Frank's favorite-ever wheels, the Café Roubaix Arenbergs.

From Café To Roubaix

From Café To Roubaix

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Assuming you ride somewhere outside the borders of Antarctica, you have likely already heard about the injustice being imposed on our friend and fellow Velominatus, Dan Richter who goes around these parts as @Dan_R.

I’ve been riding Dan’s wheels for a bit over a year, and they are the best I’ve ever had. After hearing about the suit a few months back, I was proud to help him brainstorm some ways he might be able to salvage his brand or come up with a new one while admitting the court battle was out of reach.

But when the article broke in the Calgary Herald this weekend, all hell broke loose. It goes without saying the pride I feel whenever our community here at Velominati comes together for a good cause, but what went on over the last 48 hours was an unbelievable coming-together of not just us, but the Cycling community as a whole. Regardless of the final result, this past weekend made me proud to call myself a Cyclist more than ever, for we proved we not only love riding our bikes, but that we as a worldwide community have each other’s collective backs.

I had an article planned for today, one taking the piss out of ourselves and everyone else as we usually do. But it just didn’t feel right. Instead, I thought we’d post the Packfiller podcast from Bulger Media. This is my fourth time on the show, but this time Patrick (@packfiller) was able to get Dan on the call with us. It was fantastic to hear Dan still has his sense of humor and it was a pleasure share a good laugh with him.

Here’s hoping Specialized comes to their senses, observes Rule #43, and drops the suit. If not, we’ll stand in solidarity, never buying another Specialized product again. The good news is that either way, Dan will rebuild his brand and his shop will live on, stronger than ever. (Insert Shakespeare quote about names here.)

Its a long listen, but we cover the important Café Roubaix stuff early on. Enjoy. And Vive La Vie Velominatus.

// Defining Moments // Interviews // La Vie Velominatus // The Rules

  1. @Mike_P

    And one more Hell Yea!!

    I know where my next set of wheels is coming from.

  2. Waiting on the rerun of the Red Retro Short Sleeve Jersey to wear on retro events next year.  No rush as plenty of time to next spring.

  3. I will wait to see the end of this, sure ASI has come forward, but the lady-too-fat-to-climb hasn’t sung yet.

    Seems a lot of confusion about how Roubaix can be trademarked. As has been noted multiple times, it is trademarked in a particular context, so Spewcialized trademark is specific to bike hardware. Someone could trademark it in the context of food, homeware, anything else, and it wouldn’t be litigable by Spewcialized.

    Blame a litigious society, and lets face it, the US is supreme at that. Everyone is out to patent, trademark and protect their shit to make more money.

    I almost died when I nommed down a Recces Peanut Butter cup, then read the wrapper. They have trademarked the colour Orange (obviously in the context of confectionary). No shit, look it up! Fucking Lawyers!

    Basically, the privatisation of something that essentially belongs to everybody, a place name, a colour, our DNA?

    Modern society is fucked.  But then occasionally someone reaches out like ASI and for a little while, you really believe some people in this big bad world really are nice…

    Least I had a good ride to make me feel less cynical..

  4. @RoubaixInTwoYears

    This from Dan’s FB:

    I had a great conversation with Mike Sinyard today, and I am happy to let everyone know that things will be working out fine.

    We thank you for your continued support. You have all been so very awesome to us!

    Thank you,
    Dan

    It is official. WIN!

    That is a phone call I would love to have heard. I’m sure Dan handled it with class.

  5. @wiscot

    Me too. And I’m still wondering what Sinyard is going to say to the cycling community, globally. Really, he has to say something, FFS.

  6. Ha, the internetz moved too fast for my post, and the too fat to climb lady has sung. Result!

  7. @Beers

    Seems a lot of confusion about how Roubaix can be trademarked. As has been noted multiple times, it is trademarked in a particular context, so Spewcialized trademark is specific to bike hardware. Someone could trademark it in the context of food, homeware, anything else, and it wouldn’t be litigable by Spewcialized.

    Blame a litigious society, and lets face it, the US is supreme at that. Everyone is out to patent, trademark and protect their shit to make more money.

    I almost died when I nommed down a Recces Peanut Butter cup, then read the wrapper. They have trademarked the colour Orange (obviously in the context of confectionary). No shit, look it up! Fucking Lawyers!

    Basically, the privatisation of something that essentially belongs to everybody, a place name, a colour, our DNA?

