There’s a famous saying in the Harley-Davidson community: “If I have to explain, you wouldn’t understand.” This marketing koan perfectly captures the mysticism that surrounds the Harley-Davidson brand. It’s something that you just feel, deep in your soul. If you get it, you get it. If you don’t get it, well, move along. This isn’t something for you.
I was reminded of this statement recently, when reading the flood of comments surrounding our limited-edition BASH/MTN rigid single-speed eMTB. The majority were not complimentary: “Serial 1 thinks this is a mountain bike?...no suspension, it’s like something built in the ‘90s…clueless…no idea what they are doing…have they ever even ridden off-road?”
For the record, we have ridden off-road. A lot. And like anyone who knows the off-road scene, we know that rigid single-speeds are a real thing. Not a huge thing—there’s a reason we only made a little over 1000 BASH/MTNs for the entire world market—but definitely a real thing. There are many small-but-successful bicycle companies that exclusively build rigid single-speed mountain bikes. There are many thousands of enthusiasts out there right now riding (and racing) rigid single-speed mountain bikes across every type of off-road terrain, and they are almost certainly having more fun than you (click here for proof).
A rigid single-speed is usually something you pick up a few years into your mountain bike career. You know, after you’ve upgraded your bike five times in as many years, always chasing the latest new thing, never quite catching up. This technological rat race wears you (and your wallet) out. It’s about this time when you start noticing those blissfully simple, rigid single-speed mountain bikes. No fussy suspension to tune, no finicky drivetrain to adjust—just two wheels, one gear, and one purpose, to provide the most direct connection between you and the trail. One ride and you’ll be hooked. Simple, pure, playful and fun—and the addition of pedal-assist power makes it even better. You’ll never even miss the gearset, not even riding up the steepest hill.
Anyways, if you get it, you get it. And if you don’t get it, well, then you write uninformed comments on the internet, apparently. Take our advice—ignore the online trolls and ride a BASH/MTN for yourself. We think you’ll understand it immediately; there’s no reason to wait five years.
- Aaron Frank, Brand Director, Serial 1