When Bikes Argue is a short DSHW photocomic by Dozerfleet Comics, first conceptualized on July 3rd of 2005 and turned into a webcomic by July 5th of that same year. A video adaptation of it was released as a video on YouTube on January 26th of 2008, but later sent to Ivan's Vault.
This story introduces us to Colly, Ackro, and Hilo, three sentient bikes with radically different personalities. The three belong to a family that has made its way to a cabin in northern Michigan. When Colly complains that it was difficult to fit her on the minivan's harness, Ackro tries in detail to explain the logic behind the male dominance of bike harness manufacturing. This offends Colly's feminist sympathies, as she reacts to him with self-righteous denunciation of him. The Texas warhawk bicycle Hilo then accuses Ackro of being a communist and correctly identifies Colly as a feminist.
When Ackro tries to defend himself, Hilo changes the subject by talking first about the failures of NASA and then of his dreams of fighting terrorists. Ackro quickly blows off and ridicules Hilo's beliefs that the Islamic prophet Muhammad is secretly an undead vampire; and that the secret to winning the War on Terror is to drop a nuclear bomb on Mecca. Colly accuses the two male bikes of being racist, arguing that some of their paint was probably manufactured with Arab petroleum. She then suggests that one of Hilo's hypothetical nukes may be defective, which frightens Ackro. The three then argue about what holiday it is and when they'll get off the harness. The story ends with Ackro inquiring as to when the 4th of July fireworks start.
- Green 1996 Huffy Snake Rock 15-Speed Bicycle as Ackro: A bike who is all concerned with fairness. He doesn't like conflict, but if one comes along, he tries to find the quickest way to fairly diffuse the situation. He is inspired by Church and Tucker of Red vs. Blue.
- Black 1991 Schwinn Woodlands 21-Speed Bicycle as Hilo: A Southern-accented warmonger of a bike. He glorifies the thought of war, and dreams of being the one who destroys the entire Middle East. He hates Islamofascism with a passion, and frequently fantasizes about nuking Mecca. He suffers from many delusions, such as believing that Muhammad is a vampire and that grease smudges on the concrete floor of his home pole barn represent a usable map of Saudi Arabia for planning his war strategies. He is a stereotype of what Leftists believed the Bush administration was like in 2003 and 2004. His voice was inspired by that of Matt Hullum as "Sarge" of Red vs. Blue.
- Cobalt-Blue 2005 Bicycle as Colly: A more liberally-minded bike than her male counterparts. She is obsessed with women's rights issues and sees gender inequality in nearly everything.
In the early days of Cormorant Webcomics, the idea was formed for the creation of comics that would be published to the web as subdomain websites of the main Cormorant website. Eventually, CormorantEntertainment.125mb.com was taken down, but the plan was to replace it with Dozerfleet having it's own official website. Amidst this plan, a different sort of webcomic format was rising up. In the spring of 2005, the Dozerfleet founder had taken a class on Internet usage in which HTML was taught to the class. Using the skills learned in that class, the founder then set to work creating a series of stories for reading on the web.
Main article: DSHW
Most webcomics are hand-drawn art that is scanned and then uploaded to the web, with a new scan in a series being added every week. The web shorts and epic one-piece tales that the founder was interested in creating did not owe themselves well to this format. Gored By Them Things, When Bikes Argue, and the Sims Webcomics clearly needed a different format. Inspiration came from two sources: DVD menus and the Sims 2 Exchange.
After making such a format of webcomic for The Battle for Gerosha and another one for Ciem and a third for Gored By Them Things, the founder felt it was feasible to make a similar DSHW for WBA. The idea was inspired a few days after the founder had taken a trip with a minister to the house of a family living near a lake in Michigan. The founder of Dozerfleet and the minister, Rev. Norm Burger, assisted that family with moving away from their home. Along the car ride there, the founder discussed early ideas for Ciem.
Not long afterwards, the founder's family decided to take a trip to the founder's uncle's still-under-construction cabin near Mt. Pleasant, MI. Believing there'd be opportunities for exercise, three of the family's bicycles were loaded onto the back of the Ford Windstar minivan.
There were complaints that the female bike did not fit well on the harness, which became one of the foundational arguments in the comical sketch. From there, the simple idea behind the story was that the bikes were sentient beings that had frequent arguments with each other telepathically when nobody was looking. The personalities of the bikes Ackro, Hilo, and Colly were inspired by Rooster Teeth's web cartoon Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles.
After the Dozerfleet founder had learned CSS, it was decided that the web pages for WBA were not on par with standards, and that a new DSHW would have to be assembled using the same 400px x 300px JPEG images. However, it became apparent by December of 2007 that this would both take too long and would interfere with production of Ciem and Ciem 2. Instead of a new DSHW, the 400x300 JPEGs were scaled upward into 640x480 images on Monday, January 21st of 2008.
By the following Wednesday, voice recordings into a VoIP mic and saved in Audacity were ported as MP3 files to become the dub track. The entire piece was then assembled in Adobe Premiere 5.5 to become a video version of the DSHW. The project was exported as a large AVI for TV and hi-band processing. The AVI was copied from there into Windows Movie Maker, and compressed into a WMV. The WMV file was then uploaded onto Dozerfleet Studios' YouTube channel, where it was further converted to an FLV file. The sequel was released to YouTube on June 23rd of 2008.
The images for this piece had originally been scaled down to 400x300 for DSHW distribution in the 2005 HTML 4.01 Transitional "fullscreen" format. When the decision was made that the piece would not be up-scaled to 500x282 for the 2007 XHTML 1.0 Transitional "widescreen" format, the images were instead up-scaled to 640x480 in Photoshop Elements. The movie was pieced together in Premiere with the audio, but the resolution and a lot of details were compromised when the picture was later shrunk down to 320x240 by YouTube.
The audio had the most problems with production. Frequently, the quality of Colly's voice is inconsistent in this piece. This is because of the high-pitch and mostly nasal voice that the Dozerfleet founder was required to speak in to record the voice. Similar problems with recording this nasal, feminine voice to Audacity with a VoIP microphone have resulted in the inconsistencies in depictions of Polly's voice in The Trapezoid Kids.
Hilo's voice was another source of problems. The intention behind his voice was to make him sound like the Red vs. Blue character Sarge. However, due to the limitations of both the software and imitation range of the voice acting, the character also sounds like Mutt Mackley. This voice requires strong grunting in the back of the throat, which frequently overpowers the VoIP mic currently used for Dozerfleet recordings. The result is the overmodulation of most of Hilo's sound files. Attempts to correct this overmodulation in Audacity have produced a noted reduction in end-result sound quality.
For the video production of When Bikes Argue 2, significant efforts were made to improve the quality of the voice recordings. However, Hilo's voice would persist to be a problem even for that production.