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From looking at the small favicon, it looks like a bluegreen heart on top of a gray cube:

Favicon "Favicon"

Seeing the larger icon, it looks like a medieval shield or saloon doors with SE on them, or perhaps a cycloptic transformer head. What is this supposed to represent in relation to bicycles? Am I missing something?

Logo "Logo"

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It's intended to be a head badge. A head badge is the decoration on the front of the head tube of a bicycle. Some head badges are simply paint, but others are raised decals or even metal. I believe this one is intended to represent more of a metallic 3-d head badge, with the color of the heart matching the background color to give an impression that it might be a cut-out, which is a common design element on head badges.

The original design idea had a heart logo with a bicycle in it: Design for Bicycles Stack Exchange.

However, some people didn't care for the heart logo. A headbadge was suggested by zenbike and others.

The final design had a headbadge with a heart in it: New Design Launched

Here's a larger version:

  • Ah, now I see it. Sort of. The heart's sides are cut off so it sort of looks like a thick book. I'm not a huge fan of branding, so I usually removed anything on my headtubes and/or painted/herculined over them, so I have zero association between a head badge and a bicycle, but that's just me personally I suppose. – Ehryk May 9 '12 at 22:29
  • @Ehryk: Some bikes don't have head badges, too. It's not universal, but it seemed like something recognizable enough to most cyclists and the designer didn't want to go with bike parts. – freiheit May 9 '12 at 22:35
  • Now that I was told, I see it like one now. I'd probably have went with cranks or something similar. – Ehryk May 10 '12 at 1:19

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