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Black rims or silver?

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View Poll Results: Black rims or silver?
Silver rims with solid black tires
8
11.43%
Silver rims with gumwall tires
36
51.43%
Black rims with solid black tires
8
11.43%
Black rims with gumwall tires
18
25.71%
Voters: 70. You may not vote on this poll

Black rims or silver?

Old 08-09-21, 10:59 AM
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Black rims or silver?

For various reasons I recently began to suspect that something wasn't quite right with the wheels on my Stella. To test this theory, I swapped in a set of spare wheels that I had more confidence in. As I suspected, this improved the ride of the bike, but it leaves me with a dilemma over aesthetics. Given that I'm pretty sure I'll be able to fix whatever was wrong with the old wheels, should I put the original polished silver wheels back on or stick with black rims. As a lifelong Orioles fan, I've got a soft spot for orange and black, but I'm not entirely convinced. I've got a couple of pictures in the same spot for comparison, but unfortunately there are other variables at play, such as different lighting and skin wall tires vs. solid. I can't do anything about the lighting, but I will offer the tire options as a second variable for the poll.

Silver?


Or black?
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Old 08-09-21, 11:18 AM
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I kinda dig the aesthetics of black aero (but not super-deep) rim-brake rims paired with tanwall tires -- you get alternating stripes of color, none of them too thick. And there are plenty of other black things on your bike for the rims to match.
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Old 08-09-21, 11:29 AM
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For some reason I like the black
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Old 08-09-21, 12:00 PM
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I'm partial to black rims with gumwalls, so that gets my vote. I love that look, your bike included.
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Old 08-09-21, 12:03 PM
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Silver rims with black tires are easier to keep clean. That's enough for me.
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Old 08-09-21, 12:08 PM
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As a OSU Alum and related to one of the more famous Orioles players of the past, I like your bike! Black rims look good (with the more modern components) and I would be happy with the silver and tan as well.
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Old 08-09-21, 12:10 PM
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Any combination will look good. I have a mild preference for silver rims over black, but not enough to matter, and certainly not enough to keep me from currently running one silver Open Pro and one black one (necessity is a mother).

Mainly, I love the bike. When I see it, I don't know whether to fixate on Stanley Kowalski or Louison Bobet, but either way, and with any combination of rims and tires, it's a winner.
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Old 08-09-21, 12:22 PM
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Old 08-09-21, 12:35 PM
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What a beautiful bicycle... The polished aluminum and chrome radiating cleanliness and care of manufacture.

I have been a little disappointed with allot of expensive quality bicycle components just powder coated black. The black paint used to be a way to cover up imperfections in the surface of the aluminum. I see 2000 USD group sets with fine workmanship just powder coated or adonised black. I am sure its just a cost cutting shortcut and I hope it will pass. And to tell ya the truth, sometimes that black surface appears to show dirt faster than the silver....
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Old 08-09-21, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I kinda dig the aesthetics of black aero (but not super-deep) rim-brake rims paired with tanwall tires -- you get alternating stripes of color, none of them too thick. And there are plenty of other black things on your bike for the rims to match.
I like this kind of reasoning. I'm aware of a few elements of aesthetic theory, but I can only apply them in a purely intuitive and experimental way. In my mind, I thought the silver rims were going to be better on this bike. In the garage, I convinced myself that the black rims weren't quite right. Looking at the pictures, I kind of think the black rims look better. I just wasn't sure why.

@RiddleOfSteel is my go-to guy for in depth aesthetic analysis. He really knows this stuff. I expect he'll say something along the lines of what you have said here but with much less brevity and much more exploration of possibilities I may not even have considered.
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Old 08-09-21, 12:43 PM
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I think those look like TB14 rims and if so, your experience matches mine. They look good but make the bike feel dead. I have two sets and have relegated them to touring and city bike use. I like the black rim, tan sidewall look on this bike and if you’re not committed to keeping the bike looking close to original style, I’d say go for that.
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Old 08-09-21, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
When I see it, I don't know whether to fixate on Stanley Kowalski or Louison Bobet
It's hard to hear the name Stella and not think of Stanley Kowalski. In fact, I find that most people have a hard time not doing an impromptu impersonation.

The bike's decals have Bobet's palmars all over them, so I'm strongly encouraged to keep him in mind.

