A cyclocross bike in DWR

Miscellaneous 6 1

OK, the headline is a bit misleading. The bike is not for sale or anything, but it jumped out at me as I thumbed through the latest Design Within Reach catalog (this image is a full page in the print catalog, so the bike is a bit easier to see). As a designer of home décor products, I regularly look through different shelter magazines and furniture catalogs. In the last few years, I have noticed that bikes are increasingly being used as props in application shots like this one. In this case, the product being sold is a dining room table. We all know that most people don’t typically store bikes in the dining room, so why did they choose to place a bicycle in this shot? That’s easy, the answer is because bikes are cool. The presence of the bike conjures up the image of a person who is active and lives a healthy lifestyle. You can imagine that the bike in this shot is probably used by a young, hip urban dweller for getting around on crowed city streets. When not in use, the bike takes a prominent place in the crowded apartment, even becoming a part of the decor. However you choose to interpret this catalog shot, one thing is for sure; the bicycle, the cereal, the laptop, the oversized paper pendants, the Mondrian style room divider, and all the other accessories in the picture are designed to paint a picture of a fictitious consumer who might choose to own this particular dining set. I think that is pretty cool. I like to see manufacturers and retailers outside of the bicycle industry using bikes to sell their products. As that practice become more common, are any of you bike industry marketing people taking advantage of these product placement opportunities?

Speaking of DWR, they do sell a few bike products for kids. The LikeABike has been in the catalog for a while. New are the Pilot trikes and scooter from Italtrike. Neat products, but they don’t come cheap. My kids will have to just stick with the old fashioned red tricycle that I picked up at the thrift store many years ago.

6 Comments

  1. Fritz September 11, 2006 at 4:53 pm -  Reply

    Good commentary about bikes in regular catalogs.

    How can you tell that’s a CX bike? I can’t see if the brakes are canti, how high the BB is, or what kind of tire clearance there is in the rear triangle. Maybe my eyes are just old and everything looks fuzzy.

  2. Olivier Blanchard September 11, 2006 at 5:08 pm -  Reply

    Hey, great riding with you Saturday.

    Expect bikes to pop up a lot more in advertising in the coming years.

  3. Emily September 11, 2006 at 11:25 pm -  Reply

    I’ve noticed this too, the only problem being that now I find myself attracted to the ads only to realise they aren’t selling a bike at all…

    By the way, I’ve noticed just now that I no longer get your entire post in my feed, where I’m sure I previously did?

  4. James September 12, 2006 at 8:41 am -  Reply

    Fritz, don’t worry about your eyes. I wouldn’t have been able to tell from that small web pic either. In the large print catalog shot you can clearly see the cantilever brakes and knobby tire.

    Olivier, I enjoyed the ride Saturday as well. I used to do the ride from the east side location of Carolina Triathlon on Saturday mornings, but I plan to continue doing the one from the downtown shop. The ride from my house to that shop is much better and I like the fact that the route includes Paris Mountain. In fact, I have to say it is my new favorite group ride. Hopefully, I will see you there next weekend. By the way, I recommend visiting the downtown location of Carolina Triathlon to anyone reading this who happens to visit Greenville. It really is a cool shop.

    I definitely expect to see the trend continue. Just this morning in the latest issue of Interior Design, I noticed an ad for a Schonbek crystal chandelier that features a road bike leaned against a window. In this particular ad, the bike is the most prominent object in the room.

    Emily, I am not sure why you are getting truncated posts in your feed all of the sudden, but I have noticed the same thing with some other Blogger blogs. I’ll have to look into it.

  5. Greg! September 13, 2006 at 5:20 pm -  Reply

    “…most people don’t typically store bikes in the dining room

    They don’t? I thought everyone kept bikes in the kitchen/dining room and the living room!

    I suppose next you’re going to tell me that most people don’t wash their bikes in the shower. Heresy!

  6. James September 14, 2006 at 12:09 pm -  Reply

    Hey Greg, sorry you had to find out like this. I was shocked too when I found out that some people don’t keep bikes in every room of the house. It was almost as bad as the time my 6 year old told me that he discovered that some other dad’s don’t like bikes as much as me. Unbelievable! What is the world coming to?

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