18 September 2011

Going Dutch When It Gets Ugly

In today's post on Lovely Bicycle!, "Velouria" presents the Trek Cocoa, which seems to be Trek's "take" on what is commonly called the Dutch-style bicycle.

Way back in 2000, Tammy and I took a trip to France.  We talked about buying two bikes like those and bringing them back.  Buying the bikes wouldn't have been so expensive, at least relatively speaking as, in those pre-Euro days, the dollar enjoyed a favorable exchange rate almost everywhere on the Continent.  However, we figured out that we would have had to buy another plane ticket to get them back.

They might have worked for us as commuters or "town" bikes, and they certainly would have been conversation pieces, as almost no American who hadn't spent some time in Europe knew what a "Dutch-style bike" is.

But I digress.  I agree with Velouria that the Cocoa is a lovely bike. So was the Belleville, Trek's take on the traditional mixte bike.  I was tempted to buy one of the latter, which seems to have been discontinued, before I decided to save my money for Helene.  However, two mechanics at a shop that sells Treks talked me out of buying a Belleville.  Of course, one shouldn't infer that the Cocoa isn't a good bike:  Perhaps Trek learned from something from making the Belleville.

I will admit that both are very nice bikes to look at.  It seems, though, that Trek applies Newton's First Law of Motion to the aesthetics of its bikes:  For every pretty bike they make, they make a really ugly one. (One might also say that it's a Hegelian dialectic.)  To wit:

In case you're a glutton for visual punishment, here's a detail:

It used to be that bike makers' racing bikes were their prettiest.  That was especially true of the Italian bike makers but was also the case for nearly all makers, big or small, in the days when nearly all quality frames were lugged steel.  

Then again, at the same time Trek introduced the Belleville, they also came out with this monstrosity:

The graphics and color scheme reminded me of a Huffy, circa 1978.  Why anyone would emulate a Huffy in any way is beyond me.


  1. Thanks. Specialized also makes some ugly bikes, but Trek remains the market leader in that, as in some other categories.

  2. MelissatheRagamuffinSeptember 20, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Trek does come out with some truly horrible looking bikes!