iStyle: Fashion on two wheels

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This season’s neon hues make perfect bike wear, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Blame Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton if you like, but there’s no denying that cycling has soared in popularity over the past few years, from the east London trend for fixed-gear bike polo to those who tackle the commute on a Boris bike (that was really the brainchild of Ken Livingstone), to the fair-weather cyclists who wobble out on a long-neglected ladies’ bike as soon as there’s a hint of sun.

As you might expect, the fashion bike is a  different beast altogether. Designers Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci led the way for the extreme bicycle, with creations that freewheeled into the headlines last year for their whopping price tags. This season, however, a slightly more realistic bar has been set, as brands such as Pretty Ballerinas, H&M and Red or Dead have teamed up with established cycle companies to put a new spin on their classic products.

The retro frame of Pretty Ballerinas’ electric bike by Yamimoto comes in the footwear brand’s signature pink and black, while Red or Dead has joined forces with British company Raleigh to produce two vintage styles: the star-spangled Shopper has tasselled handlebars; the Classic has a feminine, etched floral print. Mango Bikes offers bright shades and custom-built machines that will appeal to colour co-ordinators.

With the wheels sorted, there are a few wardrobe items to consider: a hands-free bag such as a backpack or cross-body satchel makes life easier, as does a lightweight jacket with a hood that can be pulled up at the first sign of rain. Lights and high-vis accessories are a must for the evening – but as neon is a recurrent summer trend, it’s smart to incorporate a few acid brights into your cycle kit too.

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