Buying off-the-peg is all well and good but if you really want to stand out from the crowd you need customised components and accessories! Here are some cool ways to personalise your look.
There are a thousands of different saddles to choose from, but if you’d rather have something of your own design Fizik will customise one for you. You can choose from 19 different models, ranging in price from the £99.99 Vesta up to the R1 versions of the Arione, Aliante and Antares (£194.99).
With the Arione R1, pictured, you can choose the colour of the central and side cover panels, the Wingflex (the slits on the edges of the upper), the logo and the protection (the section towards the back of the underside of the saddle).
If normal Oakleys are’t exclusive enough you can have a custom pair made up for you from a range of different models.
You could choose the Radar EV frame, for example, then select the frame colour, the lens shape, type and colour, and the colour of the Oakley O icon and the ear socks (the rubbery temple grippers). You can even have a little etching added in the corner of the lens.
Prices vary according to the spec you choose, but the glasses shown here are £197 (including £15 for lens etching).
Ekoi also allows you to customise several models. You get to choose the colour of the frame, the arms, the lens, the nosepiece and the temples, with prices currently as low as £42.63.
Lake allows you to customise its CX402 ($589 US) and CX/MX332 ($479 US) shoes. You can choose the colour of the various panels and logos along with the heel and toe protectors.
You can also choose between a three-hole sole and one that’s moulded for a Speedplay pedal/cleat system.
If you want even more unusual, Simon Fellows at Artful Kicks will customise shoes with artwork of your choice, the price depending on the design you’d like.
Catlike offers you the chance to personalise a number of its helmets, including the Olula (pictured, €129.95). You can even choose the colour of the fitting system and straps, and add a logo and/or text.
There are loads of places where you can get stickers for your frame, bike helmet, and so on.
Names on Frames will do you four for £7.95, for instance, while Pegatin’s start at £9.99 for 10 and go to £16.99 for 10 in the durable, weatherproof Pro version.
Kapz boasts that it can provide you with anything you can imagine on a headset cap. You can either go for a stock cap from the range – there are a zillion different ones to choose from – or have an image, design or logo of your own slung on there. You’ll pay £24.95 for a full colour headset cap.
Kapz also offers custom handlebar end plugs, headset spacers and laser etched bolts. You can get custom drinks bottles too (£14.95), with no minimum order.
If you’re spending money on a complete bike, there are many ways of ensuring the personal touch. You can always go to a bike shop, of course, and have them take a frameset and build it up to your exact requirements.
Some online retailers do something similar. Ribble, for instance, has a BikeBuilder facility on its website. You choose your frame and then have the option of going for either the recommended build or a spec of your choice. You can go with whatever groupset, wheels and finishing kit you want and the price is adjusted accordingly. It’s really user friendly.
Trek’s Project One system is relevant here too, although it applies only to higher end models (Madone, Domane, Speed Concept, Émonda or Silque on the road, the Fuel Ex 29, Procaliber SL and Top Fuel off-road).
After choosing your model you can in some cases select the fit you want, then the colour of the frameset and logos from a vast range, and add decal text. Then you can choose the groupset and other components and accessories. You’re not going to end up with a cheap bike but you will get exactly what you want. The Trek Madone 9 Series that we reviewed here on road.cc was a Project One bike.
Other brands offer some customisation of the colour. Pinarello, for instance, has its MyWay system for the Dogma F10, Dogma F10 Disc, Dogma K10 and Dogma K10S Disk. This allows you to choose the finish of the frameset, handlebar tape and saddle.
Bianchi’s Travolozza system allows you to customise the finish of a high-end Specialissima or Oltre XR4. You can pick the colour of the frame, inserts and logos, and decide between a matt and a gloss finish.
If you don't want to buy a new frame you can always take your existing bike to a painting specialist like Fat Creations and have them create a unique finish for you.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.