When you think of bicycles, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Right: Messengers, sports fanatics and fearless families riding alongside highways like ducks walking in a row. Some guys are spending between three and six grand for a downhill bike. But many of us haven’t even had a bicycle since our school days. (Which of course depends on where you live.)

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Republic builds and ships colorful, custom made fixies for under $400.

Funriki: Custom made bicycles from Japan.

Funriki: Custom made bicycles from Japan.

global warming is probably not the reason, but bicycles are currently experiencing an incomparable renaissance.

MIT’s engineers picked up on the concept, improving it with a cybernetic acceleration system that gives back accumulated energy.

In Germany, newcomer Grace began producing an electric bicycle that can make up to 45 miles per hour. (Don’t hold your breath until you heard its price tag, roughly $8,760.)

But rarely are bicycles seen as a fashion statement. Let me change your mind with these awesome bicycles from Bertelli in New York, Miami based Republic and FunRiki from Japan. At the bottom you’ll see examples of the Copenhagen Wheel from MIT Senseable City Lab).

How can you not love that?

How could you not love that?

Republic, for an example, lets you custom select your combination of part colors and ships the finished bike anywhere in the US, for under $400.

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Crazy, sexy, cool.

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It's up to you to pick a colorful combination with a frame like "wasabi" in this model, …

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… or stick with a more classic, subdue color set.

Bertelli's bicycles are unmatched in beauty and elegance.

Bertelli’s bicycles are unmatched in beauty and elegance.

Bertelli combines wood, steel and aluminum with simplistic elegance.

Bertelli combines wood, steel and aluminum with simplistic elegance.

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The Copenhagen Wheel, a masterpeace of modern engineering.

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(Pictures and video from Republic, FunRiki, Bertelli, MIT Senseable City Lab)

It’s no secret anymore that I really like the Panasonic Lumix GF1. Configured with a Micro Four Third lens system, this camera is not as heavy as a DSLR, but delivers equally stunning results.

Video on cinematic level

One of the great advantages over the mirror technology of DSLRs: you can use a lens of photographic quality to create video clips. (Thanks to a special mirror flip mode, you can record video with a Nikon D90 too, which is actually a DSLR.)

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The year was 1975. The movie “Jaws” had been the first major box office hit of its kind. “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show” had been released. David Bowie was squeaking “Fame” out of kitchen radios.

The idea of a computer sitting on a lap, let alone one in your pocket, seemed ridiculous. Computers were big, ugly and hard to use. IBM’s idea of the future took shape in a few slides or shots from a movie for IBM’s product, Bolder.

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When I first saw these pictures, I thought they were not real. I figured that someone must have done what Panic did with their fake vintage game boxes: create a realistic looking photo shoot set in the mainframe age of 1975.

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But they are for real. And what’s really odd is how modern these messages seem. I don’t know exactly for what these images were used, but imagine someone in the seventies used this for a presentation about reliable and accessible data storage.

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Aside of cliché gender roles and the smell of cold smoke in the clothes of these men — with those keywords and some of the graphics, the images convey messages we are hearing about the modern Web every day. You’ll find more pictures at Square America.

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(Via Square America)