Hats Off to Cafe Roubaix

Shop DoorMost of you by now have probably heard tale of Specialized Bicycle’s play against a small, independent bike shop in Canada. While I’ve yet to hear anything from Specialized themselves on the matter, I like many found this story disgusting. The conflict arises over the use of the word ‘Roubaix’ – which of course adorns a line of Specialized bikes as well and is a registered trademark of Specialized.

Me being me I was all ready to rip Specialized (verbally) apart here.  But, given that the last time I went after someone here on JustAotherCyclist it went a little wrong (read the comments to this) I’ve actually decided on a different path.

I found a very reasonable, educated and balanced Open Letter to Mike Sinyard (Founder of Specialized Bikes) posted on the blog Riding Against the Grain. Here the author says, among other things:

If you choose to analyze things from a purely business perspective, look at what’s happening.  Even if there was some impact on your business (there isn’t), and even if you could quantify it (you can’t), it would be miniscule.  Compare that minuscule economic impact to the incredibly damaging effect that this news is having upon your company.  The core of people who are really dedicated bikers are seeing this news nonstop.  All of their friends are using social media to talk about it.  It’s everywhere–in the worst possible way.  The cost analysis on this particular intellectual property squabble weighs heavily against pursuing it.

An Open Letter to Mike Sinyard

Seriously – go read the blog post. There would be no value in me adding my particular brand of snark to this conversation.

If you decide you want to get involved and help Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio you can check out their company website, purchase products from their online store, or continue to let @iamspecialized know your thoughts on the matter. There is an indiegogo campaign that has been started purportedly to support the shop’s legal defense, but that campaign appears to be run by a person or group out of Australia and not the shops native Canada – so do your homework when donating.

Wheel Truing – from Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs

You can find the craziest bits of information in the strangest places.  There is no question that the late Sheldon Brown’s website is the go-to site for bicycle technical information on the internet.  However, clearly there are other repositories of cycling wisdom out there too.  What I didn’t expect was to find an extremely articulate article on wheel truing posted to – get this – the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories website.  No kidding…  If the internet is great for only one thing, it is trails of breadcrumbs just like this.

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