How to Name Your Bicycle

03.1.2007 | 12:07 pm

As an international cycling lifestyle / comedy blogging superstar (you have no idea how massive my demographic is, but trust me: it’s easily 80% as big as the speed chess lifestyle / comedy market), I am frequently approached with requests from my readers.

Some want money. Some want my autograph.

Some — most, really — want advice. Well, most of them want money and advice, but I can tell that what they really want is the advice.

It was just such a person who recently sent me the following email:

Dear Fat Cyclist,

You are very smart and handsome. Also, you have an electric wit and impeccable taste.

I have a question for you, Mr. Cyclist: I have a bike I love very much, and would like to show my commitment to and affection for this bike by naming it. So I ask you: What should I name my bike?

Oh, and also: Could you please give me $10.00?


One of your countless (adoring) fans

There are two interesting things about this letter. The first one is that I actually wrote it myself. The second one is that it poses a question most — if not all — cyclists ask themselves: What shall I name my bicycle?

Today, I shall walk you through this important and complex topic.

Preliminary Research
Before you name your bicycle, you need to engage in some serious introspection. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I willing to accept the responsibility that comes with naming a bike? If you name a bike, you’re essentially saying it is no longer an inanimate tool. Now it’s a child, a friend, or at least a household pet. If you’re just going to ride it for a season or two, don’t name your bike. Your casual infidelity toward your bike will not go unnoticed by your bicycle, and it will tell other bicycles. Word will get around.
  2. Why do I want to name my bike? Are you saying something about your riding ability (or lack thereof)? Are you making a joke, or (much worse) a pun? Are you being intentionally whimsical? If you can answer “Yes” to any one of these questions, maybe you shouldn’t name your bike. Instead, maybe you should just wear a funny hat or other attention-getting device.
  3. Can I remember the name I have selected for my bike? If you can’t, maybe you should think of a different name.

Name-Choosing Techniques
Once you have carefully performed your preliminary bike-naming research, you can use the following techniques to select a name:

  • Name your book after a favorite movie, book, or song: People understand pop culture references, as long as they’re no more than mildly obscure. If you use too obscure of a reference as a name for your bike, it makes you look like an elitist snot. Also, you’ll get sick of explaining the reference, no matter how gratifying it is to make it clear you know something others don’t. (Note: Movies are an especially useful vein for bike naming, because they allow you to name future bikes as if they were sequels, even if the movie had no sequels. I, for example, look forward to naming a bike Deer Hunter 2: This Time It’s Personal.)
  • Name your bike after a famous person: If you’re going to anthropomorphize, you may as well go whole-hog and make your bike into a famous person. I recommend naming your bike Richard Nixon. When people ask why, look at them like that’s the silliest question you’ve ever heard, and then say, “Think about it.” If they come up with a good explanation, accept that as correct. This way, you never have to be the one to think of how your bike is like aforementioned celebrity.
  • Name your bike after a color, prefaced by an adjective: “Big Blue.” “Angry Orange.” “Hateful Pink.” If you do this, you are required to use the actual color of the bike as the color in the name. Calling a green bike “Petulant Brown” is just asking for trouble. Unless you’re color blind, in which case it’s a pretty good joke.
  • Name your bike after a weapon: The Howitzer. The Arrow. The Hammer. These are all good names. If you’re a girl, you get 13 extra sexiness points for naming your bike after a weapon. I don’t know why, but it’s true. Look it up.
  • Name your bike after a beloved pet or a childhood (imaginary) friend: But only if you want to be ridiculed for the rest of your life.

These are your instructions. Please use the comments area to tell me what you either have named or are going to name your bike, and I will do my best to provide additional guidance as to the quality of your bike name.

PS: Today’s weight: 161.0


  1. Comment by LanterneRouge | 03.1.2007 | 12:22 pm

    I’ll call her: The Outlaw Josie Wales!

    Think about it.

  2. Comment by nathanv | 03.1.2007 | 12:24 pm

    i have named only one bike. my first real road bike, a cannondale r400 (the black lightning edition). for a while it was simply black lightning, but later when my riding buddy acquired a new lemond (one of the first carbon bikes) we had to rename them. his became ‘the tupperware bike’ due it it’s plastic like feel and ride, and mine became known as ‘the shock transfer unit’ because i could feel every single minute variance in road roughness through the all aluminumb (sic) frame. i still ride the STU but only when it’s raining and i require punishment.

  3. Comment by James | 03.1.2007 | 12:41 pm

    Oddly enough (or not) I’ve never felt compelled to name any inanimate object. Usually they come with names. And numbers.

  4. Comment by dug | 03.1.2007 | 12:57 pm

    never name your bike. bike (and car) naming is indescribably lame.

    also, never use the following words to describe your bike:

    “worthy steed.” in fact, never say “steed” under any circumstances. just stop it.

    “pony.” you may still be mad at your parents for never buying you a pony. calling your bike a pony will not make that better. grow up.

    thanks, i feel better.

  5. Comment by IndoorRolyPoly | 03.1.2007 | 12:59 pm

    Funny you should bring this topic up. I was just thinking about a name for my road bike this weekend…. indoorRolyPoly seemed fitting (seeing that I have almost 2000 miles on rollers in my basement) but the name “IndoorRolyPoly” would just lead to a bunch of questions I would get tired of explaining.
    So I ask for a ruling.
    1, should I use my Porn name (Street I grew up on+ middle name= Porn name) This would be Bona Bjorn?
    2, Use IndoorRolyPoly and Just live with the question and odd looks of disgust?
    3, Keep thinking of a Name like “Eleanor”?

