Cafe Roubaix Bicyle ShopCafe Roubaix Bicycles is a small bike shop located in historic downtown Cochrane, Alberta. Like many shops, it got it’s start in a garage. Where owner Dan Richter started by building high end custom wheels for friends and local racers.

A twenty year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, opening Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio was the culmination of a life long passion, and a great way to force himself to meet new people. His military career, after stints in Afghanistan, was brought to an end due to post traumatic stress disorder.

His shop, which opened in March, caters to road cyclists. It’s named after the famous 117 year old Paris-Roubaix race, because Dan wants every client to “roll away experiencing the same level of service and attention that every European professional demands from team mechanics, coaches, and equipment providers.”

The problem is….

Cafe Roubaix WheelsSpecialized Bicycles is requesting Cafe Roubaix Bicycles change it’s name or else they’ll huff and they’ll puff and they’ll sue due to trademark infringement. While Dan’s lawyer claims he has a case, since the name is an icon of bike culture, and there are dozens of products with the name e.g. the Fuji Roubaix Road Bike and Challenge Roubaix Tires. But to pursue this case would cost an estimated $150,000, so the small shop must capitulate.

According to Specialized Canada, the company is defending it’s legally owned trademark because it is legally required to defend or lose it.

For Dan, changing his stores name is a lot more than just a sign. It’s about rebuilding a reputation he has carefully cultivated building custom wheels and providing exceptional customer service. You can find directions to Dan’s shop, pick up a jersey, or just learn more about his shop here.

Via Calgary Herald





  1. Specialized b.s.
    Why should a small biz owner incur additional expenses in legal fees and signage and advertising?
    Roubaix it trademarked?? That is utter hogwash. Let me guess: Dan Richter is not a Specialized dealer.

    Bully tactics from a bully. I have my fill of reading about bullies with Armstrong’s press parade.
    Just like LA, I choose to ignore and vote with my dollars by going elsewhere.


    There are a lot of fundraiser, non-profits and sportif events using the name ROUBAIX, selling shirts and gear. Sue them too?

    Specialized can go pound sand.

  2. F**CK specialized THEY SUCK REGARDLESS OF THEIR [deleted] POSITION.
    specialized should stop exploiting cheap Asian labor and building [deleted] WIND TEST TUNNELS. STILLING DESIGNS AND TECHNOLOGIES FROM SMALLER ENTITIES THAT CANT DEFEND THEMSELVES IS WHAT specialized specializes in

  3. I love my tarmac, but this is ridiculous! I was thinking about getting an s-works frame, but I’ll probably get something like a Ritte instead now..

  4. Shame on you Specialized.

    As an avid cyclist, when the word Roubaix is mentioned, the bicycle company Specialized is the last thing to come to mind… Seems to me Roubaix is made famous by the Paris-Roubaix race not a bicycle company.

    Maybe the town in France that goes by this name should sue Specialized for trademarking it!

  5. What does him being a veteran have anything to do with this story? Spec overstepping its bounds and a small bike shop fighting back is all that should be discussed. Am I supposed to have empathy for they guy because he’s a vet or because he’s a small bike shop being beat down by the man.

  6. Absolutely never buying another Specialized product. Ever. Total bullshit. Going to pass this story on to my cycling friends as well.

  7. Pete,

    +1 – going for the easy sympathy points doesn’t help the author’s case. Vets don’t deserve special consideration here any more than boy scouts, mothers of four, or members of the clergy.

    That said, if a friend came to me with that as their proposed shop name (as they have in the past), I would have warned against tempting Spez.

  8. How about BikeRumor not featuring any Specialized product reviews in the future? Given the title of the article I’m assuming BR is siding with the shop owner on this.

  9. 100% shame on Specialized. Lemme guess “Drop the the or become a Specialized dealer- your choice.”

    How about all the different companies that use the name Roubaix band together to get it removed from the trademark registration?

  10. The whole “We have to protect our patent” as an excuse to sue someone, when the “patent” is the name of a city, and a race that ends in that city, means they shouldn’t have a patent on it in the first place. But thank you US patent law for being completely backwards and granting it in the first place.

  11. Specialized is the best. They are a global company protecting their name. Get over it people they will continue on making money and all you knobs will buy inferior bikes. It capitalism and they will win!!!!

  12. I am really sick of this stupidity. Specialized should be sued by the shop owner for damages. I would help crowd fund. I even own 3 specialized bikes. No more. Cannondale is likely my next bike.

  13. I don’t understand why this frivolous litigation even appeals to Specialized. Or is their legal team just so bored that they have to create these legal battles to keep their jobs and get paid??

  14. Specialized – So far you are biggest Scrooge this Christmas season. I am so glad I don’t ride your bikes and because of these tactics, never will. Maybe these tactics and others like them are the reason many of the Specialized employees have left for other opportunities.

  15. Of course you can disregard any posts about “US Patent” or “US trademark”.. It’s Canada and I am not sure how their system works. (I do know even the Canadians spell “a lot” as two words 😉

  16. Not only I do hate Specialized, for the [deleted] they are, I also do hate any Specialized bike owner, cause they feed them and they are so stupid to buy their products, which are based on marketing. [deleted]

    Hehehehehehe, [deleted].

  17. @Neil brands do get tarnished, this story is massively exploding on the interwebs! The difference between this brand and BP (deepwater horizon) is people have many more choices for cycling gear, and trust me it will show on their bottom line.

    Specialized almost went bankrupt several years ago. This time, it might happen for sure if they don’t stop from suing this little guy.

