Monday, December 9, 2013

Roubaix Roubaix Roubaix Roubaix!

In the year 1896, the bicycle company Specialized established a bicycle race that would, well over a century later, come to be known as the "Queen of the Classics:"

Just kidding!

No, of course the race I'm talking about is Paris-Roubaix, a race which predates Specialized by about three-quarters of a century, and whose rich and beautiful heritage belongs to all of us as cyclists.

Just kidding again!

Yeah, right.  Don't be stupid.  Despite what you may think, Paris-Roubaix now belongs to Specialized--or at least the "Roubaix" part--because they happen to sell a line of ugly bulbous bicycles under that  model name.  That's why they're cockblocking some poor schmuck up in America's beanie who thought he could name his bike shop after a town in France and a race that's well over a hundred years old:

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.

And adorably, Specialized Canada is taking the "stop hitting yourself" approach:

Larry Koury, managing director of Specialized Canada Inc., said the company is simply defending its legally owned trademark.

“A simple trademark search would have prevented this,” Koury wrote in an email, along with a reference to the federal government’s trademark database showing Specialized’s registration of the word Roubaix. “We are required to defend or lose our trademark registration.”

Presumably this is why they also cockblocked a small Portland bike company for using the word "stump:"

As well as a small Portland wheelbuilder for using the name "Epic:"

Because everybody knows Specialized invented using the word "epic" in connection with cycling.

And let's not forget that whole Volagi kerfuffle:

Unlike the small Portland concerns, Volagi actually decided to expend the resources to fight Specialized--and ultimately they triumphed, proving once and for all that Specialized is not the only company allowed to make ugly, gimmicky bicycles in a red and black "colorway."

This is why Volagi are the Rosa Parks of Freds.

So why do Specialized think they can own any cycling-related reference to Roubaix, a word that's been synonymous with rugged cycling since before Mike Sinyard even invented the mountain bike?  The answer is because they think their customers are idiots--or at least Fuji, from whom they bought the "Roubaix" trademark, thought their customers were idiots, and Specialized is carrying the flame.  Jack Thurston of The Bike Show recently tweeted a link to the original "Roubaix" trademark application, in which Fuji's parent company argued:

…it is unlikely that one article making reference to Roubaix as a town along the stop of a famous bicycle race, is sufficient evidence to show that the average American bicycle-purchasing public is aware of the existence of Roubaix, France or with the fact that a race is held there.


In the present case of "ROUBAIX", we are dealing with ordinary non-sophisticated bicycle purchasers.  We are not dealing with unusually well traveled people, nor with computer operators checking out the meaning of strange words on Nexis.

Got that?  If you own a Roubaix, you're unsophisticated.  (Or, if you prefer, you're a "rube, eh?")  You're also not well-traveled, and you're incapable of operating the space-aged technology that allows you to look up the meanings of "strange words" on computers.

Angry yet?

Now, keeping that in mind, let's look at the Roubaix line of bikes (if you can do so without throwing up).  The cheapest Roubaix is $1,800:

I realize Specialized would like you to believe $1,800 is what the average schmuck who doesn't know Roubaix from his scranus spends on a bicycle, but one visit to Target should remind you that "the average American bicycle-purchasing public" is not trying to decide between the GMC Denali and the Roubaix SL4.

From there, the Roubaix line goes all the way up to the S-Works Roubaix SL4 DI2, which costs ten thousand and five hundred mother-fucking dollars:

With the Roubaix name and the Roval wheels and everything else, this represents the pinnacle of branding that Specialized has purchased from other companies and now protects with an iron crabon fist.

So this is a neat trick.  On one hand they justify owning the Roubaix trademark because they claim no schmuck shopping for a Specialized could possibly know shit about the connection between cycling and Roubaix, and on the other they're using Paris-Roubaix to market and endorse a line of high-performance race bikes:

When called to arms, the classic-winning Roubaix reacts as though simply an extension of mind and body. Pros like Tom Boonen—who rode his Roubaix SL4 to a record equaling 4th Paris-Roubaix victory in 2012—count on its smooth ride and responsive handling to get the job done. With size-specific engineering and a frame that delivers the best balance of vertical compliance, low weight, and torsional stiffness, riders of all sizes can experience the same ride quality and performance as Boonen.

In other words, Specialized has it any way they want and fuck you.