  6. Comment by Baz | 03.1.2007 | 1:03 pm

    I used to call my MTB Big Bertha (for the bike she ees like a beautiful woman, who cannot move very fast, or far, and is fuelled entirely by cake. Or when I felt better, it was the big gun). After years of faithful service I gave the old MTB away. and switched to a svelte road bike … but as soon as I hit the hills I realized – I was still dragging Bertha’s fat ass around.

  7. Comment by bikemike | 03.1.2007 | 1:04 pm

    c’mon people, pay attention, your (everybodies) bike already has a name. just look on the side of the bike it’s written on there. sheesh. why must we make things so complicated.

  8. Comment by ibisss | 03.1.2007 | 1:04 pm

    You forgot to mention: ask your four year old what it should be called (does not apply to non-parents of four year olds). That is why I have a Surly Crosscheck named Pam. Pam is the name of a woman who works at the petting Zoo my daughter went to once, and she picked that name to give to my bike. I was leaning toward something like the name of a stereolab song or something, but I can’t hurt my girl’s feelings.
    M Burdge

  9. Comment by ming | 03.1.2007 | 1:10 pm

    i name bikes. it personalizes them. i spend more time on some of them than with most of my family members and close friends (unless theyre close friends who ride)

    look carbon – martel, named after a famous person, charles martel, also quasi french for hammer

    mid 90s lugged steel davidson – jenny. the bike is pretty and simple, and has anyone known an ugly girl named jenny?

    cross bike – bruce; it seemed to fit

    merlin xml – farrah, light and pretty

  10. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 03.1.2007 | 1:17 pm

    I was always partial to adding ‘the’ in front of the brand name.

    Basso called his 04′ mountain stage bike ‘l’il Mussolini’ , for obvious reasons.

    Ulrich never named any of his bikes….he was way too busy making the sexes with Bassos sister, or, at least, that is what he used to brag about during transfusions.

  11. Comment by barry1021 | 03.1.2007 | 1:26 pm


    i got kids, addresses, email addresses, relatives, friends, acquaintances, peers, birthdays, death days, graduation days, stocks, bonds, phone numbers, social security numbers, enemies, bosses, bloggers, joggers, hoggers (don’t actually know what that is, but it seemed I should put that in after “joggers”) to remember. Life is complicated enuf OK???? The Serotta is THE SEROTTA, the Moots is THE MOOTS, the Strong is THE STRONG, why make life more complicated? Right on bikemike.


  12. Comment by barry1021 | 03.1.2007 | 1:27 pm

    Oh and FC, Can I have $10?


  13. Comment by bikemike | 03.1.2007 | 1:41 pm

    yeah, what b21 says. let me hold a case of quarters.

  14. Comment by Dave | 03.1.2007 | 1:45 pm

    Yep I agree with b1021. The name is right on the side. My Giant NRS is called the NRS, my Giant TCR is even more generic, I call it the Road Bike. My old Schwinn Homegrown hardtail was nicknamed the Bassboat, because it was Bassboat Blue, otherwise it was the Schwinn.

    ’nuff said

  15. Comment by Stan | 03.1.2007 | 2:04 pm

    OK. Show of hands… How many people are now inspired to name their bike “Fatty”?

    Actually, I never name my bikes. Even though they may have personality and all, I just don’t do it.

  16. Comment by jill | 03.1.2007 | 2:13 pm

    What about naming your bike after its name, but still acting as though it is the clever name you invented?

    Like, “Hi, my name is Ted, and this is my bike, Gary Fisher.”

  17. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 03.1.2007 | 2:16 pm

    Oh I name my bikes all the time, but the names change as often as the bikes piss me off. For example, during Fall Moab, my cannondale scalpel went from “$#%@” to “##% #*$&# #*&#( $*%&” to finally “*#$^#*$^$*#**@&$%$@#^*.”

    Dug, you know how I hate to always point out when your wrong, and I know I do it A LOT, but why is one of your bikes named “Pig?”

    I think a more fun thing to do is name other people’s bikes for them. I think we should start calling Rick Superlage’s mountain bike “Goat’s B.”

  18. Comment by Bob | 03.1.2007 | 2:22 pm

    I would like to point out that Dug “Never Name Your Bike” McCrankyhead used to call his old mountain bike “The Pig.”

  19. Comment by Jen | 03.1.2007 | 2:30 pm

    I’ve been naming all my bikes for a while now. Sometimes, the manufacturers make it easy — my Kona Hahanna just became “The Haha,” and my Kona Nunu is simply that. But when I acquired an awesome custom-assembled road bike with a steel Olmo frame and an all-Campy component set secondhand through an online ad, that little red marvel was dubbed “Elmo”.

    Of course, a love like that is doomed. Elmo went down in a bad wreck when a sometime cyclist and all-time jerk made an unsignaled, blind U-turn across traffic in front of me. The parts were salvageable, swapped in another steel Olmo frame. The new frame is silver, so the bike’s been rechristened as “Falco” — that’s right, children of the 80’s, as in the weird Euro-rapper who sang “Don’t turn around, uh-oh! The Commissar’s in town, uh-oh!”

