Custom Made Bike Head Tube Badges. What Are They Then?
Custom Bike head tube badges have been used since bicycles were first invented in the early to mid 1800s. The head tube badge was a mark of highly skilled craftsmen who would put weeks or months into creating these new and exciting machines with two wheels (with no rubber tires)! What’s great about bike head tube badges is that they have not changed since all those years ago. In this article we want to introduce you to the history of the classic bike head tube badge, why they are important and why you should be considering them as part of your brand strategy or marketing plan right now, whether you ride a bike or not! Whether you want to make a reproduction bicycle head tube badge or your very own, you are in the right place! Let’s go!
The History of the Bike / Bicycle Head Tube Badge!
We can’t talk about the history of bike head tube badges without a little history on the most crucial of all inventions of the 19th century, the humble bicycle! The humble bicycle began life in 1817, Germany and was the invention of Karl Von Drais. This crazy new invention went by the name of the Laufmaschine, or The Running Machine aka Hobbyhorse. It was as radical as the invention of the wheel itself, and despite the wheel being invented over 5000 years ago, it’s a real wonder the bicycle was not invented much sooner! Where did the word ‘Bicycle’ come from? ‘Bi’ means ‘Two and ‘Cycle’ comes from the Greek word ‘Kyklos’ meaning wheel or circular.
Since the invention of the Laufmaschin to 2021, there have been more innovations in the cycling industry than any other! From a hand driven crank shaft by Alexandre Lefebvre in 1843, to the invention of the freewheel by William Van Anden in 1869. Lest we forget the thankful invention of the pneumatic tire by Robert W. Thomson in 1847!
But What About Bike Badges?!
We do not have an exact date on the very first produced bike head tube badges, but they probably appeared in succession around the mid to late 1800s, in close tandem with the birth of both the industrial revolution (1760 – 1820) and modern branding and advertising (1820 – 1900 (at least from a modern industrial standpoint).
Nothing is created in a vacuum, and bicycles were certainly no exception. The birth and boom of the bicycle industry was a result of the methods and processes of mass production, and the ability to build machines and machinery with speed and consistency.
Bicycles Were Big Business in the 1800s!
Let us just make one crucial point here. Bicycles and cycling in itself were BIG BUSINESS in the mid to late 1800s. Cars had not been invented yet, the very idea of a motor vehicle running on crude oil from the ground had not yet surfaced. Never mind planes or rockets! Bicycles were the hottest technological trend since the wheel itself!
EVERYONE wanted a piece of this new bicycle industry, hence our point regarding high levels of innovation from 1800 to around 1900. By the year 1891, around 15% of the advertising spend in U.S and U.K periodicals were from bicycle manufacturers. It is likely that the first bike head tube badges started to appear on bikes between 1870 to 1890, and sights of these original rare pieces of metal right now, are certainly just that, rare!
Automobiles and Cars Take Over!
Around the year 1887 to 1897 the very first automobiles aka cars, started to take over (we won’t get into that though, otherwise this article will certainly derail itself!). But a quick point to make here about the arrival of motor vehicles, they, or it, killed the bicycle industry dead on its wheels (pun intended). In fact, it was not until around the 1960s to 1970s when cycling was back in the mainstream consciousness, with the likes of Tour De France airing on national television for the first time but also a much less talked about “The 1970s Oil Crisis” which pushed economic conditions and inflation to the moon and back!
Socio-Economic Conditions and The Boom Of Cycling!
Other notable socio-economic conditions which led to the rise of bicycle sales and interest in general include newly found overseas manufacturing in Asia which led to more bicycles available and at cheaper prices, the Olympics between 1970s and 1980s which now included cycling events and of course Greg Le Mond who became the first American to win Tour De France in 1986 on now vintage and classic style bikes! Not to mention the plethora of cycling magazines which were available at all major news outlets from the mid 80s onwards!