  18. I hope Specialized reads this because I have purchased my last Specialized bike or any other product with their name on it. It seems there should be some solution allowing the shop to keep it’s name while still letting Specialized protect their copyrighted name if they really wanted to find it. What a bunch of coprorate douch bags.

  19. This…this just doesn’t seem that smart on the part of Specialized. They will almost certainly lose more customers over the bad will generated by this story (and similar ones posted to velonews and cyclingnews) than they would have lost to confused customers purchasing a set of cafe roubaix WHEELS instead of a specialized roubaix BIKE. Perhaps we should all go and buy a Volagi just to stick it to them.

  20. You can’t trade mark places. Roubaix is a place. Then there are co existence agreements. This is such bs & what kind of lawyer has he got ? Oh yes one like all the rest that drags things out to make money.

  21. Embarrassed to say I once bought two Specialized brand bottle cages. Cant stand the thought that I gave these pukes a single cent. I will be spreading the word with all of my cycling peers as well. I hear they have a patent on the letter “S” as well. Maybe I best go back and count how many times I used it in this paragraph.

  22. Almost forgot to include the fact that the cages were absolute garbage. But then again….if they didn’t suck quite so bad I’d have never found my beloved Arundels. Thank you Specialized.

  23. Does anybody know what happened to the 650b sinyard hitler video? It said the user took it down but I’m wondering if specialized made him take it down. It was the best.

  24. Specialized is So out of their F-ing mind with this.
    This post is going to go viral all over the net.
    Specialized is going to get loads of angry consumers over this.
    So glad I don’t use any of their products.

  25. I have never seen specialized use Roubaix in a store name these and with cafe. There is no confusion. I bet specialized could have come to an agreement and fostered some good will but they just use threats instead.
    Just Say NO to Specialized!

  26. This is a stupid lawsuit. I’ll bet it would make an even bigger difference if everyone let Specialized know how they feel in addition to posting it here.

    Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.
    15130 Concord Circle
    Morgan Hill, CA 95037
    United States of America

    (877) 808-8154
    (408) 779-6229


  27. Dear Specialized: What if you spent your legal budget on U.S.-based frame builders? Silly, I know. I guess you have to protect trademarks because lawyers, maclaren, and laterally stiff but vertically [deleted].

  28. Specialized is going to loose business over this because I know I will not be getting one like I had planned for next year. I hope they suffer for there childish actions.

  29. what happens when you put some of the fastest most winning-est dh racers on specialized bikes….THEY STOP WINNING!…i am sick of specialized…they have become a marketing company first bicycle company second….if they spent as much time into design of there bikes as they did into this legal bs and their marketing propaganda they might have a halfway decent product.

  30. Only one person has mentioned that Specialized has to protect their trademark or risk losing it next time… Those are the rules of the legal game.

    This isn’t a Specialized problem; if you want to blame someone then blame our goofy gov’t, because if Spec doesn’t protect their trademarks they will lose them via our ever-more-goofy legal system. It would be irresponsible on Specialized’s part if they didn’t pursue this. I’m sure some people will actually not buy Spec product because of this, but I won’t be one. I own a business and I invested the money up front in legal assistance to check names in advance lest I be sued. If someone else uses one of my names then I have to harden up and issue a legal challenge if I want to keep my name, but that doesn’t make me a bad guy (even if the other guy voluntarily joined the military and voluntarily stayed in for 20 years). There are two sides to every story and we have only been presented with one.

  31. Chainwhipped. GREAT POINT!
    Specialized should stop exploiting TAIWANESE AND CHINESE cheap labor through
    Merida bikes, who holds 49% of Specialized and build frames in the USA.
    Giving back to the economy they survive on. Does Mike Sinyard still have any % of holdings in the company? If he does he is a SCUMBAG.

  32. SPCIALIZED IS A GORILLA! I have absolutely had it with large organizations that bully small shops and treat everyone like garbage… Hiding behind their charities and special events and then pulling this kind of crap! Never again. I love my endure dearly, but it will never look the same in my eye… A great bike from a worthless company… Shaking my head… So bloody sad, eh?

  33. Prepare for the anti-Specialized circlejerk. This isn’t some hostile corporate takeover, Specialized will lose rights to the Roubaix name if they don’t put out a cease and desist or take the matter to court. All this fellow had to do was check to see if the name was trademarked, and he clearly didn’t check. I think that you people are failing to realize how copyright laws work.

  34. Haha, I love that on the Specialized FB page nearly every recent post has about 20 people posting the link to the article in the comments..

  35. Okay, l agree that its stupid and petty but Specialized owns the name. They have the right to protect whats theirs. But really have a soul and be cool. Foster the biking spirit Big S.

  36. Specialized layers – Christmas bonus! Specialized PR man – Fired!
    These customers are your future big S , is this really worth it?
    I like your products, but these business practices will ultimately bring you down.
    We do pay attention.

  37. This guy should just move his shop over the border. The big S doesn’t own the roubaix trademark in the US, an importer of Fuji bikes does 🙂

  38. I’m reasonably certain you CAN’T own the name of a place unless that place is a corporate entity… ie – DISNEYLAND. If Specialized has such a big head that they think Mr. Richter named his shop after their bike…. well, maybe we need to bring them down a few notches.

    Aside from all of the products already named containing the word Roubaix… how about NEW YORK magazine, The tv show DALLAS, BOULDER BEER etc etc. Specialized, you named your bike after a famous cycling race, as did this gentleman. Fire your lawyers and get over it.