    Modern society is fucked. But then occasionally someone reaches out like ASI and for a little while, you really believe some people in this big bad world really are nice…

    I’m not confused about how it happened.  We elected people who wrote the laws, and then the courts agreed to ASI and Specialized’s claims.  I understand that.  I understand that there is a legal distinction between the usage of “Roubaix” in the context of building bicycles and “Roubaix” in terms of a race, and “Roubaix” in terms of a town in France.

    I just happen to disagree strongly with the original law that enables the ruling.  Build your own damn heritage, or admit that you’re trading on goodwill and context built up by someone else’s work.

    Dan_R, congratulations on your legal ruling.

  8. @Beers

    Ha, the internetz moved too fast for my post, and the Too Fat To Climb lady has sung. Result!

    Good to hear, though I’ll wait for an official statement from Specialized before I get too excited (which no doubt will be filled with some bullshit crafted to somehow save face rather than a flat out apology).

  9. I heard that S are going to sue Spartacus for winning Roubaix on a Trek

  10. @cognition I agree, it’s fucked up…

  11. Victory! Herald (front page!) this afternoon reports Specialized founder and CEO Mike Sinyard gave him a call and things are cool – he keeps the name.

    Also, it’s true what they say – what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.  The store got some great PR from all this.  In fact, I ride through that town 5-6 times every summer -had no idea- saw the sign once from a distance and thought I have to stop sometime for a mid ride expresso. Now that I know what he does I think I’ll make a point of stopping by for a new set of wheels.

  12. So, the general consensus is win? All is forgiven now? Because…well… a certain bike company sponsors Evelyn Steven’s team:

    http://velociosports.com/our-2014-team-announced/

    So glad we wouldn’t take this brand hating too far. Because…I wouldn’t want our personal dislikes of matters regarding financial matters…matters of business…intrude into our enjoyment of sport and competition. Would we?

    /TrollOff

  13. Coincidentally, Lululemon pushed out its founder/chairman today in the name of damage control. Beyond his recent customer-alienating comments he was well known as a micro-manager and loose cannon. But he only owns 20% of the company…

  14. @RoubaixInTwoYears

    @eightzero

    The US view, with commentary regarding treaties on the matter:

    http://www.uspto.gov/ip/global/geographical/faq/

    We request an executive summary, Lawyer Eightzero.

    Haha. Nice try.

  15. @frank

    No one should feel bad for having bought a Spesh in the past. What you do in the future is up to how this event affected you.

    Nonetheless, it was pretty easy to cut away the branded label from a couple of pieces of kit.

  16. @RoubaixInTwoYears

    This from Dan’s FB:

    I had a great conversation with Mike Sinyard today, and I am happy to let everyone know that things will be working out fine.

    We thank you for your continued support. You have all been so very awesome to us!

    Thank you,
    Dan

    It is official. WIN!

    It is great that the community in the global cycling village is so clear on this one and that the giant (oh shit, am I going to get sued?) has been shown the light.

  17. @eightzero

    So, the general consensus is win? All is forgiven now? Because…well… a certain bike company sponsors Evelyn Steven’s team:

    http://velociosports.com/our-2014-team-announced/

    So glad we wouldn’t take this brand hating too far. Because…I wouldn’t want our personal dislikes of matters regarding financial matters…matters of business…intrude into our enjoyment of sport and competition. Would we?

    /TrollOff

    LEAVE EVIE ALONE!

  18. @gordo

    placed an order over the weekend for clothing. Waiting to hear back on a 38 wheel set. Going to need stickers for the new wheels. Thanks for posting as I would not have known. G

    Thanks for the phone msg Gordo. I have your number and I will be getting back to you as soon as I can.

    @Cyclops

    I guess I need to get a Café Roubaix jersey before they start going for $10k on ebay.

    No need to worry about that. Well just print..er order more! More news on that soon.

    To all of the Velominatus, Thank you!

  19. Glad to hear this has been resolved successfully in Dan’s favour – a big relief I’m sure, and great to see how Velominati and the cycling community at large have been united in wading in to Sinyard et al to explain the error of their ways. However, what’s the betting that it will only be a matter of time before Specialneeds do something equally unnecessary and boneheaded again?

  20. @Fausto

    what’s the betting that it will only be a matter of time before Specialneeds do something equally unnecessary and boneheaded again?

    Speaking of unnecessary… trying to insult Specialized and collaterally insulting an unrelated group of people would come under the same category in my view.

    Think before you post please people.

  21. I caught this thing on the weekend and was excited by the way the community was able to use the interweb so effectively to do some good. I still reckon Richter is a better name for the wheels but love that Café Roubaix remains.

