Head Badges

Bicycle head badges are becoming more scarce every year, slowly being replaced by decals as a cost saving measure. I love head badges and in my opinion any bike without one feels incomplete and cheapened due to its absence. Some are works of art, while others are downright kitschy, but they all speak volumes about the bike on which they’re mounted. Let’s hope they don’t completely disappear in the coming years.

View some head badges at the following links:

17 Responses to “Head Badges”

  • paul says:

    Kinda looks like an opportunity for someone to make aftermarket badges, to me. In business it’s all about cost cutting and margins. So, if there was a place to obtain custom head badges…need meet opportunity.

  • Elliott @ Violet Crown Cycles says:

    Jennifer Green from Philadelphia does all of mine: http://www.headbadges.com/. She does a great job, but might be a little expensive for a single badge.

    I designed mine and love the way they look on different colored tubes especially blue. It’s a pity they are going by the wayside in the name of profile margins and weight.

  • Alan says:

    @Elliott

    Very nice…

  • ToddBS says:

    That’s another thing I like about Surly. Even though their bikes are an incredible value, they still put an actual head badge on them. It’s nothing fancy, just a big “S”, but it’s not a flat sticker. I have a Rawland frameset as well. It came with just a sticker, but you can order a very nice pewter-looking badge from them for $10.

  • Lovely Bicycle! says:

    I love headbadges. It is a small detail, but nonetheless one of the things that makes a bicycle come alive.

  • Thom says:

    Before WWII, many smaller bicycle companies in England and Europe used transfers instead of metal badges. Some of them were real pieces of art and I think any artful piece of design in that space is a good thing, metal or not.

  • DerrickP says:

    I had the same thought about Surly. My Surly could perhaps be the nicest bike I’ll ever own (with 3 kids and a wife that stays home with them). But it’s a little touch that means a lot to me. I love having it on there, knowing this is my classy (yet inexpensive) ride.

  • Paul says:

    Personally, I’d rather not have any branding on my bikes, so I rip off all the stickers and markings.

  • charles says:

    To quote a line from the movie The Three Amigos, “We don’t need no stinkin badges!”

  • ToddBS says:

    That would be Blazing Saddles.

  • keith says:

    “Badges? I don’t have to show you no stinking badges!”

    Movie: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

  • ToddBS says:

    The original movie is the Treasure of the Sierra Madre – and was a slightly different line than what is quoted here. Yes, we can all use Wikipedia.

  • mike says:

    Surly? Seriously? Isn’t it just a plastic piece that is popped on there? Mine popped off the cross check about 1 week after owning, at its first washing. I didn’t worry about replacing it… and I haven’t worried about scraping off the gooey mess it left behind.

    My IF has a nice head badge.
    Sterling silver too. ;)

  • Lovely Bicycle! says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate though, René Herse bicycles had no headbadges, just the “RH” initials painted on the headtube in gold lettering. Given that these were pretty much “no expense spared” bikes, I doubt that it was a matter of cutting costs – most likely an aesthetic choice.

  • PJ says:

    One of my favorite is from our sister company All-City.
    http://allcitycycles.com/bikes/big_block_frameset/
    If you check the thumbnail images there is one of their badges.
    I may be biased here because it is the Hennepin Ave Bridge but if you have spent time in Minneapolis the ride over that bridge likely means something to you.
    Take care,
    PJ

  • Adam says:

    if you want to order a personalized and beautiful head badge check out my friend Laura’s site.
    http://www.tangerinetreehouse.com/headbadges/index.html

  • jezusjonz says:

    I found that after rebuilding my road bike and replacing and removing any signs of the original that it became mine instead of theirs … so in the quest for a badge to make it mine I learned to make headbadges in brass and copper…trying to stick to the vintage feel when they were pressed out with dies and at 33 bucks a copy….affordable to about everyone…

 
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