So, unsurprisingly, the cycling world is pissed off at Specialized, yet surprisingly there are people who still think they deserve the benefit of the doubt:

Firstly, this isn't the Internet being hasty.  The cycling world is judging Specialized based on this and on all the shit they've pulled before.  Secondly, if anything, cyclists are inclined to forgive.  They root for their companies, not against them.  Even the most evil cycling company (ahem, Specialized, cough cough) is barely an ingrown hair on the perineum of the pharmaceutical or oil industry.  We want our bike companies to be successful.  We don't blame them when the riders they sponsor take drugs.  (Well, for the most part we don't, anyway.)  We have friends who work for these companies and who make their living selling this stuff.  It takes us a lot to be genuinely pissed off at our bike companies.  So if people are at the point where they actually want to boycott Specialized there's nothing hasty about it.  It's something that's been building for years.

Furthermore, it's only fair to break Specialized's ceramic balls for this.  Really, they're not a bike company so much as they're a design and PR firm, and they depend on marketing to convince us that their bulbous crabon creations are somehow different and better than all the others.  So when that marketing fails why shouldn't we be allowed to call them on it?  This is what we're paying for after all.  If your Specialized breaks they give you a new one.  (And they do break, take it from me.)  So when their PR fails in a similar fashion it only makes sense they should be similarly accommodating.

In the meantime, people are raising money to help the Cafe R-----x guy:

Though I think it would be more effective to bring a class action lawsuit against Specialized comprised entirely of Stonehenge tour guides:

"Henge Expert" my ass.


Anonymous said...

Woooo! Late!

Hegnawed Hertitsov said...


Yarpo said...


dnk said...

Among the weeds.

Anonymous said...


Comment deleted said...

For $1600 you still get Sora? Dayum.

Anonymous said...

Top ten bitches

Anonymous said...

Solution: name your company "Fuckspezialiced"

streepo said...


Anonymous said...



pablo fleece said...

Hey snobbie - ya missed a verb " So if people are at the point where they actually [het? loathe? despise?] Specialized there's nothing hasty about it. It's one that's been building for years."

One Hole said...

Riding in the snow is bumpy

balls™ said...

ASO needs to sue the scranus off of Specialized for infringing on their property. For that matter, Roubaix, France should ask for the name back.

Or, the bike company could stop being a dick, but that's not likely either.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Specialized rude, eh?

specq said...

Damn... never bought bikes or gear from them cause I hated the logo and thought it was mostly insanely overpriced crap, but their water bottles are going to send me right into an uncomfortable moral quandary.

Maybe a camelbak will look less dorky if I wear it for ethical reasons?

Anonymous said...

Top XX!!

Andy said...

Now that I've pissed on everyone's kids by leaving an anonymous podium stealing post. I feel I can now come crawling back to leave a real post.

In the UK Claud Butler make a bike called Roubaix. I know cause I ride one. Unfortunately not made back in the days when they made decent bikes but never mind. But does this mean that they only think the American market are a bunch of morons? Or I wonder if CB started making it before Specialized? Mine was from around 2005 or so. If it is we should all get on a campaign to encourage CB sue specialized (Or SpecialiSed - as it should be) for all past and future profits using the name.

Krakow said...

I own a fancy Roubaix (and like it). In its defense, it's really no uglier or gimmickier than bikes from the other major companies (mine doesn't have the silly cock-gobl'r seat post). In terms of geometry and components, it's on par with the others'...and I got a crazy deal on it from a local, indie store.

But Specialized is indefensible in this case (and others). It's a bit like living in the good ol' U of S and/or A---riding an Especialized.

fake_english_accent said...

Good work Snob.

Sinyard @ssh0lery is legendary.

When he's not stealing bike product design from just about everyone, he has his lawyers sending C&D's for trademarks that should never have been approved.

It's the perfect example of the terrible state of intellectual property regulations as promoted by 'mericuh. Yes Canada, you can thank WIPO, born right here in the good ol' Canada's scranus for Sinyard's anti-competitive behaviour.

Duders will need about $100,000 to defend hisself against Specialized.

3G said...

Are we going to do Stonehenge tonight?

commentatorbot_32197 said...


Calling a Sinyard sharecroppers shop indie is like calling a Subway franchise indie.

Not sure why you need to feel like it's okay to own a Merida, but whatever. Just don't do it again.

Robot stack failure

Sinyard's Chlamydia Test said...

Bill Strickland, spoken like a truly cheap fucking whore... As long as Specialized kept advertising, however right Bill?

Threre's a mediocre even when Specialized floor pump bought in an emergency while traveling that's going out on the Carroll Street Bridge over the Gowanus at 2 PM, anyone who wants it-- hopefully to destroy/repurpose in amusing fashion-- can have it.

How's Sinyard's ass taste, Bill Strickland, no offense to otherwise happy anal erotics everywhere.

dancesonpedals said...

quarter century

Comment deleted said...

(I am not making this up) For my birthday, I received two books from two people who did not coordinate their purchases.