  22. @Beers

    Seems a lot of confusion about how Roubaix can be trademarked. As has been noted multiple times, it is trademarked in a particular context, so Spewcialized trademark is specific to bike hardware. Someone could trademark it in the context of food, homeware, anything else, and it wouldn’t be litigable by Spewcialized.

    Nah, it’s in the context of bicycles (not specific to hardware, or the race ). The trademark would cover this case for sure.

    The trademark itself is here: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4808:17612v.2.2

    (IANAL, but I do talk to them sometimes about similar stuff)

  23. @napolinige This was pretty damn brilliant! When the cycling community unites to care for its own, all of us benefit. Frank’s podcast comments were fair, passionate and articulate. There’s plenty of room in the sandbox for all of us to play.

  24. @sthilzy

    This time last year: http://www.velominati.com/evanescent-riders/2012-anti-v-moment-of-the-year-bullies-are-really-just-pussies/

    Are you suggesting Shitialized for the Anti-V moment of the year?  Good call if so!!!

  25. @Buck Rogers

    @sthilzy

    This time last year: http://www.velominati.com/evanescent-riders/2012-anti-v-moment-of-the-year-bullies-are-really-just-pussies/

    Are you suggesting Shitialized for The Anti-V moment of the year? Good call if so!!!

    I can’t think of anything that comes even close. Pharmy confessed but that was mealy-mouthed and to Oprah of all people. Wiggo in the Giro was pretty lame. Spesh for their only win of the year!

  26. I am still amazed that people are already forgiving the big S. Honestly how long have they been playing this game? It seams they threaten someone with a lawsuit every year. Yeah this time it blew up in their face, but honestly they are a piss poor addition to the cycling community in my opinion. Had this not gone viral they wouldn’t have backed off. Mr Dan would still be facing a name change and increased cost to his shop, and Specialized would be sitting pretty not giving a shit what happened to him or his family. I have felt for a long time that Specialized has no soul as a company.

  27. @Buck Rogers

    @sthilzy

    This time last year: http://www.velominati.com/evanescent-riders/2012-anti-v-moment-of-the-year-bullies-are-really-just-pussies/

    Are you suggesting Shitialized for The Anti-V moment of the year? Good call if so!!!

    I second the movement for The Anti-V moment of the year.

  28. @Bespoke

    @frank

    No one should feel bad for having bought a Spesh in the past. What you do in the future is up to how this event affected you.

    Nonetheless, it was pretty easy to cut away the branded label from a couple of pieces of kit.

    I ‘debadged’ my Romin saddles a couple months ago with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

    @Buck Rogers

    @sthilzy

    This time last year: http://www.velominati.com/evanescent-riders/2012-anti-v-moment-of-the-year-bullies-are-really-just-pussies/

    Are you suggesting Shitialized for The Anti-V moment of the year? Good call if so!!!

    This one is pretty much a slam dunk in my opinion.  Nice work Specialized!

  29. @DCR

    @Buck Rogers

    @sthilzy

    This time last year: http://www.velominati.com/evanescent-riders/2012-anti-v-moment-of-the-year-bullies-are-really-just-pussies/

    Are you suggesting Shitialized for The Anti-V moment of the year? Good call if so!!!

    I second the movement for The Anti-V moment of the year.

    A big +1 from me.

  30. @VeloVita

    @Bespoke

    @frank

    No one should feel bad for having bought a Spesh in the past. What you do in the future is up to how this event affected you.

    Nonetheless, it was pretty easy to cut away the branded label from a couple of pieces of kit.

    I ‘debadged’ my Romin saddles a couple months ago with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

    Thanks, I’ll try that next (on my Avatar saddle).

  31. Well apparently there’s been a similar row in the world of yoga… who’d have imagined.

    Some company in the US filed, and has been granted, a patent on a style of filming yoga and exercise classes. It involves filming the instructor from the back of the class so that participants in the class are also visible at the side, as if from the point of view of someone in the class.

    The initial application was rejected but then approved when they added “from a height of about three feet”. And they’ve been throwing out cease and desist letters to people who have shot classes in a similar way.

    If any group of people was likely to get their knickers in a twist…

    What do these people think they’re doing. Either the application for or the granting of patents on perfectly obvious or commonplace things.

  32. @Bespoke

    @frank

    No one should feel bad for having bought a Spesh in the past. What you do in the future is up to how this event affected you.

    Nonetheless, it was pretty easy to cut away the branded label from a couple of pieces of kit.

    How about a Black on Black and White on White (Gloss/Matt) Velominati Decal that just happens to be the same size as most S downtube decals?

  33. @ChrisO

    Well apparently there’s been a similar row in the world of yoga… who’d have imagined.