    My apparent predilection for final vowels suggests I will probably never own a Seven.

  20. Comment by KeepYerBag | 03.1.2007 | 2:38 pm

    I would like to point out that dug has installed a $700 squirt gun on his toilet.

  21. Comment by Born4Lycra | 03.1.2007 | 3:11 pm

    My bike is Silver – so it got named by my daughter HiHo as in the Lone Ranger’s cry of HiHo Silver Away. 6 months later we discovered the silly old cowboy was saying HiYo etc etc. She decided HiHo was better and the name stuck.

  22. Comment by Jouni | 03.1.2007 | 3:19 pm

    I have a Kona Unit. Guess what I call that?

    I also have a Kestrel, in the classic white. I’m tempted to call it “Mr. White”, but have resisted to this point. My thought bubbles refer to it as “That sharp thing under my butt that helps publicly humiliate me.” Never been expressed ’til now.

  23. Comment by Mark W | 03.1.2007 | 3:28 pm

    I don’t name my bikes. They are the commute bike and the dry weather/fast bike to me. But my wife calls them the concubines.

  24. Comment by slip | 03.1.2007 | 3:30 pm

    inspiring. i want my bikes to have names. i think i’ll name the 98 unicoi ‘la dolly vita’ and the xtracycle tass ‘che’, and the abused and repainted allez ’skillet’. and if i have two more kids i’ll name them ‘einstein’ and ‘dandelion’.

  25. Comment by Sandie R. | 03.1.2007 | 3:31 pm

    I call my WSD Specialized Stumpjumper Expert “Stumpy”

  26. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 03.1.2007 | 3:32 pm

    I never owned a bike of my own to be able to name it. But my mom has on old blue ’80s cruiser that I like to call the Dinosaur. This bike has made the rounds. I used to ride home from Kindergarten on the bike of it in one of those little seats. When I still lived at home a few years ago I used to ride it to the grocery store. Now it just putters around the local bike path with the grandkids. Good Times.

  27. Comment by Scott | 03.1.2007 | 3:45 pm

    All of my bikes have names, but I take a very utilitarian approach to naming my bikes:

    My Cervelo is named “Cervy” (pronounced “curvy” because it’s a P3C and it has sexy curves)

    My Trek is Trekkie.
    Specialized Demo 9 is “Demo” (cause “Specy” just doesnt cut it).
    Rocky Mountain hard tail is “Rocky One”
    Rocky mountain full suspension “Rocky Two”
    Ellsworth Id is “Ells”

    You get the picture – simple, convenient, easy to remember, and it’s much easier to say “I’m riding Cervy today” then it is to say “I’m riding my Cervelo today” – those precious seconds saved can add up.

    My biggest conundrum is what I will do if I ever by a bike made by Scott… actually, my girlfriend says she really wants one of those so she can say “I’m riding Scotty today…”

  28. Comment by Miles Archer | 03.1.2007 | 3:53 pm

    My daughter insist’s our roomba (robot vacuum) is named Steve. I have no idea why, but we go with it.

    No I don’t name my bike or my computer.

  29. Comment by MTB W | 03.1.2007 | 4:19 pm

    I have problems naming bikes since by the time it has been ridden enough to develop character and its own personality, it’s lifetime is over. But I have thought about naming the red stumpjumer something along the lines of “silky” since it is the first full suspension I have owned and that is the way it feels when I am riding it. I did recently name my grey 4Runner “Grey Gonzo”, (well, my girlfriend named it and it stuck) but that is only after it is closing in rapidly on 200K miles. But, like Dr. Botched (btw, congrats!), sometimes a few choice words do come out after a nice accident but it may not fit the definition of name.

    Anyway, Fatty, I will be very kind and, as an adoring fan, save you the inconvenience and trouble of giving me advice or an autograph. Money is just fine.

  30. Comment by JFH | 03.1.2007 | 5:00 pm

    “Some want money. Some want my autograph.”

    And others, we just want our fatty jersey!

  31. Comment by Jon | 03.1.2007 | 5:12 pm

    My Cannondale R700 was christened “The Old Chevy” by my wife after I purchased her a much lighter Orbea Orca.

  32. Comment by Dan | 03.1.2007 | 5:12 pm

    I *already* ride a Hammer –

  33. Comment by mbonkers | 03.1.2007 | 5:23 pm

    I’d probably name my bike(s) if I had more than one. With only one, it’s just my bike and her bike that live at my house. Now I’m jealous…

    Oooh, how bout Soylent Green!!

  34. Comment by Mouse | 03.1.2007 | 5:47 pm

    I call her Baby and Sweetie because I call all my loved ones Baby and Sweetie.

    Now I really do have to do my homework.

  35. Comment by AT | 03.1.2007 | 5:53 pm

    ‘The Beast’ because it’s a monstrous (65cm) frame.

    And Fuentes – did you write that KaiserJan page on myspace. If so, you have my undying admiration.

  36. Comment by the weak link | 03.1.2007 | 6:19 pm

    I’ve been trying to name our Trek T1000 tandem the “Green Turd” because that’s what it looks like. My wife wants to call it “Bugs and Cuddles”.

  37. Comment by Rick S | 03.1.2007 | 7:10 pm

    After i name my bikes, I pee on them to mark them as mine. Is that wrong?
    It also helps keep the animals away during those night rides in AF Canyon.

