Monday, 16 June 2014

El Marrajo

Our friends over at El Solitario have been making some waves with their latest wheels, Marrajo (Spanish for Mako Shark).

The bike got a bit of a kicking on Bike Exif, prompting the graphic below. Mud was slung. Noses put out of joint. It's amazing how fizzed-up some people can get about the style of someone else's bike. It's not my personal favourite El Solitario bike (we put that on the cover of SB16 - Petardo), but the more I look at it the more I think it looks a lot of fun - especially as it's going to be a beach blaster headed for the Canary Isles. And the owner, who commissioned it, loves it.

The negativity directed towards their often controversial builds has led the Galician crew to turn up at last weekend's Wheels and Waves with stickers on their vehicles reading.

El Solitario
The World's Most Hated Bikes

As the wise man, Stevie Gee professes, Love Makin' Hate Hatin'. G


JamesJ said...

It's amazing how fizzed up he let himself get from people saying they don't like it. Who gives a shit if you loved making it ? Hate hating is an oxymoron isn't it? Don't stoop ES.

Sideburn Magazine said...


Jon Lawson said...

Surely the point ( and raised many times )of a custom bike ( or anything else ) is exactly that a one off something individual that reflects the owners/builders tastes requirments... after that nothing else matters apart from getting out there and riding it..

Dan said...

Fragile, aren't they? This outfit's apparent need to be loved contrasts curiously with its sexually-aggressive, self-mythologising 'wolves/guerrillas/cannibals' marketing. They can't be very confident of their products if internet chatter criticism rattles them so profoundly. The strangest comments on Bike Exif came from their rallied supporters blaming 'the wrong audience', like politicians wishing they could vote for a different electorate.

ESMC isn't for me - I'm not in the market for luxury goods or an accessorised weekend lifestyle. I don't think €500 overalls, or a €75 kashmir hat marketed as 'softer than your titties, bitch' will make me happier, allow me entrance to some mysterious instagram club populated by graphic designers dressing up as hells angels. I've never felt motivated to chase them round the internet commenting on their products, but I don't think it's reasonable to reject all criticism as 'haters', a slang version of the rich man's 'politics of envy' defence.

If they're relying on perceptions of cool to add surplus value to their clobber, and relying on social media to sling their swag, then they have to accept that cool is temporary & notoriously fickle, and that public opinion swings both ways. The most effective rebuttal of EXIF criticism came from the new owner, who is delighted with this project bike.
'El Solitario - Loved by Our Customers' strikes me as a more robust defence of their work than
'El Solitario - the internet hurt our feelings'.