Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Interview With A Finalist - The Design Your Ridley Contest

He has issues with white bar tape before Memorial Day, can spot mis-matched cable crimps from 20 bike lengths away, and isn’t afraid to use the word fugly in public. He’s Nick Tinsler, OVCX series regular, member of Cincinnati’s Team Darkhorse, the guy who custom paints and decals his own bikes just because he can and most importantly a fan of The Best Bike Blog Ever. He’s one of five US based finalists who designed their own Ridley Noah bike and now has a chance of winning it as part of Ridley Bicycles Design Your Ridley competition. This…is the Facebook Interview:

TBBBE: Why should we vote for your design, US19?

NT: Free handlebar rides for everyone if I win!

TBBBE: Woot! Do you have formal training as a bike fashion designer, or do you have a natural flair for fashion?

(Nick's Hopefully Bike Winning Ridley Design Pictured Above)

NT: I do not have any formal training as a bike fashion designer, but if you know where I could find that kind of program, I would consider an online degree. I have a degree in industrial design, which is basically a product designer.

TBBBE: Italian espresso, Belgian waffles, French wine...where did your inspiration for this design come from?

NT: Belgian waffles with an espresso reduction drizzled over the top...

TBBBE: Speaking of taste, about your design, we think it’s the best, not because you’re a fan of the blog, but because it actually shows a good eye for balance and restraint. Can you tell us more about it and why you decided not to put any blue on the stem, hoods or bar tape?

NT: I think a successful paint scheme works with the shape and lines of the frame. The Noah has some subtle curves that I wanted to highlight, as well as the integrated seat mast. I kept the cockpit all white because the cycling world probably has another couple years till white is not the lustiest color of the peloton. If this was my personal bike, I'd have blue or black tape on till Memorial Day. Just like white slacks and seersucker, you only rock white tape in the summer time.

TBBBE: Right on brotha froma nutha mutha. Let’s talk about some of your competition. US08’s design is on the brink of giving people seizures, like someone wrapped yesterday’s edition Le Equipe on the top tube. It also lacks balance between the blue Ridley logos on the lower part of the bike and the red logo on the seat. What are your thoughts on US08?

NT: It's a little too repetitive for my tastes, kind of like Specialized (the NASCAR of the cycling world). We get it. We know it’s a Specialized. The other 15 logos told us.

TBBBE: Oh my gawf…uh excuse me. (recovering from spit-take after Specialized slam.) Okay. According to The Best Bike Blog Ever reporters at Paris Fashion Week, the trendy colors for bikes this season are red, black and white…why did you buck the trend with the blue and white motif?

NT: That is funny, because main stream fashion moves so quickly, but the cycling world moves sooooo slow. I mean it only took 3 years for white components to catch on, right? Black and red will always be a safe choice, but there is so much more out there. Trek is doing some cool color schemes, and there are some cool custom stuff going on at the NAHMBS (also a lot of fugly stuff, too). As much as I try and draw inspiration from other places, you still can't go wrong with the euro peloton.

TBBBE: While we’re on the subject of 2010’s trendy colors of red, black and white, let’s take a look at another competitor, US83. While we applaud the designer for a creation with more mass appeal, we also bitch slap them for not being more fashion forward. Thoughts?

NT: I like this one a lot as well. It’s a simple, clean design. I just hope that the cycling public is not wooed away by the designer's use of Adobe Illustrator trickery. Just because he/she knows how to make the spokes white, and the nipples red and use a blown up Zipp rim for a background, doesn't mean that they designed the best frame.

TBBBE: Which pro cyclist would you choose to model your creation and why?

NT: I would say Mario Cippolini, because he just exuded style and cockiness in his day (photo at left), but I am afraid as to what sort things my bike might pick up from him. Tom Boonen is quite the hard man, but I didn't design in a coke mirror on the stem. I'd have to go with Robbie McEwen or Mark Cavendish.

TBBBE: Looking at the 3rd of your 4 competitors, US31’s is a well balanced design, but a little too, what’s the word….”German Tattoo” for our taste. Also, the Best Bike Blog Ever’s persnickety bike fashion police have noticed a fashion faux paux. All the cable housings are yellow except for the rear brake. Tisk tisk. Do you agree US31 is lacking an attention to detail?

NT: I really like the gray on black texture, although it would be hard to reproduce in production. If I were tweaking this design, I'd swap the hoods and tape for black, and enlarge the downtube logo. The black brake cable is unfortunate, like uncoordinated cable crimps - shame.

TBBBE: Seeing how he’s an expert at all things Ridley, The Best Bike Blog Ever has asked Ridley The Cyclocross Wonder Dog to comment on your Ridley bike design. What do you think the Wonder Dog will say?

NT: I think that he would mount up on the rear wheel out of admiration and dog-like dominance play.

RTCWD: (Unfortunately, at the time of publishing Ridley The Cyclocross Wonder Dog was in the backyard and still unavailable for comment and/or the pee of approval.) If you'd like to have a cyclocross wonder dog as a Facebook friend, click here.

TBBBE: The last of your competitors, US77, shows originality. The black to blue fade from front to back is subtle. Like a good piece of art, it keeps your eyes on the page. However, The Best Bike Blog Ever thinks it feels a little unfinished. What are your thoughts?

NT: I like this design a lot. The blue to black fade is like a throw back to those old fades on 1980's steel race bikes. I also think the artist stole my cocked downtube logo placement.

TBBBE: Cocked. (giggle)

NT: I think that this design could be in production at most any bike company out there right now, but it doesn't push the boundaries.

TBBBE: We know you’ve dabbled in painting some of your other bikes in real life, bikes that probably had a decent factory paint job to begin with. Tell us about your favorite homegrown creation. What type of bike and process did you use?

NT: Three bikes come to mind: the first is a Kona Major Jake Cylocross frame. I painted it white with a blue pearl over the top. I applied some custom decals that I made from a home hobby kit. The frame was topped off with so much clear coat that I struggled to get the seat collar on! The second…is one that I painted for one of my best buds, who first got me into cycling. It was a Bianchi San Lorenzo that I designed and painted with a subtle inspiration of the Ohio State Buckeyes. I painted it with over the counter acrylic lacquers from the auto parts store, or as I like to call it "rattle can" style. The best part of this paint job was that we designed a custom team kit to match. The last bike that comes to mind is one that I just got done building up. (Pictured Above) I bought a no-name aluminum frame and painted it with a paint job that would match my team's (Darkhorse) new kits (which has a) cowboy motif.

TBBBE: Good luck my friend. And readers please do Nick a favor,
click on this link to the Design Your Ridley Competition and vote for Nick’s blue and white design. US19 baby! Voting ends March 19th, 2010.


Judi said...

good luck to nick! (i only met him once when setting up the finish line for dave r. at devou park last fall).

Amanda said...

that's a good looking bike! any of the good looking team Darkhorse guys would look stellar riding