    I like Bob’s name for his bike….”The System”. Pretty much sums it up.

    Botched- You should name your bike “Mad skills”. I’ve seen what your bikes can do.

  38. Comment by Jsun | 03.1.2007 | 7:17 pm

    Mr. Cyclist-
    Would you be able, as the powerful authority figure you are, be able to issue documentation, i.e, birth certificates or perhaps even SS#s and state IDs for our bikes? I could give you $10.

  39. Comment by Amanda | 03.1.2007 | 7:53 pm

    My bike I named Danny Glover, because I am obviously the Mel Gibson of our Lethal duo. Only without the drunkeness and anti-semitism :)

  40. Comment by Desert Rat | 03.1.2007 | 7:56 pm

    06 Stumpjumper FSR… Eleanor (Silver n black just like the ‘Stang in Gone in 60 Sec)
    07 Masi Gran Criterium… The Black Pearl (I drink rum like Jack Sparrow)
    Old clunker cruiser… La Rata Rey (the Rat King)
    97 Mongoose hardtail commuter… Rocket From the Crypt (built it fast and painted it black)
    01 Rockhopper FSR… Faith (as in Faithful)
    04 Nirve beach cruiser… Ol Mooneyes (it’s a Mooneyes)

  41. Comment by Sprocketboy | 03.1.2007 | 8:42 pm

    Although I have not named most of my bikes–”the Gitane”, “the Bianchi”, “the Lemond” all show kind of a lack of imagination and simple acceptance of mass-produced items–a few have achieved names through the power of personality. The NYC Bikes cross-bike, built for a ride along the C&O Canal but so far relegated to the potholes of DC, is Blackadder, named for the poisonous Rowland Atkinson character in the televsion series. The Leader TT bike–Leader? This name on the frame just invites trouble–is fast and uncompromising hence known as Dreadnought. And I think I will be hearing a lot of Wagner in my head when I ride the Tarmac, so it shall be known as the Valkyrie as it wafts me heroically to Valhalla. And the Marinoni, well, that’s Signore Marinoni to you. Respect.

  42. Comment by LoPhat | 03.1.2007 | 9:26 pm

    199x Lemond Tourmalet (in a fit of sadism Greg names a 30 pound bike after a famous climb…) – “The beast” (for obvious reasons).

    2005 Trek Project One Madone 5.2 – Beauty

  43. Comment by MichH | 03.1.2007 | 11:08 pm

    My new (ish) Scott Genius MC 50 that I built up from a mere frame to a beautiful fun trails bike is called The Blue Nirvana.

    “I have experienced Nirvana and she is blue”

  44. Comment by Unusually anon. | 03.1.2007 | 11:52 pm

    I quite often post here, but I’m a bit embarressed about my current bikes name (or rather the reason for it). Fatty can probably tell who I am by looking at my email.

    My old (now written-off bike was called Bertha, because she was a lovely machine. UK readers of a certain age will understand that one.

    My current squeeze is called Kelly, because she’s young, brash, and likes to be ridden hard. You may have guessed she wasn’t named after Sean.

    Can I say that on this blog?

  45. Comment by John | 03.2.2007 | 2:10 am

    Naming your bikes? That’s a bit twee isn’t it Fatty? Rough, tough, manly men such as ourselves don’t give names to inanimate objects, at least they don’t around here. People might get the wrong idea.

    I have a bike. I call it “the bike”, as in, “I’m going out on the bike, dear. See you in a couple of hours.” If I need to distinguish it from some other bike, I call it “my bike” and the other bike “your bike” or “Bill’s bike.”

    Fellows I know who own more than one bike don’t call them poncy names. They refer to “the road bike” and “the mountain bike”, or “the new bike” and “the old bike”. Sure, they could save a few syllables by calling them “Mad Max” and “Croc Hunter”, but they’d get some funny looks, and probably a little extra space around them in the bunch.

    Ladies can name their bikes, and nobody minds. They call their conveyances “Buttercup” or “Tinkerbell” or “Hedgehog”, and the guys just smile bemusedly but tolerantly and put it down to feminine mystique or something.

    But trust me, blokes don’t name their bikes.

  46. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 03.2.2007 | 5:25 am

    I have already used a more definitive version of your “Name your bike after a color, prefaced by an adjective”. Hence we have the Australian naming principle – a noun prefaced by a colour (often the actual bike colour).

    With this as the consummate guide to bike naming, I offer you my stable:

    Red road-bike
    Red track-bike
    Red fixie
    Red MTB/commuter/pig (it depends on the day)

    I often refer to them in the familiar, similar to a supervisor chastising a subordinate, by using just their last name. It’s not the most polite way to address a close colleague, but often I’m under duress when I start using their names out loud.

    And before anyone gets all snide and witty, no I’m not colour blind and yes I have 4 red bikes. Unless you include bikes owned by other immediate family members in which case the red count goes up to 6 out of 11. That leaves a pink, a black, 2 blues and a green [don't ask], none of which have names other than “my bike” as far as I’m aware.

  47. Comment by Eleanor | 03.2.2007 | 6:06 am

    ndoorRolyPoly- You should go with Eleanor. It is a fabulous name that has served me well.

    Question for the group: I bought my bike from a friend who had already named it Aton. Should I keep that name or rename it myself?

  48. Comment by veronica | 03.2.2007 | 6:20 am

    I’ve only ever purchased two bicycles for myself.