1) "The Enlightened Cyclist", by some New York Snob-dude.

2) "How Music Works", by David Byrne

My head exploded in delight.

Topcheese911 said...

get as many of these as you can before the S-holes sue!

Krakow said...


Yes, I know you've sailed the seven seas and grok all that's under the sun; however, it is an indie store (I got the bike for ~$1000 less than list price).

I don't need to feel OK about owning my bike nor about whatever the fuck you think....nor do I care to be told what to do or not do again.

So, I guess, fuck off.

mMullins said...

That company specializes in selling over-priced bikes and being the big lame bully everyone sensible should shun until they change this behavior.. My shunning continues...

Yarpo said...

Dear Armed Forces of Canadia,

Please feel free to assemble an amphibious assault force, land at Half Moon Bay in California, and send a flying column to invade Morgan Hill and the Specialized Compound. We won't resist and will be quite handy with directions should you happen to ask for them. Go ahead and annex Morgan Hill. Give it to Manitoba or the Northwest Territories. In return, give California your health-care privileges and we'll call it even. Oh yes, please re-pave all of Morgan Hill with cobblestones...big, nasty, ones.

Tell your Fleet to try out Sam's Chowder House or Barbara's Fish Trap (by the airport) at Half Moon Bay while they wait for the Expeditionary Forces to return with Mike Sinyard and the other prisoners to be transported to Baffin island or some other paradise prison camp.

You're welcome and please tip the wait-staff.

the most interesting comment in the world said...

I don't always buy a new bike, but when I do it won't be Specialized™.

Comment deleted said...

Yarpo (congrats on the podio and), I'm a former denizen of El Granada, and always enjoyed Barbara's Fish Trap.

I liked the restaurant of that name, too.

crosspalms said...

I'll be posting my song "Roubaix Tuesday" on YouTube shortly, in hopes of soliciting letters from lots and lots of lawyers.


but should I feel bad about my '88 Stumpie?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't specialized just trademark Paris and run around enforcing that one?

The lesson for Canada's scranus is as long as you can afford the lawyers, laws do not apply.

No criminality suspected.

Bender's Shiny Metal Scranus said...

Fuck Specialized.

Anonymous said...

How does Specialized get the right to trademark the name of a region in France? Also, the excuse that they have to bring suit in order to retain thier trademark registration? What a load of bullshit. Why does anyone buy shit from this company? seriously. Mike Sinyard and his corporate hooligans have shown time and time again that they are just basically greedy heartless bastards with the singular goal of maximizing profits and they have ZERO integrity or ethics. This guys small bike shop has absolutely no impact whatsoever on the sales of their mass marketed shitty bikes. But, hopefully the story of their continuing heartless bullying will.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Nice post today bsnyc/rtms/wcrm.

Go Dan Richter! And thank you for serving your country.

bike dude said...

I thought everybody hated Trek, damn

Anonymous said...

If David Byrne knew how music worked, wouldn't he not suck? Ohhhhhh! Yeah I said it.

Comment deleted said...

Roille, I think music is working quite well for D. Byrne. Those royalty checks continue to finance his car-free lifestyle, do they not?

Etherhuffer said...

God, I feel so smug in my retro-grouchiness when I read these stories. The money changing hands over carbon bikes will go down in history as some of the most egregious tomfoolery ever. I am going to guess a lot of carbon bikes are hanging in garages or scaring the mice in the basement.

Anonymous said...

it is an indie store (I got the bike for ~$1000 less than list price).

It's either a Sinyard sharecropper or someone is reselling used bikes. One or the other.

I'd also like to point out if it is a Specialized sharecropper shop, it's typical Specialized.

The owner is losing his @ss on product that the landlord SWORE would move and blames the sharecropper for their inability to sell product that looks like everything else only costs 20% more.

Is it any wonder I left the industry?

Buffalo Bill said...

Isn't toupe(tm) a thing too?

Bought a cafe roubaix t-shirt, and hopefully next time I'm in Cochrane I'll stop for icecream and order up a new set of wheels.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Yarpo. Two of my favorite restaurants.

My wife and I lived in Syracuse in the 70's and a restaurant/bar was sued by Burger King because they served a hamburger they called The Whopper.
I think the place pre-dated BK by twenty years.

McFly said...

I found this particular blogulation to be rather harsh.

Try publishing it again with some ZERTS(tm) Inserts placed strategically throughout.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, CD.

Paul Bowen said...

Phew! Glad I picked a safe name for my new bicycle curation enterprise Specialneedz.

Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah sure sure. I just never was much of a fan I guess.

Schisthead said...

Great entry...