  39. Taking the passion out of this, first, I understand that Specialized has to protect itself from BIG competition. But if it allows smaller companies to do this, the bigger companies can say that they’re discriminating. Stupid? YES! One issue is that he sells wheels that are branded with the shop name, so that may be somewhat of a reason Specialized picked him out of a crowd. HOWEVER, to cover everyone’s tushes, the big S could have just said “hey, no offense, but would you mind signing this disclaimer saying you can use our “Roubaix” so as long as it doesn’t represent a “product”? This is all an assumption, and what is legal isn’t always right, but I hope there is some compromise reached. I love this industry because of the support that “the person doing the right thing” gets, and this shop is just that.

  40. From what I heard, the Fuji Roubaix pre-dated the Specialized Roubaix. Fuji had been paying Specialized to use the patented Horst-link on their full suspension bikes. In order to avoid an issue, and use the Roubaix name for their road bikes they let Fuji produce the Horst-link for free.
    So, considering how closely they guard that patent, they must have REALLY wanted to call their bikes Roubaix. Pathetic. I have long stopped buying any Specialized products. They are counter to what I like to think cycling is about.

    @Neil – they are the best? Ask Aaron Gwin.

  41. Just change the letter O for a Zero and the i for a 1 like Santa Cruz did with the Solo, now called 5010. Be smart and pay them back, f%#&# specialized!!

  42. When I hear or se Roubaix Specialized does not even begin to come to mind. Instead I think of a Spring classic and cobbles and some of the toughest athletes in the world. DON’T FLATTER YOURSELF SPECIALIZED.

  43. This is so sad. Was about to pull the trigger on a Specialized Crux Elite, but not now or ever unless they back down. This makes my blood boil!

  44. Interesting how millions of cyclists fly the flags of these huge corporation brands, then get all pissed when they act like huge corporations.
    Too bad you all don’t have the same love for small brands that you now seem to have for small shops.
    Sheesh… I sure hope there’s not a Cafe’ Madone up there.

  45. Typical of the Sinyard machine, marketing over culture and product. Glad i don’t sell any of their hyped up poo in my store. I’d rather take up Golf than sell their propaganda. Hope this finally makes people realize what the company and their products really stand for.

  46. The rightful owners of the “Asshole” trademark should be informed that Specialized is infringing on their mark with a heavy hand.

  47. I will NEVER buy a product with the Specialized name on it again. Way to support the IBD universe. Somebody needs to start a Kickstarter legal fund.

  48. 1): It is utterly redonkulous that Specialized can trademark “Roubaix.” 2) It’s even more outrageous that “Café Roubaix” infringes on Specialized’s “Roubaix.” 3) I can’t believe the folks in Morgan Hill are so blind so as not to see this backlash coming way before it started. WHY COULDN’T THEY HAVE JUST LET MR. RICHTER LICENSE THE NAME FOR $.01 USD???

  49. The ironic park, is that Specialized has a bike called the “Rumor”, so BikeRumor is probably next to get sued.


    This is just one lawsuit in a long line of them. Do your history on Specialized, and you will see many, many lawsuits against small companies.

  50. Wow, I was considering placing my next 5k bike down on a Specialized XCountry model, but no longer. I will never support such bull/wicked behavior.

  51. Unfortunately, like the article said Specialized has to enforce or forfeit their trademark. It’s the way the system works. If they let little things slide, it will make defending their mark more difficult when it really matters.

  52. Straight up bullshit again. They pulled the same shit on Revelate designs- formally known as Epic designs.
    I’d like to see all the small shops, races, and other events that use Specialized bottles for promo items stop. Maybe switch to a quality bottle like camelbak.

  53. Why are you idiots defending their right to defend their copyright? Roubaix was a big part of cycling culture long before specialized was around. Maybe the folks who actually live in Roubaix should get a lawyer and get in the game too?

  54. i agree specialized are being ridiculous by trademarking the name of a town and legendary race. unfortunately i could see any major cycling company (trek, giant, ect.) doing the same thing in a similar situation. specialized are just acting like any large corporation would

  55. Like it or not the bike shop owner did use the “Roubaix” trade mark that Specialized registered in Canada in 2003. Link to the Canadian database

    It may be ethically wrong but Specialized Canada has only threatened to sue they have not actually sued yet. Unfortunately when you are a big company you have to stop others from using trademarks and copyrights, if you don’t squash all of them other companies will walk all over you.

  56. I believe that in the last 5 years I have bought one Specialized product – “roubaix” bar tape. It was crap. I was already down on Specialized but this seals it. I’ll never buy a product of theirs ever again. And by the way, you sell so much crap you can’t possibly be considered “specialized” at anything but crap.

  57. Everybody relax. All you getting yourselves wadded up about a big bad wolf don’t use a product from another industry that may do the same? The funniest ones are the “well, I was gonna buy a spesh..”. Like they didn’t know or didn’t care about what a company’s “culture” was and now..what?! They put babies on spikes?! Right! Must find new brand of spikes! Naive knee jerk to your own junk.

  58. So, there should be a crap load of you on the side of the road or caught out from a bike event if you are really honest about not supporting spesh products. That’s a lot of dealers and events. The lines at registrations & port-a-potties just got shorter.

  59. i own a small bikeshop myself. i read all your comments. it seems like most of you are a bit focussed on the specialzed side of view. this bike shop owner went to war, probably killed people defending their home and own political views. he came back to his home and opened a shop. but he was to dumb to check if the name he wanted to stick on his products was already taken. now he gets the bill for it and so many people sympathize with him. as far as i’m concerned i would call his behavior very unprofessionel. it doesn’t matter how big or small his business is, if he’s a hero or a killer, now he’s just a very naive shop owner that has to act within the boundaries, like all of us…

  60. Par for the course at Specialized… Prey on those lacking the means to defend themselves.

    Too bad this will slip most of your minds the next time you go to buy another Generalized Bro-bike.

