Bicycles

One-off custom bike honors The Purple One

One-off custom bike honors The...
Erik Noren (white shirt) behind his one-of-a-kind Prince tribute bike
Erik Noren (white shirt) behind his one-of-a-kind Prince tribute bike
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Erik Noren (white shirt) behind his one-of-a-kind Prince tribute bike
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Erik Noren (white shirt) behind his one-of-a-kind Prince tribute bike
The Prince bike's head tube
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The Prince bike's head tube
The Prince symbol features heavily on the tribute bike
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The Prince symbol features heavily on the tribute bike
The lyrics to the song Purple Rain are painted on the wheel rims
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The lyrics to the song Purple Rain are painted on the wheel rims
A guitar pick used by Prince is embedded in the stem
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A guitar pick used by Prince is embedded in the stem
Crying doves are laser-etched onto the brake levers
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Crying doves are laser-etched onto the brake levers
Noren even used a Purple Rain-type font for the branding on the bike
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Noren even used a Purple Rain-type font for the branding on the bike
The custom saddle features the Prince symbol
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The custom saddle features the Prince symbol
The brake rotors feature a line from the song Little Red Corvette
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The brake rotors feature a line from the song Little Red Corvette
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Anna Schwinn is the great, great granddaughter of Schwinn Bicycle Company founder Ignaz Schwinn, plus she's a fan of both Prince and Minneapolis-based Peacock Groove Bicycles. When Prince passed away last year, Anna asked Peacock Groove's Erik Noren if he could build her a custom steel-framed folding bike in tribute to the legendary musician. Noren accepted the challenge, and the result is definitely a work of art.

"I was like, 'If we're gonna do it, we have to go all out, we have to be audacious with class,' which is what Prince was," Erik told us at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, where the bike is currently on display. "How do you take an artist's career, and put that on a limited canvas like a bike?".

Noren started with a Princely-purple paint job, accented by polished stainless steel cut-outs of the Prince symbol, that are used as reinforcements for the water bottle bosses and seat tube slot. That symbol also appears on the light mounts, head tube and bespoke saddle.

The Prince symbol features heavily on the tribute bike
The Prince symbol features heavily on the tribute bike

All of the components come from big names such as Campagnolo, Chris King and Paul Components, the latter of which supplied a custom-purple-anodized seat post and brake callipers, along with a handlebar stem into which Erik embedded a guitar pick that was used by Prince. Other stand-out custom details include brake levers with laser-etched crying doves (from the song When Doves Cry) and disc brake rotors with the words "Baby you're much too fast" cut out of the metal (from the song Little Red Corvette).

Last, but certainly not least, the color-matched HED wheels rims have the complete lyrics to the song Purple Rain painted on both of them.

The lyrics to the song Purple Rain are painted on the wheel rims
The lyrics to the song Purple Rain are painted on the wheel rims

Although Noren isn't saying exactly how much Schwinn paid for the one-of-a-kind creation, he told us that he'd value it at no less than US$10,000. That said, Anna still does actually ride the thing, and it does have a few paint chips – which is good, according to Erik.

"It is like a guitar," he told us. "You get it and it's new and you care for it, and then it starts to get scratched – and those scratches, those rubs, those dents, they all tell a story of where it's been … if you want something to hang on your wall, I'll make you a painting."

Company website: Peacock Groove

View gallery - 9 images
3 comments
3 comments
ErstO
I’m sorry, this may be a dumb question, but these photos look like they are from the same event as the Bamboo e-bike, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.
I noticed in both articles the pedals on both bikes are removed.
Is there a reason for this?
Adam
@ErstO - fun fact for those who don't purchase bikes from dedicated bike shops: Pedals are extra! I can remember my surprise when I found this out.
aWintersTale
Clipless pedals are a highly personal component of a bike. Aficionados of the SPD would not want to pay for a bike with a Look pedal, and vice versa. Custom bike builders simply omit the pedal and leave it up to the customer - a much easier build.