That's why I love spesh. I don't care about their bikes, I just love lawyers, and want to make sure their legal team stays employed.

The lawyers are the ones who make it laterally stiff and vertically compliant, you know. (or is that backwards?)

ringcycles said...

my guess is that when Mike Sinyard traded his soul to the devil, he asked for the best marketing & engineers a big bike company ever had. the devil replied "you got it, but I get to choose your lawyers for you".

Yarpo said...

Comment deleted,
That Barbara must have been one hot date! Did she favor one-eyed fish?

Fucking Burger King!

Now I just want clam chowder, lots of bread, and/or a crab roll...shit I'm hungry!

Now I have to get to El Granada before the Invading Canadanian Fleet!

Paul Bowen said...

And if you're interested in racing, you should probably be looking at our Specialneedz Assworks range

Anonymous said...

I also just purchased a Cafe Roubaix tee-shirt. Good idea BB

McFly said...

Does a Canadian Veteran get to keep his horse?

Anonymous said...

My theory on the whole crabon bike thing - bikes last forever. You can buy one and the damn thing will work perfectly for 20 years without much maintenance. It is a miracle of modern science.

So you sell perfectly good steel bikes that work for the consumer in every way except they never wear out. You sell them once and that is all. No repeat customers.

Unless you create new demand with new materials. No matter the materials break. NP. Even better. Sell them another one. Change from bendable repairable steel to unbending aluminum. Change again in a few years to un-repairable crabon. In the future, bikes will be made out of pig poop. So light, so stiff. Get professional idiots to ride and endorse them. Now the public has to have the new. Marketing has done its job.

Companies like specialized, trek and cannondale are selling sizzle with no steak. Ride a bike, any bike, but don't be slaves to the bike marketing machine. Train harder.


Anonymous said...

It was my understanding that you could not trademark a place name. For example, the company that makes Siracha could not trademark it because it was a region in Thailand, therefore, other companies can make hot sauce or other foods and use the name Siracha. Reminds me of patent trolls. Anbody want to buy a Sectuer?

Anonymous said...

Big question is: Who is going to run off with the money raised for legal defense?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:09. Good theory. I recently acquired a 37 year old steel framed Masi Gran Criterium, handles better than my crabon bike and looks much better. Original Campy Nuovo components, which still work perfectly.

"Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades." Eddy Merckx

Freddy Murcks said...

You want to know what delivers the best balance of vertical compliance and torsional stiffness? My swollen cock. It delivers an especially great balance of vertical compliance and torsional stiffness when I am using it to fuck Mike Sinyard's mother in the ass. FUCK YOU, SPECIALIZED!!!

It's difficult to boycott a company whose products you weren't already buying because they are overpriced and of inferior quality, but now I am doubly not buying any of Specialized's shit.

301 oluotit

leroy said...

Well this is awkward.

I've ridden a Specialized Roubaix for a few years.

I like it.

My dog says it's okay because I make it look uncool.

That's why he got me that cycling cap years ago that says "Brooklyn" on the bill.

He says I should get a Cafe Roubaix T Shirt, but not wear it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:09- well said.

Seattle_Mike said...

What all this crap about "bad" specialized and Roubaix? I have begun to suspect that any business with a lawyer (wanna-be or real) will go after name "violations" including Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Trek and most businesses and even those without a lawyer i.e.Here in Seattle, the best bagel bakery "Bagel Oasis" has been pestered by "Bagel Oasis" in Brooklyn to change their name. Here's a task - Simply use the title BikeSnobNYC in a book or blog and see how quick a cease and desist barrage will follow.

Anonymous said...

Do you think Jello Biafra could get away with naming himself Jello Biafra today?

Dooth said...

Sinyard begins his day with a "to sue" list.

Anonymous said...

From what I know about "Trademark Infringement Attorneys", this is the way they operate, all of them.

I have never owned a Specialized bike so I can't comment on them. I have owned a Specialized floor pump, and it worked great for three years, then broke. Air pressure gauge let go, and the shop where I purchased it said Specialized would not stand behind it, thank you very much.

Yeah Cleveland! said...

I too ride a Specialized, the lowly base model Secteur. My defense is it was the only road bike in my LBS I could afford. Other than the tires not lasting it's an ok bike.

Yeah Cleveland! said...

Of course I have to wonder if Specialized appeared on the right side of Snob's page, would he be singing a different tune?

Unknown said...

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the Jet Valve™ on the Camelbak® Podium® water bottles is licensed tech from Specialized®.

McFly said...

If I name my Inter-racial Whore House the Tainted Scranus are you going to seek legal action against me? CAUSE I WILL CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE.

Like Buns-n-Hoses.

