It’s interesting to see the way different e-bike brands position themselves within the broader cycling market. Serial 1 – who it’s worth pointing out are a Harley Davidson spin-off – have seen fit to very clearly distance themselves from road cyclists in their new satirical promo video.
There’s been no lack of effort on the marketing front since Serial 1 launched its first four e-bikes this time last year.
If two of those were nods to other forms of cycling, then ‘Just Enjoy the Ride with the eBike Guru’ constitutes a firm shake of the head towards road cycling.
“Everyone knows the ‘roadie,’ racing around the neighbourhood in a Spandex skinsuit and shaved legs, shouting ‘on your left!’ at anyone who crosses his path,” reads the YouTube description. “No one likes a roadie. Let Serial 1’s eBike Guru show you how to resist the evil roadie ways and just enjoy the ride instead.”
There are a few clues in there that this is very much a US-focused thing, but most of the ‘cyclist as object of pity’ tropes will be recognisable all the same.
Our ‘star’ is a comfortably off man, for whom cycling is obviously an obsession. He’s self-important, obnoxious and forever going on about personal records, weight and aerodynamics. Serial 1’s eBike Guru arrives on the scene to set him straight.
We’ve seen characters like this before, albeit usually a little more sympathetic. What’s interesting is that Serial 1 clearly sees its market as being sufficiently distinct that it can take these sorts of pot shots without turning too many people off.
Or maybe we’re wrong. Maybe it’s meant to be inclusive. It doesn’t strike us as being so, but maybe something’s been lost in production or a cultural divide.
See what you think.