Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Open Source Naming Project

The Open Source Naming Project or "Kickstarting A New Name For Gravel Grinder Bikes"

Too good to be just used for gravel
 Okay folks. I am going to enlist your help in making a sea change in how we are going to refer to the fat tired, "not-a-cyclo-cross-bike", bikes that some of us know now as "gravel grinders". Why? Well, if you have not been paying attention, here's a recap....

Calling a bike by a specifically named purpose for such a bicycle generally doesn't work well. "Mountain bikes" being a notable exception. "Road" bikes is a misunderstood term, so that's not applicable here either. But what I am saying is that by calling a certain obese tired, mountain bike-ish looking bicycle a "snow bike" instead of a "fat bike" makes a huge difference in perception. I believe something similar happens when we say "gravel grinder bike".  It also is my belief that these "gravel bikes" are really the best bike for all-around riding for most folks.

Typical road racing style bikes, (which is what the vast majority of "road bikes" are), just do not do what most folks want, or could be doing with regard to everyday cycling, adventurous cycling, rural cycling, smooth dirt cycling, commuting, and a bunch of other kinds of cycling. Racing bikes are designed for "racing" and have geometry to match. They are not as comfortable as they could be, nor as stable as they should be, for daily, average cyclists usage.

The "gravel bikes" coming out do things like the racing style bike, but go waaaay beyond them in terms of use, versatility, and in terms of having fun. You remember fun, right? It probably was the reason why you got hooked on cycling in the first place.

But calling these bikes "gravel bikes"or "monster cross" bikes just doesn't produce the right mental image here. We need another, better name that is wider ranging and inclusive for these beasts.

"Monster Cross"? Nah.....
So, there are the reasons I feel we need another name for these bikes and why I am inviting you to brainstorm a name up. A few considerations:

  • "Any Road" is already used up by Giant
  • "All Road" and "All Roads"is already used up....
  •  Non-sense suggestions and obscenities are not allowed. 
  • Yes- this is serious.
  • This is going to be an "Open Source" name. I am not schilling for a company here. It is purely for the betterment of any company that wants to use the name, if a name surfaces that folks agree upon.
Okay? Hit the comments section with your suggestions. I will not approve of negative, non-nonsensical, or offensive comments, so save your typing for something else if you were going there. Otherwise, have at it.

Need a suggestion to start out? Fat Road. See my discussion of that name here.

57 comments:

Paul said...

McGyver bike

Rambler

Ranger

Kenneth Easterling said...

I am thinking "AR, All Road" Bike or "Any Road" bike, the same way All Mountain bikes cover both the can handle the ups and downs of mountain biking (lets just not call it "enduro"). I'm now riding a Jeff Jones diamond frame bike and I have never been on such a comfortable/controllable bike. I'm now on the hunt for it's road bike twin, but sadly they don't seem to exist in this format.

I want a frame with low step over height, can take up to a 2" tire, with canti brakes bosses, low BB and won't look stupid with a jones H-bar on it! What we need is an All Road Bike! Is that too much to ask?

Alexander said...

Borrowing from Specialized what about "Free Road" or "Open Road"

Jason said...

I have one idea, but it could be construed as nonsense by some (or everyone), so I will save that for my nonsense, rubbish of a blog later, ha!

One idea is B Road Bike (BrB). Works on two levels- many racers and riders call their back up or nasty weather bike their "B" bike. Also it would have affiliation with the "B" roads that states like Iowa have.

Guitar Ted said...

@All: Remember that names taken by other company's marketing will likely be protected so those are not good suggestions.

Van H Savell Jr said...

I like Jasons BRB, but I think gravel bike is here to stay.

Leslie said...

"All-Rounder" has been used before, but I think that it might be very suitable to be pressed into use for this.

Grant's term of a "country bike" is exactly what he was meaning for this.

Hmmm.... what else....

Guitar Ted said...

"Country Bike"? I like that, but for many the sounds of steel guitar and nasal twang it might conjure up might be a put off. Still......I like this and "Fat Road" the best so far. Carry on.....

Barturtle said...

Every Road

Ari said...

Free Range Bike.

F. Brian Hidy said...

Combining Kenneth's Any Road with Jason's BrB you could go with ARB, or then BAR Bike... I like that one!

JPTwins said...

