When I started to build my first bike frame, I wanted o have a “brand name” written on the down tube. At that time, that was something of what I thought of as “professional”.
The model name was found quickly: I planned to have the frame painted in Alfa Romeo’s “Rosso Competizione”, so Competizione seemed to be a good name for a road bike frame. But the virtual brand name did not come easy.
My family name is “Gebhardt”. While German names on bike parts may be kind of fancy, noboda outside Germany knows how to pronounce it. “Tom”? Well, I think very short names look kind of lost on downtubes. So I looked for something more neutral – but these relults lacked personality and a deeper connection to me as a person.
And then I thought of nicknames. One of them has been “Major Tom” or just “Major” for many years. I believe, it came up in the harrdbooter’s community somewhen in 2004/2005 based on Peter Schillings song from ’82: “Major Tom” (völlig losgelöst)
Major Tom Youtube (I will try later to make that video directly visible here)
At that time the idea of “Major Cycles” came up, which in some fields like finance or statistics hhas quite a meaning (not related to bicycles at all.) I then interviewed some English native speakers about their thoughts. Nobody tried to stop me.
So the “brand name” mainly started as something to fill the down tube. I was not even suure about any future frame building activity at that time. But when I started to build my second frame, also that one needed a downtube name.
So that’s why my bikes are callled “Major Cycles”