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  1. #1
    aka baycat
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    Specialized calls for dealers to drop brands

    I am on my way to Chick-fil-A to protest!

    Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

    MORGAN HILL, CA (BRAIN) Thursday August 2 2012 9:38 AM MT—Specialized has sent amended dealer agreements to select retailers asking they stop selling certain competing brands.

    In one copy of an amendment obtained by BRAIN, Specialized requests the recipient stop buying Giant bicycles and accessories as of Aug. 15, terminate the Giant account and begin to sell down existing 2012 Giant inventory. The agreement also requires the dealer to provide Specialized with an inventory of current Giant product on-hand.

    In a statement, Specialized founder and president Mike Sinyard characterized the move as an opportunity to strengthen its relationship with dealers, and indicated that Giant wasn’t singled out in the amendments.

    “We want to support retailers who align their business with ours. We believe in the IBD and are always looking to strengthen our partnerships with the best retailers in every market. We don’t target specific brands; we invest in retailers who focus on Specialized,” Sinyard said.

    Certainly it has become common practice for large suppliers, in this industry and others, to ask retailers to distance themselves from other competing brands, particularly if that supplier is providing incentives such as store improvements, preferred shipping and improved product availability. It’s a tug-of-war that’s not likely to end as competition increases in a flat industry. Specialized isn’t the only brand playing the game, although it has gained a reputation for its heavy handedness with retailers over the years, pushing them to stop selling other top-tier brands like Scott, Cannondale and Trek.

    The company sent a similar amendment to retailers last fall asking certain dealers to stop purchasing Giro shoes. That situation ended up in the courts when Giro owner Bell Sports sued Specialized for unfair and unlawful business practices. Easton Bell Sports dropped the suit two months later.

    John Thompson, who worked in sales at Specialized for 14 years and was director of U.S. sales before resigning last November, now finds himself on the other side of the fence as executive director of sales for Giant. It’s an interesting position as he attempts to shake his hard-nosed reputation and gain market share from his former employer and Trek by implementing less aggressive tactics.

    For Thompson, that means offering better freight programs, better terms and leveraging Giant’s manufacturing expertise to promote shorter lead times, which equals more turns and less pressure for large preseason orders.

    “If the retailer has a good sense of what works at retail, we’ll win and we’ll win as a friend in mutual success not as a bully method,” he said.

    Thompson said he didn’t know how many amendments were sent to dealers that carry both Giant and Specialized, but added, “I know there are dealers that have stepped away from us because of this.”

  2. #2
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    I ate there yesterday and will be going again tonight....

  3. #3
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    LOL. " We believe in the IBD", except for the independent part.

    With Specialized, it just goes on and on and on.
    Live to Ride, Ride to Live

  4. #4
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    Yet another reason to boycott.

    Sorry Francois. I know they're a big supporter of this forum and make great bikes, and they do good trail access support. But they do treat their dealers like crap, as well as suing small mfgs for the smallest reasons... just because they know they can get away with it.

    So, clicky clicky:

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/224994423260/

  5. #5
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    I wonder if Specialized management ever has meetings where they discuss how much money they would actually lose by not being d1cks.

  6. #6
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    Never liked Chick-fil-a's food before this nonsense, don't see why I would go eat there now. 'Hola', anyone who is not living under a rock knew they were closed on Sundays because of religious reasons. So duh, the owner has conservative-christain values. Big shocker! Yeah, people are dumb. Just another example of how it is o.k. as long as no one actually states the obvious out-loud (or in earshot of a reporter).

    Never a big fan of Specialized bikes either (good product, but damn, I can't afford it), still, they do put $$ into R&D and some of their tires and their side entry bottle cages are the Shi!#.
    I no longer deserve a signature.

  7. #7
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    I heard that Mikes Bikes will drop Cannondale for 2013. Since they carry Specialized I wonder if its because of pressure from S?

  8. #8
    Totally, and to the max.
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    Just curious, are you politically/ethically aligned with every company to whom you give your money?

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    Passion trail bikes comes to mind as they carry both

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    Just curious, are you politically/ethically aligned with every company to whom you give your money?
    Not sure to whom this was referring to but yes I do. Or I avoid those that have differing views. That's the greaet thing about living here choices. The sad thing is the Chick-Fil-A guy was simply asked a question nad he gave his personal feeling and opinion on the matter and people get bent.....he is entitled to his view. Because of the stoopid bay area again blowing this way beyond and taking the opportunity to slam a business that employs many, I am going to keep eating here until the media and wackadoo protestors STFU.

    Specialized....your free to carry the brand or not. Don't like the deal they offer? Go w/ another brand and it's your duty as a bike shop to explain why this brand suits your needs better. Until such time specialized looses market share these tactics will continue. I support a boutique bike builder whom builds here in the US over a company who sends it overseas...just sayn'.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    Just curious, are you politically/ethically aligned with every company to whom you give your money?
    I know I'm slow, but I just realized the Tommy Tutone reference in the avatar. Cute.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    Just curious, are you politically/ethically aligned with every company to whom you give your money?
    Voting with your money is a full time job these days.

    To answer your question honestly, I try to be but I fail often.

  13. #13
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    My local lbs is actually 2 stores a couple blocks apart--so they can have one store carry specialized, and one carry everything else.
    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-FXR View Post
    Not sure to whom this was referring to but yes I do. Or I avoid those that have differing views. That's the greaet thing about living here choices. The sad thing is the Chick-Fil-A guy was simply asked a question nad he gave his personal feeling and opinion on the matter and people get bent.....he is entitled to his view. Because of the stoopid bay area again blowing this way beyond and taking the opportunity to slam a business that employs many, I am going to keep eating here until the media and wackadoo protestors STFU.
    You are right. Dan Cathy is absolutely entitled to his opinion and I am entitled to mine in thinking he is wrong and never giving him a dollar.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post

    To answer your question honestly, I try to be but I fail often.
    Same here.

    If I didn't have peeps who worked in the industry and got me such good deals on Spec's., I wouldn't have one either.
    Thats why I got a Turner to offset my flip-flopliness.
    Banned for showing Boobies.

  16. #16
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    umm nevermind. deleted

  17. #17
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    Carl,

    Do you ask every vendor you purchase from all of their stances prior to engaging in a business transaction? You could make a full time job out of that.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    Just curious, are you politically/ethically aligned with every company to whom you give your money?
    No, because I'm a dirty hypocrite. (Whenever it's convenient, lol)

  19. #19
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    It was vaguely directed at SOB, but mainly toward anyone who takes a [very new trend] hardlined approach toward 'ethics commerce'. I'm not making a specific point here, since it would take more typing than my deadlines can afford, but just playing devil's advocate. The bottom line is, if you react to the popular media hot buttons with your dollars (and believe me, this Chick-Fil-A story is just the beginning), doesn't that behoove you to investigate EVERY SINGLE ORGANIZATION that gets your support?

    IRS
    PG&E
    The Water Company
    Waste Management
    Your mortgage company
    Your landlord
    Your employer
    The car you drive
    The gas station you fill up
    Your favorite brewer
    Your internet provider
    Redbox

    And on
    and on
    and on

    OR..............

    are you just jumping on the witchhunt bandwagon??