  61. To those that say that Specialized is ‘forced’ to do it because that’s how these things works, what I’m hearing is that they’re saying “we’ve chosen to do business a certain way, and the logic of our business model dictates that we proceed along these lines” in other words, we’ve chosen to to business in an environment where baseless claims have to be enforced with gusto. In my eyes, none of this makes them right, and to me that’s what this comes down to, right and wrong. Specialized is basically saying ‘If we don’t bully someone, we run the risk of being bullied’.

  62. Fatboy- Motorcycle model from H-D
    Tarmac- A multinational building supply company
    Ariel- Little Mermaid’s name in a Disney flick

    Cafe Roubaix- A small one man operation in a second floor space in Canada

    Effing bullies. Where’s the news Spec is going after these guys? Oh right, H-D, Tarmac, and Disney can afford to fight back.

  63. This is great. Classic armchair message board posting. Same people that “support their LBS” then go out and shop online defending some dude who didn’t check his facts. Granted this stacks up as the classic Davy vs. Goliath type battle but try naming your coffee shop Star Bucks or better yet Pikes Roast and I bet the coffee giant would be upset. How about Disney or any other corporation? This is why a person buys a Camry 5 straight times name brand loyalty built over time and people/companies need to defend it to the teeth. The real people making out here would be the lawyers. I am really not sure what people expect?

  64. Specialized needs to feel the heat on this. I don’t buy that they had to defend their trade mark argument in this case, if he were selling a bike and calling it Roubaix then sure. Whatever, I’m sure there is a creative way around this – show some class Specialized. Until then consider me another former customer.

  65. Never ever buy specialized products again. BTW, you crappy specialized lawyers, there is a fabric called ‘roubaix’, wich is sold even in canada. But maybe the company who produces these fabric is too big for you to sue.
    You should google the words ‘roubaix’ and ‘canada’too and look for other people with cafes and small companys to fight all over canada. Have fun and I hope, you loose millions and millions of dollars because of your actions.
    Specialized sucks, big time! Support your local frame-builder. Much better frames for less money. And paint a big ‘ROUBAIX’ on the downtube. But be carfull! Maybe a speci-lawyer will run over you with his black Audi-SUV because of this.

  66. The point about defending the TM would seem to be valid, although they could choose to defend it by licensing, agreement, not being dickheads. Then when you look at what was TMed – “(1) Bicycles, bicycle frames, and bicycle components, namely bicycle handlebars, bicycle front fork, and bicycle tires. ” That’s pretty specific, and Cafe Roubaix as far as I can see market none of these under their own brand. This is corporate bullying, the legal point looks spurious, they just know SMEs can’t afford to defend themselves.

  67. I think what has people worked up is that this shop posed no threat to Specialized. The name represents a bike shop, not a bike product as the trademark is categorized for. Using the name on wheels is more of an issue, but I’m sure the guy would be much more willing to cease and desist using “roubaix” on his wheels rather than having to change his shop name.

    What it comes down to is this only makes legal sense if specialized thinks that this guy having a shop named roubaix is going to hurt their sales or bottom line. I personally think that theory is absurd. In fact, as far as we know this guy was selling specialized bikes.

    I will no longer buy specialized, simply because they’ve proven time and time again they care more about frivolous efforts to maximize their profit rather than working with customers and designing and manufacturing quality bike products. It’s not the kind of company I chose to support.

  68. Specialized will survive this PR crumble, even brush it off. But the real casualties of this could the shops selling mostly Specialized products. Granted, they sold there soul, some to be elite “S-Works” shops, but do they deserve this kind of shtstorm right before the holidays?
    Hey Loki, please keep us posted on how it goes in the coming weeks.

  69. I get the copyright laws and the need to defend or lose, but the real fault lies with the original grant to them…fabric, Fuji models, the race name itself should have negated their pursuit of the copyright.

    Interesting thing would be to look at the legal proceedings and lobbying and who was involved in granting this ridiculous leverage to the Specialized corporation.

  70. The name “Roubaix” belongs to a town in France, Specialized didn’t invent the word, and they sure as f*ck don’t OWN it!
    I hope that the town of Roubaix tells Specialized to stop using their name.

  71. You people are crazy or just not very well informed if you think this guy should have checked his name before opening his company. The use of Roubaix is widely accepted in biking culture. The only reason the SpecialEd is suing is because he does not have money to defend himself and that is IT! Has nothing to do with protecting their trademark or they would be suing Endura Roubaix Clothing Line, Harris-Roubaix, Dairy Roubaix, VCR (Velo Club Roubaix), Road to Roubaix movie, Capo Thermal Roubaix – SO ON AND ON. Shut up with this stupid crap about if one does it it will open the door. Roubaix has been used for a 100 years, so screw SpecialEd!

  72. If all S needed to do was defend their trademark to preserve integrity for future use, they could cave contacted this shop, offered to license them the name for 10 bucks or something for the next decade, and been done with it. The shop obviously posed no threat to their product line, and the spin about defending the TM is just that, spin.

  73. The trademark clearl states that Specialized owns the name for bikes, forks and stems with a secondary focus in apparel and accessories. Not retail stores or store names.

    There hound be nothing for Specialized to she over. As goofy as our “patent” or “trademark” laws are, as written Specialized shouldn’t har a candle to hold in the wind.

  74. This is a huge blunder. In this day an age with the net, social media etc you can’t do something like this as it will haunt specialized for years to come. What was specialized thinking…. were sales of the Roubaix going to be affected by this small shop – of course not. Lawyers and marketing don’t mix.