    The first I called “The Pink Wonder”, because it was pink and it was pretty heavy with not many gears so it was a wonder that I ever got anywhere with it. I donated it to Bicycles Without Borders which ships used bicycles to Cuba. I miss her.

    The second bike, which I still ride, is called “Tinkerbell”. That’s because she goes so fast that if you squint your eyes, and the lighting is right, you can see the trail of fairy dust behind her as she flys by.

  49. Comment by B | 03.2.2007 | 6:28 am

    Trek 520 Touring Bike= Rocinante

    Stumpy Hard-tail (brilliant silver)= Deneb

    Enduro SL Pro Carbon (she’s on her way)= Cygnus

  50. Comment by Neil Brennen | 03.2.2007 | 6:29 am

    I find I’ve violated an important rule of bike-naming. Fatty explains that “if you use too obscure of a reference as a name for your bike, it makes you look like an elitist snot. Also, you’ll get sick of explaining the reference, no matter how gratifying it is to make it clear you know something others don’t.”

    I don’t find anything wrong with elitism – after all, wanting the best is what sport is about – and so I christened my bike Excelsior, which is Latin for “ever upward.” Perhaps the best known use of the word is in Longfellow’s poem of the same name, which in fact was my inspiration. And I figured naming a bike “ever upward” might help when climbing hills. Besides, I call my car the Neilmobile, and I didn’t like the sound of the obviously parallel “Neilcycle.” The suggested “Neil’s on Wheels” was even less appealing, and so I went with Excelsior.

  51. Comment by barry1021 | 03.2.2007 | 6:32 am

    While your comment borders on Too Much Information, I must confess to being more than slightly curious…..

    Rick S (not your real name), nothing wrong with peeing on your bike to mark it, but, um, you might want to leave that out of the description if you put one on EBAY. I’m just sayin’……


  52. Comment by reciprocity | 03.2.2007 | 6:45 am

    My red Cannondale synapes – el diablo. It’s my first, and I’ve fallen off of it enough times to suspect it might actually be possessed.

  53. Comment by GenghisKhan | 03.2.2007 | 6:46 am

    Jouni–is that supposed to be “publicly” humiliate, as you wrote it, or did you mean “pubic-ly” humiliate?! ;o) I think I may have a similar “sharp thing”…

  54. Comment by msk | 03.2.2007 | 6:46 am

    like big mike i also have a utilitarian approach

    none of this flowery, wishy-washy, pansy type stuff


    the commuter
    the road bike
    the mountain bike

    now if i get my wish i may have to add

    my singlespeed 29″ mountain bike
    which i may shorten to my 29er (or kelly as per anon)



  55. Comment by Den | 03.2.2007 | 7:33 am

    I’m pretty basic too, with a touch of flair:

    the 29er
    the hybrid
    the Pilot – Trek road bike
    the Mongoose – add a weasel sound effect with your lips and teeth after you say it
    and then my choppers: (gotta love
    the Rat Fink
    the Jeremy
    the Rock-a-billy

    Collectively, they are called my babies…and I love them all equally!

    At least until I purchase:

    The Ghostrider – I’ll have to install a sound system that loops the Johnny Cash classic while I ride…

    Elden, can I have $10 please. Thanks in advance…

  56. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 03.2.2007 | 7:34 am

    Elanor, you can re-name the bike, but only if you start calling it something really degrading.

  57. Comment by Cliff Graham | 03.2.2007 | 7:55 am

    First good bike I got is a Green Co-Motion steel roadie. Since Co-Motion is based in Eugene, OR, home of the University of Oregon, and their green teams, the most logical name for my road bike is: “The Duck”. Shortly after that, I got a 95′ model Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, which is charcoal grey. Realizing the potential for a trend, it is now known as “The Goose”.

    Point is, might wanna think of your multiple steeds as siblings, and give them names that make them a family as well.

  58. Comment by Jouni | 03.2.2007 | 8:07 am


    :O No, no, the pubic humiliation I intended to keep to myself! ;^)

  59. Comment by GenghisKhan | 03.2.2007 | 8:40 am

    Jouni–I hear ya, though, between you and me (and noooo one else!), I once shared my nether regions with a pack o’ ice on a looooong drive home from Moab after a long weekend of riding! Ouch!

  60. Comment by KeepYerBag | 03.2.2007 | 9:01 am

    barry1021 – It’s public information:

  61. Comment by Allie | 03.2.2007 | 9:51 am

    I have 2 bikes, a 2004 Fuji roadie, Harold, and a hot pink ss cruiser, Maude. Yep, no one gets it unless I mention them together but their personalities really do match the names. My old college roommate insists on calling the cruiser Pinky. Which is about as original as my dad calling his german shepard Wolfgang.

  62. Comment by Steve | 03.2.2007 | 10:24 am

    Do you know how much trouble I would get in if my wife found out I named my bike?

    Therefore, I might suggest that married men name their bikes after their wives. This would allow them to euphamistically suggest how much time spend with their wives. Or in turn, speak of the long, hard miles spent with [insert wife's name] or all of the uphill battles they have been through.

    Rick Sunderlage (not his real name)… with your pension for peeing on the bike, don’t name it after your wife. That just wouldn’t be good.

