Since I took the plunge and forked out for an Iron Horse Sunday downhill bike a couple of years back, I've loved everything about it – except for the decals.
Poor you, I can hear the more cash-strapped members of our forum muttering sarcastically. And yeah, I know it should all be about performance rather than looks. But really – gold and silver heraldic imagery on a downhill race bike? What were you thinking, Iron Horse?
The frame was getting a bit tatty after dozens of uplifts, so I decided it was time to take the plunge and get some custom graphics. After a bit of internet research and chatting to the lads in the office, I sent off an email to Owen at Slik Graphics.
A month, and a barrage of emails, later, my bike was all stickered up and ready to go. And these aren't the sort of stickers you'll see being given away free on the front of a mag, they're made from super-thick 'moto vinyl', which as well as looking good, helps protect your bike from scratches.
So, all good? Well it wasn't the quickest process, and the top tube decal doesn't quite cover up all of the original graphics (when I explained this to Slik they promised me a full refund, but I liked the decals too much to take them up on the offer).
But I think the bike looks great, and I've now got a one-of-a-kind ride for a lot less outlay than a custom paint job.
I went for a simple look similar to that of Iron Horse's top-end race bikes, but there are plenty of examples on the Slik website of far more artistic creations.
Prices vary depending on what you want, but the kit I opted for – top tube, down tube and chainstays, plus seatstays and nametags (not pictured) – is £40. Slik can also sort you out with helmet and fork graphics.