I was working on my mountain bike, and happened to look at my rear tire, which I had won at the Awards Banquet. The name of the tire was "GeoClaw Lite," and I was wondering what the Madison Avenue people were thinking with this name. Now, I like the "Geo" part from the Greek for earth, should appeal to the classical types, although I suspect most people will be thinking of the car. But it's a good name for a mountain bike that is intimately connected with dirt. The "Claw" part is good, suggesting that the tire tenaciously grabs the "Geo." An aggressive word, in keeping with the latest trends in naming mountain bikes and their parts. Appeals to the gonzo, death wish, twigs in their teeth dudes and dudettes. But "Lite?" Somehow this just doesn't fit in with the concept we've already established with "GeoClaw."
Forget for the moment that "Lite" is not really a word. If we can accept "donut" for "doughnut" it's not a far reach to use "lite" for "light." What self respecting G,DW,TITT dude or dudette would buy a wimpy tire named "Lite?" Where is the market for this product? The only place "lite" adds value is when it reduces calories in the various food lites and lite beers. So where are we shaving calories here?
This tire would not be what I would call "Lite." It's about the size of five of those super skinny weightless road tires. If this is "Lite," I'd hate to see the heavy version, probably something I'd want to bring to a monster truck rally. Not by any stretch of the imagination could it be called "Lite." I suppose in the milieu of the gram shavers, making a 800 gram tire into an 750 gram tire could merit the term.
But who in the mountain bike crowd is really worried about shaving grams. We need an adjective here that means more, not less. Consider the sizing of products. The smallest variety of anything is size medium. From there we go to large, extra large, giant, mondo, gargantuan, etc. Given the latest trends, maybe it should be called "GeoClaw Extreme", or should I say Xtreme, no sense wasting vowels. This proudly proclaims that we are truly on the edge, pushing the envelope, as it were. Or maybe "GeoClaw Ultra." Ultra seems to have surfaced when all the other superlatives had been exhausted. A marathon used to be a big deal, but an ultramarathon, the mind boggles. I think I'll get out my magic marker and blot that word "lite" right off my tire. I have my image to think about after all.