  63. Comment by TimK | 03.2.2007 | 11:32 am

    I don’t have names for any of the bikes, and for the most part I agree that blessing inanimate things with names is a bit silly. I will say however that this bike (not mine), Greta, is well-named and deserves to have a name.
    I guess there is an exception when a car or a bike crosses over some line and has a story, a personality to itself. At that point, yeah, give it a name so that it might enjoy legend status.

    I think Dug should name his $700 toilet squirt gun the SS Enterprise because I’m sure it takes out Clingons.

  64. Comment by Jose | 03.2.2007 | 12:01 pm

    My red full suspension bike weights like 36 pounds and a mexican friend of mine calls it “La Marranita” that means “The female Pig”. Well, that’s the translation for Dug’s bike too.

  65. Comment by Alaskan Dave Down Under | 03.2.2007 | 12:13 pm

    My roadie is named Rocket Butt. I’ll let your imaginations run wild now…

  66. Comment by Demonic1 | 03.2.2007 | 12:13 pm

    My wife always called my Ellsworth Truth my mistress because I spent so much time riding her. So I named her Gwen. She’s a little on the curvy side with a bit of cushion.

    Then I just had to get a road bike because I started doing triathlons. And our local trail group Cronies got sponsored by the Hostel Shoppe so I got a nice discount. So my flaming red Tarmac is named after a porn star (name withheld) because she’s fast, smooth and craves attention.

    The only downside is that with two mistresses I’m starting to feel like a pimp.

  67. Comment by Argentius | 03.2.2007 | 12:40 pm

    The whole naming the bike the wrong color thing is brilliant, since I DO happen to be color-blind. Except, how can you play about with a bike that is “carbon?”

    I had a praying mantis for a pet at one point. She was really cool, but I never named her, because, you know, it was a bug. Women were surprisingly receptive to my having a bug as a pet, but they all wanted to know what her name was. Sometimes they bought my cheap explanation that “I’m not sure, she’s never told me…”

    Still, I thought it was odd that they cared.

  68. Comment by Brendon Swanson | 03.2.2007 | 1:21 pm

    I call my Felt, Marv Albert. Sometimes it gets me in compromising situations and others it just embarrasses me.

  69. Comment by KT | 03.2.2007 | 3:41 pm

    I named my bike during last year’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day frenzy. My pirate name is Red Grace Vane, and my bike became The Privateer’s Revenge.

    There were a couple of websites linked off the TLAPD website for pirate names and for naming your vehicle, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head.

  70. Comment by monkeywebb | 03.2.2007 | 10:57 pm

    For the past year and a half my bike of choice has been called Woodrow Wilson (think about it). But you’re absolutely right. Richard Nixon makes much more sense.

  71. Comment by Sean | 03.3.2007 | 8:59 am

    I’ve only named bikes that ceased to carry it’s original name. The rattlecanned ten spped that I got from my brother became “the rocket”, my first BMX bike became “lil jumper”, and my Kona Unit that should be coming back from powdercoat soon will also have a name, it’ll just take a couple of rides to figure out what that name will be.

  72. Comment by Ian Hopper | 03.3.2007 | 11:41 pm

    I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say that “B” is as big a RUSH fan as I am…. um, Rocinante, Deneb and Cygnus? Yeaaaahhhhh… The second two are related to stars, the first comes from a novel… Kerouac I think. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Neil was reading Kerouac when he wrote Cygnus X-1 Book 1 & 2… coincidentally, I named my first big motorcycle (GSXR1100) Cygnus b/c of the “God of Balance” balancing act you had to do in the corners. If you didn’t rail the throttle through the turns, the front end wanted to flop over on the pavement.. of course, it could have just been my general inexperience on big sport bikes when I got it

    What does this totally off-topic reply have to do with bicycle names (so far) you ask? Not much. Back to the matter at hand: Of my bicycles, only my Marin Novato/Xtracycle/Stokemonkey bike has a name: SuperVato. I do call my Bike E RX “The Bent”. My MTB I call by it’s name (THE Heckler), the swing bike is “THE Swing Bike”, the Schwinn Cruiser that’s waiting for repair/restoration is “The Schwinn” or “the OTHER project bike” , my Burning Man specific bike is “THE beater”, and my @ work shop bike is “THE Breezer”. The only bike who’s name to me totally without trying was Cygnus, my GSXR1100 motorcycle. Either these things strike you or they don’t, kind of like lightning. I’m never hesitant to nickname things, but the inspiration has to be there, it’s not something you can force and make it stick (IMO).

  73. Comment by Steinar | 03.4.2007 | 5:42 am

    D’oh, I’ve never really thought about giving my bike a proper name :(

    It’s a Miyata Elevation 5000, do you think I’ll her her feelings by simply call her Miyata?

    Oh and you don’t have to give me (lots of) money.

  74. Comment by Heff | 03.7.2007 | 11:03 pm

    Well, my wife read the Greg Moody books and told me if I ever got a Colnago I would have to call it the Beast like the main character does. Two years ago I began a relationship with a beautiful C50, and I have to say the Beast never fit her.
    I have, however, been calling her “the Mistress” because she is so beautiful and it seems like I have to sneak away to spend time with her. It also reminds me about how Tony Soprano described his gumar: “She lets me do things to her that I could never ask the mother of my children to do”.

  75. Comment by Matt | 03.9.2007 | 8:49 pm

    A friend of mine has a 1965 Rudge English 3-speed, Britains Best Bicycle, it says. It was also handmade, so has a cutout hand in the crankset/chainring and an open hand headbadge and seat tube decal. The bike is of course known as The Handjob.