    Only you know the answer to that.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    It was vaguely directed at SOB, but mainly toward anyone who takes a [very new trend] hardlined approach toward 'ethics commerce'. I'm not making a specific point here, since it would take more typing than my deadlines can afford, but just playing devil's advocate. The bottom line is, if you react to the popular media hot buttons with your dollars (and believe me, this Chick-Fil-A story is just the beginning), doesn't that behoove you to investigate EVERY SINGLE ORGANIZATION that gets your support?

    IRS
    PG&E
    The Water Company
    Waste Management
    Your mortgage company
    Your landlord
    Your employer
    The car you drive
    The gas station you fill up
    Your favorite brewer
    Your internet provider
    Redbox

    And on
    and on
    and on

    OR..............

    are you just jumping on the witchhunt bandwagon??

    Only you know the answer to that.
    I'm not saying it's rational, but I feel worse when I spend $$ on discretionary products (bikes, clothes, food) made by companies that I don't agree with vs. things that are essential i.e. heat, electricity, my access to mtbr, etc. I know people that analyze every dollar they spend and like I said, it's all consuming. I wish I had the integrity for that but I'm too lazy.

    You can say it's a very new trend but I think more and more people feel powerless (valid or not, on both sides of the political spectrum) and personal finances is where people feel like they still have some power.
    Last edited by Carl Hungus; 08-02-2012 at 09:46 PM.

  21. #21
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    I am too! That's why i personally don't make an issue of it. I need products and services. Not thought policing. Just clean my pool and keep your opinions to your late night drinking sessions!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    You are right. Dan Cathy is absolutely entitled to his opinion and I am entitled to mine in thinking he is wrong and never giving him a dollar.
    My point isn't whether to agree or not but rather the band wagon media and the revolving protestors making this an issue over nothing. He should have said when asked the question that it isn't relevant to this conversation. The media and protestors need to get a life, for that reason if nothing else I will spend my $$ there. Just because there are other views it does need to be a story. They are single handily giving them more business and in a matter of weeks no one will remember this useless non-issue In fact I'd love to buy it and eat it in front of them. Where did I put my freedom fries.....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    It was vaguely directed at SOB, but mainly toward anyone who takes a [very new trend] hardlined approach toward 'ethics commerce'. I'm not making a specific point here, since it would take more typing than my deadlines can afford, but just playing devil's advocate. The bottom line is, if you react to the popular media hot buttons with your dollars (and believe me, this Chick-Fil-A story is just the beginning), doesn't that behoove you to investigate EVERY SINGLE ORGANIZATION that gets your support?

    IRS
    PG&E
    The Water Company
    Waste Management
    Your mortgage company
    Your landlord
    Your employer
    The car you drive
    The gas station you fill up
    Your favorite brewer
    Your internet provider
    Redbox

    And on
    and on
    and on

    OR..............

    are you just jumping on the witchhunt bandwagon??

    Only you know the answer to that.
    some other those companies are discretionary and easily avoided. Power/water no so much. I'm not concerned with their views just STFU and provide the service or product.

  24. #24
    Snowjnky McDreamy
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    Redtube

    fixed

    Gonna go buy a stumpy and makeout with kmax at a chick fil-a.
    Brother Seamus?
    Like an Irish monk?
    Comic relief in a discussion does no harm..
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowjnky View Post
    fixed

    Gonna go buy a stumpy and makeout with kmax at a chick fil-a.
    Make sure you ride a Specialized bike there....

  26. #26
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    No onions prior to make-out. That's my only rule.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    Just curious, are you politically/ethically aligned with every company to whom you give your money?
    No.

    Obviously you misunderstood my point, or I was not clear in my post (both firsts for the forum postings, I am sure).
    Let me make it clear: I do not like the food at Chick-fil-a (shakes are the exception). So if I agree with the owners point of view or not, I would not make a special trip there to support him or his ideas.
    Trust me, the owner does not need your support, he is doing just fine.
    I no longer deserve a signature.

  28. #28
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    Oy vey. I think I did misunderstand your personal position. That's okay though. My position still stands

    By the way, never eaten there. In fact, haven't had fast food since March. Plant-based diet for me. Well, and beer too. But I think that's a plant.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    In fact, haven't had fast food since March. Plant-based diet for me.
    Serious question, why do you hate America so much?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    Plant-based diet for me. Well, and beer too. But I think that's a plant.
    I will say that If I find out my favorite brewers are terrorist supportin' infidel haters, then I WILL move my business elsewhere.
    Tonight however, while watching the Olympics, I sip a Newcastle in honor of the host country. Tasty!
    I no longer deserve a signature.

  31. #31
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    Because we can't make a good cheese!!! WTF.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by uphillnogo View Post
    I heard that Mikes Bikes will drop Cannondale for 2013. Since they carry Specialized I wonder if its because of pressure from S?
    i just got a note that Mikes is picking up Santa Cruz at some of their bigger stores.
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  33. #33
    jrm
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    My local LBS

    We want to support retailers who align their business with ours. We believe in the IBD and are always looking to strengthen our partnerships with the best retailers in every market. We don’t target specific brands; we invest in retailers who focus on Specialized,” Sinyard said.


    is a giant, bianchi and specialized dealer. So according to this he has to drop upwards of say 1/2 his bike, depending on sales percentage of each line, to remain as a specialized dealer. penalize your dealers if they dont solely sell your product...really?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loll View Post
    Passion trail bikes comes to mind as they carry both
    They recently dropped Giant. Not sure if this article has anything to do with that.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    Plant-based diet for me. Well, and beer too. But I think that's a plant.
    I only drink beer made from fermented meat (on principle).
    "A thing is right when it tends to perserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." - Aldo Leopold

  36. #36
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    If you are ethically opposed to the IRS you should get the **** out of this country...

    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    It was vaguely directed at SOB, but mainly toward anyone who takes a [very new trend] hardlined approach toward 'ethics commerce'. I'm not making a specific point here, since it would take more typing than my deadlines can afford, but just playing devil's advocate. The bottom line is, if you react to the popular media hot buttons with your dollars (and believe me, this Chick-Fil-A story is just the beginning), doesn't that behoove you to investigate EVERY SINGLE ORGANIZATION that gets your support?

    IRS
    PG&E
    The Water Company
    Waste Management
    Your mortgage company
    Your landlord
    Your employer
    The car you drive
    The gas station you fill up
    Your favorite brewer
    Your internet provider
    Redbox

    And on
    and on
    and on

    OR..............

    are you just jumping on the witchhunt bandwagon??

    Only you know the answer to that.

  37. #37
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    It's reasons like this that I don't buy Specialized...

