The Etymology of our Bike Model Names
One thing we get asked quite a bit about is how our model names came to be. Here then is a post explaining how we came up with this crap. Some of the references are more interesting than others so stay with me.
The first Bike we ever created was the Big Block. There were a number of names in the running for the BB.
Digging up old word doc's I found this list of potentials:
Champ , *Super Champion, Super Champ *, Professional *, Killer T *, Killa B *, Model T, Signature, Blueprint *, Destroyer, Wild Horse *, Trigger, Perennial, Cyclotron **, Tron, Blackout, Pinnacle, Centrifuge, Mr. Wonderful **, Vanishing Point, Tailor, Derny, Copi, Corsa, Bullit
Some of these names are okay, some are terrible, and some have actually become model names for other brands. This was just a brainstorm.
In the end though, riding to work one day and listening to Steve Earle do Copperhead Road it all came together:
There's a line in the song that goes “My daddy ran whiskey in a Big Block Dodge,” and the deal was sealed. The name was everything we wanted: fast, muscular, and bad ass. Plus the whole urban cyclist as modern day bootlegger, breaking laws and running from the cops sort of thing totally works too.
This was a fairly easy one, as a child growing up one of the great pleasures of my young life was being allowed to stay up on Saturday nights to watch wrestling. Not to mention that I was also granted permission to drink a whole can of Mello Yello to boot on those nights. Wild shit, I know. One of my favorites was the dastardly Nature Boy Ric Flair, who was raised in the Twin Cities and was one of the famous Four Horsemen wrestling stable.
Anyway, when it came time to name our first bike that was designed to also head into the woods, the Nature Boy was the obvious choice. It is a tongue in cheek joke about All-City taking the brand to the woods, was instantly memorable, and resonated with other children of the 80's who grew up watching WWF and WCW.
A natural extension of our wrestling theme in cross and a shout out to the legendary Macho Man Randy Savage. Both names are just a ton of fun and have set our cross stuff apart.
The Macho King came about because during Randy Savage's career, after he had won the King of the Ring tournament he decreed that hew would now be known as the Macho King. Seemed like the most obvious thing to name the highest end version of our geared cross bike.
With most of the bikes I like to wait until we get a chance to ride and taste their flavor before giving them a designation. W need to know them first before committing to what they are called. With the Pink however we knew what to call our road bike before we even started sketching it out.
I believe the name came while on a bit of a bender in Las Vegas during Interbike. I can't recall the spark that lead to it, but once it was figured out that the greatest name for a road bike in the history of humankind was “Mr. Pink” it was a done deal and nobody could talk us out of it. Though many tried.
Incidentally, the masculine aspect to our names was never intentional at least not overtly. Now of course it could be the product of myself being a very “dudey” dude, but we definitely never set out to leave the ladies out of our naming convention, and this is something that we will be addressing in the future (wait for it!). It just took a little bit longer to come up with a feminine name that really sung to us, although Miss Elizabeth and Fabulous Moolah were both strong contenders for the name of the Nature Boy 853.
We also have a number of customers who refer to their single speed cross bike as a “Nature Girl” and their geared version as a “Macho Chick.” Call your bike whatever the hell you want. We're way into that.
The Space Horse is one we probably get asked about the most. Again this was one that the answer was totally obvious from the beginning of the project, and one that many folks tried to talk us out of.
The name came about because I was reading an article on Vice.com about the author on assignment in Houston going out and getting drunk with an aging astronaut. The author referred to the subject as a “thoroughbred space horse.” With that sentence, this bike's future was secured and the Space Horse was born.
With the JYD we wanted to name it anything but a wrestling reference. However we had always had the Junkyard Dog moniker on our short list for the bike, and event though we kept trying to find other names for it, we kept circling back to JYD for this model that was intended to be built from parts you had in your bin.
The Thunderdome was named for the third installment of the Mad Max trilogy “Beyond Thunderdome.” The Thunderdome was an an enclosed arena used for fights to the death. This seemed like just the thing to name our bike meant for doing battle in the enclosed arena of a velodrome.
There you have it.
And if you're wondering why we don't put those model names on our bikes, go here.