One of my recent assignments was with Bicycling magazine, photographing head tube badges. Before the project I had never taken much notice because most of todays badges are merely stick-on decals of the company’s logo, like the one on my Gunnar. The attention that was given to creating these badges was quite amazing, as seen in the opening spread of the story.
Most of the badges in the story came from collector Jim Langley, who is very passionate about anything to do with bicycles. He has been collecting badges since the late 1970’s and now has approximately 600 of them dating from the 1880’s to current day.
After the shoot, I went online to do a little more head tube research and found some people filling the void by creating their own badges. One bicycle shop in Maryland, The Bicycle Escape, created badges out of bottle caps. Another was a Star Wars Stormtrooper with what looked like a Hello Kitty bow.
So now when someone pulls up next to me on a bike, instead of checking out their components, I’ll be looking for a nice head badge.