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnyard99 View Post
    It's reasons like this that I don't buy Specialized...
    Meh ,Trek and Giant do essentially the same things just with different plans of attack. I think that the big thing is that most of the bigger bike companies want to be able to set themselves apart from other brands. Think of car dealerships, you wouldn't got to a Honda dealership to buy a GMC truck (unless it was a used vehicle on their lot). The car industry has separated themselves in this manner in order to better market and sell their product. Independent CAR dealers are much like IBD's only car dealerships get funding from automobile manufacturers to plaster their signs and company colors all over their dealerships. And lets say you wanted a Ferrari, well the ferrari dealership is almost always a Ferrari/Bentley/Lotus dealership. So why should it be any different for bicycles?

    Allow the major manufacturers in their own way to not only have their concept stores but to provide more support, service, and funding on the local shop level if a shop ditches a major competitor and focuses primarily on their one brand. Allow smaller niche brands to continue being sold in the same way they always have been. It's not exactly an unreasonable or unheard of business plan, just a weird and currently uncomfortable concept in the bike industry.
    The arsonist has oddly shaped feet!

  39. #39
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    I don't buy Trek or Giant either. Maybe I'm missing out on some great bikes, but I feel if they think their bikes are the best, they shouldn't need to push out the little guys.

  40. #40
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    When purchasing a bike, what it really boils down to are frames and components. I am sure most big bike companies (Specialized and Trek for sure) have good frames, but for a well spec'd bike the cost is too high for so many...and the wheelset on new bikes are almost always subpar.
    I have owned a several bikes over the last 10 years (Schwinn, Fuji, Cannondale, Motobecane, Soul Cycles, Misfit DiSSent, and Niner). The road bikes (Schwinn and Fuji) had 105 and Ultegra and were solid (still own the Fuji). The Motobecane was well spec'd and was solid (say what you wan't, I won races on that bike) but it was squish 26 and when I went to 29" I kept the good stuff and sold the rest. Finally decided that for my new mtb, custom was the only way to go. I built the Soul Cyles, the DiSSent, and the Niners with custom new and used parts for so much less than a new bike (and a better build). I now only own the 2004 Fuji (Cross) and a Niner Sir9 and One9. One more road bike will complete the set (likely a Ti Motobecane) and then maybe a Pugsley just for fun.
    Sorry Sprek and Trekalized, but I just can't afford ya'.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    Just curious, are you politically/ethically aligned with every company to whom you give your money?
    Like you, I also protest the meat industry by maintaining a plant based diet. I watch teh products I buy and make sure most come from an ethical place. But it's difficult to do, especially when buying commodities like electronics and such. But... the wife and I try our best.

    Specialized has a rich history of doing great things and not so great things. We just bought a Specialized Vita for my wife, not because of name brand, but because it fit her the best. Finding her an appropriate bike has been, like, a three year deal of buying them, selling them, buying them, selling them, etc. The Vita fit her perfect.

    I don't agree with this big business power move. I've owned three Specialized bikes in my life and they were fine. Don't know if this power move is enough for me to dissuade me in my next purchase, but it definitely doesn't score any brownie points.

  42. #42
    Axe
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    Friends do not let friends buy Specialized.

    Seriously though, their approach to retail, online sales, and parts selection on their bikes makes it not a good deal for an enthusiast. IMO. Yeah, I know, they ride fine - and I did own a Specialized bike. FSR from 94'. It worked well with some TLC for some 15 years. And a 2000 Crossroads A1 Pro, which was a good commuter.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    You are right. Dan Cathy is absolutely entitled to his opinion and I am entitled to mine in thinking he is wrong and never giving him a dollar.

    What I think is hilarious...and sad....sad and hilarious, and sad about this affair, is what can Dan Cathy do you? Not hire you to work one of his fryers? Perish the thought.

    But what can big city mayor or governor do to you provided they're willing to violate their oath of office, the law, and your civil rights if they don't like your ideas?

    What Don Cathy said is something a liberal might note and decide to consider next time they want a chicken sandwich. What Rahm Emanuel and Thomas Menino, said would cause an intellectually consistent liberal to start a recall campaign, or stock up on tar and feathers.

  44. #44
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphic View Post
    ...an intellectually consistent liberal ...

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphic View Post
    What I think is hilarious...and sad....sad and hilarious, and sad about this affair, is what can Dan Cathy do you? Not hire you to work one of his fryers? Perish the thought.
    What Don Cathy can do is donate millions of dollars to take away the rights of my friends and family, and keep them as second class citizens.

    To me, it is just as offensive as if he donated money to the KKK, or actively involved with groups who are trying to outlaw interracial marriage.

    To me, that is exactly the same issue. I won't contribute to his coffers and give him more power to give more money. Will he miss my $6? Probably not.

    But, I won't be 'part of the problem'.

    And like I said, I like Specy bikes. I had a StumpyFSR-XC that I rode the crap out of for years. I even like their 29er FS bikes. But, I won't spend any more money on a company that is involved in anti-competitive legal abuse or anti-competitive retail practices. It is bad for the bike industry, bad for the consumer, and bad for bike shops.

    I also won't buy an Ellsworth, since he donated like $4k to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign'.

    Again, I won't give Specy my money, because it goes to these kinds of shenanigans.

    I do keep my eyes out for companies that do good, and try to give them my business. I made it a point to buy New Balance trail running shoes because the actually pay their people a decent living wage, and at least some of their stuff is made in the USA. Oddly enough, their American made shoes weren't any more expensive than the competitor's shoes made in Vietnam.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 08-03-2012 at 07:23 PM.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    What Don Cathy can do is donate millions of dollars to take away the rights of my friends and family, and keep them as second class citizens.
    And you can donate millions of dollars to oppose him.

    What neither of you can do is command the guns and bullets of government to your political position as Menino and Emmanual made veiled threats towards. If the people of this country were still appropriately sensitive to the excesses of government both of those tyrants would be impeached by now and you and Cathy would be able to oppose one another within the bounds of the law as free men (or persons, or whatever).

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    What Don Cathy can do is donate millions of dollars to take away the rights of my friends and family, and keep them as second class citizens.

    To me, it is just as offensive as if he donated money to the KKK, or actively involved with groups who are trying to outlaw interracial marriage.

    To me, that is exactly the same issue. I won't contribute to his coffers and give him more power to give more money. Will he miss my $6? Probably not.
    Dan Cathy is just another of those religious people expressing his religions opinions that happens to conflict with some of your principles. You may as well take it out on the Catholics and Muslims as well. There aren't any Chick-fil-A's nearby, but why not hold a beer and BBQ outside the local Mosque to protest their religion too?

  48. #48
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    Specialized and Trek can have their concept stores all they want, but a normal bike store having a contract with Specialized is like developing cancer where first it starts with the bikes and soon it eats into your gloves and tires and waterbottles as well. It makes for a pretty homogeneous and bland shopping experience to see walls full of specialized stuff only.

    Anybody been to Cognition Cyclery on Castro street? How sad.

    Edit: Wait, didn't specialized do in the previous store?

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    To me, it is just as offensive as if he donated money to the KKK, or actively involved with groups who are trying to outlaw interracial marriage.
    KKK? Seriously? Seems like a stretch to compare. More then half of Californians shared his opinion (me.. I do not care, and I do not vote).

    BTW, did we already mention Hitler? Now, we did.

