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Why We Won’t Put Model Names On Our Bikes

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Something that comes up occasionally when discussing All-City is the question of "Why don't you put model names on your bikes? Everyone else does."

Well, my friend, there are a myriad of reasons for this, so let's get into it.

1. Aesthetics
We care about how our bikes look, and absolutely abhor the idiotic bike industry bullshit that goes on with graphics today.  Does a company really need its website address on a bicycle?  There's a thing called Google. If I want to find you on the web, I'll look you up.  You don't need to tell me the address 13 times on your seatstays and chainstays, it's not 1998 and the internet is not a new thing. 

How many times do you really need the manufacturer on a bike?  Putting logos on the forks, stays, downtube, seattube,etc, just seems so ludicrous.  If you're the type of person who needs that Euro race look, or you believe that your bike is a status symbol and need everyone to know what it is, you aren't right for us and we're not right for you. And that's okay.  There are plenty of other companies who will give you exactly the pro race look you want.

We want our stuff to be clean and classic.
 

2. Who is that for exactly?
You bought the bike, you know what it is.  Who gives a shit if Billy-down-the-street can see that it's the "nobjobber" model from Generic Bicycle corp.  If someone checks out your ride and doesn't know what model All-City it is, that's okay.  They can Google us *see above or maybe even talk to you.  I realize that this hurts us in the marketing sense that lay people aren't able to go "Oh, that's an All-City Space Horse," but don't worry about us, we'll be okay and they still know it's an All-City and hopefullly know how to use the internet.

The one argument I will accept here is that it helps out sales folk in the shops, and we are thinking about doing hangtags to make that better, but really if you're selling us you should know the difference between a Mr. Pink and a Space Horse by heart. 

An owner of a bicycle doesn't need to be reminded of the model name or any other bullshit when they see the bike.  They know what it is, what it's for, and what it means to them.


3. We'd probably have to name our bikes not stupid things
Now I love the names of our bicycles, they are dear to my heart, but they're also kind of stupid and ridiculous, which is just the way we want them.  If we actually put a name on our top tube, we'd probably have to be a lot more conventional with what we called things. 


4. Because "everyone else does" is the stupidest reason to do anything
We don't really care about what the rest of the industry does, if we were satisfied with what the rest of the industry was doing there would be no need for us to have ever started All-City.  We want to do better than that, and junking up a bike with a bunch of dumb words isn't something we're remotely interested in. 

 

There you have it, a few reasons we don't care to commoditize our bikes by putting a bunch of marketing crap on them, if that bums you out we're sorry, but we think it's a better way to be and a nice thumb in the eye of the industry status quo.

Comments
Guest

Rafael

February 5, 2013

Never even realized, the bike did not have their names stamped somewhere. I’ve had my Big Block for over an year and the bike is too good for me to care about names logos or whatever.
And I can recognize most of the All-City bike by their color scheme, the green on the Nature Boy frameset is one of the most unique colors I’ve ever seen.
Keep up the awesome work, All-City bikes are rad just the way they are.

Guest

Eric

February 5, 2013

What a great fucking read! And you raise some good points on branding and that sales folks should know the bike without having to look at a top tube. I love those jabs at “other” manufacturers which shall remain nameless, ie: the “Does a company really need its website address on a bicycle?” comment ;)

Guest

Eric

February 5, 2013

I think Rivendell does a pretty decent job of including the model name without doing most of the thing you’ve mentioned above. I don’t think putting the model name on is inherently a bad thing, maybe 99% of bike companies do it in an obtrusive or distasteful way, I think you could make it a challenge to include the name w/o doing those things you don’t like rather than just not doing it.

Guest

Simon

February 5, 2013

That’s hilarious. Respect level up.

Guest

jv

February 6, 2013

I like your style. It’s refreshing when a company isn’t constantly cramming their products down our throats. You guys do what you do, and we can take it or leave it. Some of my favorite companies operate this way. Bravo.

Guest

bsimon

February 6, 2013

i want a sticker with reason #4.

Guest

SMJ

February 6, 2013

eh ... you can be original, intellectual and pure in the art without being pretentious and vulgar ... just sayin’ ...

Guest

bmalmq

February 6, 2013

I think you should put the CAD application, welding gases, and brand of bathroom tissue you guys use during the design phase on the left chainstay.

Guest

Jake

February 6, 2013

I love you. This post made my day and reminded me why I enjoy your company so much.

Guest

another one

February 7, 2013

the swearing is cloying—i didn’t read the copy as sincere so much as pretentious, to quote another reader. the bike looks cool enough, but most this one doesn’t need some exuberant yapper illuminating the high-points with a laser pointer made from cusses. sort of a turn off on a large and polarizing sense, and for what?

Guest

Ryan

February 7, 2013

Harumph!!

One of the things that drew me to your line is that they just say All City on them.  So I guess I’m right for you and you’re right for me.  If somebody see’s me on Mr/ Pink, they probably know what it is, and if not, they can ask.  Bike people like to talk about their bikes anyway.

Guest

Andrew_Squirrel

February 11, 2013

If you detest the logo-ization of the bicycle so much why not just be done with the All-City DT logo, or make it smaller, “sotto-voce” it, hide it under the DT, or just have a small headbadge?

Seems a bit hypocritical to be digging on logos yet have an ugly “contrasting color framed” all cursive name on the DT.

Guest

Evan T

February 12, 2013

Owned my Mr. Pink 2012 closeout and first batch Thunderdrome for a bit longer than a NY minute.  Never even noticed. 

The classic styling of your frames has led to my rather classic interpretation of the bikes as well.  Black Mr. Pink frame avec polished Athena, polished Thomson stem and post… you get the idea. 

For reference I also own a Specialized Shiv and Tarmac that I race and train on.  But my Mr. Pink is reserved for going on Bike rides.  No computer, no HR monitor, no destination - just going for a bike ride because pedaling makes me happy.

Jeff

February 13, 2013

Sorry to get all ranty and up our own ass about this issue.  It’s just that I get frustrated with people trying to tell us what to do, especially when their reasoning is “it’s the industry norm”

Guest

Michael

May 15, 2013

Wanted a commuter/light touring bike.  LBS showed me the Spacehorse and I was hooked.  I’m an old man now that has just gotten back to biking in the last couple of years and I love this bike!  I’ve got about a thousand miles on it since February (would have had more if the weather cooperated) and love it!  Looks great, love the name and don’t need to see it plastered everywhere.  Can’t wait to get going on a week long tour with this beauty.  Keep it up!  Cheers.

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