I was going to ask whether or not looks matter to you when you’re considering a new bike, but that’s an idiotic question. Of course looks matter. It’s the very reason industrial designers exist. It’s why Italy spends 60 percent of its gross domestic product feverishly inventing new ways to make espresso machines look like sexy space ships.
Despite the age-old pearl of wisdom, “Beauty is only skin deep,” I can guarantee you that right now, somewhere on earth, someone is looking at another person’s rear end and deciding that those glutes are the perfect foundation upon which to build a lifetime of happiness. Consider the bevy of modern dating apps based on the very premise that aesthetics are what truly count. To swipe left or to swipe right? The calculus behind that decision rarely boils down to your potential date’s knowledge of astrophysics or their commitment to social justice.
Looks, for better or for worse, matter. I’m not saying they should
. I’m just saying they do
. Arguing against this is a lot like arguing against the existence of gravity here on earth.
The better question, then, is this: Just how much
do looks matter to you when you’re purchasing your next bike?
I spent some time this week reviewing Pinkbike’s pantheon of 2017 bike reviews. In at least half of the comment sections, you could find numerous references to the bike’s looks. Social scientists commonly refer to this as the “Looks like a Session” phenomenon.
Few of us want to think we’re shallow enough to let the mere shape of a frame sway our decisions. No, that’s not us! We are all about those suspension curves and leverage ratios or the perfect geometry and just the right amount of anti-squat….
But let’s be fair—wanting your next bike to both ride well and look good doesn’t make you a horribly shallow person. Who wants to spend three grand (or more) on a bike that rides great, but looks like a teal-colored turd on wheels? Just how much emphasis we place on a bike’s aesthetics…that’s the question.
So, how much do looks figure into your decision making process when you are daydreaming about which bike you’d buy?