  76. Comment by Catbox | 03.18.2007 | 8:32 am

    Well….I’m one of those people who have ordered up a new Trek to be custom painted.
    While I await it’s arrival down at the shop, I ride my 8 year old LeMond who was named Zurich by another human. I never really though about calling it anything else but “The LeMond”. My Airborne MTN bike is just “The Mtn bike” …..I’ve had other bike since the 80’s and never named them, just always called then “The Cannondale, etc…”. Now that I have decided to do the Project One thing with Trek (taking advantage of the 99 buck paint deal) there will be a name on the bike. Not sure if the name will give it life or anything like that but it does have meaning. I am having “System You” placed on the bike. Why System You? A few reasons….It starts with the old pro team Système U back in the 80’s. I was heavily into the punk scene back in the 80’s as well as cycling…and thought Système U would be a great name for a band. So we created a noise ensamble called Système U but I changed the spelling to System You to reflect the lack of confidence in the government and how we are the System and not the other way around. After the band ended…I kept System You in my pocket as a philosophy. It wasn’t until last year when I started an online punk radio show, I pulled out the name System You and bought the domain name for 5 bucks. So…not to blabber on….I felt that this wonderful new road machine should front my philosophy of System You…thus giving not really naming the bike….but making it a moving idea of sorts. I also feel like this bike, costing me some serious cash…not credit!…could be one of the last major purchases I make before the economy craps out and my soon to be meaningless dollar goes to expanding the garden plots and buying up secret stashes of tires, tubes, and bibs!

    There you have it. The story of System You.
    Now go ride your bike!


  77. Comment by Noni | 06.3.2007 | 9:34 pm

    For all of you who are asking somebody else to tell you what to name your bike, don’t. It won’t be rewarding in the long run if you choose a name half heartedly simply because you feel you want your bike to have a name-trust me, I know. As far out as this may seem, if you find a connection with your bike, either being love at first sight, or a hard earned an long term built up relationship, the bike in question will tell you what it wants to be called. Have a conversation with your bike, look at it and admire it. Think about all of the wonderful parts you plan to build it up with, and if the connection is there, something will come to you, even if you weren’t even thinking about what to name it. And then, all of asudden, it, isn’t and it anymore. He or she, becomes your best friend. One that will be by your side at all times, and you will mutually entrust eachother with your lives each and every day you are together.

    Those of you who feel that you just can’t grasp wanting to give a sentimental name to a chunck of metal, I feel sorry for you. I can’t imagine never being able to have that kind of a connection with my bicycles.

    A recent story of mine in naming a bike, is I saw this kinda big and clunky, beat up bicycle for sale for $50 on craigslist one day. With most bikes that looked like that, I wouldn’t have even given it a second though. But this bike in particular had the most wonderful baby blue color that I couldn’t resist, with bar tape that matched the color of the frame, and I knew I had to have it. What could I say? The bike has character. When I went to pick it up, it’s front wheel was in an unridable condition, the saddle was gashed, the tape was worn down, and it didn’t have a chain. But after a nice long conversation with the guy who was selling him we came to a concensus that he would make a sick fixie. This was one of those “love at first sight” instances, where, as soon as I got him home, I parked him in my room, and was just daydreaming about the rear break I was going to hitch onto some bullhorns for him, when the north star just poped into my head. I could see the little dipper from my bedroom window, just behind my new bike, and I knew right away that was what he was to be called. Polaris. After thinking about it a little more, the more I realized that Polaris was a more that perfect name for this trusty tank of a blue racer. The “north star” Polaris, is a circum polar star that has a circulation of almost zero from earth’s point of view, and is considered a “fixed” star (see the connection there?). Not only that, but the north star is also traditionally a source of trustworthy navigation (bicycle, travel, navigation, awesome).

    This little guide page is correct, don’t name your bike unless it it genuine. Don’t go and disgrace your bikes confidance, and your own ego with a name that isn’t meaningful. It will only hurt you both, and you never get a better ride than on a bike that respects and loves you. A name is just a way to represent that.


  78. Comment by Larry | 08.17.2007 | 8:46 am

    I came accross this blog, How to Name a bicycle, in 1973 I opened a bike shop
    in Newport Beach Ca. I built a balloon tire bicycle bike and put in our showroom.
    It went over big, We went into production and Trade Marked the “Beach Cruiser ” we licenced the name to Schwinn in the early 80s but they went bust.
    We are planning a come back of our bikes. see

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  80. Comment by tomtom | 11.5.2007 | 12:10 am

    i named my bike jimmie ty he is soooo happy now ive named him

  81. Comment by tomtom | 11.5.2007 | 12:10 am

    i named my bike jimmie ty he is soooo happy now ive named him

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  84. Comment by Maree | 10.2.2008 | 7:51 pm

    Heigh-Ho Single Away! (or Heigh-Ho for short). Single Speed commuter. (Heigh-Ho Heigh-Ho its off to work we go).

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  86. Comment by Fernix | 12.12.2008 | 12:55 am

    1. (Mountain) CANNON , because its a cannondale

    2.(road bike) is called Agatha

    3. (bmx) is called EmberBlade

  87. Comment by Klepto | 12.27.2008 | 5:18 pm

    My now redundant Carrera MTB with a sturdy frame and thick tyres was called “Maid”. Loyal and loving, she was always there for me and always did her best. We did a 20 mile commute most days, had good times and bad times, and were out in all weathers. Unfortunately, time took it’s toll and I’ve had to put her out to pasture.