Welcome to the Jungle Love Muthafukka.

Specialized Is French For Dogshit said...

So happy horse Bill Strickland, where's Specialized's response? Yeah, but they really do mean well you feckless, fake magnanimous shill.

"Funny" Specialized Twitter account has gone quiet but Bill just keeps chirping along. I guess you work for hucksters like Rodale most of your adult life and anything goes, right?

Regular guy said...

I bought some Specialized tires once upon a time, but the tread wore off of them. Cheap ass crap, won't buy them again.

Glad I never fell for their cheap ass bikes.

Anonymous said...

Canada is the Hell of the North.

commentatorbot_971349 said...


After the "to sue" list, Sinyard hits the "to steal" list.

I'm actually okay with the stealing. No idea is new or particularly special. It's that he THEN GOES AND SUES THE PEOPLE FROM WHICH HE STOLE to put them out of business. Not kidding.

This trademark kerfuffle is a minor case. The Volaghi Fred machines is a better example.

Olle Nilsson said...

I used to think Specialized bikes were overpriced because advertising. But, lawyers.

McFly 1:47 - comment of the day

Anonymous said...

Back in the day there used to be a great Britpop band called Suede. Except in the US, where they were forbidden from using that name, so here they operated under the name 'The London Suede' (that added bit of geography must've proven a turn-off for geographically-challenged consumers and the band didn't do that well over here)

Still, they got over it, which would suggest a three-word response to this debacle:

Jan! said...

Dear Lob, this Specialized business has really gotten to you. How else would you explain not linking "Henge Expert" to this video?

Spokey said...

Wahoo. Top 5,000

I had a specialized computer that went wacky back in 2003. First thing they did was deny warranty because they had changed the warranty period down to 1 year.

Several months of fighting including showing my owners manual stating a 3 year warranty finally gave me a win. But it was tough. Last specialized thing I bought.

But I got to hand it to Fuji. They were able to sell a name that shouldn't be trademarkeable.

Hmmmmmm. Maybe I should trademonk scanus.

CommieCanuck said...

I'm still Canada's Prince of the Cobbles, fuck Specialized.

Oh no, this is rampant in Canada.

I trademarked "the" in 2005, so y'all owe me 12 cents a use. Or I'll get my lawyer after you cheap bastids.

CommieCanuck said...

Related news...

Giant is suing me for infringing on the "Giant Mannshafte" trademark, ifyaknowhaddamean.

Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo said...

Scattante owes me money.

Krakow said...

I'm not a copyright lawyer, just a middling rider of a bike soooo many people here seem to have their cockcrofts (or whatever those shorts are called) in a hideous bunch about....but anyway, there's the obvious case of how Budweiser has kept Budvar (town name) from selling beer by that name in the United Specializations of America, and thus we have Czechvar....although they can still sell as Budvar elsewhere and haven't had to change the town name (yet).

CommieCanuck said...

This is actually good for the cafe, I had never previously heard of Cockring, Ontario. It's located in a region known as the Shaft Base, because of its mining history, just North of Athol, NY.
That's it.

Anonymous said...

Just curious, how much is the country of France paying Specialized for the use of the Specialized word "Roubaix" in one of their city names?

Spokey said...


don't drink bubmizer either.

But not because they suck. Because their beer sucks.

Now if you tell me that Glen Morangie is suing Rick Moranisgie I will definitely cry.

CommieCanuck said...

WTF.. Specialized sponsors the Barry-Roubaix, the "killer" gravel race.

Krakow said...


What are you talking about...everyone knows Budweiser in the Trek Madone of American style lager beers.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty sad. A friend of mine just asked me to help her pick a bike and was looking at a Specialized. I basically said "the big brands are all the same," but now I'm going to make sure she doesn't buy a Specialized.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this $350 road bike from Walmart?
700c Genesis G500 Men's Road Bike, Red

It's a real bike. Shimano 2400 sti shifters and derailleurs. Very similar build to the base Specialized Allez for $770.

The wally world bike has crappier cranks and seat, and only comes in 54cm.

Genesis G500 Road Bicycle Review

Krakow said...

All(e)z I'm saying is as stupid and ugly as this is, don't, dear little lambs, believe that Specialized is somehow worse than the others.


Google Cannondale and lawsuit, any company and lawsuit, see what you find.

I'd imagine they all pay their law firms retainers so want their money's worth.

So, to sum up: Specialized, bad... others, bad.... Or this is just how big business works, and yes it's really shitty, but that's how the world works, so put on your big boy cockcroft shorts and, well, whatever, I'm getting bored...

CommieCanuck said...

Gene Rodenberry's estate should totally sue Trek.

