Sunday, October 12, 2014

Brompton in Cobalt Blue

I had three possible colors in mind for my new Brompton bicycle: Black, Racing Green, or Cobalt Blue.

At first I really liked the idea of black.  This being a British bike, black reminded me of those iconic all-black London taxi cabs.  A great connection, right?  Plus, any scratches or chips could be easily touched up with model paint.  No need to worry about matching a specific shade.

But the more I thought about it, the more black felt a bit too utilitarian to my taste, especially after the London cab allusion would fade.

I also was drawn to the idea of Brompton's Racing Green shade.  It would come at an additional cost, not being one of the four "standard colors" for 2014 (Black, White, Cobalt Blue, and Orange).  I love a nice shade of dark green though, so I considered it.  But when I saw Racing Green on a floor model at Harris Cyclery in West Newton -- the shop I ordered my Brompton from -- it didn't quite call out to me.  It was lovely, but not my shade of green.

But then I saw a stock model folded up in Harris Cyclery's window in...

...and I knew Cobalt Blue was the color for me.  It's absolutely beautiful, especially in Brompton's particular variety, which is matte rather than glossy.  As you can see from my last two posts, the color even seems to change very slightly depending on whether it's outside...

...or inside:

While I love Cobalt Blue as a color alone, I also love the things I associate with it.  Like my mother's bottle tree in her garden.  Colbalt is a popular color among bottle tree enthusiasts:

I also love the way Cobalt Blue adds magic to the night sky in art, such as Van Gogh's "Starry Night Over The Rhone":

And if that's not enough, even the name itself has supernatural origins.  Cobalt apparently comes from the German word kobold, which is a goblin that haunts subterranean places.  Silver miners named the substance that produces Cobalt Blue with the belief that these impish little goblins replaced silver with this less valuable material.

So, Cobalt Blue was my choice.  Brompton gives purchasers a two-color option: a color for the frame, and another for the handlebar stem and rear triangle.  But I knew one solid color was for me. Clean, bold, and simple.

The story doesn't end there though.  A short while after ordering my bike, I was looking around some Brompton blogs, and I learned that Brompton is officially discontinuing Cobalt Blue in 2015!  Also on the outs are: Yellow, Sage Green, Claret, Desert Sand, Hot Pink (oh Brompton, how could you?), Apple Green, and Arctic Blue.  Replacing them are three "brights": Lagoon Blue, Lime Green, and Berry Crush; and three "classics": Vanilla, Cherry Blossom, and Tempest Blue.  Old favorites remaining in the line-up are Black, White, Orange, Turkish Green, Racing Green, and Raw Lacquer.

It looks to me like Tempest Blue is the closest to Cobalt, but not quite.  Anyway, while I like what I've seen of the new colors, I also love that I may have gotten one of the last Cobalt Blue Bromptons ever produced ... at least until those subterranean goblins realize what Brompton has done and demand their color back! 

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