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    The problem with single brand stores is that you know you're going to be buying second rate products at some point; nobody makes the best of every kind of product. I'd much rather shop at a store when a very knowledgable buyer is surveying the entire market of available products and stocking the cream of the crop. That buyer is providing a valuable service in the market and I think the market will reward them. The buyer drinks the single brand koolaid is not going to be working very hard and will likely earn what they're worth.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    Dan Cathy is just another of those religious people expressing his religions opinions that happens to conflict with some of your principles. You may as well take it out on the Catholics and Muslims as well. There aren't any Chick-fil-A's nearby, but why not hold a beer and BBQ outside the local Mosque to protest their religion too?
    I don't donate money to Catholics. IMO, they already have tons of money that they aren't spending on the poor, as Jesus said to do. I did donate some money to a Christian organization for relief in Afghanistan when the floods hit. They actually helped rebuild some folks homes over there.

    I think this argument is a complete red herring anyway. It's like saying may as well get a 8 mpg SUV because it uses gas just like a Prius.

    If you don't think these things work, you're wrong. McDonalds stopped buying Brazilian beef (farmed by cutting down mega acres of rain forrest) when enough people stepped up to say something, and Target stores pulled their donations to that governor who opposed same sex marriage when a whole bunch of people stepped up.

    Whether they work or not, I won't contribute my dollars to making this world a crappier (IMO) place. I'm amazed anybody has a problem with that.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphic View Post
    The problem with single brand stores is that you know you're going to be buying second rate products at some point; nobody makes the best of every kind of product. I'd much rather shop at a store when a very knowledgable buyer is surveying the entire market of available products and stocking the cream of the crop. That buyer is providing a valuable service in the market and I think the market will reward them. The buyer drinks the single brand koolaid is not going to be working very hard and will likely earn what they're worth.
    I agree with what you are saying, but you are assuming the buyer just walks into a LBS and buys whats available. I, and I would suspect most on MTBR, do much of their shopping online before stepping into a LBS. I just bought a new Specialized Stumjumper FSR this week, not because a local shop sold me on a product, but because I did my research and found that this bike met my needs better than any other product in the market, both in specs and price. I then found a local shop selling Specialized that cut me nice deal. I was impressed with the shop, but they were most certainly a Specialized-centric shop.

    I am quite content giving my money to Specialized if they offer the bike I need at my price point. Next time I am in the market for a bike, it may or may note be a Specialized rig. I can survey the entire market initially without ever stepping foot into a LBS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewMaster View Post
    I agree with what you are saying, but you are assuming the buyer just walks into a LBS and buys whats available. I, and I would suspect most on MTBR, do much of their shopping online before stepping into a LBS.


    That maybe true for the MTBR crowd. I consider regular users of MTBR to be much more educated about the products they purchase and the decisions they make in regard to cycling products.
    However, ask around on the trails. MTBR users are a small minority when it comes to the world of mtn biking. There are tens of thousands of mtn bikers that blindly drink the kool-aid offered to them by Special-ed and Trek. They never venture into the online world to see the immense array of products available to them. It is just simply, 'Go the the bike shop and hand them my money'.
    And for most of them, that works. Ignorance really can be bliss. They don't realize what is possible, they just go out and have fun with what they have. I think these are the people Special-Ed and Trek are targeting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewMaster View Post

    I am quite content giving my money to Specialized if they offer the bike I need at my price point. Next time I am in the market for a bike, it may or may note be a Specialized rig. I can survey the entire market initially without ever stepping foot into a LBS.
    Here's the problem though. Survey away. When you need a new saddle you're not going to want to go to that shop, because all they'll be able to sell you is a S saddle. Sure, you can take $100 bets on something you order online, but wouldn't it be so much nicer if there was a shop that had about 5 brands of saddles that you could at least test ride around the parking lot before you purchased?

    That is service. That is what a BnM store needs to compete in this day and age. That is what an exclusive contract with Specialized takes away from the shops.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphic View Post
    Here's the problem though. Survey away. When you need a new saddle you're not going to want to go to that shop, because all they'll be able to sell you is a S saddle. Sure, you can take $100 bets on something you order online, but wouldn't it be so much nicer if there was a shop that had about 5 brands of saddles that you could at least test ride around the parking lot before you purchased?
    No way you could have known this, but that is exactly what I needed this week. Ended up ordering another WTB saddle online to match the one I already have on another bike, but I see your point.

    I don't think a Specialized-only (or Trek or Giant) meets all the needs of all riders all the time, but they do have their place. I personally am not a fan of Trek bikes, so shops that are exclusively Trek are choosing to forfeit my business. That's their choice. I think there will always be shops that tell the big boys to suck it with their exclusive contracts and make a way for themselves carrying a variety of brands. All of these business models are good for the industry IMO.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    That maybe true for the MTBR crowd. I consider regular users of MTBR to be much more educated about the products they purchase and the decisions they make in regard to cycling products.
    However, ask around on the trails. MTBR users are a small minority when it comes to the world of mtn biking. There are tens of thousands of mtn bikers that blindly drink the kool-aid offered to them by Special-ed and Trek. They never venture into the online world to see the immense array of products available to them. It is just simply, 'Go the the bike shop and hand them my money'.
    And for most of them, that works. Ignorance really can be bliss. They don't realize what is possible, they just go out and have fun with what they have. I think these are the people Special-Ed and Trek are targeting.

    And to that I say caveat emptor. Ignorance indeed is bliss and can be taken advantage of in any shop, not just the brand-specific shops. I have no sympathy for the ignorant.

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    You know, the other thing that occurred to me is this. I was on vacation this summer. Walked by a bike store on the way to dinner and from the window you could tell that it was a Specialized store. I had Zero desire to go in and look around, because I knew exactly what I'd find. Ah, yes, a whole herd of Hardrocks, a couple of Cambers, 3 different flavors of SJs, one or two 10k high enders, Captain, Purgatory, and Fasttrack tires, yadda yadda yadda. The exact same things as the store at home has, and if I wanted any of that I'd buy it from the local guys cause I'd prefer to support them.

    On the other hand I'f I'd walked by and saw, say.... a Pivot, or a Niner, or a some exotic DH bike, through the window, I'd have been in there in a shot.

  58. #58
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    I totally agree with that Metamorphic. I have the same thoughts when I pass a brand-specific store versus a truly independent bike shop.

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    welcome to america. sad but true, but its becoming the norm in business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    That maybe true for the MTBR crowd. I consider regular users of MTBR to be much more educated about the products they purchase and the decisions they make in regard to cycling products.
    However, ask around on the trails. MTBR users are a small minority when it comes to the world of mtn biking. There are tens of thousands of mtn bikers that blindly drink the kool-aid offered to them by Special-ed and Trek. They never venture into the online world to see the immense array of products available to them. It is just simply, 'Go the the bike shop and hand them my money'.
    And for most of them, that works. Ignorance really can be bliss. They don't realize what is possible, they just go out and have fun with what they have. I think these are the people Special-Ed and Trek are targeting.
    This is so, entirely and completely true. MTBR folks tend to hang out in an ivory tower, especially when it comes to purchasing decisions (WalMart, LBS, online, China direct, etc.). My wife, who is an "outsider" and and I had a discussion about this.