  75. [deleted]. If I were to use your judgement to make my decisions not only would I not have a bicycle because all the brands are guilty of this but I would not have a TV, phone, computer to type this, Kelloggs cereal to eat for breakfast, or shoes to put on my feet just to name a few.

    Maybe you enthusiasts should buy a welder and build your own bicycles, oh wait, Lincoln Electric filed a trademark lawsuit against Rhino Welders there goes that idea so much for welding.

    I like how “war veteran” is used right away. [deleted] should have done some research before he opened his shop just like I did when I opened mine.

    A law is a law. One needs to protect intellectual property and naming rights.

  76. The shop name may be in the clear but his wheels named cafe roubaix might be afoul of the trademark. I for one will NOT BUY SPECIALIZED ever as long as crap like this happens. They didn’t learn their lesson with the Volagi saga here they are at it again.

  77. Specialized does not have a case. In fact FUJI owns the rights to the ROUBAIX name as it pertains to cycling. In fact when SPECIALIZED started producing the ROUBAIX bikes and had them ready to ship they got sued by FUJI for trademark infringement. The only reason that they were able even use the name as they paid FUJI and let FUJI use the 4 bar suspension design on their mountain bikes.

  78. Some of you just don’t get it….Specialized doesn’t want to do this, I guarantee it. But they HAVE to, or they can’t defend themselves if something larger comes along in the future whether it be another bike maker, or whatever.

  79. I do hope this goes to court. I’m sure we supporters can cough up enough charity for a legal defense fund for this guy, or even find a lawyer willing to take the case pro bono in the event it looks too pricey.

    Specialized are definitely doing what they have to in order to aggressively protect their trademarks, but I think this is overstepping things and am of the belief that a court would share that opinion. Roubaix, though not as ubiquitous as words like hub, spoke, pedal (peddler), etc., has enough common usage in the bike industry that it seems unlikely your average consumer would be unable to immediately make the distinction between a shop bearing the name Cafe Roubaix and a model of bicycle called the Roubaix. Even taking into consideration the branding of wheels with the Cafe Roubaix name, it seems laughable that a customer would confuse something with a completely different typeface and logo as a Specialized product.

    I know Epic Wheel Works and Epic Bags both voluntarily changed their names in past cases, but I think it is time to go the route of Vassago and fight this one out. This is a shaky claim and I think the chance of success in favor of Cafe Roubaix is reasonably high, particularly given the list of other apparently non-infringing Roubaix items way back up there in the very first comment.

    Finally, I have to agree with a few other comments, Mr. Richter’s status as a war veteran is irrelevant to the issue at hand and reeks of clickbait. While most bike journalism isn’t really proper capital-J journalism, you can do better than base sensationalism.

  80. Specialized are just pure suckers. Watch the documentary Klunkers, and see how specialized started ripping off the work of tom ritchey and others. Same recently with the trial against Stan’s No tubes.

    Specialized as a brand is the worst it can get. Ahame on them, and shame of all the people who lacks any knowledge and are victims of marketing. Do not buy their products, for god sacke.

  81. Looking at the patent link you can see specifically what it pertains to: bicycles, frames, handlebars and wares etc. he can most likely retain most of the name and find an alternative for the work “bicycle”.

    While this is entirely legal, Specialized could have approached this more skillfully, and the shop owner is working a pr angle that has two edges to the sword.

    Not many of you have been to Cochrane, but I have, and the ice cream shop mentioned has been a stop for me since the 70’s (it’s awesome). While the big S is defending their patent, the idea that a tiny shop in this tiny town off the beaten track will represent a challenge to their supremacy is the most hilarious of all. Oh ya, it’s the “law”.

    They will lose more than the cost of litigation on this one. Very poorly played.

  82. Specialized has gone too far. Too bad most bike shoppers don’t pay attention to this kind of news. I’ve got one Specialized in the garage and it will now be my last. This behavior over a name that has been around long before Specialized is nothing but greed and is attempting to destroy the culture of cycling and small business. Hopefully an up and coming IP lawyer and PR firm will take this on pro bono and take it public enough to get Specialized to back off. Disgusting.

  83. I can’t believe how ridiculous Specialized is being. They make a good bike, so do a lot of other companies. I always tell people that it is not just the bike you buy, you also buy the company that backs it. Situations like this are why I am not a fan of Specialized.

  84. BS law lawsuits seems to be what they are really “Specialized” at doing. They tried to terrorize the good folks at Volagi and took it to trial…and were awarded $1.00!, as if to say yes, you have a claim but it smells like a crap action brought by [deleted]. My first real road bike was a Specialized but it will also be my last.

  85. Maybe not the brightest move for Specialized from a PR standpoint… but how would this guy feel if Cafe Roubaix bikes opened down the block? Or if a big corporate chain bike changed their name to Cafe Roubaix… he’d want them to choose something else I think.

  86. Specialized makes great products, but I’ll never buy another one because of their lawsuits. I’m also selling my Shiv out of embarrassment. You’re doing a great job of “protecting” the brand.

  87. “Specialized x Cafe Roubaix-I would totally agree that Specialized’s actions were wrong IF he just named his shop Cafe Roubaix. HOWEVER, REPORTS FROM SOURCES LIKE CYCLINGNEWS OMIT THAT MR. RICHTER IS SELLING BIKE PARTS BRANDED CAFE ROUBAIX(PICTURED). For products there has to be brand protection. Chevy brands the name Tahoe (a place) and no other car companies can use it. Patagonia brands their name after a mountain range in South America and no other clothing brand can use that. Why is this any different? Not doing your research before investing all your money is just not smart business. Am I wrong? Again if this was just the name of the shop I would totally be against Specialized’s actions 100%. Would it be legit for me to have a Cafe called Cafe Jordan and the sell shoes branded Cafe Jordan?”

