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Thread: Ti epic frame

  1. #1
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    Ti epic frame

    Whats up with this: ti epic frame? Anyone know anything about it?
    Herro prease

  2. #2
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    That is a normal 2003 Epic and has nothing to do with titanium or Aerolite!

    Esben

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    Don't know what was with Esben, they are definately showing an epic rear end on their website. Who knows if it is actually ti or if they have just stolen the picture. Could have been a custom job, but if they are selling these, it isn't anywhere else on the website, and they would be infringing on Specialized patents, unless the bike is only available in China where those patents might not be recognized.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalpete
    Don't know what was with Esben, they are definately showing an epic rear end on their website. Who knows if it is actually ti or if they have just stolen the picture. Could have been a custom job, but if they are selling these, it isn't anywhere else on the website, and they would be infringing on Specialized patents, unless the bike is only available in China where those patents might not be recognized.
    Aerolite is a canadian brand and US patents are only good in the US.

  5. #5
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    Speaking of patents, Specialized is in court with Scott:

    Specialized is embroiled in yet another patent dispute over its FSR four-bar linkage suspension patent. The company recently filed a lawsuit against Scott USA, seeking to prevent the company from selling its two Genius full-suspension mountain bike models in the United States.

    Scott USA officials said they plan to fight the lawsuit. "Our Genius design was independently developed by Scott and offers unique features," said Scott Montgomery, the vice president of Scott USA's bicycle division.

    "The Specialized litigation involves U.S. patents. Specialized has no corresponding patent in Europe or elsewhere, and therefore this dispute has no impact on our continuing sales in Europe and other parts of the world," Montgomery added.

    Specialized officials did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.

    The FSR design originated in August 1991 when Specialized and Horst Leitner co-developed the four-bar link design, which incorporated the patented Horst Link. Specialized assumed control of several key suspension patents from Leitner in May 1998.

    Specialized and G. Joannu Cycle reached an agreement in February after Specialized filed a similar infringement lawsuit alleging that the Jamis Dakar models infringed on the patent. Several other smaller companies, among them Colnago and Kestrel, license the patent.

    Giant also agreed not to sell its popular NRS full-suspension mountain bikes in the United States for one year in 1999. Although Specialized did not file a lawsuit against Giant, which is one of its main original equipment bike suppliers, it did contact it alleging infringement. Like Scott USA, Giant said its NRS bikes did not infringe on the Specialized patent and continued selling them in other markets around the world.
    Trev!

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    Does anyone know how much Specialized charges to use the Horst design? It can't be too high if small builders like Intense can afford to license it, right?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtpaws
    Does anyone know how much Specialized charges to use the Horst design? It can't be too high if small builders like Intense can afford to license it, right?
    Is Intense such a small builder? I wouldnt say so. They might not produce as much as specialized or giant, but they still do produce quite a few bikes. As for Scott, Specialized has the patent and they should be paid for the usage of it. It is fair. Its not like Scott invented the design.
    Herro prease

  8. #8
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    well, depends what design you mean... neither horst leitner not specialized actually originated what is considered the current FSR layout. That credit goes to to MRC's Boom Shaka full suspension. See when Horst was doing the B-4 and Specialized's 4-bar FSR had the shock vertically behind the seattube, MRC had an interrupted seat tube mac-strut with a stabilizing link. Presto, the 4-bar platform that Horst would evolve the B4 to B5 with and then Specialized would copy for the next version FSRs.

    And for that matter, Green Cycles's GreenHornet was a 4-bar swing-link bike very much like Jamis went to for the dakars. Not to mention the work of Dave Turner and 3D Racing's Chris Herting on walking beam 4-bar bikes in 1992. And then there's Mert Lawhill's 4-bar design that goes back to the late 80s and predates any of Horst's work on bicycles.

    4 bar suspension is very old hat in motorcycles and automobiles, and the whole idea that specialized originated anything is comical to say the least.

