Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Urban Outfiiters is in the news as of late for stealing a jewelry designer's ideas: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/26/urban-outfitters-continue_n_867604.html#postComment.

What does this have to do with bicycles you ask? Well, here is my story.

As some of you may know, I started a second company called Bates Crates. I have been building high end wooden crates for the front of bikes for 3 years now. Here is a link to the first one I built- notice the date in the link... http://1lesscarnews.blogspot.com/2008/12/porter-box.html.

That was the first crate I built, but a few months later I designed what we called the Classic Crate, and within a few months we were contracted by Trek to design a crate for them (The Model T): http://1lesscarnews.blogspot.com/2009/08/biggest-news-in-one-less-car-history.html.

Now that you know the background, a few months ago I was alerted to company *cough*SUNLITE*cough* making a REALLY cheap knock of of my crate (along with another person or two on blogger).

About a month ago, Urban Outfitters emailed asking about selling my crates. I told them my wholesale price and below was there response:

Hi Cole,
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. We have a similar basket right now that retails for $40 and I really can’t work with a wholesale cost of $90 since we have such high margins. Thank you so much though.

So I decided to take a look on their site and this what I found: http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=20758819&CAWELAID=857891016.

Not only is a direct rip-off of my design, but they stole the name too!

It sucks for multiple reasons. First, I spent a lot of time making these, then sales slowed down, and now I have a decent idea of why.

I don’t have enough cash to hire a lawyer, and we all know Urban Outfitters has deeper pockets than me, so it looks like they're just going to get away with it... but I hope not.

Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated!



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First things first- I know everybody knows (you should...), and I was on twitter at the time (@greezus -follow me!) and didn't post here, but my heart goes out to the Weylandt family and the Leopard-Trek team. On May 9, Wouter Weylandt was fatally injured in a crash on the third stage of the Giro d'Italia. He was 26-year-old. Westbound.

Time really flies whether you're having fun or not. Cole always says I need a personal blog because I'll easily get into my personal crap when this is supposed to be a cycling blog, so all I'll say is I got dumped after 13 years. I'm trying to stay on top of the game as much as I can, and I'll leave it at that.

Upcoming reviews: Bags from Detours, Mountainsmith, and much more!

News: So much has happened since my last post. I took a short hiatus in Chicago. Since I'm talking about Chicago, Chrome is opening their 3rd retail store in Wicker Park on June 4th! Speaking of Chrome, they just came out with the Brigadier- the ultimate travel backpack that transforms into a haul bag to live up to the adaptability demands of year-round global travel. Whether bike, board, train, plane or automobile... Watch the video!

Chrome Brigadier: Get Gone from Chrome Bags on Vimeo.

I may or may not be moving there as well. Everything in my personal life is up in the air right now. But if I do, OLC will be moving from MI to CHI for a second time...

While there, I got to meet Cole's go-to mechanic, Adam, who runs Pedal to the People. I received a bike to test awhile back (that will remain nameless), but as Cole and I were pedaling around the city, my bike kept getting louder & louder until Cole figured out the spokes were loose on the rear wheel. Come to find out, whoever built that wheel never finished. They could all be tightened by hand. Not so good... So we went to see Adam, and he trued the wheel for me quickly and it was also very affordable.

So, if you're ever in (or live in) Chicago and your bike breaks down, call Pedal to the People at 773.355.0882 and talk to Adam yourself! He'll ride TO YOU, makes repairs ON THE SPOT, and on the CHEAP!

Also, coming up in Chicago on May 29, 2011: A car-free bike ride down world-famous Lake Shore Drive for the tenth annual MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive. Enjoy live entertainment and breakfast at the post-ride festival in Grant Park. This amazing bike ride is a fundraiser for the Active Transportation Alliance, Chicagoland’s voice for better biking, walking and transit.
More than 20,000 people are expected to attend. What better way to experience a better world for bicycling than by cruising down a wide-open Lake Shore Drive on your bike on a spring day?

New Belgium's Urban Assault Ride was just in Chicago this past Sunday and is in full effect! Check out the link to see when it'll be in your town!

And music-wise, while I got to see Hunx and his Punx, I'm bummed I'm can't make it back in time for the back to back, 2 nights of The Melvins, performing 5 albums in all back to back. Dentist & Doctor. Balls. Oh well... Won't be the first kick-ass show I've missed, and I'm sure it won't be the last either.

If you've been paying attention to the Giro at all, I'm sure you've seen GEOX-TMC riding Fuji's ultra-light Altamira road bikes.

With leaders like 2009 Giro d'Italia champion Denis Menchov, and 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre, as well as emerging stars like Fabio Duarte and Rafael Valls, GEOX-TMC will not only be among the top contenders for the pink jersey- they have a chance to win.

We've been following the team since the season began in January through rider interviews, race reports, and exclusive photos and news from Fuji's pro team blog: http://www.fujibikes.com/proteam. check it out!

On Sunday, May 15th, Fuji and Kestrel took the tri world by storm: Fuji's Matt Reed won Rev3 Knoxville, Andy Potts won the Rhoto Iron Man 70.3 Florida, and a slew of Kestrel athletes took Top 10's across the country.But Mesigian's not worried. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Kestrel had a big showing on this particular weekend, but Fuji only had one athlete race... and he won."

SE & Oakley have joined forces once again to creat some of the sickest gloves ever! These retro looking "team fit" gloves feature the classic SE Racing & Oakley Factory Pilot logos, have short & tight cuffs for better wrist articulation, perforated thumb knuckle pads, out-turned seams on the fingers, and "B1-B" finger grippers so you won't get caught slippin'!

If your local shop doesn't carry them, go to http://www.buySEstuff.com to get yours!