EDIT: Specialized has experienced a bit of foot in mouth since this article was written.
Look, I know this situation with Café Roubaix and Specialized has been on everyone’s social network radars at some point over the weekend. While people have supplied their opinions, I tried to rationalize my take on the whole debacle. You see, I really hate reading about corporate bullies throwing their weight around. How can you even claim that you own the name of a commune in northern France?
I’m banging my head against the wall here. Mostly because I actually respect what some of Specialized does. While it’s not all for me, they’re an American company that has been around for decades, employing people who love to ride bikes and have put out some rather interesting design projects over the years. That said, their corporate assholish attitude really bums me out. Here’s a summary of what they’re doing to Café Roubaix:
“A Canadian veteran of the Afghanistan war who operates a tiny bicycle shop in Cochrane is being forced to change his store’s name after being threatened with a lawsuit by one of the giants of the U.S. bike industry.
Dan Richter, owner of Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio, located above the famous Mackay’s Ice Cream in Cochrane, says he received a letter from the lawyers of big bicycle maker Specialized several months ago, demanding he change the store’s name because the company owns the trademark on the word Roubaix, which they use to market a brand of road bike.”
To add insult to injury, this isn’t the first time they’ve done something like this.
So I want to know. What gives, Specialized? Are you like the small-minded bully who walks around beating up nerds? Look, they’re even wearing red.
At any rate, I wanted to address this to not open up a forum on how much Specialized sucks, but to help out Café Roubaix. Check out more on this Indie Go-Go campaign or just buy a shirt!
From Beautiful Bicycle: Stanridge Speed x Death Spray Custom Highstreet Track
From Recent Roll: Garrett Chow and His FEA Specialized Venge
Social media has done a great deal for the cycling industry. One of which being a platform for people who are movers and shakers, who might have not had a readily-accessible forum before. The two parties involved with this post in particular have created some stellar work in their day and if anyone has the right to have their opinions heard, it’s them. I saw this on Garrett Chow’s Instagram and had to post it up:
“From the paint-booths of @deathspray and @garrett_chow:
Hey Cycling-Industry! With the trade-show season upon us, it’s our guess that a great many in your employ are feeling the annual, dread pall of humiliation and embarrassment with your ‘little problem’: Shit Colors and Graphics, and weak product-offering. That twinge of, “oh fuck, I donno know — just make everything black, red, or white”. And, the tiresome, nagging itch of, “put three stripes on it, and call it a day”, needn’t be suffered nor endured any longer. These ‘strategies’ never hide the fact that your bikes are inane, open-tooling, off-the-shelf death-traps, anyway. And, no amount of voice-conferences, consultants, or Power-Point presentations will ever change this, either.
Adding insult to injury, the small company two booths over, who invested 1/23rd the cost of your ‘clever’ marketing-budget on their talented, appreciated and fairly-compensated designer (and not a color-blind engineer moon-lighting as your ‘de-facto design team’–the one with an iMac and a dog-eared back-issue of IdN Magazine on his desk), is literally KILLING your 2014 line-plan with one hand tied behind its back. Your self-congratulatory back-slapping echoing throughout the exhibit-hall–like so many floundering, dying fish gasping their last breaths–belies the fact that the death of our beautiful industry is precisely where your pedestrian products are taking us.
So, here’s your escape plan for model year 2015: Please, put down the golf magazine just long enough to write an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and, email@example.com IT’S REALLY, /REALLY/ THAT EASY! We are here for you –and with love, D & GC”
As someone who also works freelance and constantly finds himself frustrated with the lack of creativity in cycling, I can commend these two…
It’s a New Year and while you’re making your resolutions, remember you can always ride more. For 2013, I’ll be focusing more on what you want to see, just like in years past. Over on the PiNP Facebook, a good discussion is brewing about the site’s content and honestly, I agree with most of it. The new year is a great time to set goals and to reflect on the previous year. I always want the readers to have a voice in the content I provide here.
So far, all the feedback makes sense. PiNP has always been a cycling blog that has always posted about all forms of cycling. During cross season, there will always be more cyclocross videos and photos. Sometimes there will be a lull in fixed freestyle videos and photos, or track bike videos. But just because I haven’t posted about them for a day or two, doesn’t mean they’re falling off. I’ll never post a video for the sake of posting one. With only 10 posts on the front page, I have to be mindful of what’s presented on the site.
I’d also like to thank the advertisers. Without their support, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. I know ads are a sensitive subject, but most media survives on them. Look at magazines, or television. I pay for everything out of pocket and supporters of PiNP make that a possibility. I’ll never have pop-ups or annoying gifs, or anything that distracts you from the content. And unlike other sites, I do not take money to post videos or products. I always try to be fair to the readers.
This isn’t meant to be defensive, I just want to use this opportunity to say that I care about what you guys want to see. It’s my job! This year, I’ll continue to listen, so email, comment or submit. If you have thoughts, either hit up the Facebook thread or leave a comment below.
I hope to meet more of you this year! Thanks and don’t forget to ride!
What is it about the internet that makes people so entitled and judgmental? Who cares if someone else’s bike is set up differently than how you prefer yours. It’s their bike, not yours. I’m sure if your bike was featured, others would point out the nuances that you actually prefer, as faults. People are so quick to point out the negatives, rather than lift up the positives. All these symptoms are the mid-week stir-crazies. Just stop being so critical and look forward to the times when you can ride with others.
Just stop being an asshole and ride your fucking bike how you prefer.
This is a track bike, not a fixed gear
I saw an article on Velo News (no, I won’t link to it) about the Red Hook Crit and it angered me to read such incompetent journalism.
“And gone this year were tight jeans, sneakers and the other garb synonymous with “alley cat” style races. Skinsuits and matching lycra were the styles of choice for participants.”
First of all, it’s not an “alley cat” and people never wore jeans to race the RHC, at least not the serious racers (Nick doesn’t count). It’s always been a serious race and quotes like this undermine the event. It’s as back-handed as you can get. Second of all, these TRACK BIKES were all USAC-legal for a mass-start race and everyone was pushing heavy track gearing. Don’t mistaken a bike that’s ridden on the street for fun with a bike that is built to race. And if you’re going to write an article on a widely-read news source, don’t get an idiot to source quotes, only to have him misquote people. Frederick Dreier, stick to what you know and that’s not track bikes.