Velo Taxonomy: Discovering the Tribes

by Cruiser Republic March 23, 2017

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We are in the 21st Century and our social groups are changing because now we choose them depending on our habits and lifestyle, not our age or gender, for instance. But the most important thing is that we are not part of friend circles, we are part of  tribes, aligning ourselves with the tribe, using our bikes as an extension of our value offering. So, what is a tribe? Perhaps it is easier to explain with a practical example.

Let’s realize cities for what they are: concrete jungles. Riders are like animals that are living there. If we know where to look, we can quite easily find a lot of other classes within our habitats, routines, physical appearances, groups and communities … but we are not talking about monkeys, elephants or lions. We are talking about our fellow soul cyclists. But where does that leave our blog post? Most cyclists tend to gravitate toward other cyclists like them. So what would be your best-fitting velo classification?


The Hipster

Those group of men or women are typically in their 20’s and 30’s, harbour an iconic and independent thinking, counter-culture and interested in art, indie-rock and creativity. They create their own trends and live according to their own philosophies. You can often see them walking their bikes along Kitsilano beach and stopping for lunch at Public. Bikes are a reflection of themselves, and they love fixes and vintage bikes that align with their lifestyle.  You can often see them sporting Ray Bans and leaning against their parked bikes, outside boutique coffee shops that know their order the moment they walk in.


The Commuter

Here is the most practical and cost-conscious urban rider. They love the city and they feel comfortable living in the concrete-jungle. They feel empowered and liberated using their bicycle to commute and zigzag across the traffic. Bags, weather proof clothing and other accessories are a must for every day trips and these cyclists aren't afraid to pay a little more to be prepared with the best equipment for the Vancouver weather.


The Hipster Cyclist - Cruiser Republic


The Fixie Kid

Life is so simple like their bikes … and they love it! A freewheel mechanism in the rear hub, and no gears to change. With a wrench in their back pocket, life goes as fast as their pedals! Members of this tribe should wear a sign that reads 'makes frequent stops' because so often, you can see assisting other cyclists who have had an equipment 'malfunction'.


The Tourist:

Paris, Rome, New York or Vancouver, these tribes men/women plan their vacations around their cycling addiction. After all, what better way to experience the true countryside then foot to pedal?   You will find them at the Roman Coliseum, Central Park, or the Chicago Seawall. They prefer the 360 degree view of sightseeing that a bike affords. A tour bus is the equivalent of a jail cell … cities are simply too spectacular to be experienced from inside a cage!


Park Slope Dad

We love him! Sunday morning, the sun is high in the sky, and daddy wants to enjoy the day with his lovely kids after a hard week of working. He checks the air pressure in each set of tires, locates the picnic bag and the kids helmets, and he is ready to enjoy the adventure with his kids!


Delivery Guy

“I'm late, late for a very important delivery date!!” That phrase is fresh on their mind from the moment their feet hit their pedals and they've fired up their GPS. Riding a bike is what they love about the job. They spend a lot of time on that beautiful creature, so it must always be in tip top shape! Checking the air pressure, grease the chain, lights are ok... that comfortable saddle is a gift, fallen from heaven.


Weekend Warrior

It’s time to fight!! Let’s go to the park or let’s go to a hot neighbourhood… it doesn’t matter, but let’s go!! The week has been so long and it’s time to take a break. They love to keep moving in the crowded city, discovering new and amazing places, riding their forever new bikes. The typical Weekend Warrior attempts to  replace every form of transportation possible with cycling - weekends are 'all bikes onboard' and that will never change. Next destination? They don’t care, they are already half way there!



They are the Cheetahs of the group because long distances are no spots off their paws. They can travel alone, but they also loves to travel with their tribe. More technically and physically trained than the other “urban animals”, they need  high-performance equipment and a cycling companion that can keep up. Weather is not a barrier because real Journeymen look bad weather dead in the eyes and bark - "do your worst, I dare you!" 


Manhattan Girl

We also love her!! She is the trendiest, fashionista in the group. She knows how to be flashy with her beach cruiser, her uptown front bike rack with a coffee holder perfectly within 'cruising and sipping' range. This cyclist avidly searches for Meetups in the area and loves to pull up to meetings, events, and drinks on her trendy velo.


The Old-School BMX'er

They love their tiny wheeled bikes. Balling headphones are included in the daily uniform, and insurgency is their mantra to express freedom. They are in their twenties and thirties, and their bikes are a status symbol amongst their peers, helping them identify 'one of their own'.


The Retro

Vintage is an adjective they use liberally to describe everything they love. Retro bike frames and big saddles distinguish them from the crowd, daisy dukes and floral print are in season all year 'round. With this crowd, there is no quick fix to any problem, slow and steady is their mantra, with precedence given to mindful cycling.


As you can see, there are a handful of tribes so, which one is the most closely aligned to your values?



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