    Some company in the US filed, and has been granted, a patent on a style of filming yoga and exercise classes. It involves filming the instructor from the back of the class so that participants in the class are also visible at the side, as if from the point of view of someone in the class.

    The initial application was rejected but then approved when they added “from a height of about three feet”. And they’ve been throwing out cease and desist letters to people who have shot classes in a similar way.

    If any group of people was likely to get their knickers in a twist…

    What do these people think they’re doing. Either the application for or the granting of patents on perfectly obvious or commonplace things.

    Unnbbeelliieevvaabbllee!  Surely there must be sufficient 70s yoga/exercise video around to find examples to show prior use anyway.

  34. @Teocalli

    @Bespoke

    @frank

    No one should feel bad for having bought a Spesh in the past. What you do in the future is up to how this event affected you.

    Nonetheless, it was pretty easy to cut away the branded label from a couple of pieces of kit.

    How about a Black on Black and White on White (Gloss/Matt) Velominati Decal that just happens to be the same size as most S downtube decals?

    Something like………

  35. @Teocalli

    I’d hit that for my mtb in a hot second.

  36. @ChrisO

    Well apparently there’s been a similar row in the world of yoga… who’d have imagined.

    Some company in the US filed, and has been granted, a patent on a style of filming yoga and exercise classes. It involves filming the instructor from the back of the class so that participants in the class are also visible at the side, as if from the point of view of someone in the class.

    The initial application was rejected but then approved when they added “from a height of about three feet”. And they’ve been throwing out cease and desist letters to people who have shot classes in a similar way.

    If any group of people was likely to get their knickers in a twist…

    What do these people think they’re doing. Either the application for or the granting of patents on perfectly obvious or commonplace things.

    There’s a company out here in Seattle – I forget the name – whose sole business model is to buy up obscure patents, and then has a team of lawyers who go around suing people who are innocently violating them.

    If ever there was a vile business, that is one of them. Maybe its owned by Sinyard?

  37. @frank   Sadly there’s a whole host of them around the world and the owners have made fortunes.  I don’t have a problem with the other folk who search patents for things that could not be made or had no use at the time the patent was taken but which can now be produced/used as that still involves some acumen to produce and market the resultant goods.

  38. @ChrisO

    Well apparently there’s been a similar row in the world of yoga… who’d have imagined.

    Some company in the US filed, and has been granted, a patent on a style of filming yoga and exercise classes. It involves filming the instructor from the back of the class so that participants in the class are also visible at the side, as if from the point of view of someone in the class.

    The initial application was rejected but then approved when they added “from a height of about three feet”. And they’ve been throwing out cease and desist letters to people who have shot classes in a similar way.

    If any group of people was likely to get their knickers in a twist…

    What do these people think they’re doing. Either the application for or the granting of patents on perfectly obvious or commonplace things.

    “from a height of about three feet” – is that the optimal height for the best viewing of see-through lululemon yoga gear?

  39. @Teocalli

    @Teocalli

    @Bespoke

    @frank

    No one should feel bad for having bought a Spesh in the past. What you do in the future is up to how this event affected you.

    Nonetheless, it was pretty easy to cut away the branded label from a couple of pieces of kit.

    How about a Black on Black and White on White (Gloss/Matt) Velominati Decal that just happens to be the same size as most S downtube decals?

    Something like………

    Check local listings. I’m sure most graphics/decal companies could rustle up one of these really quickly for a very reasonable charge. Of course, the biggest expense will be securing permission and licensing fees from Frank and the Keepers. $150,000  or a few cases of Belgian beer is the going rate I believe . . . .

  40. @wiscot

    Check local listings. I’m sure most graphics/decal companies could rustle up one of these really quickly for a very reasonable charge. Of course, the biggest expense will be securing permission and licensing fees from Frank and the Keepers. $150,000 or a few cases of Belgian beer is the going rate I believe . . . .

    Well…..yes they could be and there’s a place 2 doors from my LBS but there’s a principle I would imagine in here for approved items and not wanting to mention Copyright infringement in this thread!

  41. @frank

    @ChrisO

    Well apparently there’s been a similar row in the world of yoga… who’d have imagined.

    Some company in the US filed, and has been granted, a patent on a style of filming yoga and exercise classes. It involves filming the instructor from the back of the class so that participants in the class are also visible at the side, as if from the point of view of someone in the class.

    The initial application was rejected but then approved when they added “from a height of about three feet”. And they’ve been throwing out cease and desist letters to people who have shot classes in a similar way.

    If any group of people was likely to get their knickers in a twist…

    What do these people think they’re doing. Either the application for or the granting of patents on perfectly obvious or commonplace things.

