Do you have a regular old bike? Something that you’ve grown to love… or could grow to love? In the last few years all the little removable parts of bicycles have become technicolor & widely available.

Like pink? Almost every little part of a bike is available in pink. Or Red or blue or orange, green, purple, etc. But if you’re not a bike mechanic or don’t hang out at fancy bike shops all the time it can be confusing to know where to start and what’s the easiest, cheapest and most fun way to turn your regular old ride into something super fantastic.

To illustrate just how easy it is we’re featuring 2 fabulous bicycle make overs! First the lovely and talented #BikeNYC ‘Lady Biker’ Julie Hardee. Then Joe Nocella, the owner of 718 Cyclery in Park Slope, Brooklyn -has created a unique business model around the idea of collaborative bike builds. Young and old, male and female people come to Joe with old bikes and new bikes that need to be put together, tuned and made ready to ride. Joe walks you through everything you need to know from the mysteries of installing a bottom bracket and building wheels to tricking out a bike with colorful new components and accessories.


My first commuter bicycle got smeared by a truck and was totaled out of the blue. I was not mentally prepared or in the mood to shop for a bicycle but not having wheels killed me. I felt like I did nothing to deserve to have to ride public transit so I needed a new bike fast. I wanted another bare-bones bicycle because I realize that a bicycle is a delicate little flower in the concrete jungle that is New York City. I wanted something on the more affordable end because every day I fear theft or destruction, and I wanted to buy an American brand because I’m an American girl.  I chose the single-speed Linus Dutchie. I love how the handlebars do not have brakes and brake wires. I think coaster brakes are fine for New York City and BitchCakes/SherylYvette ( would agree.


Immediately the brown of the hand grips and the seat not matching really bothered me. I look at my bicycle every day and I want to see it, love it, and feel proud of it. I do think this bicycle is beautiful, and about a week after getting it/her, I realized that she is an upright, civilized white lady who I want to be best friends with, and with that thought I realized her name is Kate Middleton.
I found out that there are pink tires and had to have them.
As soon as the pink tires were applied I got very nervous, because instantly a gang of teenagers and then several different pedi-cab drivers at various stop lights asked about them and asked how much I paid for them and my bicycle. Having others think my bike is expensive makes me nervous that she’s going to get stolen. (My old bike was cheap, I didn’t really do any upgrades and I didn’t worry very much about its well-being.) Also, on the first day riding home with the pink tires, I realized that the brown seat and grips really had to go. I decided that I would have a white/pink/black color scheme. I had eyed the BMX Grips I decided that two pink ones might be overkill, so I bought the black BMX grips from Fyxation and the pink ones and the black seat. I love the silver tacs on the seat.
Not only do I constantly get asked how much I paid for my bicycle (and I think that’s a very rude question) but I also get asked “Is it custom?” and I guess it is. The biggest compliment was when I did the Skirt Ride a sales rep from Linus seemed awe struck by what I’d done with this bike and even asked if he could photograph it. That made me really proud of my Kate Middleton!
I was very lucky to be gifted with the BASIL Jasmin Rosa pannier bags. I had to purchase the Linus Rear rack before I could use the bags, but I love the way they look. I think red and a little blue gingham compliment the color scheme very well. I have a simple chrome Wald brand basket on the front. I also encourage all my bike friends to use carabiners to clip their keys to their baskets for quick access. I got this cute butterfly-shaped one for .99 at Office Depot. And yes, I know it’s pink and matches my bike. That’s not an accident.
It makes me happy when I realize my outfit matches my bike. When I shop for clothes I am conscious of what I can bike in, and the color scheme I’ve got going on with this bike fits in with my personal style choices, so it’s great.
(PS- I always wear a helmet and I like Bern Helmets for their shape and affordability. I have 2 Bern Watts helmets. A Lazer Cityzen in Black is in my plans for this fall.)

If pink isn’t your thing – check out the 718 Cyclery approach. It’s a fully custom collaborative build with parts laid out like a menu!

Joe: “The build experience we offer at 718 Cyclery is quite different from pointing and clicking your way to a color-coded bike. What we offer is a chance to pick components based on you needs and budget. We work closely with each client and discuss each part choice and its implications (functional and otherwise)…using shared online documents, we track each build for cost and completeness, all the while allowing the client to make modifications.

Then, instead of “adding this bike to your cart”, you come on over to the shop and build side by side with our mechanics. You can sit back and take notes, or get as dirty as you want, all the while in an environment that is based on teaching and collaboration. The bike you roll off with has a 100% lifetime guarantee on the workmanship, no questions asked.

There’s no way I can compete with online bike mega-sites, nor do I choose to. What I do offer is a personalized, unique experience.  You can have a bike that is truly unique , put together with the right parts, and built by you.”



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One Response to Customized Bike: Pretty Colors & Fancy Upgrades

  1. Ben says:

    I wonder why she has two different colours of grips. To match the seat maybe.

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