Simple is good. Simple things are good. Simplicity is great.
Think: simple life... simple man... simple pleasures. There's something going on there.
Complicated things sometimes have a charm of their own, but now I’m going to talk about simple things.
A bike with no brakes – looks simple, looks good.
But no stretch of the imagination or contorted explanation is going to convince me that a bike with no brakes functions better than one with brakes - even for street.
But that’s kind of my point. “Improving” things often makes them more complicated. And sometimes the result just isn’t worth it.
After all, a bike is a simple thing and a bmx is a particularly simple example of a bike. Improvements will nearly always be minor. Near optimal designs for all the basic bmx building blocks were reached years ago and I'm afraid from here on in it’s all marginal improvements, trends, corporate branding and shaving grams.
So why bother? Why not just make parts that don't try to be anything that they're not, that don't try to shout above the noise of the newest colourways and anodized parts and don't compromise their basic function by trying to make some questionable improvement.
I think I'd be right in saying that's what Simple Bike Co is about.
They've got a small product catalogue and the colour selection is limited - most of their stuff only comes only in black, grey or white - but there is an attention to detail that has a lot of their stuff looking like the stereotypical bmx part. I think that's a good thing.
But for a simple design to be a good design there's got to be attention to detail.
Take a look at this illustration below. Each circle is the top of the seat tube of each of the 3 Simple frames. They're all just a little different - I couldn't tell you why, but someone has obviously put thought in to it.
It's the same with the rest of the geometry of their 3 frames. Small differences throughout - it's not revolutionary, but it's more than a lot of other companies bother with.
And decals - these win my vote for best graphics in bmx. You can't beat black, white and grey. The end.