Mighty High Praise …

I hope the companies who own these ads don’t mind, but at the bottom of this blog entry, I have my two favorite bike magazine ads. Why am I sharing these with you? My blog. Enjoy.

Ad Number One: 25th Anniversary of the Specialized Stumpjumper

Why do I like this ad? For the simple fact that not even Cadillac (and yes, Cadillac makes bikes) can make their bikes look this cool. Whether you intend to ride the bike is completely immaterial. Regardless, you’re left feeling that the Stumpjumper itself is indeed the Batmobile of full-suspension mountain bikes. Instead of dreaming about clawing up the trail with this thing, you can imagine yourself moving along the bumps like a bead of morning dew runs along the contours of a leaf. Heckya!

And in case you’re curious, I did get a chance to test-ride a Specialized Epic today, albeit a large–about two inches too big for me. The green test bike performed beautifully, at least on pavement. The shock took a half-pedal stroke to stiffen up after a bunny hop but then became a solid hardtail–at least until my next curb drop off, when it immediately reacted to the increase in gravity. When the front shock was locked, there really was little or no pedal stroke absorption.

Oh yes, she will be mine … someday, I hope.

Ad Number Two: DT Swiss and ‘Pua’ Sawicki

Somehow, this ad does it for me like none other. After flipping through the magazine and seeing this, I suddenly experienced a strange urge to be cold, muddy (perhaps even bloody) and completely exhausted out on some racecourse in the middle of nowhere. I don’t even know if the premise of the ad itself "works" (really, what’s the point of ‘why worry?’), but with such a compelling picture of sport-related suffering, who cares? For once, a company (not surprisingly based in Grand Junction, where Rocky is from) has really tapped the edge of mountain biking that appeals to those who participate in the sport: pushing your limits and getting dirty doing it.

Specifically, take notice of the fact that her eyes aren’t fixed on the camera itself. Sawicki is caught late in the race with a desperate look on her face and nature all over jersey. The pro marathoner is stretching her legs to lengths most of us couldn’t imagine. It’s a thing of beauty.

As to the effectiveness of the ad, the last time I needed mountain bike wheels, I took a good, hard look at DT Swiss … at least until I discovered that each wheelset costs $1,200+. It caught my attention, and I dare say it looked cooler than most of the photos actually featured in the magazine itself.

So there you have it. What grabs you guys in a bike ad? I know we’ve more or less been down this road before, but really, what speaks to you as a rider? If the marketers knew, would they put away the pictures of people jumping concrete barriers and start trying to appeal more to the cross-country crowd? Or would they aim a little more for the road bike crowd?

I did have one other favorite bike mag ad. It was a Subaru ad, but it got scrunched before I could scan it, sorry. It showed Lancer, his face close to the handlebars in a sprint, but grinning like he was loving the lactic acid. The tagline read: "When you’re tough, every road feels flat."

P.S. Forgive my lack of content lately. Work has gotten a lot busier (I’ll be out of town for the last half of next week, in case you’re curious), and ride time takes priority over blog time. At least, it should. Ride hard!


7 thoughts on “Mighty High Praise …

  1. Unknown

    It always makes me wonder who alot of the ads in MBA, and other rags like it, are trying to appeal to. I consider myself the average rider, and I don\’t get the big air, bomb the stairs ect.. In fact, the crowd that this type of riding appeals to can\’t afford the bike made for that purpose. We are mountain bikers, show us real riding like we do, only better. That\’s why I think road bike advertiser and magazines have more ad appeal for me than the MTB mags. Wonder what enduance/energy drink company is goning to get on the Floyd stag 17 bandwagon ?

  2. Tom Stormcrowe

    Caloi, I presume you saw the news on Floyd? What do you think, media overhype of a bad test, more French hot air, or what?

  3. Zed

    Tom- initial impression: testosterone levels vary from person to person. The news report I read said that WADA, UCI are being more stringent on how much testosterone a bike rider can have. I think it\’s also significant that it occurred just after his huge solo ride–when his body is probably producing high levels of testosterone anyway.
    Anyway, it is interesting. That\’s the first time I\’ve heard of testosterone being used for doping in cycling, as I\’ve heard it results in a greater amount of muscle mass (and therefore weight, which would be detrimental in climbing, no?).
    My initial thoughts.

  4. Tom Stormcrowe

    We definately seem to be on the same page, Caloi. I haven\’t ever heard of a short term gain in strength and fitness levels from Tst. It can aid in post exercise recovery, but you don\’t see the effects in 24 hrs, that\’s a certainly. More like weeks! Here\’s to hoping it\’s an anomoly….Look ay Ulrich, after all, and others! Ullrich has apparently been exhonorated.

  5. Sue

    Testosterone is all about recovery. Long-term use is pretty bad for you, but periodic (acute) use could be a big help.
    The epic is a pretty sweet bike. I like it.
    Sawicki wiped out hard and got facial fracters, etc about month ago. Potentially career ending injuries. She was a great story: an outsider who at like 30 years old decided to start riding. The only NORBA champ to not be able to get sponsorship, she and her husband were running a full-time construction type business and she trained on the side.
    Muddy, bloody, and exhausted? Come do the E100!!

  6. Zed

    Botched- The E100? C\’mon, you saw me die at the 12-hour. Actually, I think it would be a hoot, even if I couldn\’t keep up, but I have to say \’no\’ for two reasons:
    1. I need full suspension to do another one of those. I\’m beginning to believe my hardtail\’s not really giving me a weight advantage either. As I was walking our bikes up to your car at the end of the 12-hour, I couldn\’t help but think, "This Cannondale doesn\’t feel much heavier than my Caloi at all …"
    2. My wife would kill me that soon after we have the baby.
    Hey, but maybe next year! Depends on how long it takes me to put together a sweet deal on an Epic.
    Oh, and I heard that about Sawicki. She used to be a triathlete or something, didn\’t she? As I recall she was even pretty good. I haven\’t seen the facial injuries yet, but I\’m curious about how different she looks. Last I\’d heard she was going to keep racing.

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