  88. Shame on the US and CN governments for giving the big S rights to the name.

    Shame on S for not settling this before it went public. The don’t “HAVE” to do anything.

    Shame on Loki for painting a fellow shop owner a “probable killer”. He was a soldier. They put their life on the line so pussy-cats like you don’t have to. And it’s “too dumb”, not “to dumb”, genius.

    IMO: S registered the name (according to the link) for bikes and products, NOT specifically a retail establishment.

  89. Plain stupid. If Cafe Roubaix makes it until next summer (which I’m sure of), I will make sure to stop by in Cochrane and check out the shop and the icecream across the street. Hang in there Dan, maybe Specialized discovers in time that the word “sorry” is not patented.

  90. @two sides to the story – as far as I know, there is no wheel brand called Roubaix made by Specialized. Moreover, Specialized were NOT the first brand in the bike business to use that name for their products, so their claims are just idiotic.

  91. This is hilarious. Guys talking about supporting local businesses, but bash the brand that many local small shops sell.

    I live in this city and when this shop opened we all discussed how it seemed an odd and dangerous name choice. He is a vet, congrats, I know several, and they are able to run a trademark database search. That in no way impacts the legal stance.

    Imagine if he’s fallen on hard times as his shop is tiny and only sells high end wares in a tiny town, and here is some free press. Maybe he is a dick, being a vet doesn’t make you a saint.

    I am sure Specilaized was reasonable in their requests, but this guy had to be difficult. He is a high end boutique shop that has been around for a year, and two for his wheels brand. I won’t go to his store again, as clearly he’ll be an unreasonable person to deal with.

    Does one not think that the other brands that use this name have agreements? Or perhaps their brands don’t overlap.

    But hey, let’s just use expletives, and capitals, and slurrs, and defamatory language, because hell it’s F&$&?: fun right?

  92. Jose good points mostly.. but just assumed spec was reasonable is a massive assumption that has no grounds. Especially when another site quotes Richter as saying:

    ““It’s been frustrating,” Richter told me. “The response throughout this process (from Specialized) has been arrogant and almost unbelievably dismissive.” (calgary herald)

    And your conclusion that he is unreasonable is based on what? Your mistaken assumption that spec was reasonable so therefore he must have been unreasonable? Shoddy reasoning.

  93. I wrote a large response to your post Jose, but for some reason it didn’t post and now it is gone. But basically the dude is quoted as saying Spec have been d*cks to him. Calgary Herald has a quote from him. Overall though, your reasoning is poor and relies on assumptions that you treat as fact.

  94. Doesn’t this mean the city of Roubaix should sue Specialized over their use of the city’s name?

    Specialized is currently besmirching their brand name, they should sue for damages and legal costs…

  95. I love all of the comments shrieking that that SBI must do this in order to defend their copyright to the name of a place (already widely used in the industry) or lose it, as if stepping all over the little guy is the only option. SBI should throw their crack legal team at lobbying to revise the regulations so that they might avoid situations like this one. That or at the very least dropping the matter would be the right thing to do.

  96. Wow unbelieveable

    Just another big company throwing their weight around. Big vs small. Simple just don’t buy Specialized bikes or products if you disagree. I’ve never owned a POS Specialized bicycle and never will. Shame on Specialized

  97. Really, Two Sides To The Story? Just re-posting exactly what Anthony Sinyard said on Facebook? At least have the courtesy to credit your source, unless you are Anthony Sinyard, in which case, knock off the copypasta.

  98. Shame on you Specialized! Let common sense prevail and stop listening to your lawyers and start listening to you financial advisors. This will likely cost you a lot!

  99. Nobody cared when specialized had to change the carve to crave. This happens all the time it’s just part of business and the guy chose a bad name and it got noticed.

  100. Jose doesn’t know what he is talking about. Spec sues everyone. This has been well documented even to the point of claiming they own the rights to the colour red. And all this nonsense is catching up with them. The fact that they almost went bankrupt a few years back you would think they would be looking for PR gold rather than PR nightmares.

  101. Is there a move to end Trademarking in Canada? SBC always throws its weight around, but they cant be the first company to sue someone in Canada because Canada lets anyone Trademark anything. ITS CALLED BUSINESS and Capitalism. Just saying, I like that everyone thinks the bike business isnt CORPORATE. Thats a JOKE, grow up this is the world we live in, where oil companies just build pipelines through your backyard and tell you to fuck off.

  102. Lots of big brands are doing more and more of this shit with trademarks, patent collecting and hoarding, lawsuits, etc., it’s really gross. Apple is one of the worst offenders, they make specialized look like girl scouts in this regard.

    I ride an S-Works for now, but this I definitely will not forget. Good luck Roubaix cafe.

  103. It’s not just business either, it’s like sissy tattle tale behavior. Specialized lifted the name from the Race to begin with. It just reeks of American greed and it’s a huge turnoff.

  104. Would it be okay for someone to open a shoe store named Cafe Jordan Shoe Store and then sell custom socks called Jordans? No threat to Nike right? Would everyone be as upset at Nike for suing them? Jordan is just a place right? and common last name right?

    This guys sells custom wheels with the Roubaix name on them, Specialized has a trademark for any bike parts sold with that name. This guys should have done a simple google search.