The Birth of Modern Branding and Advertising In The Mid 1800s
The birth of modern industrial branding and advertising was just taking off around the mid 1800s. For household consumer products like Pears Soap, Lyle’s Golden Syrup and Coca Cola, to name a few. ‘But what about Bike hadges I hear you say?!’
Back to Bike Head Tube Badges!
The birth of the industrial revolution (1760) and modern day marketing techniques which were forming around 1850 meant potentially big business for bike builders of all sizes. It was therefore crucial for first time bike builders to distinguish their custom made bikes from other bike builders.
5000 Frame Builders!
Around 1880 to 1890 there is believed to have been over 5000 independent bike builders in the U.S and the U.K alone! The little bike head tube badge was a means and marque to help the best bike builders stand out from the crowd (much like car badges do today). Some of the earliest bicycle head tube badges are hidden in the depths of time and personal collections, but we have been able to dig a few up here with the help of some of our friends. Scroll up and down the page to view!
Making Your Own Custom Bike Head Tube Badges With Studio Dais!
So, the year is 2021 going into 2022, the cycling / bicycle industry is over 200 years old and cycling is still relatively cool and on trend. And with Studio Dais having known this for quite some time, we decided early on to offer custom made bike head tube badges to our cycling and none cycling customers since day one!
Think Outside The Box
Choosing custom bike head tube badges is not just for cyclist or cycling brands. If you are a company who interacts with cyclist on a regular basis such as a coffee shops, outdoor adventure brands or a cycling charity or foundation, bike head tube badges can be made from your branding and presented to your customers as mantel piece mementos or for what they were intended for, on bicycle head tubes!
As with all of our custom made products, we take the difficult processes out of the equation so you can focus on what you are good at, running your business and interacting with your customers.
Design Specifications for Custom Bike Head Tube Badges
Studio Dais are able to work from any design or idea you have. We don’t need a 3D design of your file. Either a sketch on paper or more ideally a finished design using professional design software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop will do. We will then take care of the artwork creation, manufacturing and delivery. Before we head to the manufacturing stage we always keep our customers in the loop, we work with you on the artwork stages, to make sure you are 100% happy with your designs before we go to production. You are with us every step of the way.
Ideas and Pointers for A Well Designed Bike Head Tube Badges
There aren’t any real hard and fast rules when it comes to designing a good bicycle head tube badge! You could go simple or you could go complex, it’s completely up to you as a decision maker. Studio Dais can cater for both simple and complex designs.
Die Struck Bike Head Tube Badges
Die struck head tube badges are head tube badges with no enamel fill. They are usually plated in on of over 21 different plating options we offer. Such as gold, silver, nickel, antique gold or silver or even copper etc. We can make these custom badges from a number of materials, but we mainly use aluminum, copper alloy or brass alloy. All these metals have different properties and depending on your requirements we will best choose which material unless you specify which one you would like.
Enamel Bike Head Tube Badges
Enamel bike headtube badges are essentially just our die struck head tube badges but with enamel fill. This is where you get to really go to town on decoration and standing out. Though we do suggest keeping it simple, to maybe 2 or 3 colours only. If you do decide on more than 3 colours, make sure you go to town and don’t rest in between. 8 or 10 colours should do it nicely! We can make these custom badges from a number of materials, but we mainly use aluminum, copper alloy or brass alloy All these metals have different properties and depending on your requirements we will best choose which material unless you specify which one you would like.
Bike / Bicycle Head Tube Stickers
Not all head tube badges are made from metal (as above). Sadly as the bicycle industry has aged, the love of metal head tube badges has faded and vinyl or dare we say paper head tube ‘badges’ have made their move. Studio Dais is capable of producing bike head tube badges in vinyl sticker form also. They come as standard with lamination protection to protect the head tube stickers from the harsh elements such as rain and wind, as well as falls.
These bike head tube stickers can come in metallic foil style in a number of finishes such as gold, silver and brass for example. And to mimic its bigger brothers can come in a convincing 600gsm weight to look and feel the part. Also known simply as ‘metal / foil’ stickers The are great options if you are a B2C business like a coffee shop or cycling shop, and feel that not all of your customers either have bike, or would even want to stick them on their bikes. Foil stickers are a great way for the less committed customer.