    What she said made a lot of sense - The idea that people are going in and dropping $4000-$6000 on a bike is an internet idealism. The REAL money maker for manufacturers is on bikes in the $500-$1200 range, and this is what, I'm willing to bet, makes up of the most of Specialized's sales. If they are offering incentives like store upgrades, point of purchase kiosks, support, shipping discounts, etc. - well, this is capitalism at its finest.

    The people I see cruising on the pathway on HardRocks and hybrids, or weekend warrior trail hustlers, have no clue that Specialized is doing this, nor, do I think they would care.

    Phillip Mollen, vegan and philanthropist, said this about meat slaughterhouses" "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we wouldn't be having this debate." Even if all big industry players had glass walls (and at this point with the internet, they do)... I don't know if it would affect their sales much. All the big players are doing well, in a crappy economy at that.

    All this information about perceived corruption is out there. I don't think people are reading about it, nor do I think the sheeple care: like they don't care about Monstano, unethical farming, blood diamonds, IRS, WalMart, etc. Just pay and live, pay and live, pay and live...

  61. #61
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    On a more serious note.. Fire in the Hole Compilation - YouTube

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    Yet another reason to boycott.

    Sorry Francois. I know they're a big supporter of this forum and make great bikes, and they do good trail access support. But they do treat their dealers like crap, as well as suing small mfgs for the smallest reasons... just because they know they can get away with it.

    So, clicky clicky:

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/224994423260/
    I hate that fvcking company.

    -edit- and add to your list stealing technology through litigation (stratos, RIP)
    Last edited by iheartbicycles; 08-04-2012 at 08:38 AM.
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    I bought a used* Specialized Tricross at an excellent price and i love how the bike rides, BUT i never see myself going into a Specialized dealer to do anything more than look around.
    I realize other brands and other businesses share similar tactics and practices. In this case, i try to avoid it.

    ...so i guess im in the group of people that'll boycott/take a stand when convenient haha (so most of the world)

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    It was vaguely directed at SOB, but mainly toward anyone who takes a [very new trend] hardlined approach toward 'ethics commerce'. I'm not making a specific point here, since it would take more typing than my deadlines can afford, but just playing devil's advocate. The bottom line is, if you react to the popular media hot buttons with your dollars (and believe me, this Chick-Fil-A story is just the beginning), doesn't that behoove you to investigate EVERY SINGLE ORGANIZATION that gets your support?

    IRS
    PG&E
    The Water Company
    Waste Management
    Your mortgage company
    Your landlord
    Your employer
    The car you drive
    The gas station you fill up
    Your favorite brewer
    Your internet provider
    Redbox

    And on
    and on
    and on

    OR..............

    are you just jumping on the witchhunt bandwagon??

    Only you know the answer to that.
    Specialized has been doing this BS for years. There's no jumping on the bandwagon. People that have been paying attention have been calling out Specialized for a long time. finally people are listening.

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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    KKK? Seriously? Seems like a stretch to compare. More then half of Californians shared his opinion (me.. I do not care, and I do not vote).

    BTW, did we already mention Hitler? Now, we did.
    Yah. That's more than a little salatious.

    Schit tons of americans hold this view of religion and marriage.

    We are all KKK now!
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  66. #66
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    Walmart gives money to pro-abortion every year. They want to put a Chick-fil-a in Mountain View, but I don't eat fast food so I would never go there anyways. I wonder how bike shops in other states feel about the pressure of the BIG S. Do they not receive the same treatment?
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-max View Post
    Just curious, are you politically/ethically aligned with every company to whom you give your money?
    As much as I can, yes. I vote with my wallet, after all that's how the free market works.

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    Sorry Dudeness, but your Car simile doesn't work very well. There is a Honda / GMC dealer in Napa. Along with a VW Subaru dealer. Also a Volvo / Kia / Chrysler dealer. And, Ferrari, Bentley, and Lotus are all seperately owned, so that is a perfect example of a shop similar to a bike shop.

    Granted, the manufacturers in some cases would rather not share a single store with another brand. But they realize that in order for the business to stay successful they need to share space with another brand, in order to bring in business. You would be surprised to find out how many families buy a GMC truck for dad, a Honda CRV, for mom and a Civic for the daughter, all from that same store, because they like doing business with them.

    If all a store sells is Specialized, but you had your heart set on a Glory, well guess what, you are not gonna go to that store, and that store is gonna sell one less bicycle, and now that store will make less money, and so on down the line, till they don't make enough to warrant keeping the doors open.

    Specialized offers alot of different options though. Also, I think they have some brand owned stores too, like trek right? Which is considered illegal in the car biz...
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    I will never waste my hard earned cash this #$%&.

    Specialized is a company that all MTB websites & MTB mags are in bed with, so they say what a good product it is. I ride a Titus ML1 and believe that a Specialized bike could not beat my bike in any category. To me ridding a Specialized, is like wearing skinny jeans, or what ever passing fade. Thats just my two cents.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by uphillnogo View Post
    I heard that Mikes Bikes will drop Cannondale for 2013. Since they carry Specialized I wonder if its because of pressure from S?
    Mikes people were vague about their reasons for dropping Cannondale -- "it was a mutual decision" -- but I would be very surprised if "Specialized made them do it." No bike shop has to carry Specialized bikes; there are plenty of other brands. If it were not a good brand you would not see bike shops clamoring to carry it. I have bought several Specialized bikes and service from Mikes and am very happy with their service (and the bikes). I am glad to see they are picking up Santa Cruz.

    For people comparing Specialized to nazis and the like, it must be nice to live in a fairy tale world of make-believe. No, this is not a tiny company making bikes out of a garage. Surprise!

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jfloren View Post
    No, this is not a tiny company making bikes out of a garage. Surprise!
    Neither are Giant, Trek, Merida, Norco, Scott, Cannondale, Fuji, Jamis... But nobody behaves quite like Specialized clowns.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewMaster View Post
    I agree with what you are saying, but you are assuming the buyer just walks into a LBS and buys whats available. I, and I would suspect most on MTBR, do much of their shopping online before stepping into a LBS. I just bought a new Specialized Stumjumper FSR this week, not because a local shop sold me on a product, but because I did my research and found that this bike met my needs better than any other product in the market, both in specs and price. I then found a local shop selling Specialized that cut me nice deal. I was impressed with the shop, but they were most certainly a Specialized-centric shop.

    I am quite content giving my money to Specialized if they offer the bike I need at my price point. Next time I am in the market for a bike, it may or may note be a Specialized rig. I can survey the entire market initially without ever stepping foot into a LBS.
    This is one of those sneaky posts. You make a valid point but it is unrelated to the real problem. It's great that Specialized makes a bike that fits what you are looking for but that doesn't justify their trying to shut others out of the market. That is just BS. They have pretty good product development so I am not sure what they are so afraid of.