I agree with Leslie -- Grant Petersen of Rivendell has been pushing for and selling this kind of bike for a while. And even if you're not on the Rivendell bandwagon, his use of the term "country bike" and "All Rounder" is well established and pretty brilliant.

another idea is "One Bike to Rule Them All", but that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

Jon said...

How about:

APB - All Purpose Bike

john said...

I like X Bike.
John

Steve Fuller said...

How about MR for "Multi-Road". It would allow for consistent brand naming and easy recognition.

Salsa Collosal - Road bike w skinny tires
Salsa Collosal MR - Same bike designed for things other than pavement.

Doug Mansfield said...

In the motorcycle community we would call these Adventure Bikes. They make great touring, commuting, back road, fire road, paved road bikes and in a pinch a no road bike.

Guitar Ted said...

Great suggestions folks! Keep it rolling or vote for a favorite. I am going to post the most commented on names later this week to weed down the list, so make sure to comment on your favorites here.

Tony McG said...

I like "Fat Road", and I was going to suggest "Every Road", but Barturtle beat me to it. My Suzuki V-Strom is the motorcycle version of "Every Road". Most refer to it as an Adventure Tourer...

cowspassage said...

In French they call hybrids "all road" bikes - "velo tout chemin". Actually, I might be more inclined t ride a hybrid if it was called that :-/

robvrstgh said...

VERSATILE road bike (VRB)

Larey said...

Here's a name I once proposed for transportation oriented bikes, you have road bikes, mountain bikes, and then there are Useful Bikes.

But I like VRB better.

Adam Lorenz said...

Springing off of Doug's... how about:

All-Adventure Bike?

Matt BK said...

I came here to post "Alt-Road," but I think some of these other ones are better!

VRB and APB stand out.

Using "AR" without defining it might open up the door for a backronym without dealing with trademark issues.

Unknown said...

All Road.
It may be "used up" but "mountainbike" started out as a brand name, too.

Paul Ebner said...

Grid Bike.

Any road city or country.

Think about the map grid viewed from above.

Has a nice ring to it.

Grid Bike...

Guitar Ted said...

@Unknown: yes, that is true, but two destitute hippies had no chance to defend that name, unlike the corporation behind the "Any Road" name now. ;>)

DJ Dual Core said...

In firearms AR means "automatic rifle."

I'm fond of the word "medium" because it is both familiar and has multiple meanings, some of which apply here.

Isolation Helmet said...

Allarounder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMUVVb8T8MA

youcancallmeAl said...

I like "all-rounder" or grant's "country bike"

youcancallmeAl said...

Ted. Rather than twang, for me, the word "country bike" conjures up quiet roads, woodstoves, fall colors and village churches!

youcancallmeAl said...

how about "rural route" or RR bike

Michael Shoaf said...

In the automotive world, there are lots of categories -- drag racers, hot rods, street racers, autocross, rock crawler, dune buggy, etc.) But the term for the one vehicle that is good for what most people use it for? "Car."

I'd almost think about "Sport Utility Bicycle" aka SUB, but that term can be pretty negative among most avid cyclists.

That said, how about "Multi-Surface" (or "All-Surface"?)

Brad said...

Like Michael said Multi-surface, but use, Multistrada bike like the Ducati model.

bike riders get off on anything that sounds I-talian.

Leslie said...

@ DJ Dual Core: The A in AR stood for Armalite...


+ + +


@GT: I never went 'music' in my head, I always think 'countryside'...



Hmmm...............

Lee said...

"Double Cross"

"Sans-Road Bike"

"Nubby Road"

"Skinny Mountain"

"Fun Bike"

Max said...

I like "All-Arounder" as a name to classify drop bar, non-race bikes that can fit up to a 45mm tire. It seems to already be a fairly established term but hasn't been used by any company specifically to my knowledge.

For non-race, drop bar, road bikes that can fit maybe a 32-35mm tire..I'd call them "Sport Tourers." Again, it's been used before but don't know if it's really "owned" by anyone in particular and makes sense to me.

"All-Surface" also seems decent.

Oireachtac said...

I'm in New Mexico, and I joke that my bike is a "Caliche Crusher". This bike is also my "Long-range Cruiser" and my "Muscle Bike". My rides are always mixed terrain = trails, paths, roads, all paved and unpaved. I could come up with something better if I think about it longer, but my bike is "Cross-Surface". It sounds right but it also sounds pretty boring.

frost1978 said...

