Designer fashion meets cycling with the new Olive and Orange by Orla Kiely range of hybrid bikes from Halfords. New for 2016, the range comprises Dutch-style hybrid bikes featuring several different prints designed specifically for Halfords, plus cycling accessories and outdoor accessories.
Irish designer Orla Kiely has been described as 'the queen of prints', with her work gracing everything from stationery and furniture to wallpaper and even cars. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, her fashion ranges have graced the likes of actress Kirsten Dunst and model Alexa Chung, so having bespoke prints featured on a range of bicycles is both something of a coup and also likely to make this range desirable to those who like their bikes to have a touch of fashion and glamour about them.
"[The range] is under this other title Olive and Orange which we started 10 years ago. I feel like it's perfect for this because it's that outdoors carefree spirit that I like," Kiely told BikeRadar at the launch in London. "And that's what this is in my head. Years ago we did a charity customising of a bike where we did a seat and basket, and the idea of covering a bike in print is great."
"I like the ones where the print is all over," Kiely adds, referring to a selection of bikes in the line in which the frame is completely covered in one of her prints. These are likely to be rarer, with the bulk of the range made up by bikes in a plain green or cream coloured frame with the print applied to mudguards and chain guard.
The bikes come complete with integrated mud guards, chain guards and pannier racks, sprung saddles and step-through frames. All bikes have Shimano Alfine hub gears for low maintenance, and come in two sizes: 17 inch and 19 inch.
The Olive and Orange by Orla Kiely range is designed to be the best Dutch-style hybrid bike that Halfords offer, sitting above Pendleton bikes. Visually, they are as striking as Californian brand Electra's range, but retail at a lower price point.
Bikes featuring the print on the mudguards and chain guard will retail for £429, with the full-print bikes retailing at around £479. The price difference reflects the added attention to detail needed to place a complex design around and entire frame, and these prices are provisional at the moment.
Also in the range, either for those who like to go all-out on prints or would prefer just to add a few printed accessories here and there, are bells, helmets, pannier bags, a front basket and a saddle cover.
If the range is conjuring up images of summer rides through the British countryside, then that's clearly what Halfords have in mind as they will also be releasing a range of outdoor accessories featuring the prints alongside the bikes and cycling range. This will include tents, picnic blankets, water bottles and sleeping bags - perfect for summer picnics or the occasional festival.