    I want a shop that chooses product based on it's own merit and not something that gets them better discounts or terms on a line of bikes. Knowing what works in a given area is one of the most valuable services an LBS can provide. It makes me trust their product choices a lot more when there are diverse options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    If they are offering incentives like store upgrades, point of purchase kiosks, support, shipping discounts, etc. - well, this is capitalism at its finest...
    Well...not really. That depends on what they ask in return. This is a case were the consumer's freedom of choice should trump a company's freedom to crush it's competition through whatever means necessary. While I am sure this has been vetted by their legal department it really doesn't live up to the ideal of letting products compete in the market place.

    Specialized has a long history of sucking in this department. I would be lying if I said it hasn't influenced my purchasing decisions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Giggity View Post
    Well...not really. That depends on what they ask in return. This is a case were the consumer's freedom of choice should trump a company's freedom to crush it's competition through whatever means necessary. While I am sure this has been vetted by their legal department it really doesn't live up to the ideal of letting products compete in the market place.

    Specialized has a long history of sucking in this department. I would be lying if I said it hasn't influenced my purchasing decisions.
    Well, it is. While not justifying Specialized's actions AT ALL, the competitors are being forced to step it up. This sucks for them, though... Specialized sits on the throne as in this niche market as Walmart does in the general public. Look at what Walmart does! It's obviously not hurting them any in terms of losing customers. So, they lose a couple of people who watched a Netflix documentary... "so what?" is their attitude, I'm sure. With every lost customer, they've gained 300 through their competitive price, accessibility and potent marketing, a la Specialized on a much smaller level.

    Go to your LBS who carries Specialized. Look what's in the prominently in the front display window. SPECIALIZED - usually displayed with a beautiful backdrop. As an LBS, who is also trying to make a buck... I couldn't turn down a display like that. As a businessman... that would be an incentive, and a smart business decision - and if Specialized is what makes up 80% of my business - of course I'm going to buy in to their requests. A competitor would have to come in with a better offer for me to consider taking down the Specialized display and putting in theirs.

    And, just like Walmart, they will do what is within legal limits to crush. It is not a monopoly, because we all have the choice to not buy from them. As long as that choice is offered, we can use capitalism to our advantage.

    Specialized also covers every aspect of cycling, from MTB's, road, cyclocross, BMX, children, hybrids... they have clothing, parts and bike accessories that just destroys everybody else. Who else is doing it on that level? Obviously they have a great business plan, because over the years they have expanded their product line that is unmatched on the market. Most all of their products fits within an array of budgets. While not impressed with the bullying they do... I'm incredibly impressed, from a strictly business standpoint, with what they've done with their product lines... I can't think of another bike manufacturer that has it covered like they do. To top it all off, there are a million fan boys who wear Specialized kits to match their bike, making them a moving advertisement.

    We don't have to agree with it, but it is the nature of the beast. The positive side of capitalism is we have choices. However - this is what us small group of people know. I don't think the mini-van mom who's looking at buying her teenage boy a new, "quality" bike to get around on knows, or quite frankly, cares.

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    Last edited by gurp; 08-06-2012 at 08:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Giggity View Post
    This is one of those sneaky posts. You make a valid point but it is unrelated to the real problem. It's great that Specialized makes a bike that fits what you are looking for but that doesn't justify their trying to shut others out of the market. That is just BS. They have pretty good product development so I am not sure what they are so afraid of.
    I was not intending to be sneaky, but I do believe it is directly related to the issue at hand. My point was that I didn't buy a bike based on what the shop had in stock or told me was good for me, I bought a bike that happened to be a Specialized because it fit my needs, regardless of whether they gave the shop and deal or squeezed someone else out of the market. I did my research independently so to a customer like me, I don't care what a shop decides to carry until I decide what bike I wanted. A diverse shop that carried all the big and boutique brands would not have won my business in this case because the Specialized bike fit my needs. That is a great example of Specialized competing in a diverse marketplace and satisfying a customer.

    If I had decided I wanted an Ibis, Santa Cruz, or any other smaller brand, the Specialized-only shop would have lost my business. Shops have to align themselves with brands, either large or small, in order to survive. A shop's real product is their customer service and wrenching. They are just a conduit for the hardware and don't add much value to a customer like me in that respect.

    Bottom line, to a consumer like me, I don't care what brands a LBS aligns itself with. When it comes time for me to buy a bike, I will find a shop that carries the brand I want.

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    This is quite funny to me as my LBS only sells specialized

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewMaster View Post
    Bottom line, to a consumer like me, I don't care what brands a LBS aligns itself with. When it comes time for me to buy a bike, I will find a shop that carries the brand I want.
    Also, bottom line, if I was a dealer, I would align myself with the company that was going to give me top of the line treatment. If a manufacturer told me, as a dealer, they were going to give me all these incentives, shipping discounts, displays, store improvements, first pick on new products, training of the repair/shop staff AND that manufacturer's products made up most of my business - it would be a no-brainer. I would look at my past sales and see if being an exclusive Specialized dealer is worth it. In many cases, it may be. Remember, the local bike shop has to stay alive, too - and if other manufacturers are not stepping up to the plate, then they get dropped.

    Why, as a local dealer/bike shop would I stick with another manufacturer who wasn't going to do the same or better for me?

    Out on the trail, is it fair that some riders have better/lighter/faster bikes that provide an advantage over whatever you have? Well... that's to be debated. Whether it's fair or not, most riders would "invest" in themselves and sink some cash on a new ride to "keep up" if not, be better than the dude next to you.

    Again, I'm just playing devils advocate, but I can see the logic in these business decisions. I can imagine a shop owner thinking this was a win-win for his shop, all the employees and Specialized.

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    Specialized is a scumbag company with ZERO integrity and honor to this sport. They only care about making money just like if they were corrupt politicians or bankers.

    This isn't the first time they've done something like this. In fact they have even gone far lengths to sue small bike shops.

    BOYCOTT THESE GREEDY DIRT BAGS. Fu*k you Specialized!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Addict View Post
    Specialized is a scumbag company with ZERO integrity and honor to this sport. They only care about making money just like if they were corrupt politicians or bankers.
    Unless you know of a high end bike company giving away their goods, then they are all trying to make money like any normal business. Get over it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewMaster View Post
    Unless you know of a high end bike company giving away their goods, then they are all trying to make money like any normal business. Get over it.
    Normal business is ordering bike shops to stop carrying a certain brand and suing them?

    If you are actually in favor of this then you are no different from the scumbags running Specialized.

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    I talked to someone at Mike's about them dropping Cannondale because I own one. He told me that Cannondale has become harder and harder to work with over the years. He said that since they were bought out it got worse and they were not the same American made bike maker that they once were but now more of a big box type of company that didn't care about who bought their stuff, just that they were being sold. I don't know if that is the truth but it sounded reasonable to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewMaster View Post
    Unless you know of a high end bike company giving away their goods, then they are all trying to make money like any normal business. Get over it.
    Oh, how about pretty much every other one? Some of them do get involved in lawsuits (like Santa Cruz vs Yeti etc.) but pretty much all are turning a profit and making good bikes without resorting to tactics, like pushing brands that allow internet sales from retail locations, and other crap S tries to do.