Pauls suggestion about the Rambler reminded me of the Scrambler motorcycles, which basically were normal road motorbikes beefed up a bit and fitted with knobbly tires. Completely on a side note, this type of motorcycle is experiencing a mild revival too!

I think both "Rambler" and "Scrambler" are getting close to what we're trying to express here with the name for this kind of bicycle.

Ian Clark said...

I'm not so sure about the division of bicycle taxonomy into smaller and smaller sub groups. After all a carbon fibre time-trial bike with electronic gears etc is a closer cousin to my "Ancient steel hybrid with fat tyres and drop bars/ fully rigid 29er with drop bars/monstercross/just a bike" than to any other type of vehicle.


Having said that when people ask what it's for I say something like "multi surface" or "multi terrain" riding so maybe thats a name.

sniffer said...

Whip. My gravel bike is my whip

Mike Howard said...

Really like the "Adventure Bike" Doug M suggested.31

Mike Johnson said...

Okay here are some suggestions:

Road Roamer
Wanderluster
Road Wanderer
R.A.D Road - Ride any damn road
M.M.C - Multi-modal cycle
Thoroughfare Travler

Ari said...

A while ago I had heard about Blender rides. Rides that combined road and dirt.
Blender Bike.
ari

Mike Grant Fitness said...

How about Dirt-Road...pretty much sums it all up.

Garrett Olsen said...

I'm just going to say bike from here on out. I may say "I'm gonna go ride some back roads on my bike" or "Hit the trails with my bike". Does it need to be more descriptive then that?

Unknown said...

I like "Country Bike", but that does tend to conjur images of sedate touring in tweed. Maybe not sporty enough for these new gravel racing machines. How about "Scorcher", borrowing from the original gravel racers from the early 1900's? Sure, Scorchers were fixed gear, but so were TdF bikes back then. More importantly, they were rough road racing bikes, so I think the term would perfectly appropriate for modern geared, disc braked "all road" bikes.

Hudson T. Doerge said...

gotta say all-rounder has always sounded the best to me.

shiggy mtbtires said...

Stupid Google calls me "unknown" even after I have signed in.
-shiggy

I still like All-Road. Cannondale tried to trademark freeride, that did not work out.

All-rounder is OK, though very non-discript.

I have used Adventure Bike for my road/dirt/trail bikes for more than 10 years. GT would not be happy on them on the B roads.

Josh Lederman said...

All Country?

BluesDawg said...


I usually call mine "Dirt Road Bike" (DRB).
"Rambler" has a good ring to it.
"All-Rounder" or "All-Round Road" (ARR).
"Country Bike" is good. Not a thang wrong with twang as long as it's like Gram Parsons or Hank Sr. and not like Hank Jr.

Roasta said...

Howdy Gted,

"All rounder" doesn't work as these bikes wouldn't make a good tri, trials or bmx etc bike so not an all rounder when considering bicycles on the whole.

From a motorcycle reference - "Dual purpose" or "Dual Sport" aligns.

"Adventure bike" kind of works but has already been used with the Fargo etc and are the GG bikes all going to have rack mounts etc? (I doubt it). One could argue it is more likely to be an an "adventure" on a road bike on gravel ;-)

I like the heritage behind "Scorcher" bike but the word is non descriptive to the mass market being chased.

Maybe "RTB" works (road terrain bike) as Gravel bikes are pretty well a road MTB. (Market spin = You want a bike for any road? You need X brand in the RTB variant.)

But for me using a Giant Revolt v the Giant TCX cross bike as an example; I feel the cross bike may suit better for a bias to going a little quicker/easier on roads when the Revolts gearing and geo aims more at mountain bike terrain - hence I would take my MTB.... as always its hard (and not as fun) to have just one bike.

sniffer said...

Gravel grinder still takes it for names. Hard to top thst

CRCC said...

How about the "Just Ride!"

Eric Daume said...

Drop bar hybrid?

Panurgist said...

Univercyl

BUV = Bicycle Utility Vehicle

GUV = Green Utility Vehicle

Free-Cycle

Phatbike

Joey Brown said...

Everything!

wes lucas said...

Tweener bike - its between a crossbike and a mountain bike