    My new bike I got today. I need to name it. It’s a black and white Boardman road bike – my first with drop handlebars. I think this is my first boy – I’ve only had girls before – but the style is quite classic and masculine. I’ve had one ride so far and don’t want to rush into anything, but I think James Dean wouldn’t be far from the right name. We’ll see.

    Thanks for the post by the way, it’s quite sanity-affirming :o)

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  97. Comment by Flamingo1 | 04.3.2009 | 3:20 pm


    I get 13 extra sexiness points for naming my bike after a weapon. :-)

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  111. Comment by Bike beginner | 01.6.2010 | 11:53 pm

    Sorry I am so poorly educated on the topic bikes but…would it be a faux-Pas to name my bright green beach cruiser Merlin’s Beard?

    kind of mystical, but powerful and a little

  112. Comment by bexnarcher | 03.18.2010 | 6:38 pm

    I have been in crisis about what to name by bike for around an hour now….. however, after some speculation on how my bike can stay upright with a fatty like me riding her, I have decided to go with Agatha, or “Aggie’ for short….after the mystery writer..

  113. Comment by farmboyjad | 03.22.2010 | 4:27 pm

    Two bikes. My triathlon bike, a Trek Equinox TTX 9.5, I named ‘The Red Devil’ after my favorite football club, Manchester United, and commonly called ‘Red’. It’s turned out to be a fitting name; she’s mischievous and ornery, doing everything in her power to frustrate and annoy me (took 2 whole years to get the fit right). On the other hand, when you actually get her going, she’s diabolically fast.

    My road bike is a LeMond Tourmalet which was never formally named. Over the years, it’s earned the unofficial moniker of ‘baby’ though, for being so reliable and patient with me. Kind of like the old horse on its last legs, when you ride it you know you’re not getting what you could out of a fancy, shiny new bike, but there’s such a bond there, you’re not sure you could ever get along with any other bike quite as well.

  114. Comment by Matthew | 04.19.2010 | 9:34 am

    I call mine “Tenderoni” after one of my favorite Chromeo songs… and because I could ride that baby ALL DAY LONG

  115. Comment by Manny | 06.15.2010 | 4:48 am

    Thanks! I was able to name my new bike after reading your blog. =)

  116. Comment by Rob | 09.25.2010 | 5:17 pm


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  118. Comment by LP | 10.28.2010 | 8:16 pm

    I bought a used bike on craigslist and after handing over the money the previous owner said “Goodbye Stella” so yes, I still call her Stella.

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  121. Comment by Chris | 02.22.2011 | 12:57 pm

    Comment by jill | 03.1.2007 | 2:13 pm

    What about naming your bike after its name, but still acting as though it is the clever name you invented?

    Like, “Hi, my name is Ted, and this is my bike, Gary Fisher.”

    This made me laugh, as now Ted rides Gary Fisher for miles and miles and hours and hours. I wonder how Gary feels about that. I think it should be a girl name.

  122. Comment by Chris | 04.28.2011 | 10:48 am

    My first proper racing bike I rode for three years and countless accidents, just recently retired his number and decided to posthumously give him a name.

    His characteristics of resiliance to accidents earned him the name Tugboat.

  123. Comment by Mack Kelly | 07.21.2011 | 8:13 am

    I am going to call my bike Liz. Because I traded my girlfriend Liz of three years in for racing a bike that my dad bought for me instead of helping my girlfriend pay rent. She finally got sick of me using her and threw me out. Now I am sucking off of my 16 year old friends for rides to events etc. I am nearly twenty and don’t have a car. So I think that is what I will call her.

  124. Comment by Trick36 | 08.3.2011 | 2:33 pm


    I have to come up with a name for my bike fast. Its being customised out of spare parts by a slightly unhinged east German under a railway arch in South London.

    The guy’s a genius, but he still thinks he is on the run from the KGB and wont let me take the bike out of the shop until he has stencilled the name onto the crossbar.


  125. Comment by Cheryl | 08.24.2011 | 1:20 pm

    My trek roadbike had to go over 12,000 miles before it earned a name. It happened quite by accident as I was contemplating out loud replacing him. I explained to my friend that I have a serious emotional attachment to… and it just came out “Old Blue”. We’ve been through quite alot together. He can’t just be replaced willy nilly by some shiny johnny-come-lately tri-bike….. *can* he?

  126. Comment by Mike | 08.25.2011 | 11:46 am

    So here’s my problem: My first mountain bike was red, hence Big Red. Second was blue, and now it’s 14 years old, so Ol’ Blue. Both were obviously male. Now I’ve got a white road bike, and can’t for the life of me figure out its gender. How do you name a bike if you don’t know whether it’s a he or she?? and then what do you do with white?

  127. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 10.26.2011 | 1:58 pm

    Yeah, anything with Steed in it is dumb.

    “The mistress”? Nah.

    “Canny”? Too generic.

    Maybe the model as spoken by Sylvester the Cat? “Shufferin succotash, thatsh a Shooper Shix”! Maybe.

    “Fats” is pretty applicable.

    Still ruminating, I’ll let you know what it winds up being.


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