    Nobody asks anybody to give stuff away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewMaster View Post
    Unless you know of a high end bike company giving away their goods, then they are all trying to make money like any normal business. Get over it.
    First off, nobody is asking anybody to give anything away.

    Secondly, There are many companies out there turning a decent profit while offering good products at a good price, without strong arming their dealers into anti-trust style business practices.

    Third off, by 'get over it', what do you mean? Sounds like you are saying 'buy from them anyway'.

    Well, I can't I have a conscience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Addict View Post
    Specialized is a scumbag company with ZERO integrity and honor to this sport. They only care about making money just like if they were corrupt politicians or bankers.

    This isn't the first time they've done something like this. In fact they have even gone far lengths to sue small bike shops.

    BOYCOTT THESE GREEDY DIRT BAGS. Fu*k you Specialized!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Addict View Post
    Specialized is a scumbag company with ZERO integrity and honor to this sport. They only care about making money just like if they were corrupt politicians or bankers.

    This isn't the first time they've done something like this. In fact they have even gone far lengths to sue small bike shops.

    BOYCOTT THESE GREEDY DIRT BAGS. Fu*k you Specialized!
    Don't you think that would hurt the local shops?

    Take, say, Trailhead down here in San Jose. Good group of guys, good shop, good reputation, Lars is a mench... they carry A LOT of Specialized stuff, I would say it's 85% of their bikes if not more.

    Boycott Specialized? And cut out 85% of those great guys business? What about the great shops who decide to go 100% Specialized? Hurt that local business, as well?

    This is definitely a double edge sword, isn't it? As far as making money... don't we all care about that?

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    This may be somewhat OT, but the big BMC beer guys do the same thing. They require stores to allocate a certain amount of cooler space for their product, even if that means putting the temperature-sensitive beers on the floor.

    Big companies have always strong armed stores like this. Kind of a crappy move - they should let their products speak for themselves. If a company pulls a move like this I don't agree with, I generally sit down and think about it over a nice, hot Chick-fil-A sando.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Boycott Specialized? And cut out 85% of those great guys business? What about the great shops who decide to go 100% Specialized? Hurt that local business, as well?

    This is definitely a double edge sword, isn't it? As far as making money... don't we all care about that?
    I am sure there are good alternatives to Specialized. They will do fine if their business is actually impacted. Maybe they will even do better with other brands.

    If you care about good local store - it is Specialized who was employing big business strong arming to drive a whole lot of those nice small shop out of business. Just like Walmart.

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    Good job!

    Has anyone taken into account that other smaller bike companies don't do these things because they simply can't afford it? Lawyers aren't cheap. I love the way my spesh rides, don't love their policies - so I bought a used sj and haven't looked back. I agree - get over it, they are running a business for profit. If you don't like it don't buy it, but there isn't a need to vilify anyone for a difference of opinion. I've read way to much of that on mtbr lately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Don't you think that would hurt the local shops?

    Take, say, Trailhead down here in San Jose. Good group of guys, good shop, good reputation, Lars is a mench... they carry A LOT of Specialized stuff, I would say it's 85% of their bikes if not more.

    Boycott Specialized? And cut out 85% of those great guys business? What about the great shops who decide to go 100% Specialized? Hurt that local business, as well?
    Any business person worth more than $100 would not put all of their eggs in one basket. Beside that, selling only Specialized bikes basically makes the shop an official Specialized shop. I can't imagine any of the successful people I know putting their money on the line to promote one company's bikes. That should be left to Specialized - to open their own corporate-owned store.

    Only one shop in my area sells Special Ed bikes. If shops refused to sell their bikes, there would be plenty of alternative brands to sell. Specialized is not the keystone of the industry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sumgai View Post
    Any business person worth more than $100 would not put all of their eggs in one basket. Beside that, selling only Specialized bikes basically makes the shop an official Specialized shop. I can't imagine any of the successful people I know putting their money on the line to promote one company's bikes. That should be left to Specialized - to open their own corporate-owned store.

    Only one shop in my area sells Special Ed bikes. If shops refused to sell their bikes, there would be plenty of alternative brands to sell. Specialized is not the keystone of the industry.
    The reality is that many LBS's have Specialized as a staple in their store, which I am sure they make most of their money from. Let's say this very hypothetical situation that people actually do rise up and boycott Specialized, and it works - customers stop buying those bikes. To think it wouldn't hurt those stores is wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan G. View Post
    Specialized isn’t the only brand playing the game...
    Did you guys miss this in the article? Who else is doing this? Boycott them too? Pretty soon, we'll all be forced to buy Rock Lobsters, Lynsky's and DeSalvos!

    I'm not defending Specialized, but again... this is competition. It sucks, it's nasty, but it's the nature of the beast. Look what Barnes and Noble did to the mom and pop book store industry... and now look what happened to them - killed by capitalism with competitive Amazon.com. Look at what Netflix did to the video rental industry... obliterated it. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle that will be affected both positively and negatively when you start looking at the big picture.

    Nobody boycotted Barnes and Noble nor Blockbuster... they just got destroyed by capitalism. Were they evil companies? Some would argue "yes" for putting the mom and pops out of business. Are Amazon and Netflix "evil" for destroying Barnes and Noble? Don't know, that's debatable.
    Last edited by Dion; 08-06-2012 at 06:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zkrazy View Post
    Has anyone taken into account that other smaller bike companies don't do these things because they simply can't afford it? Lawyers aren't cheap. I love the way my spesh rides, don't love their policies - so I bought a used sj and haven't looked back. I agree - get over it, they are running a business for profit. If you don't like it don't buy it, but there isn't a need to vilify anyone for a difference of opinion. I've read way to much of that on mtbr lately.
    Capitalism is a two way street. Consumers are allowed and encouraged to make educated purchasing decisions. We're simply educating consumers. This is a product review site after all!

    here's some facts about specialized:

    Specialized is a company who made its start by stealing. They took two bikes from charlie kelly and sent them to japan to be copied. They've stolen technology through litigation - succesfully putting Stratos suspension out of business and stealing the "brain" valve technology from them in the process.

    They basically put mountain cycle out of business when they sued them for the name "stumptown."

    Epic designs was forced to change their name.

    WTB Epicwolf was forced to change to the "exiwolf"

    Volagi is one of the few companies to successfully fight back.

    When the economy took a dump in 2008, Specialized revised their credit agreements for their dealers, forcing them to pay immediately. This put some dealers completely out of business, and others simply had to give back their inventory. There's a lot fewer specialized dealers than their used to be, because of this. And a lot of bad blood.