  9. #9
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    Well, just goes to show you shouldnt listen to anything I say .
    Herro prease

  10. #10
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    Horst link is 10 or €12 per frame. Not much, so Specialiazed sues anyone with any suspension design and this way slows doen many an FS to hit the market. Actually, European builders pay for the Horst link as well.
    Oh, only not I see the part about Specialized suing everyone :-) I know Cube is putting out a great new bike, the Airmatic, but Specialized tries to stop it. The design actually looks nowhere near the Horst bikes of the past that I know.

    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  11. #11
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    People often prescribe innovation to specialized where its not justified. For example, its commonly held that the Stumpjumper was the first "mass" produced mountain bike. And while it might very well have been such in the USA, but in other countries, other brands had mass produced mountain bikes a year or two earlier. I once owned a canadian model Nishiki Caribou which was all original (save a stolen front wheel), and it dated to a year earlier than specialized's first stumpjumper. It has a mix of suntour, sugino and dia-compe parts, 15 speeds, thumbshifters, cantilever brakes, and a Tange Mangaloy frame and fork (Manganese-steel alloy, Reynolds was another brand doing Manganese alloys around the same time period, for frame tubesets).

    Of course Gary Fisher claims to have invented mountain bikes, but about the only truth to that is he owned a company called as I recall, The Mountain Bike Company, and he had Tom Ritchey building framesets for him. Tom and Joe Breeze had been building the frames of that nature themselves for years before Fisher got involved. Not to mention some cuppertino riders that predated all three of them by several years. MBA did a history report on them a few years ago, and included a photo from the 1974 Cyclocross Nationals race that had in the front row, Gary Fisher, Tom Ritchey and Joe Breeze on cyclocross bikes, staring back at this group of riders on balloon tired cruisers with multiple gear chainrings and cogsets, mafac cantilever and centerpull brakes (not to mention a few drum brakes), and swept back flat bars and riser bars. They'd never seen such strange looking bicycles before.

    But if you go back in time even further, Bianchi has a few ancient military bike design patents from the days when bicycle mounted formations were "normal" in most european armies (as an alternative to horse mounted calvary - Switzerland still had a bicycle battalion well into the late 1990s), that could qualify today as being mountain bikes (fat tires, full suspension, hub-mounted brakes, multiple gears).

  12. #12
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    In all fairness, anyone who knows the industry knows that Specialized simply bought those patents in a rather canny business move. Even smarter was their decision to license them without being basically forced to (see i.e. Shimano Octolink I splined cranks and ISIS).

    However, the value of the 4 bar patent is starting to drop due to the SPV rear shocks, which make most single pivot bikes handle quite nicely, and similarly smart move by Santa Cruz to pick up its own rear suspension patents.

    Further, Specialized does do a decent amount of suspension innovation on its own right and in conjuction with Fox. This year was no exception. Plus add in the innovations in their road and apparel lines, and its clear that Specialized spends a good deal on R&D.

  13. #13
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    MANY companies buy patents. Often the inventor lacks the financial backing or the manufacturing capability to produce their own products. Spec bout FSR, SC bought VPP, Progressive licences CV/t, etc... It's an easy way to insure some finacial success for the inventor to go to a established reputable company and licence it for royalties or sell it outright to make a buck, otherwise the might not ever make any income off of their invention. They also probably lack the financial backing to protect their patent. Lets say I invented someting, and was trying to market it. Some big 50 million a year company rips me off and starts producing it. I'd never be able to afford to fight them for it, and I'd probably go bankrupt trying....


    Wheter or not Spec ivented the FSR is irrelevant. They own the design. They need to protect it. If they didn't it would negate the need for patents in the first place.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve3
    SC bought their patents too.

    Wasn't it Outland that owned them and I think C'Dale has some VPP patents, as well?
    Yep- that's what I meant by "picked up" it was a pretty savvy move by them.

  15. #15
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    I believe the Specialized patent on the FSR is due to the placement of the rear pivot being on the chainstay at the rear dropout. So many companies make 4-bar suspension frames (like Kona) without paying any royalties to Specialized.
    US patents usually do apply in Canada as well, there is actually an international formation of contries which honour multi-national patents. I would be surprised if the horst-link patent was not a part of this international body.

    You can check all the rules at www.uspto.gov

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