I hope all this doesn't affect my Apple Iphone5S Cafe I'm opening soon.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Well said Mr. Krakow.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone gets comment of the day.
Funny stuff today.

babble on said...


Yeah, you tell em, Snob.

Funny you should mention it... a man whom I know well was trying to remove the bottom bracket from his Specialized mtb just YESTERDAY when the damned thing broke.

babble on said...

Er... in this instance thing = frame. Specialized frame. Sigh... Monday Monday.

Jym said...

I could use some henge experts. The last people I used built one that was 18-inches by 18-inches.

Anonymous said...

That lawsuit made major news. I suspect Specialized will back off. If not fuck em. I don't own anything from them but a pump I think. That CEO guy and his mandatory lunch rides annoys me.

What's up with that? I just knew Snob would be on it. And, I have seen guys on small frames before, but someone needs to slap that one guy on the white bike that appears to be about 20% too small for him.

Anonymous said...

You know, for the last year and a half i've been riding a Torker U-District. Yeah, Torker, the BMX pioneers from back in the day. All original except the cabels, brake levers and handlebars (swapped the flat bar for a moustache bar). A year and a half and 2500 miles or so, i've only seen one (1) other bike like it, and everything is still in grate shape except the saddle is creaking a little the last few weeks, but if im good, maybe santa will surprize me with a brooks. Point is, i wanted a single speed, i went to a local shop and slapped down my $370 u.s. dollars, and walked out with a quality ass bike. The fact that it's under-marketed just served to save me money. So fuck special-ed-iZed, and corporate greed both, but when it comes down to it, if i could live with myself and make the types of decisions these big companies make, i'd do it cause i'm all about MY money too. (Thats why i bought a cheap Torker)

Olle Nilsson said...

Yeah they all like to sue. So buy from an independent. Especially if you're a steeltard. Mmm, steel. CRABON! sssshhhhh. Quiet, voices.


Michael, The Black Squirrel said...

I agree Spec'd are being aholes but shouldn't the Cafe Roubaix at least be selling coffee, too? What? This isn't a french-themed coffee shop? Mon dieu!

Spokey said...


My current steed is a co-motion americano that is looking back on his 10th birthday.

And before that a Cannondale T700 back when they were still made in Canada's scanus (tm).

Don't even know what a madone is. Wait! Isn't madone Jesus' mother?

Comment deleted said...


Anonymous said...

My Specialized Tarmac was stolen from my garage.. Forgot to lock it. Don't feel too bad now for being an idiot.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought the word litigious to be creepily erotic, kinda.

Anonymous said...

Those who say that Spesh bikes are overpriced should add 'compared to a chicken sandwich' or 'relative to a pair of pants', etc. - because $1,800 for a CF bike is about the cheapest you could find anywhere, regardless of horizontal stiffness, vertical compliance, or diagonal fluidity.

However, please, feel free to feel as disgusted if you like. If you're now ashamed to ride a Spesh which happens to be SL3 or SL4 and 52cm, send it to me!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:44

Torker U-District
Your creaking seat might be coming from the cheap post and seat guts.

I would put a nicer $20ish seatpost on.

The brake calipers are cheapie single pivots with terrible brake pads. Shimano dual pivot brakes are $30 per wheel, and more powerful, durable.

The bottom bracket is really crappy. It will wear out quickly. Replace with

Olle Nilsson said...

Last I checked they were $100—$200 more than equivalent trek, cdale, scott, etc. But that's when everyone wanted to schleck it. Ad$

Anonymous said...

I gave her a epic orgasm! uh oh, sue me.

JB said...

Anon at 5:24: When I was shopping for a hardtail about a year ago, Spec's of similar componentry seemed to be a few hundred bucks more. Don't ask for proof, I don't remember that far back.

JB said...

Can I still ride my Fuji Roubaix, as long as I stay away from the Spec shops?

Anonymous said...

Giordana Silverline Super Roubaix Men's Bib Shorts

Nike Roubaix Mens Trainers

roubaix jersey

Anonymous said...

Now we're seeing the backlash to the backlash:
"It's just business"
"He should have done his homework"
"You're just getting all bent because he's a vet"
"Where were all you over-emotional hippies when it was time for business school"
"It's business time - I usually strip down to my socks, that's why they call them business socks"

I can see their point, it's like "Specialized will defend its" [money-printing license] and why shouldn't they? But the disconnect is, everybody can plainly see it's ridiculous and wrong, in all the cases before this that we slept through, and this one. Oh it's unfair that people woke up to it now?

You can't take WORDS, that are part of the "commons" and own them privately. It's utter bullshit and any society that supports it is doomed. But the closer you are to being on the "taking advantage of it" side, the less you will believe in that.