  105. There is a shop called Roubaix Bicycle Company in Greeley Colorado. Shouldn’t Specialized be suing them as well? Wait…they are not getting sued by the because big S doesn’t own the Trademark in the USA. It is licensed to them from FUJI which also manufactures a bike called the Roubaix…That is much more confusing than a little bike shop in the middle of Canada.

    Or is it that that your lawyers haven’t met their frivolous lawsuit quota to get their year end bonus.

  106. The faux outrage over Specialized and Mike Sinyard is hilarious to read on here and facebook.

    It seems that many of you trolls have just replaced Specialized for “tea party” and Mike Sinyard for “Ted Cruz” in your typical incoherent hate-rants.

    Keep up the good work I’m looking to pick up some Specialized bikes cheap from the mass sell off of disgruntled owners wanting to stick it to the big “S”.

  107. Such bs. But pretty par for course for the big S. I haven’t bought a Specialized in a long time because of these practices. Specialized has done this many a time with tons of different technology. They use their lawyers to buy/steal and patent/trademark existing tech and then sue the pants off of the original designers. Ask Crank Bros, Titus, Turner and many others about how Specialized spends more money doing this than they do actually designing new technology for themselves. One more nail in the coffin for Specialized. Their loss of the “FSR” link, Mac Strut, Horst Link this year being the first. Good luck dbags.

  108. Ohhhhh Specialized. Let me count the ways I hate you.

    At the time I posted this, there were 156 comments from people. Let’s be conservative and say that out of those 156, only 125 will never, ever, ever purchase a bike or other merchandise from specialized simply out of principal. Lets further be conservative, and say that the average value of the potential bike and other product you may have sold to them down the road would be $2,000. That puts you at a potnetial loss of $250,000 in this comments section alone for attacking the lifeblood of this sport.

  109. As someone who’s been playing music in local venues for 10 years now, I’ve never settled on a band name until we checked online to make sure someone else hadn’t already come up with the same name.
    If you’re spending your life savings on a business, maybe you should have the common sense to check Google before you spend any money on signs, advertising, etc, etc. Who cares if it’s owned by the Roubaix waffle company? A copyright is a copyright, and this guy should have checked first. Specialized should just be a footnote in this story.

  110. so many good comments, but I agree
    Bully tactics pulled by the biggest bully of them all

    I will never ride Specialized again!

    Best to Dan R!

  111. Garret, no one owns geography
    specialized doesn’t own it, they simply own the bike conceptually

    This is BS, legally
    I agree, if Dan R had been a small dealer, there would be no problema
    if he had a failure, no problema
    but now that he is making it…they slap him legally

    Bullying, and BS
    and if he changed the name, and googled it as you say, everything has propriety to some degree, else google would come up empty and thats not going to happen

    Best to Dan R and the small guy

  112. At least this time Specialized went after somebody using their actual product name, a few years ago they sent a C & D to Mountain Cycle because Stumptown sounded too much like Stumpjumper. For the record Portland Oregon was called Stumptown almost 100 years before Mike Sinyard existed and MC apparently named the bike after the coffee company.
    As for this case, I don’t know how Canadian trademark law works but since Roubaix is a geographic name, it seems like it should not be trademarkable and on general principles a group like Public Citizen should take it to court, or perhaps the Commune of Roubaix should sue Specialized for infringing their trademark.

  113. Let’s protect the small guys…until the small guys become big guys, in which case they should donate all their profits back to the small guys because, you know, they’re small guys and we all drink IPA post-ride. Keep it real, braaaaah.

    In the Bay Area, Mike’s Bikes are a good representation of this relativist view of business success. I’m pretty sure every successful business owner’s goal is to be the best. Furthermore, they would love to take this success, copy it, then propagate this success to as many people as possible, which means the possibility of opening up another shop. If you take this to its extreme, you have 10 shops. Then 50. But by now you’ve crossed over an arbitrary line that consumers have drawn, which means you’ve now “sold out.” You got too big. You’ve lost your ideals, whatever that means.

    So, in essence, what these pro-capitalist, pro-America hypocrites are saying is that you should be as small as possible so that you can continue to drink IPAs with me in the shop while I pay exorbitant amounts of money for you to swap my Presta valve air cap, because, you know, you’re my braaaah. And if you do get too big, don’t do what you gotta under within the boundaries set forth by American patent and trademark law to protect your business as you would your offspring. Because if you ignore this one now, it’ll come back to bite you later. (“Why are you defending the Cannondale Roubaix now? You didn’t care when this bike-related bike shop named this product and shop with Roubaix in the name. Case dismissed.”)

    America: Where capitalism is the Way of the Land, until it no adheres meets my moral code.

  114. Hey Saris(the author)

    Ever hear of journalistic integrity? Wow. I hope I never see any more Specialized dealer launch updates in the future here on Bikerumor, since you know, someone might huff and puff and sue you for something someday.

  115. The low information crowd is out in force today…

    I see it’s much easier to jump to conclusions and say “Specialized sucks” than it is to find out the facts to the whole story.

    Carry on it’s quite entertaining to see how the minority thinks.

  116. Max the IV: The burden of the superior must be heavy. Thank you for adding nothing to the discussion. If you know more of the story, as in “the other side”, please do share from your throne.

    Sometimes the story is as simple as this: Big vs Small. Occasionally, small wins.

  117. Roubaix is a town in France. Maybe they need to sue Specialized for stealing their name… Specialized needs to find more to do with their time. Did they not learn anything last year in the Volagi case. Where Volagi won.

  118. @The Conductor: As most things in life there are two sides to the story so far we have only heard one and it seems sufficient enough for you to jump on the anti-Specialized bandwagon even though neither of us has hear what Specialized’s story is.

