Various designers from all over the world often challenge each other with super-technological design bike projects that represent the pinnacle of style. Sometimes bikes make style their only weapon. On other occasions, bikes that exude performance. Yet many look upon “real” bikes rather than vintage bikes as the ultimate in style.
Unreal design bike projects
Let’s face it: most of these drawings that occasionally appear on social media are simply bizarre. Wheels without spokes, frames without a saddle, uncomfortable time trial handlebars, gearboxes inside the frame, the hub, the bottom bracket: all unreal systems. The project is conceived by designers without technical knowledge of a bike and is sold several times to multiple brands. Sometimes to manufacturers of cars, sometimes to motorbike manufacturers. Do a little research, and you will find the same “futuristic” bike design sometimes branded by a famous Italian car, sometimes by a German car manufacturer, and occasionally even bearing French effigies.
Yet if the whole sector – companies of gearbox groups, manufacturers of frames and various accessories – has evolved in one direction in over 100 years, there must be a reason. Bike design has always been important. But it is also crucial that the bike be put on the road, drivable and comfortable. The weight limit is one of the most limiting factors in bike design. If you think about it, a bike today that weighs just 7 kg must be able to carry people also weighing 100 kg and more, withstand the potholes of our roads and be rideable in descent.
Design that comes from afar
Social networks attest to how many design lovers – probably those who do not care about selling their project to a car manufacturer – idolize real bikes, the usable ones. Indeed: the vintage ones. Yes, because if you notice, many design bike lovers worship steel bikes in the purest classic style, not even taking into consideration the most technologically advanced bicycles of the last 30 years. Let’s face it: how many shop windows do you find decorated with a carbon super bike of the latest evolution? And how many with a restored vintage bike? The aesthetic of vintage bikes is universally appreciated, even by those who are inexperienced cyclists.
Daccordi and design
The handcrafted bike, built by a master frame builder, has a different design from the one studied at the table. Whoever creates an artefact of this type, personifies themselves in the product and infuses it with his or her character. This is the case for every handcrafted bike, born from the heart and passion of a continuous search for improvement. Daccordi bikes – all of them – have always carried within them the aggressive, sporty and competitive aesthetics of Luigi Daccordi, without ever becoming excessive, too embroidered or elaborate. The Daccordi bike line was already futuristic when the Berlin Wall was still there: bikes with a clean aesthetic, never excessive but gritty. Perhaps this is why they are so very appreciated by architects and designers.
The Daccordi 50th Anniversary
The Fiftieth Anniversary model, made in 1987 of less than 2000 pieces, is still considered one of the most beautiful bikes ever made. The design and aesthetics blended perfectly with the technology of the time: a fork with an aerodynamic head; internal brake cables and housings; super short chainstays in the pursuit of maximum rigidity. It is perhaps this mix of things that today makes it a vintage bike with a very high value. No one with this beauty at home would ever dream of taking it on the road: the lucky owners jealously guard it on a pedestal.
Time trial bikes that resist the race against the passing of time
Vintage time trial frames are a treat. Something unrepeatable. Difficult to pedal and to handle. Some of them today have been transformed into singlespeed bikes by the fans of the genre. Others are on sale at exorbitant prices.
Lucky owners of one of these rare models hang the bike on a wall in the living room. But you don’t have to be an expert to be totally captivated by the aesthetics of these exasperation competition bikes, which today have become refined design. They reconfirm that the search for performance often produces objects of extreme aesthetic value.
Art and Design
It also happened that the Daccordi bikes found themselves the protagonists of a painting. And we are still talking about steel bikes, perfectly usable and used. Not Cad drawings that remain inside a PC. Bikes that have covered kilometres, suffered on the road and then become an object of worship. Obviously also appreciated by those who are not cycling fanatics. It’s not the sportsnut, who lives off bread and bikes, who immortalises it on canvas. It is someone who has found this sublime machine aesthetically appealing as well as technically.
Vintage bikes restorations
And if the bike is not even finished but remains incomplete in its restoration, it does not matter: the charm in something raw, unfinished, remains. There remains the idea of a real vehicle, built with a noble material. This is not simple wording in an instruction booklet. The material instils a feeling. The bike is a kind of travel companion. Steel is sturdy. It is ancient. It is a certainty. And perhaps for this reason it becomes a cult, even when the bike is not finished or has been disassembled. Because steel – you know – with a bit of love always comes back to shine.
We leave you with these considerations born from not just another bike lovingly restored and placed as a design object in a living room, and whose photos have been proudly posted on social media by the owner Elio, but something a bit special – something timeless. We thank the bike owners in the post for providing pictures of their collectables.