2wheeler said...

Thanks Snob for your Defense of the little guy.

Comment deleted said...

Business hours are over, babaaay!

Anonymous said...

hm, the wheels, Roval, is it intentional that it´s "R oval"?

Johnny Tenspeed said...

Specialized - We learned everything we know about business from patent trolls, then we sued the patent trolls for infringing on our trademarked business practices.

Matt said...

In the late 1970s I rode Clement sew-ups routinely, because they were cool and I was an idiot, and while I rode Campionato del Mundo Setas at a rugged 290g per tire, kind of your utility tubular, Clement made a Paris-Roubaix Seta at 275g. Sure hope Specialized doesn't hear about that or they'll retroactively sue their asses.

As it happens, I've been on an inadvertent decades-long boycott of Specialized. I'll keep it up.

SinyardScranus said...

Bill Strickland says what?

McFly said...

30 degree Monday Madness ride! It's not bad with $1,867 worth of cold gear on. I could see how a baklacllavala would be nice.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry did you mention the shop owner is selling cheap Chinese knock offs. Are you suggesting his branded Roubaix carbon wheels are of a good quality. While you rip on the quality of Specialize where is your honest look at that?
When will one of you idiots actually address the law and not the company. To me its seems like that might take an actual effort instead it is easier to whine like a pimpled face preteen who parents won't let them watch MTV. Are you kidding me about cyclist needing a lot to piss them off. Do you actually ride and know cyclist or just write about it? Oh ok you do, well then get off your outdated steel frame bike that you think is so cool and tried to put together a constructive thought. Can you tell me what positive solution you have provided beside boycott Specialize. Why don't you really call it like it is boycott small shops that carry Specialize. Yes over the years the big bad company has defended it's trademarks. Welcome to the real world. What is the point of have a trademark then? Cyclist are like rabid dogs looking for the next big cause to sink there teeth into. Haters like yourself who spend their time looking for the negative in the world feed their fury. I am amazed how little you know Chachi!

Anonymous said...

For you trademark policy apologists, lob forbid any of you go into business because when you are making less than the help you hire, that trademark C&D really, really hurts.

Bottom line, the trademark litigation just kills business formation.

Comment deleted said...

Anon @ 7:15, ease up there, fella. If you keep it up, your brain is going to get a pinch flat.

wishiwasmerckx said...

They only built Stonehenge after Strawhenge and Woodhenge proved to be failures.

I always say that when building a henge, it pays to splurge a little and get some better quality materials.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Inspired by today's post, I am proud to announce that I have trademarked the word "hamburger," and now every time you order one, you will owe me $0.02.

I am guessing that I will have BSNYC kind of money in very short order.

McFly said...

Speaking of commercialism you guys be careful shopping online during the holidays. I bought a penis enlarger and the trolls sent me a magnifying glass.

The only instructions were DO NOT USE IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT.

Allen said...

Australia's best band, Total Control, has now hired a team of attorneys to defend their trademarked "Henge Beat" sound against encroaching bike whores Specialized. They are seeking damages in excess of ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS.

Spokey said...


thx, I needed that.

Just Ride! said...

Sinyard is running a business, and sometimes you need to be an asshole to do so..

BamaPhred said...

The story of every corporation today. Patent/trademark/copyright trolls, the lot.
Specialized could have said c&d, buy our license for your little shop. For as little as one Canadian dollar. Settle out of court, non disclosure agreement, everyone is happy.
Noooooooo, We are Specialized!

Anonymous said...

Small correction, Sinyard did not "invent" the production mountain bike. He ripped off Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly who had "Ritchey Mountain Bikes" in full production in Marin Co., CA when Sinyard stole the design (geometry to handlebars).

Olle Nilsson said...

Someone's an angry little sinyard today, aren't they? Aw, don't pick on the poor little corporation, worship them! Meh, they all piss me off; sinyard just does it a little better than the rest so I'll jump on the bandwagon at the first opportunity. But I'm not qualified to talk bikes because I don't ride crabon. Yeah, you're definitely sinyard.

iustayo - oh, why roboto killer, why?

santiagobenites said...

Roubaix Roubaix Roubaix Roubaix! - Dude, that is brilliant and priceless Google search page!!!

Anonymous said...

Thinking of launching my bike company.

Name: Special Ed
Bikes: Flanders, Asphalt, Example, and the Twigleaper.

Will I get sued by Schoolyard Bully Sinyard?

Steve Barner said...

