The Paul Smith Bike manufactured by Mercian is true design crack. Paul Simth is what I consider to be the Tommy Hilfiger of the UK. That is, he takes an interesting fashion concept, like the bold, multicolored vertical stripe, and beats you over the head with it until you never forget it. The Mercian manufactured bicycle is in this stripey extension of design heavy-handedness.
There is no doubt that the craftsmanship is absolutely beautiful. The handmade, vintage lugs and paint job of the bicycle is stellar. But, I live in a town where sexy fixed gear bicycles are a dime a dozen. This one barely stands up on the coolness factor. For instance, this bike has a break. Weak! Anyone who is going to glom onto the fixed gear bicycle trend better pay homage to why people find them cool in the first place. People appreciate their stripped-down simplicity and the fact that they require a highly skilled riding technique. That's what makes them unique.
Also, the pricepoint on this bike feels a bit like brand-zealotry to me. People who love Paul Smith will buy this bike even though a very good comparable fixed gear bike goes for 25 to 50% of the Paul Smith sale price. This is a crack dealer in action.
Where Fashion and Sports Collide
Design Crack — February 18, 2007 — Lifestyle
References: mercian & designcrack