+1 for the Littler Guys

A few years ago I bought a Gary Fisher X-Caliber. That year’s Orange was the color I really wanted, but they ran out of that bike in my size. This was a bit of a bummer but the following year’s bike, a bland silver, was already on the showroom floor and my LBS was willing to discount it to the price of the current year’s version.

Each year, a different color

Although it wasn’t the color I wanted, it was the bike I wanted and I proudly took home a brand new X-Caliber in silver. I rode that bike for many, many miles before I decided it was time to part it out and move on. One minor factor that went into this decision was the yearly color change that many major manufacturers go through in an effort to gain your business again.

Every year, the X-Caliber came out, it changed colors. One year it was blue, The next? Black, then orange, silver, off-white and now? Red. Changing colors is not only a way to date your bike accurately but it is also a marketing tool that MANY if not ALL bike manufacturers use to to make you interested in a new bike. Some people go for it while others couldn’t care less. But there is a way to avoid some of this color dating. Buy from the littler guys.

Niner RIP9, same color it’s always been offered

The littler guys are much less prone to change their colors. Niner bikes, which only builds 29er bikes, has been using the same colors for its bikes from the moment it opened its doors. The RIP 9, a 4.5-inch full suspension 29er, has been sold in the same two colors: Atomic Blue (which glows in the dark… way cool) and Hi-Ho Silver Anodized since its introduction. They sometimes add a color, but I haven’t seen them delete a color yet.

Other smaller builders will keep the same color for a couple of years before changing them over to a new color. I’m reminded of Turner & Titus which have kept their FS 29er colors, Blue or Gold & Red or Silver respectively, the same for a couple of years now. When they’ll change it is unknown, but at least you get a little bit of consistency and you don’t feeli like you have an old bike after just one year of ownership. This is definitely a +1 for the littler guys.

It’s nice to have a little bit of color stability. Turner Sultan in Blue