Specialized, (Cafe) Roubaix,and Lawsuits

Cafe Roubaix Wheels 268x300 Specialized, (Cafe) Roubaix,and LawsuitsUnless you've been under a rock, you'll probably know that this past weekend has been a bad one for Specialized.  Earlier this year, Specialized issued an ultimatum to the owner of a small Cochran (Alberta, Canada) bicycle shop by the name of Cafe Roubaix.  Their letter stated that his shop is infringing on their trademark on the name "Roubaix."  The claim is that common passers by would associate the name on the sign with Specialized and more specifically, the Roubaix model.  

After this news broke, and with Specialized's history of playing the legal bully, the community sprang into action.  Particularly the online community, who have been pointing out (in no uncertain terms) that they are disgusted with Specialized's legal tactics.  But what is the story behind the Roubaix trademark and why is this making such a dramatic news story?

Click through for further discussion of why this may be the last straw for Specialized.

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday gift giving season is nearly upon us, and many of us are creating our own "wish lists" for loved ones to peruse.  Others may be on the hunt for the perfect gift for "that crazy bike guy" in their life.  In the spirit of the season, I'm listing some of my favorite gifts for beginners, some gifts for the hardcore racing crowd, and a few items that will suit anyone who appreciates the two wheel lifestyle.  Without further ado, let's look at some gifts for:

For The Beginner Cyclist

chamois buttr euro front 300x293 2014 Holiday Gift GuideChamois Butt'r

Beginners to the sport are often somewhat squeamish about the idea of wearing lycra shorts with a chamois in them in the first place.  Introducing them to the process of smearing chamois lube (in this case Chamois Butt'r) on their rear end may sound like a huge step, but once they get a couple of lubed up rides in, they'll wonder how they ever did without.  Not only does Chamois Butt'r help to prevent chafing during long days in the saddle (and thusly prevent saddle sores) the proprietary non-greasy blend is gentle on sensitive skin and easily washes off both skin and clothing.  And if the recipient does tend to suffer from saddle sores, try the Eurostyle which adds a cooling element to cut down on the soreness of long days and weeks in the saddle.  Forget the awkwardness of giving your cycling obsessed loved one some bit Butt'r, and dump a tube of lube in their stocking.  

$16/8 oz. tube or $20/8 oz. Eurostyle tube.  

http://chamoisbuttr.com/

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Counterfeit Cycling Retailers Shut Down

fakepin1 300x132 Counterfeit Cycling Retailers Shut Down

It's pretty well known that there's a large market of counterfeit cycling products, mostly coming out of China.  What's been debated endlessly over internet forums and group rides are the merits of buying and using these counterfeit products, who it hurts, and if these products are really "OEM" (original equipment manufacturers) versions of the retail products you can purchase at your local bike shop.  Opinions vary from the "sure, I'll try anything" to "you're as bad as a serial killer for purchasing these" and everything in between.

Most interestingly, there's been very little done about these counterfeits thus far.  Sure, Ebay will occasionally take down a listing that's been reported enough times or a major manufacturer (Specialized and Pinarello jump to mind) will issue a release stating that their products are being copied and you should beware of the fraudsters.  Until now, there hasn't been any active enforcement or shutting down of these Chinese retailers. 

Until now, that is…

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Medio Fondo NJ (Training)

Just a quick note to everyone who reads this blog:

Gran Fondo NJ is a pretty class act.  If you’re at all able, register for it: there’s 4 different rides catering to all ability levels of riders along with timed climbs and plenty of festivities the weekend of the ride.

One of the biggest perks is the series of training rides that Marty’s Reliable Cycle (the chain of shops that organizes the event) puts on to get riders ready for the routes.  Cue sheets and GPS routes are provided.  Free nutrition is provided.  Rest stops are organized.  There are like minded riders training to be the best they can be on Fondo day.  It’s pretty awesome.  Today the Jamis truck was available with test bikes available (for the entire Medio Fondo route to boot.)  Interestingly, they were testing a (blacked out, of course) new 2013 frame before it goes into production.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any photos, but it looks quite interesting.

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The Gray Market Struggle

kmcchain 300x212 The Gray Market StruggleA  posting that recently made its way around the internet has sparked some interesting discussion in the past few months.  The poster in question is a shop owner and has instituted a policy of adding an additional 20% markup on his labor rates for work done to items purchased through eBay or items purchased overseas (such as Wiggle, Ribble and ProBikeKit.)  He also goes on to say that he will report those who bring in “gray market” goods and haven’t paid import on them.  Lastly, he comments on the morality of purchasing goods from overseas or on eBay.

That being said, the full text of his posting (names edited) appears after the jump:

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Posted in general cycling, internet sales, local bike shop, wrenching | Tagged , , | 2 Comments