Need some aesthetic suggestions, 90s Merlin ti frame for wife

Does mid-90s count as vintage? Maybe just "mature." In any event, I'm redoing my wife's 1 Merlin (full DA down to the hubs) for her birthday -- Merlin have sent me a new sticker pack, I'm in the process of stripping off the old, deteriorating stickers, and am changing her decades old color scheme (red sidewall tires, red/black double diamond weave bar tape and red Selle Italia Gel Flow from around 2000?).

I'd like to avoid boring old black (seat/bar tape), she's not really a fan of primary colors. But I thought gumwalls with tan leather look bar tape and a Brooks B17 in honey. But maybe that's too "faux vintage." Other ideas are a more modern look, with one of Brick Lane Bikes' multicolored weave bar tapes and upsized to 25mm blackwall tires (I like the black tire/black rim look) and a new Gel Flow (which still has something of a period profile.) Not sure I can fit 28 tires but would love to.

Any other ideas? She's a recreational rider at this point, she'll go out with me on 30-50 km country rides but not much else. Thanks!

It's basically this bike, but with black rims and shorter SR stem:


  • What about duck egg blue, GULF racing colour?
    Not a Giro Hero!
  • Always regretted not sticking to black for saddle, bar tape etc...
    Gum wall tyres look good on most bikes, but get the real gum wall, like Vittoria or Challenge, not that horrible painted crap like Continental
    left the forum March 2023
  • What about duck egg blue, GULF racing colour?

    Ha, I think she'd roast me if I painted the frame, although as a Porsche fan I'd be OK with that. I'm leaning toward some kind of black/white woven bar tape, blackwalls and a black-ish seat. The decals are white with black outline so I think it'll look good. Still pondering gumwalls but I agree has to be the real thing. Depends on sizing/price...also used to run black Hutchinsons with a gray stripe on one of my bikes -- that could be interesting with the ti and black rims...I'll post up a photo once it all comes together.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,562
    I was thinking black tape with a fleck or weave as you say and proper gumwalls.
  • I don't understand the gum wall thing. An ex of mine had a Ti frame with d. blue tape, saddle and tyres- the michelin ones that were mostly black with the blue shoulders. I think I liked that bike more than her, to be honest.