Seat
The most important contact point with your bike is undoubtedly the seat. There are innumerable shapes and materials to choose from, so finding the right one for your personal style and desired riding experience takes some consideration.
The more cushioned seats feel (and look) great for casual, upright summer cruising, while more supportive, narrow seats offer better control and power when you’re pedaling hard or have a backpack on. The Terry Womens Butterfly Ti Saddle, combined with classic bar tape, can transform a bike’s safety factor as well as give it that vintage look from the era of whitewall tires and colorful bike frames.
Roll On Easy
Speaking of tires, gumwall tires are a great way to dramatically change the look and feel of your bike. Before tire technology advanced, virtually every bike in the Tour de France featured gumwalls, which have black tread and a cream-white sidewall. This style makes any bike look like an instant classic.
A big part of bike safety during your commute is preventing flats and ensuring good grip in all weather. Famed bike tire brand Schwalbe offers this durable gumwall Road Cruiser HS 377 Mountain Bicycle Tire, which features enough tread to handle the grit and rain without slowing you down or compromising smooth road performance.
Get the Look, Safely
Whether you have a new bike that you want to dress up and truly make your own, or you’re trying to restore a Craigslist find to its former glory, upgrading the three main points of contact with the bike are great places to start. Your ride won’t just be looking good—it’ll leave you feeling good as you safely enjoy your summer.
Better looks and a better ride, plus improved bike safety? What’s not to love?