BRATZ Strikes Back

After many months of railing on Wal-Mart brand bicycles my dear readers, I am forced to admit that I saw the "Funk" there the other day! Now keep in mind there are no less than 45 or so designs on their bike racks at any given time, but one jumped out at me. It is a brand of bicycles for little girls called "Bratz" The branding on the bicycle is pictures of four little cartoon girls with very big domes (heads). This brand has such things as dolls, calendars, web backgrounds, etc. I was so excited by the design that I pulled it off the rack and was dragging it around the store looking for my wife to show her this HOOOTTT bicycle. I eventually found my wife, hitherto known as Sister Dale, and she said "Wow, that's cute!"

Just so you all know, Sister Dale speaks her mind and I know if it was ugly, she would have let me know so I do indeed trust and value her opinion in such matters. Pictured to the left is the design that made me say "Now that's tight!". What is most amazing about this bicycle is the simplicity in the design, the angles of the top tubing and how it flows to the rear of the bicycle and forms into a rear fender. The color is a powder blue and the designers do a great job at matching the colors scheme throughout the bike
without over-kill.

From the top of the seat to the bottom of the crank, from the tip of the rear fender to the tip of the front fender, this bicycle was very well done. You will rarely hear me say this but for this price point ($69), there isn't one thing I would change about this design as it appears now. Remember I said awhile back, "When it comes to bicycle design for youth and children, sometimes more is just that, MORE!"

While checking out other 'BRATZ" product offerings, I came across this image to the right of another 'BRATZ' style chopper bicycle. Now, I didn't personally see this one on the rack but it is for sale on a 'United Kingdom' website for around 150 pounds, that is around $300 (roughly) to you and I here in America. Hmmm, where do I begin? The only way to describe this design to you is to say call it like I see it TACKY! This bicycle is ugly yall. Let's start with the seat- I am assuming the seat is trying to imitate fur. This doesn't look like fur at all, it looks like a purple sheep who had a 'Bad Wool Day'.

This material needs to be chopped down to present a 'Slicker' more flowing look. The back seat bar which arches up above the back of the seat looks ok, but the chrome on the bar looks tired! Why not stripe this sucker with the frame color of purple mingled in with a swirl chrome. The tires need to be a little thinner and the handle bars just make me say YUCK! Enough of all that. I will keep my eyes open for future bicycle designs from BRATZ and keep you all posted.


'The Funk' Rears its' Head on

I was doing a little more research on the internet in my constant search for an Urban Bicycle Design and I happened across a guys blog who emailed me a few weeks back named gwadzilla (Please see comments page on this blog). His site lead me to another website called and I must share with all of you that I saw 2 designs that made me scream out "Those are nasty!" Nasty being a good thing where I come from. My heart is still racing at this very moment that I write because for the 1st time since I have been working on my project I actaully saw some designs that made me think "Now why didn't I think of that?"

These designs hail from a 'Handmade' bicycle design show and are very creative. The design to the left was simply titled 'Roark' and as you can see, from a distance it looks very bland. When one takes a closer look at this design, it is creative in very simple ways. The 1st being the handle bars which are some sort of 'Ox Horn' imitation. These handle bars are worthy of the monikor of 'Funk'! I do not propose to you that these handle bars should in anyway be produced on a mass scale because when we take a closer look at the Handle Grip section, they come to a point, a sort of stabbing point, which can be very dangerous if one's body is thrust into these bars somehow. The fork also resembles some sort of brown and white tusks! Once again dear readers, 'I saw the funk, and it is good.'

This next design is from that same handmade bicycle design show. This is a girl's bike and after you look at those "Butterfly" style rims, need I say more? My point to all this is very simple. Why can't you and I go to our nearest bicycle retailer and have the experience of seeing these kinds of designs on the shelf? The reason is what I stated many months back on this same blog. The 'Big Boys' are lazy and worried more about saving a few pennies than getting the market excited! As a matter of fact readers, the only Urban Bicycle Designer you know, namely me, is going to write to Pacific Cycles, Huffy, Phat Cycles and a few more and ask them what I have always wanted to know, where is the creativity? As stated above, I think I know, but until I actually hear it from them, how much do I really know?