Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bicycle Shorts: Lego Bicycle Shop

Short Films, that is. . .

Tired of hearing about "1x" drivetrains, dropper seatposts, fatbikes, mid-fat, enduro, gravel, and more? Do you even know what people are talking about when they're debating "36 vs. Pike"? Honestly, I don't. And so the short film, Lego Bike Shop, created by Devon Brown for Oxburger Studios, is a wry 2-minute comment on the current state of the bicycle industry that will appeal to any retrogrouch.

First off, understand that in the world of Lego building bricks, there is only one "bicycle." It comes in a rainbow array of colors, but they're all basically the same little bike:

The film opens on a little Lego-world bike shop, called "Chuck's" . . .

Where in walks a little hipster guy who wants a new bike . . .

The Lego hipster has done lots of reading online and is very impressed with "how far the technology's come in the past little while."
"I really think it's time for me to jump on these new trends," the guy says.
The salesman then goes on to show all the great features of the Lego bicycle, which as already mentioned, are all essentially the same.

"This one features industry-leading green color technology."
It's a real splash in the face of reality when you live in Lego world. It gets me thinking about how the magazines and industry-cheerleading websites can convince us of all the new technology that we "need" in order to enjoy riding a bike - when really, most of it just comes down to marketing hype.

It's only two minutes long, and it's good for a laugh:



  1. Isn't being impressed "with how far the technology has come" just another way of saying that one is going to "jump on the new trends"?

  2. The video is hilariously creative. Thanks for the chuckle, Brooks.

  3. OMFG, it's my life, in a nut shell.

    Had someone stop in yesterday, looking for a full suspension 29er.

    My main brand (unwisely IMHO) stopped doing 29FS this year, in favor of all 650B squishy, both skinny and plus.

    While I wished I could have sold him what he was after, however, attempting to save a sale, I informed him that 650B+ has the same OD as 29 skinny, so, effectively, a 29er FS.

    He would not be dissuaded, and I cannot argue.

    I'm not sure who all this hyper segmentation of the market is designed to help, but with brands choosing to opt in, or out, of various trends at will, the shop's hands are tied to sell customers what they desire and consumers are often left with a dizzying array of choices, and the fervent belief that making the wrong one will result in them having a bad experience.

    Shit like this really makes me want to just close up and go be a hermit somewhere....

    Thanks, that was hilarious!

  4. Where do you draw the line? If you eschewed all technological advances, we'd still be riding, what? Penny farthings? Probably not; technological advance. Boneshakers? Probably not; technological advance. Drasiennes? Probably not, radical technological innovation.

    I agree that very much "advance" is merely "please buy this now!" But you'd agree that db 531, strong aluminum alloys, good rubber pneumatic tires, and modern metallurgy that allows one to make strong, light chains are all good advances? What about clipless pedals? Modern sealants that let you ride Compass extralight tires in goathead areas? Aero brake levers? 6 cogs per wheels? 7? 8? 9? 10?

    One of my favorite technological innovations is the Suntour Power Ratchet bar end shifter. Technological innovations -- bring 'em on!

  5. I guess no one reading this blog is per se a luddite. There's is innovation that improves the cycling experience (the suntour shifters, better tires, etc), and then there's creation just because companies need something new to entice consumers. This happens in everything, not just bikes. Does it matter if your mtb is 26", 650B or 29"? Will the wheel size difference really change the experience? Not that much really... But it allows companies to push different products and give the look of innovators. My 2c.

  6. There's also a new innovation type, and it's far more insidious than a new wheel size, or brake type.

    I've lost count of the number of bottom bracket standards that have come into being in the last 5 years.

    Ditto for headsets.

    Had a Trek in the shop last week, used a Cane Creek tapered headset, or supposedly did.

    Turns out, the top end bearing was, the lower one was larger in OD, by 1 mm. Guess who had sole stock of said bearing.

    The BB standards differences serve no valid purpose except to do the same thing. Drive consumers back into the brands arms for every stinking part they can make proprietary. =:(