How Do You Apply Your Custom Made Head Tube Badge to Your Bikes?
There are a number of ways to attach bike head tube badges to the headset of the bike. But the two most common methods are rivet and 3M sticky pad.
The Rivet Technique
The rivet is the traditional method to apply head tube badges to bike headsets. The process involves having pre-drilled usually 2mm holes in the head tube face, these 2 holes would align with the pre-drilled holes in the head tube badge and with the use of a rivet gun and pins, you punch the rivet pins through the bike badge and into the head tube. And voila, you are good to go!
3M Sticky Pad Application For The Win
The more modern and less traditional but also less technical method is by using 3M sticky pads. 3M sticky pads are quite amazing when you see how strong they are! We die-cut the 3M sticky pad to the outline of your bike head tube badge and simply stick it to the back of your badge. When you receive your badges, to get them to stick you simply peel off the paper protective film and get to work! It really is that simple!
Rivet Holes Vs 3M Sticky Pad Application
Which one you choose is purely down to aesthetics. Rivet holes require more commitment to adhere, this is why we only suggest this method for frame builders and those with technical know-how. Whilst our 3M sticky pads are best for our retail brands and those with a more B2C business model. This means easier application for people who do not want to be drilling holes in their frames, or simply do not know how.
What Types of Bikes Can I Use Custom Made Bike Head Tube Badges for?
Bike are bikes. Anyone who rides them are all in the same gang! And all bikes usually share the same design features, namely a head tube to enable steering! We can manufacture bike head tube badges in and size or shape for BMX, MTB Mountain Bike, Road Bike, Unicycles, Hybrid Commuter Bikes, Folding Bikes, Electric Bikes, Kids Bikes, Touring Bikes, Fixed Gear Bikes, Stunt Bikes, Balance Bikes, Motorbikes and even Scooters! So quite a lot actually. We make bike badges. Simple.
What Are the Minimum Quantities On Head Tube Badges?
We have an extremely low minimum order quantity when it comes to our custom made bike head tube badges! Each job is different, and that is why we do not have the live price feature enabled for this product (as we do for our custom enamel pins, woven and chenille patches and commemorative coins). Each job specification needs to be mapped out carefully to make sure we can deliver your job on time and on budget. Generally speaking, we can do as low as 30 pieces to 50 pieces for some jobs, but other jobs will require a minimum of at least 100pc to 200pc minimum quantity. We are capable of producing up to 10,000 a week.
The Sweet Spot Quantity For Head Tube Badges
The real sweet spot comes at around 500 pieces for any job. We know the 500pc region will be reserved for frame builders but there is a real marketing opportunity with our custom made bike head tube badges to connect with your audience in a way they have never experienced before. There is just something alluring and mystical about a small lump of metal carefully molded and painted and having it in your hand! They beat handing out printed plastic pens or branded USB sticks, that’s for sure!
The Next Steps To Production!
Are you now ready to dive into the word of custom made bespoke bike head tube badges? Has this article convinced you that they are worth every penny? We feel there is a huge marketing opportunity here for the companies that can think outside the box! We understand this is a new complex avenue for you, but Studio Dais is here to take the complexity out of the process.
Custom Frame Builders Know
If you are a B2C business and are unsure, you just need to decide that you want to try a new exciting product and get in touch. for super low minimum order quantities such as 30pc to 50pc. We will then work with you on a one to one basis and dive into your business with you to come up with an amazing custom bike badge idea that will win customers over from the start.
To Conclude On Our Custom Bike Head Tube Badges
This is all the information you will need to see the potential of custom headtube badges for either bikes or for branding keepsakes. Bike badges are beautiful objects that will be cherished for a long time. Only when you have one in your hand do you see this.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We love working with new businesses and helping them navigate in the dark realms of award winning custom merchandise products. It’s what we love to do!
You can contact us HERE!