    There’s a company out here in Seattle – I forget the name – whose sole business model is to buy up obscure patents, and then has a team of lawyers who go around suing people who are innocently violating them.

    If ever there was a vile business, that is one of them. Maybe its owned by Sinyard?

    There are plenty of these companies out there – they are technically referred to as Non-Practicing Entities or NPEs, also commonly and in a derogatory way referred to as Patent Trolls.  While in general I agree with you that many if not most could be deemed unscrupulous, there are some that take the position of buying patents from patent owners that otherwise wouldn’t have the skills or funding to enforce them against larger companies that are clearly infringing on the patent rights of the patent holders.  The NPE in this case shares the proceeds of any settlement with the patent owner but take on the full cost of the litigation as necessary.

    As I work in Intellectual Property I will say that there is no ‘innocently violating’ a patent.  You may not realize you’re infringing someone else’s patent, but that only goes to set the clock from which damages may be collected, it doesn’t absolve you of any culpability.

    @Teocalli

    @ChrisO

    Well apparently there’s been a similar row in the world of yoga… who’d have imagined.

    Some company in the US filed, and has been granted, a patent on a style of filming yoga and exercise classes. It involves filming the instructor from the back of the class so that participants in the class are also visible at the side, as if from the point of view of someone in the class.

    The initial application was rejected but then approved when they added “from a height of about three feet”. And they’ve been throwing out cease and desist letters to people who have shot classes in a similar way.

    If any group of people was likely to get their knickers in a twist…

    What do these people think they’re doing. Either the application for or the granting of patents on perfectly obvious or commonplace things.

    Unnbbeelliieevvaabbllee! Surely there must be sufficient 70s yoga/exercise video around to find examples to show prior use anyway.

    If there are, it should be reasonably easy to have that patent sent into reexamination with the USPTO.  One of the hurdles any patent application has to overcome before its granted is an ‘obviousness’ objection.  I haven’t read the patent, but I would assume that the 3ft stipulation or the combination of the angles that are used in the filming is contained in the method claim.  If so, a change in angles or height of the camera would be enough to overcome the infringement claim.

  42. @frank

    There’s a company out here in Seattle – I forget the name – whose sole business model is to buy up obscure patents, and then has a team of lawyers who go around suing people who are innocently violating them.

    I hate that shit. My company makes over 30% off our revenues off of a single product we have a patent on, but we actively manufacture and sell it.

    Patent trolling is vile and needs to be stopped.

  43. @wiscot

    “from a height of about three feet” – is that the optimal height for the best viewing of see-through lululemon yoga gear?

    Anyone (old enough to) remember the 20 Minute Workout?

  44. @frank Thanks for the link to Packfiller!

  45. @eightzero

    So, the general consensus is win? All is forgiven now? Because…well… a certain bike company sponsors Evelyn Steven’s team:

    http://velociosports.com/our-2014-team-announced/

    So glad we wouldn’t take this brand hating too far. Because…I wouldn’t want our personal dislikes of matters regarding financial matters…matters of business…intrude into our enjoyment of sport and competition. Would we?

    /TrollOff

    Evie Stevie on a Spcialized….mmmmmm. So evil and yet so hot!

  46. @eightzero

    So, the general consensus is win? All is forgiven now? Because…well… a certain bike company sponsors Evelyn Steven’s team:

    http://velociosports.com/our-2014-team-announced/

    So glad we wouldn’t take this brand hating too far. Because…I wouldn’t want our personal dislikes of matters regarding financial matters…matters of business…intrude into our enjoyment of sport and competition. Would we?

    /TrollOff

    Good for you and us.

  47. Just rolling up the driveway after a short windy ride this morning and I meet the mailman, bearing a small parcel from Cochrane, AB.  #stylin’

  48. @strathlubnaig Mine arrived Friday. with a nice written thank you. Quality T. We can’t wear them on the same day in the Alps though…

  49. @Dan_R

    @gordo

    placed an order over the weekend for clothing. Waiting to hear back on a 38 wheel set. Going to need stickers for the new wheels. Thanks for posting as I would not have known. G

    Thanks for the phone msg Gordo. I have your number and I will be getting back to you as soon as I can.

    @Cyclops

    I guess I need to get a Café Roubaix jersey before they start going for $10k on ebay.

    No need to worry about that. Well just print..er order more! More news on that soon.

    To all of the Velominatus, Thank you!

    @gordo  Can you give me a call? The number as we copied it down does not work.

    @strathlubnaig @JohnB Most excellent!

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