Another connection that's a bit less well known, is that the Atari 2600 (which, as a child of the 80's, I have a lot of memories with) was codenamed "Stella" during its development, having been named after a lead engineers' bike: https://www.landley.net/history/mirr...um/stella.html
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Old 08-09-21, 01:14 PM
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Old 08-09-21, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
I think those look like TB14 rims and if so, your experience matches mine. They look good but make the bike feel dead. I have two sets and have relegated them to touring and city bike use. I like the black rim, tan sidewall look on this bike and if youre not committed to keeping the bike looking close to original style, Id say go for that.
Interesting. Yeah, they are TB14's. The problem that I alluded to wasn't the "dead" feel, though the bike did feel livelier with the R460s. The problem was that there was a "hop" in the rear rim that was big enough that I could feel it while I was riding. For a long time I told myself I had to be imaging that, because how can a wheel possibly be so radially out-of-true that you can feel it while you're riding? But I kept feeling it, and after paying attention on roads that were smooth enough to rule out the pavement I convinced myself that it was so. Then (and probably this would have been the first step for any sane person) I put the bike in the stand and spun the wheel, using my finger as a "feeler" and it was definitely there. The guy who built these wheels (me) is notoriously lazy about radial truing, but it still surprised me that it was as bad as it was.

As for keeping the original style, this bike has kind of been an experiment with how far I can push that. Obviously, with indexed shifters on a 1970's bike, the seal is already broken, but I've been trying to maintain a substantial connection to the original spirit of the bike. That's why the water bottle bosses are the only braze-ons. The black rims push it a bit further. I don't want it to look too modern, but I kind of thing the tan sidewalls keep it from going too far in that direction. I may be only fooling myself.
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Old 08-09-21, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I like this kind of reasoning. I'm aware of a few elements of aesthetic theory, but I can only apply them in a purely intuitive and experimental way. In my mind, I thought the silver rims were going to be better on this bike. In the garage, I convinced myself that the black rims weren't quite right. Looking at the pictures, I kind of think the black rims look better. I just wasn't sure why.

@RiddleOfSteel is my go-to guy for in depth aesthetic analysis. He really knows this stuff. I expect he'll say something along the lines of what you have said here but with much less brevity and much more exploration of possibilities I may not even have considered.
Thanks, Andy! This is a tougher one. I am surprised at how well the firmly vintage Stella frame, complementing silver componentry, and white saddle and bar tape take or 'accept' the modern DT Swiss wheel. I think this is greatly aided by the silver hub and silver spokes (spokes primarily). The tan wall tires also play an important role in keeping the modern satin black rims 'in check' visually.

I have a few lines of thought, just ambling around my head here. 1) It looks fine as is (for reasons mentioned above), and trying to get the rest of the bike to visually accommodate the black/silver rims is too much trouble. 2) This is a "lightly colored/toned bike" in that it's chrome, polished silver, light hue (orange), white graphics, fully silver componentry, etc; and it is a good idea to let it be alone. The only change, if still unsatisfied, would be to fully commit to the visual levity and mount tan wall tires on it as the all-black on something like this looks too 'basic' and doesn't play with or visually interact with the light tones on the bike. 3) Get some more black component [visual] 'friends' to keep the DT Swiss wheels company. An initial thought is obviously a black saddle and bar tape, but that looks too heavy and a little 'basic.' It firmly puts the bike in Orioles/Halloween/Oregon State (ok, Oklahoma State, too) territory, which could be fine, but is too simplistic for a frame with the details that this one has. So perhaps some very sparse yet well-placed black accents tie in the rims, keep it classy and classic, and you end up with an even better bike. Something like the below?



As the chrome elements and white elements 'dance' around the orange frameset (in their respective color blocs), so do the (accenting) black elements--rims, Ergo hoods, seatpost, stem, tire tread, etc--dance around the composition. Visual interest and component 'interaction' wherever you look. Nothing too visually light or heavy--a nice balance of levity and contrast. At least to me.
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Old 08-09-21, 02:44 PM
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Black works if you get rid of the gum walls, swap the tires. Gum walls and black rims just look weird. Of the 2 pics, #1 looks best
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Old 08-09-21, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Black works if you get rid of the gumwalls. Swap the tires. Gumwalls and black rims just look weird.
I'm of the total opposite mindset. Black tires on dark rims looks wrong on vintage steel, like you couldn't afford better tires.