    Perhaps just perhaps you and the others can wait till BOTH sides have their say before jumping to conclusions for once rather than assuming.

    I realize that rational though, reason, personal responsibility and facts are foreign concepts to the low information ideologues but for once why not look before you leap or judge.

  119. Max my friend, again you have added nada to the conversation. Any 3rd grader can add the 2 side argument, us low information types here have transcended the obvious.

  120. Max – your insults have swayed my opinion. i will now disregard all i’ve known about specialized, ip law, and this story and wait for you to come out with a book about this dispute before i form an opinion (what you refer to as a jumped onto conclusion) on the case.

    thanks for your wisdom in this matter.

  121. Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. – John Adams,

    Well here are some facts.

    “Specialized holds the trademark for Roubaix in Canada; it has since 2007 when its application was approved. It does not hold the Roubaix trademark in the United States. It licenses that mark from Advanced Sports, which has held it since 1990 and used it within its Fuji brand.”

    End of discussion thanks for playing tho’

  122. Max – i’d look up a quote about assumptions but i’m too lazy. i, also, have read a few articles about the issue, i’m aware of the supposed discussion ending quote you put up. if that satisfies your intellect and allows you to jump to a conclusion, go for it.

    but why do countless companies sell stuff with roubaix in its name either in the us or canada? like tires, clothing, eyewear… and why hasn’t specialized sued them? how does the race get to use specialized’s trademark?

    is it that black and white, or does one have to make it that way to assert their intellectual superiority over others?

  123. WOW a trademark on the name Roubaix, thats just wrong

    i will now purposefully avoid buying anything from Specialized even old parts and i will try to scrub the name from any part i have from them. these patent and trademark trolls are just bad for us and should be banished from the kingdom.

  124. Trek holds trademarks on Alpe d’Huez, Dolomiti, and even Maillot Jaune.

    One wonders exactly how long it would take for Trek’s lawyers to be all over you if attempted to name your bike shop Le’ Maillot Jaune Cycles?

    Calling me names and being all butthurt about Specialized doesn’t change the fact that this protection of trademarked goods happens everyday and any business has the right to legally protect what is theirs whether you like it or not.

    With that being said I think i’ll venture on over to the Specialized website and buy me something silly and expensive just to give you crybabies a big FU.

  125. Max, clearly you are on the slow side. I will write slow for you to inderstand. Specialized singled out this company, there are 100’s of other companies using the name Roubaix in their cycling sales. They should go after all of them then, why single this one guy out? You sound like the one that is butt hurt, might you work for them?

  126. Max – when you gain an understanding of ip law beyond ‘specialized owns the word roubaix so nobody else is allowed to use it’ we’ll continue this conversation. enjoy your silly and expensive something.

  127. Just because there are so many ignorant people on this site that know absolutely nothing about patent law or the situation at hand but love to spew nonsense like it was fact, I am purposely going to make my next bike purchase a Spec. Spec. – fight for your rights.

  128. Max, an example for you: There are millions of illegals living and working in the USA, but it is ILLEGAL for them to be here. In California, they can even get a drivers license…but the law says they are illegally in the country, meaning they should be deported…but they are not.

    Laws and the way they are enforced are not so “black & White”. Even trademark situations.

  129. FYI @Matt, it’s Trademark law, not patent, so get YOUR facts straight before you call us ignorant. As Shawn’s link just pointed out, apparently, Specialized doesn’t know much about that law either.
    Go ahead, buy a new Specialized. What ever helps you sleep at night.


  130. My Favourite quote of the moment.

    “According to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, “ASI says it owns the worldwide rights to the Roubaix trademark … and has licensed it to Specialized since 2003.” And the company’s International CEO Pan Cunnane says he is happy for Dan Richter to use the name for his bicycle shop.

  131. Oh, I so hope this isn’t over. Wouldn’t it be great is spec lost the license to “Roubaix” for trying to backdoor Fuji out of it?

    LOL @ little max

  132. Before you all jump down my throat, I DO NOT WORK AT A SPECIALIZED DEALER OR FOR SPECIALIZED.

    I work at a bank.

    This guy could fight it, and possibly win if he can prove he named it after a city. It would be costly. Why don’t all you Specialized haters donate to help him if you are going to throw such a fuss over it? Raise the legal fees to donate to him by setting up a kickstarter or something. That way you can affect the outcome by doing more than just whining on the internet where very few people value your opinion.

    Do you all whine about car companies going after each other for design or tech? No. Do you whine about Apple suing Samsung for a similar design phone? No. Why is it such a huge deal when it is a bike company?

  133. I think you all should listen to this guy ^^^^. He has a point, have a problem then help the guy out and fund him. This is just the biggest thing in the world because we are cyclists. If it was a car or phone, no one would give a crap or think about it twice. Just saying.

  134. Dave, I will give you the benefit of the doubt as it seems your banker’s hours may be running even later than usual. If you go back up and read through this thread your questions will be answered. Hello Collin.

  135. Well even though things worked out for Mr. Richter I for one will never buy anything Specialized. If they can’t employ attorneys that can soundly discern what is a pertinent ‘threat’ to the company and what is not then how can I trust the rest of the company?

  136. I’m sorry. I love Specialized and their products! All you pitchfork and torch people are amusing. Specialized makes FANTASTIC bicycles and related products. I own one, ride it, and love it. If I had more money, I would buy more of it. I would have 20 of their bicycles if I could. I have their biking shorts too which have the best pad and comfort out of all my shorts. I would love to have an S-Works Roubaix (with discs)! Their helmets are fantastic too.

    Taking care of your trademarks, fine. just please lower your prices so I can buy more of your stuff!

What do you think?