Having a brand new bike in an urban area does pose somewhat of a conundrum. If a bike is killer looking, it's also likely to be a killer target for bike thieves. So if you plan to ride a decent bike, you best try to camouflage it. I lock my bike outside at times while I run errands and such and I definitely want the bike to be there upon my return so both security and subterfuge come into play.
A longstanding Make article on 8 Ways to Ugly Your Bike provided me with inspiration, although in a weird way. In listing spray paint as one way to ugly a bike, the article states:
“A can of spray paint is a good start but choose wisely. Black is out. We’re talking ugly here, not cool. Think orange.”
I take great offense because my favorite color is orange. I guess it's a bonus for me though because if the majority of the population thinks orange is ugly, I can incorporate orange into my bike and think it looks fabulous while thieves will hopefully turn away in horror. I used this inspiration as the basis of my own case study on making one of my former bikes ugly.
I purchased a can of Krylon 2411 Pumpkin Orange Gloss and went to town on the fenders of my old Peugeot along with incorporating duct tape, stickers, and inner tubes on the frame. Personally I still think it looked quite cool, but not everyone shared my opinion.
Well, I still had a lot of paint left in the Krylon can and it was crying out to be used on my brand new bike. The only problem is, I think it actually looks pretty freaking good with Pumpkin Orange fenders. Readers can chime in to tell me if I am off base.
At first I was going to do a really uneven paint job but I figured I would give them a nice even coat and I can ugly them up over time if necessary. I think some random purple over the orange might accomplish that objective. Rust colored paint might also be an option - kind of an oxymoron on plastic Planet Bike fenders though. I'll see how I feel as time goes on, and I am open to suggestions. Feel free to comment on how I should continue to uglify.