For this bike, I like dark rims with gumwalls, but it would help to see gumwalls in both pics.
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Old 08-09-21, 03:04 PM
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Blue Mavic Cosmic wheels with black and orange striped tires. blue stripes would work slightly less well...

...thats my answer and I am sticking with it! Stella needs blue....!!!!

Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
For various reasons I recently began to suspect that something wasn't quite right with the wheels on my Stella. To test this theory, I swapped in a set of spare wheels that I had more confidence in. As I suspected, this improved the ride of the bike, but it leaves me with a dilemma over aesthetics. Given that I'm pretty sure I'll be able to fix whatever was wrong with the old wheels, should I put the original polished silver wheels back on or stick with black rims. As a lifelong Orioles fan, I've got a soft spot for orange and black, but I'm not entirely convinced. I've got a couple of pictures in the same spot for comparison, but unfortunately there are other variables at play, such as different lighting and skin wall tires vs. solid. I can't do anything about the lighting, but I will offer the tire options as a second variable for the poll.

Silver?


Or black?
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Old 08-09-21, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Something like the below?
Nice seat bag removal
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Old 08-09-21, 03:21 PM
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BOTH look great!!!!


Especially on that bike !!!!!!!

I am partial to silver for more period correct look
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Old 08-09-21, 03:31 PM
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Your frame has plenty of chrome bling, that I think looks good with shiny silver rims.
For some reason I think orange frames look better with blackwalls.
What do I know, I've been in trouble with the fashion police around here before..
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Old 08-09-21, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Something like the below?



As the chrome elements and white elements 'dance' around the orange frameset (in their respective color blocs), so do the (accenting) black elements--rims, Ergo hoods, seatpost, stem, tire tread, etc--dance around the composition. Visual interest and component 'interaction' wherever you look. Nothing too visually light or heavy--a nice balance of levity and contrast. At least to me.
First, that's really impressive photo touch-up to have done in a short time. I'm particularly impressed that you went to the trouble of removing the seat bag's zipper pull hanging down in front of the wall.

Beyond that, the black seat post and stem would have to grow on me a bit more. I see what you're saying about the interplay of the colors, but I guess I have a bit of a mental block about it. On a more practical note, that may be irrelevant given the French tubing on this bike. Most non-French stems need a bit of sanding to fit in the steerer, and while I was surprised to see that there are black 26.4 seat posts available, they look kind of low end. Black stem and seat post also seem to be another step into the 80's or 90's.
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Old 08-09-21, 03:51 PM
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I think I might give a lot to be able to go back into the '80s or '90s, as long as I knew what i know now.... I really wish I could say 'silver rims, skinwall tires', but the silver and black rims with gumwalls look terrific. Silver for seatpost and stem, though.
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Old 08-09-21, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
It's hard to hear the name Stella and not think of Stanley Kowalski.
At least we're not yelling out "A-ta-la!" now that you've fixed the decals.
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Old 08-09-21, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
First, that's really impressive photo touch-up to have done in a short time. I'm particularly impressed that you went to the trouble of removing the seat bag's zipper pull hanging down in front of the wall.

Beyond that, the black seat post and stem would have to grow on me a bit more. I see what you're saying about the interplay of the colors, but I guess I have a bit of a mental block about it. On a more practical note, that may be irrelevant given the French tubing on this bike. Most non-French stems need a bit of sanding to fit in the steerer, and while I was surprised to see that there are black 26.4 seat posts available, they look kind of low end. Black stem and seat post also seem to be another step into the 80's or 90's.
Thanks, Andy. That's the magic of the clone tool in Photoshop (in addition to being able to use it effectively). Low end seatpost designs and smaller than 22.2mm quill diameters will kill my Photoshopped idea real quick, but the exploration has merit, and maybe someone else will come across it and it will help them in sorting out color and composition. At this juncture, I'd sort out the wheels via truing or whatever (I dislike radial truing as well, and always hope my methodical tensioning and lateral truing will do the radial truing for me--usually it does most of it!) and mount some tan wall tires on it.
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