6 easy (but awesome) ways to customise your bike
© Hanna Jonsson
Bike building expert Dangerholm shares 6 small tricks that make a huge difference to the look of your bike.
While many riders dream of buying the perfect bike, Gustav Gullholm (aka Dangerholm) has taken a different path. He builds his own customised dream bikes. Adding and removing bits and pieces to give them his signature “Dangerholm look” - clean, minimalistic and really freaking stylish. He basically changes everything from colour to components to make them as lush and personalised as possible.
So, instead of completely emptying the piggy bank buying a brand new bike, why not take a leaf out of Dangerholm’s book and customise your existing bike. You don’t have to be as extreme, your bike only needs small modifications to get a brand new look. In Dangerholm’s own words:
It’s the small details that make the biggest difference.
So use the long, dark and boring winter evenings for something productive: give your bike some love and get it look sweet as for the upcoming season. Not sure where to start? Well, you’re in for a treat as Dangerholm has gathered 6 of his of best tips below.
Who is Dangerholm? Read all about him here:
1. CUSTOMISE YOUR DECALS
“This is one of, if not the easiest and cheapest way to change the look off your bike. All you have to do is contact a firm that does custom decals (they are all over the internet!) and decide what look you’re after. It’s pretty easy to strip existing decals off your bike and put on the new ones. A Pro tip is to use a hairdryer to heat them up a little before you start.
Frame logos are often clear coated, so in that case you simply stick your new ones on top. As a bonus, they not only change the bikes current look, it also protects the frame from scratches.
A favourite of mine is simply to remove the decals for a cleaner, more minimalistic look. I often find that bikes can look somewhat cluttered with everything going on - there is one colour on the rims, another on the forks, a mix of colours and finishes on the components and then there is the colour and decals of the frame. By removing some (or all) decals, the bike quickly gets a much cleaner and often more expensive look.”
2. STICK TO MAXIMUM 3 COLOURS
“Try not to have more than three different colours on your bike. For example, if you have a black frame, you can add some white and red details (eg. decals and components). But as soon as you add a forth or fifth colour it all becomes messy-looking. I’m not saying that it can’t work, but that it rarely does. Keep it simple.
Also, another trick is to go for contrasting colours. Say that you have an orange frame for example, then make sure you go for a contrasting colour rather than adding more orange to it. Different components are likely to have a different nuance of orange and putting them together rarely looks good.”
3. SORT OUT YOUR CABLES
“Another relatively easy trick that makes a huge difference to the look off your bike is cable length. Make sure that all your cables are cut as short as possible. Arrange your brake, shift and dropper post cables neatly infront of your handlebars and attach the ones running parallel to one another with zip ties or shrink-wraps. It’s the perfect winter project as your brakes probably need bleeding anyway so just do it all at the same time. Easy as, and wow, what a difference it makes.”
4. UPGRADE SMALL COMPONENTS
“By upgrading some of the smaller components, like grips, seat post clamp, stem or pedals, you can easily and relatively inexpensively customise and individualise your bike. Maybe get pedals in the same colour as your grips, or make sure your seat spot clamp and stem have the same colour and finish.
If you want your bike to loose some weight, again, start with the small stuff. If you ride XC, maybe change from lock-on grips to lightweight foam grips. Also, look over what you bring with you in the frame or saddle bag, or why not loose the bag completely?"
5. CHECK YOUR SETUP
“The cheapest and best upgrade to get your bike feeling amazing is simply to make sure that your existing setup works for you. Take the time to go out in woods with a shock pump to setup your suspension right. Try a load of settings and pressures, different thing works for different riders.
Also try out different tyres. It is time consuming and a little annoying, but it is so worth it. Take the time to find out what you like and what suits you”.
6. DARE TO GO A LITTLE WILD
“Before you start any project make sure you’ve read up on the need-to-knows. It’s the boring truth. Check with your friends, google and watch Youtube tutorials to learn how to do things. But also remember to dare to go a little wild. If you want to change something on your bike, as long as it’s safe and within reason, go for it. Bring out your inner Dangerholm!”
Bring out your inner Dangerholm!
*Stripping paint from or in any other way modify frames or components will always void your warranty and may be dangerous if done incorrectly.
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