Less Is More: Why I took the decals off my bike

tripster atr frame

‘Less is More’ a phrase used often in modern times to describe a minimalist aesthetic and certainly one that I  would look for and appreciate in the design of a bike. Another phrase I like, that goes hand in hand, is  ‘Form Follows Function’. For instance, the seat stays on the Tripster ATR are a delightful shape that I can gaze at for an age. It’s a great shape born of a function. The curves dampen vibration. Nothing need be added or taken away.

tripster ATR seat stays


The classic triangulated design of a bike frame – again, form following function and thus producing something that ‘looks right’.

tripster atr frame

Then the materials used to build the bike – chosen to perform a function and whether they be steel, carbon fibre, aluminium or titanium they all somehow possess an inherent functional beauty.

So far,so good. and then DECALS…..What the hell are they all about! I just can’t see the point of them cluttering up the view. Often they don’t even make sense. Like white noise over a musical passage they distract and annoy – destroyers of coherence. That’s why I went to the considerable trouble of scrubbing them off my otherwise lovely new bike – Less is More.

Take in the view

The Tripster ATR is, in my view, a really good-looking frame, nicely built using a fabulous material. the lustre and colour of titanium alters according to the quality of the light. It is possessed of a certain unique look, one that I’d describe as raw and purposeful. As such, it doesn’t require a high polish and bears well the marks of daily use. It has a certain industrial loveliness.

Tripster ATR frame without Decals

Go with the Flow

Appreciating great lines and a nice material finish is easier if the eye can travel around an object in a flowing way. it is possible to achieve this by leaving blank spaces within the design, which are not wasted space but help to produce a balanced composition. Sufficient blank space prevents clutter and allows individual design elements to stand out. It provides pathways for the eye to travel through and a place to rest in between looking at the layout. The Tripster has all this, in spades….. before the decals go on.

So, Less is More because it looks better.

Tripster Atr bike frame with decals removed  More because it’s more MY bike, it feels more personalised with less of other people’s stuff on it. More opportunity exists to alter or redo the finish at some point. The bike becomes more enigmatic, people want to know about it, it’s good marketing. And, it’s just more Grown Up.

I believe that adding decals to an already really nice frame doesn’t make a bike stand out from the crowd. Leaving them off does!









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