Introducing the 2016 Surprise Me!

No hints. No regrets. Dating back to the early years of Vanilla, it has been common for our customers to provide a little direction and turn us loose; which is how to best harness our creativity and excitement. With Speedvagen, we took this one step further, giving people the option to pick a mood and let us run with it. 

Don't box me in, bro...

From the beginning, almost two decades ago, The Vanilla Workshop has been known for color work. Hues that you don’t find elsewhere in the bike world, unexpected color combinations and graphic treatments identifiable as Speedvagen from down the road. Dating back to the early years of Vanilla, it has been common for our customers to provide a little direction (Are they looking for mean, or fruity, or classy; colors that they like and don’t like.) and then turn us loose giving us freedom to do what we want with their bike.


We’ve learned over and over again that this is how to best harness our creativity and excitement. Probably true for everyone. Autonomy right? When we launched Speedvagen 10 years ago, we took the notion of ultimate trust one step further and debuted our Surprise Me paint option. With the promise of “No hints. No regrets.” Each Surprise Me scheme represents the pinnacle of design that we’re most excited about in that year.

One and Done

We do each SM scheme for one year and then it goes in the vault. In a given year, we end up building and painting a handful of SM’s for riders on nearly every continent. The fifteen to thirty Surprise Me owners from a given year have a kinship with each other. Surprise Me owners as a whole have a connection with each other. Risk taking. A little rebellious. Doesn’t take stuff too seriously. Likes to shred.

2016 Surprise Me

Our love affair with polkadots on Speedvagen bikes has been building for the last couple of years. Starting with the most recent LIOTR cancer fighter and getting peppered onto bikes here and there. We’ve been looking for an avenue to bring da dots in more thoroughly ever since. Sacha’s been quietly working on new patterns and color transitions – stripes, small blocks, large blocks, text – all different styles of gradient than a traditional fade paint application. Meanwhile, our “Resident Badass,” Jenn Levo, brought a paint idea to the table, using our horizontal scheme, but turning the stripes on a diagonal, to give the bike more “fast.” Sacha thought this may be the right opportunity to break up the colors, making the overall scheme mostly gradient tones, with hits of bright contrasting color. Just a few (50?) revisions later, added bold Speedvagen logos and….The new Surprise Me is born!

So far the Surprise Me’s are going to riders in Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Europe and a couple right here in the US.

Your Flavor

This year, like last year, we’re taking orders for Surprise Me through the end of December. New customers who have already seen the scheme can get their surprise fix either through us picking their colors for them, or they can specify a base color and we’ll take it from there.