I can actually understand why Specialized defends their trademarks so vogorously. The way trademark law is written, one can lose their ability to defend a trademark by not going after infringement. Sadly, it's the cost that keeps smaller operatioons from being bullied in this type of gray zone case. What I find much harder to understand is why the big S (a three syllable word that rhymes with "hit") continued to go after Stratos on a patent infringement case even after the smaller shock maker agreed to change their design. Stratos ended up going out of business as a direct esult of this action, leaving a lot of good cyclists with nice bikes that incorporated suspensions for which there are no longer replacement parts. Fie on you, Big S! A pox on your privates! (It won't hurt. Your butt never sees a bicycle saddle, anyway.)

2muchtorque said...

My Specialized Rockhopper frame cracked recently due to overly enthusiastic extraction procedures incurred by trying to extract a seized bottom bracket ( Not beefy enough apparently) installed in the late 80's, early 90's. Now I don't feel so bad about laying that frame to rest. Thank you Wildcat.

Reemdawg said...

What about in literature? are all these word's off limits now? if so this guy's screwed:

leroy said...

Dear Mr. Anon 7:15 PM --

Thank you for welcoming us to the real world.

My dog thought it would be bigger.

Our experience with reality is somewhat limited.

anonymoose said...

Sora? Really? Guess that's why I don't feel bad about going around the LBS to get my rides from bikesdirect.

Facialized said...

Commie Canuck, the REAL extant Athol is in Massachusetts with all the other Massholes.

It is also known as Tool Town.

cornpipp thankfully

Anonymous said...

At least the d-bag Special__ed apologists are in the distinct minority here. It's unfortunate that there are any of them, but not surprising; Snobby isn't too picky about who he lets read his blog.

Anonymous said...

Me? I only buy the finest Crabon, handcrafted by Francophone trolls in America's Yarmulke.

"Roh-behr, here, he will beeld your bahk".

Rides like a dream, and hasn't broken so far.

Neither has the much older crabon built by folks up in the glans of Maine. Solid.

Olle Nilsson said...

Fuji FTW!

samuel said...

So, long time listener, first time caller,
There's a bike from that company sitting right behind me. About a year ago I bought my ten year old a bike from the local bike shop, secondhand. He's about to grow out of it, so guess who might get a new old bike for the holidays. Finally, he hated the original saddle that came with the bike and had me replace it with the one from the Wal Mart bmx that helped him and his older brother learn to ride. That's my Specialized story, and as soon as I can transition him to his next bike I'm selling this one and probably buying bike stuff.

babble on said...

McFly ++ :D

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on the "Dear Motorist" video?

I appreciate the sentiment, but something about it bothers me. I don't want to have to to appeal to motorists' mercy. I would much rather that their respect for cyclists was grounded in fear-- of the law.

I remember reading somewhere that something like 20% of women have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lives. How would a video of women asking men "pretty please" not to rape them come across? It shouldn't be a matter of mercy or kindness. You commit a crime, you deserve time. End of story. No begging required.

Maybe I'm not seeing something. I guess the fact that it comes down to these sorts of videos is not surprising, but it still pisses me off.

Mr. Camel said...

You'll be hearing from my lawyer Vivian!!!

Anonymous said...

The shop can keep it;s name seems the big "S" does not own the rights to the name Roubaix.

Anonymous said...

pjt said...

I'm shocked to discover my ancient steel frame Fuji isn't as good as a Specialized Rube.

Anonymous said...

After the massive blow to its image, Specialized now gets humiliated:

Anonymous said...

All right folks - move along. Nothing to see here. Shit show is over - except for the bleeding.

JLRB said...

Pretty amusing that Specialized violated the terms of its licensing agreement. Idiots are not rare in the lucrative world of patents and trademarks. Even the USeless House of Reps managed to put together legislation to try stop abusive practices in the patent field

Good for the little shop owner up North, but there are millions of others getting hosed on a regular basis by aggressive shady patent/trademark enforcement scams

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

hi, my name is McDonald, may i make you a sandwhich? gahhh!! what are all these red dots on my chest!

Unknown said...

Getting into the "Crux" of the matter it is an "Epic" effort in futility that makes you want to stick a "Shiv" in someone. Better to go "AWOL" on an "Expedition" on the "Tarmac" to find that "Dolce" macchiato that you "Crave" that "Rumor" has it is at the "Crossroads" or "Crosstrail" and leave the "FatBoy" attorneys to decide your "Fate"....I could go on but I have a life.

Big Mig said...

Specialized should consider that if it hadn't been for veterans from the allied countries, they'd be naming their the line of bikes the Kruppe-on-Essen. Good luck selling those!!!
Specialized, don't be so anal and above all, give a veteran a break. He and his brothers in arms are the sole reason you're able to freely be in business in the first place!!!

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Road Bikes Specialized said...

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