Colour choices … And the world of marketing

First off, no one should ever buy a bicycle based solely on colour.

Choose the bike that suits your needs, size, and riding style. Then, if there are options, choose a colour.

If you needed new pants and the colour you wanted was only available in an XL (you’re a small), would you grab them off the shelf, or just get jeans that fit well?

With this said, colour is obviously important to most of us and decisions are made based on this more often that they should be.

I have to admit, I bought my road bike because of the colour. It does fit, and it’s the style of bike I wanted, but when it came down to it, I chose it because it was pretty, and looks fast even when sitting still.

it’s that time of year when I order the next year’s bikes for Swicked. I obviously choose based on many factors. Style, value, after-sales support, and sex appeal to name a few. Certain colours just sell better, and lately I have found even texture makes a big difference. Matt finishes versus gloss finishes can make or brake a sale.

Being so far ahead of the curve with orders can be hard on schedules and many bike companies send temporary catalogues full of black and white images with colours listed below.

As I try to guess what the market will prefer in the year 2020, I am left to decipher colour names obviously invented by marketing teams that think if they confuse the s#!t out of me, they will somehow be awesome. Little do they know I hate them and often wonder why they can’t call red, I don’t know … RED.

I thought I’d throw it out there and see what you guys think of some of the colours that bike companies have offered up.

Do you think you would like your mountain bike decorated in the following colours:

“Acid rain?” Definitely not a positive colour, but isn’t rain generally clear? Bikes can’t be clear.

“Billy Ocean?” I saw Billy Ocean sing at Expo 86. He has rather dark skin and black hair. These days according to google, his hair is white. (The colour “Billy Ocean” is actually turquoise. Of course, why didn’t I figure that out on my own? I guess calling it turquoise wouldn’t justify a big marketing budget.)

How about “Surfing’ Bird,” “Night Train,” or “Tank Girl?” How in the world am I supposed to know how a girl inside a tank is coloured? Tanks don’t have windows.

I was ordering a bike today and the colour listed is “Chameleon.” Chameleons, by nature, change colour to camouflage themselves in any environment. Bikes can’t do this, so I am completely lost as to what colour this could be, or not be? Maybe it’s another clear bike, or maybe the marketing team is laughing at us as we sit in wonderment and confusion, while they try to fit a colour into the name Crystal Fusion. “Hmm, maybe pink? No wait, lets go with Dark Black.”

So, if any marketing folks are reading this, in black and white, please stop inventing colour names. You didn’t invent a colour, you just confused us all with your mark on the world. It’s not a good mark, and shouldn’t you be known for something worthy, opposed to calling the color of a Lime “Hyper,” or an orange, “Flaming Lips?”

I’m James Durand and I’m Going’ Riding’ … on my black and red bike.