    Now what they do is front load the fvck out of a shop. They force a shop to take a certain amount, and that's a massive amount. That leverages the shop, because they ship up to the shop's credit limit. Then, when the shop inevitably sells a bike that isn't in stock, they have to prepay on the previous order in order to get the sold bike, handcuffing the shop. Is a brilliant way to strongarm a shop, and keep the sales guys always pushing specialized, because they have to to stay afloat.
    Last edited by iheartbicycles; 08-06-2012 at 07:53 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    The reality is that many LBS's have Specialized as a staple in their store, which I am sure they make most of their money from. Let's say this very hypothetical situation that people actually do rise up and boycott Specialized, and it works - customers stop buying those bikes. To think it wouldn't hurt those stores is wrong.
    Not wrong. The reality is that many LBSs (there's no ' to show plurality) do not sell Specialized products and turn a profit. How do shops that do not carry anything Specialized stay in business? Like I said, only one shop in my area carries S bikes. The others carry and thrive on selling Trek, Giant, Felt, BMC, Yeti, Santa Cruz, etc. Like I said, Specialized is not the keystone of the industry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Look what Barnes and Noble did to the mom and pop book store industry... and now look what happened to them - killed by capitalism with competitive Amazon.com. Look at what Netflix did to the video rental industry... obliterated it. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle that will be affected both positively and negatively when you start looking at the big picture.

    Nobody boycotted Barnes and Noble nor Blockbuster... they just got destroyed by capitalism. Were they evil companies? Some would argue "yes" for putting the mom and pops out of business. Are Amazon and Netflix "evil" for destroying Barnes and Noble? Don't know, that's debatable.
    Those are bad and invalid comparisons. Amazon and Netflix did not take over their respective industries by forcing shops to carry certain products at the exclusion of others. They did so by completely circumventing existing distribution strategies, which added value to customers by increasing selection and offering quick and affordable shipping terms. Specialized is not adding value. It's a completely different model than the bike industry.

    You're talking about a company who produces products, Specialized, versus companies that simply distribute products, Amazon and Netflix, made by other companies. Specialized is not taking over by improving distribution efficiency. It's trying to strong-arm its way into more shops. I believe the mafia uses the same tactics to run its businesses. Those guys (sometimes) go to jail for doing that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sumgai View Post
    Not wrong. The reality is that many LBSs (there's no ' to show plurality) do not sell Specialized products and turn a profit. How do shops that do not carry anything Specialized stay in business? Like I said, only one shop in my area carries S bikes. The others carry and thrive on selling Trek, Giant, Felt, BMC, Yeti, Santa Cruz, etc. Like I said, Specialized is not the keystone of the industry.



    Those are bad and invalid comparisons. Amazon and Netflix did not take over their respective industries by forcing shops to carry certain products at the exclusion of others. They did so by completely circumventing existing distribution strategies, which added value to customers by increasing selection and offering quick and affordable shipping terms. Specialized is not adding value. It's a completely different model than the bike industry.

    You're talking about a company who produces products, Specialized, versus companies that simply distribute products, Amazon and Netflix, made by other companies. Specialized is not taking over by improving distribution efficiency. It's trying to strong-arm its way into more shops. I believe the mafia uses the same tactics to run its businesses. Those guys (sometimes) go to jail for doing that.
    Yay! Mafia reference. Have we used nazi's or Hitler yet?

    My point is that this is capitalism - it's not hugs and kisses and feel good. It isn't fair. Some companies will get destroyed, and some will flourish.

    My comparison was apples to pineapples at best, but what people are failing to see is that the market will balance itself out. When Specialized pulled their shenanigans with that brewing company over the logo... everybody got their panties in a bunch. People were calling for their heads on platters...

    What happened, in terms of Specialized's market share? NOTHING. Still booming in terms of business. I'm not saying that this is right or I like the company more or less... I'm saying that this is what we have subscribed to in the U.S. It's not right and it borders certain ethics - but take a look at what Monsanto does. Look at what the meat industry does. Certainly much more evil than Specialized Bikes - yet how many enjoyed pork, chicken or beef from the supermarket this weekend?

    People ask me about why I'm a vegetarian... and I tell them because I hate what the meat industry does - I love the taste of meat, but the evil the industry does overrides that. They look at me and say, "Oh, okay..." and really don't give a sh|t.

    And, again... like the article says, they aren't the only ones "playing the game". I suspect they all pull this sort of thing. Shall we boycott them too while were at it? I'm curious what sort of antics others are doing that's not published.
    Last edited by Dion; 08-06-2012 at 08:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Addict View Post
    Specialized is a scumbag company with ZERO integrity and honor to this sport. They only care about making money just like if they were corrupt politicians or bankers.

    This isn't the first time they've done something like this. In fact they have even gone far lengths to sue small bike shops.

    BOYCOTT THESE GREEDY DIRT BAGS. Fu*k you Specialized!
    If they weren't out to make money and be successful in a fairly challenging industry then they would fail. You don't think that owners of bike shops don't tell customers to not go to the other shop in town. You don't think that a good car mechanic won't tell you to not go to the "other guy?" And you think that bike companies are solely in it for the Bro-down fun of it and NOT to make money? Don't be ridiculous dude. Even small time companies like Transition wouldn't be making bikes if it wasn't for money, and if they had an opportunity to strengthen their dealer base and make more money down the road you'd be an absolute fool to think that they wouldn't do it. Greed? Sure. But if you weren't greedy at all you wouldn't live where you do, drive what you drive, and ride what you ride.

    Forget the image you have of your smaller niche bike company being the ones with the soul and the stoke to always be cool and hip. Everyone out there is in it to make their bank account bigger, it's just that some companies have been more successful and have the resources to do more to make more. This industry, like every other, is driven on profit margins. Sorry to dirty up your super safe and sanitized view of the "little guys" in the bike industry, but you've got to understand that if it weren't for money none of these guys would be able to put food on their tables and have a roof over their heads. You've got to imagine that at some point they're going to want better food and a bigger roof.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized is a company who made its start by stealing. They took two bikes from charlie kelly and sent them to japan to be copied.
    If you are ok with this, then continue to give them your money. If you are not, then DON'T BE SPORTIN' THE "S"!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    My point is that this is capitalism - it's not hugs and kisses and feel good. It isn't fair. Some companies will get destroyed, and some will flourish.
    Even in a regulated capitalism society karma is a bitсh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by his dudeness View Post
    Even small time companies like Transition wouldn't be making bikes if it wasn't for money, and if they had an opportunity to strengthen their dealer base and make more money down the road you'd be an absolute fool to think that they wouldn't do it.
    And yet Transition forwarded me where to get a good deal on their frame online and manages to do fine without telling their dealers to stop carrying other bike or component brands.

    It is entirely possible to have a successful business and not be a jerk.

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    just read this, i think specialized needs to find a better lawyer to explain how the laws around competition work in this country.

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    I do like their Captain as a rear tire. Does it make me a bad person?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    I do like their Captain as a rear tire. Does it make me a bad person?
    No, not at all.

    Specialized by no doubt makes incredible products. They put a lot of effort in designing tires. frames, and components. I have had some of their tires and they are amazingly made and designed.

    It's just their so called business practices that now make me steer clear of them. The only way i would own a Specialized bike would be if someone was selling theirs at a steal. I have to admit I do very much like their carbon Stumpjumper 29 models.

    But in other words I truly hate the company, but the products? Not so much.

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