Bicycle Retailer

Bicycle Retailer Latest News and Information

22 January 2019

  • Partial government shutdown means CPSC is not announcing recalls

    WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The partial federal government shutdown means that at least two active industry recalls have not yet been announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, although the companies responsible have issued recalls on their own and with government agencies in other countries.

    According to a CPSC memo, only 20 members of the CPSC's staff of 550 are working during the shutdown. The employees are working only on recalls of products that "create a substantial and immediate threat to the safety of human life," according to the memo.

    The Commission's online recall page has not been updated since Dec. 20. Its Twitter account has not been updated since Dec. 26. The partial shutdown began on Dec. 22.

    On Jan. 8, Specialized announced it was recalling thousands of bikes globally over concerns about possible breakage of a headset collar on road bikes with its Future Shock feature. The company has promoted the recall through its own channels and is working with government authorities in countries including Australia, where it is recalling about 4,500 bikes, and Canada, where it is recalling about 4,900 bikes

    On its website, Specialized said it has notified the CPSC of the recall and was "working closely with them on a news release announcing the recall shortly." A Specialized employee familiar with the issue told BRAIN the delay in releasing a CPSC news release was due to the partial government shutdown.

    SRAM announced a recall in Canada this week that, to date, has not been announced in the U.S. The company said it expected to announce the recall in the U.S. on Friday through its own channels. A CPSC recall notice will go out after the shutdown ends.

    SRAM began working with the CPSC on the recall before the shutdown, said Brian Benzer, the company's vp of corporate development. "(The shutdown) hasn't been an inconvenience in any way," Benzer said. "There is a skeleton staff there and we asked a supervisor if we could proceed and he said we could. They've been very helpful and cooperative," he said.

    Benzer said its recall announcement in the U.S. was not delayed because of the shutdown because the company had been planning on making the announcement about this time. He didn't expect any difficulties once an official CPSC announcement is made. 

    California attorney Steven Hansen, who works with bike industry clients on recalls and other issues, said suppliers are still required to notify the CSPC about potential recalls, even if the Commission is operating with a reduced staff. 

    "The official line at the CPSC is that the government shutdown is not an acceptable excuse for a company to delay notifying the CPSC under the existing legal time frames, which are very short," Hansen said. He said the industry should expect delays in response from the CPSC during the shutdown, especially because bike-savvy specialist compliance officers may be unavailable.

    "The delay in the recall notices being published on the CPSC website is a huge problem," he said. "One would need to be very careful about publicly announcing a recall in the USA without first getting approval of the CPSC. That then makes it awkward when trying to announce globally with the CPSC lagging behind. The USA is usually one of the first countries to notify and to publicize. Health Canada usually follows CPSC actions and does not lead, but now they are leading," he said.

    The shutdown may slow the import of some products. Although U.S. Customs and Border Protection is continuing most of its usual functions at the ports, the CPSC has furloughed its field agents and port inspectors, who monitor imports for unsafe products. Last year, the CPSC conducted more than 40,000 import inspections. The limited CPSC staff is still obligated to respond to imports of products that could "create a substantial and immediate threat to the safety of human life." 

    CPSC representatives also regularly participate in standards organization meetings and discussions in the bike industry; that activity also has halted during the shutdown. 

    The 2013 government shutdown happened during prime riding season in Utah and affected bike tourism there because managers of National Parks and other public lands were furloughed. The 2013 shutdown also delayed the launch of some electronic products, including a new LeMond smart trainer, because the FCC stopped granting wireless licenses. 

    More information: Steven Hansen's law firm website is swhlaw.com. SRAM's recall page is sram.com/service#recall-notice. Specialized's is specialized.com/us/en/safety-notices

  • Emerald floats ideas for new Interbike, combined with OR show(s)

    DEL MAR, Calif. (BRAIN) — Emerald Expositions, which announced last month that it was canceling its 2019 Interbike Expo, is talking to industry members about two options for a revived bike trade show as soon as this year.

    One option would be to have a bike trade show element at the fall Outdoor Retailer show, scheduled for Nov. 5-7 in Denver. A second option would be to include bikes in the outdoor demo portion of OR's summer show. That show is June 18-20 in Denver, preceded by the demo event on the 17th.

    Darrell Denny, an executive vice president at Emerald, told BRAIN that both options are still in the discussion phase.

    "We are basically doing what we said we were going to do (when Emerald announced the Interbike cancellation). We said we weren't going to proceed with Interbike as originally planned but are researching alternatives," Denny told BRAIN on Thursday. "I'm hesitant to go into more details because we are still in the concept validation phase," he said. 

    Former Interbike sales director Andria Klinger has been meeting with industry members to discuss the plans. Emerald had announced in December that Klinger would be laid off on Jan. 1 along with Interbike director Justin Gottlieb and others. On Thursday Denny said Klinger's position has been extended with the company for a special project. He said Interbike's former senior art director, Andy Buckner, who was set to lose his job Jan. 1, also remains with Emerald on other projects. 

    Besides the June and November shows, Emerald operates the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, which is Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Denver.

  • Head Sport agrees to buy most ASE assets for $22M

    DURHAM, N.C. (BRAIN) — At a bankruptcy auction Wednesday, Head Sport — a European sports company best known for its skis and tennis rackets — agreed to purchase most of the assets of Advanced Sports Enterprises for $21.5 million. The agreement is subject to court approval later this month.

    Head is an Amsterdam-registered company that manufactures ski, tennis, swim and other sports products and licenses its name to suppliers in other industries. The corporate name of the purchaser is HTM USA HOLDINGS, LLC, a division of HTM Sport GmbH, which is based in Austria. HTM owns HEAD Sport GmbH.

    Head dates to 1950, when it was founded by Howard Head, an innovator in the use of metal in skis and tennis rackets. Howard Head sold the company to AMF in the late 1960s and HTM later bought the brand. HTM is owned by Swedish/British billionaire Johan Eliasch.

    ASE's Karen Bliss said Head agreed to purchase most of the assets, including some Performance Bicycle stores. "We don't know their intentions for the assets," Bliss, ASE's Chief Marketing Officer, told BRAIN. "It's a big deal."

    The auction began at 10 a.m. Wednesday and didn't end until about 2 a.m. Thursday. Those present said that representatives from Ideal Bike, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Walmart's Moosejaw division were at the auction, although it's not clear if any of those companies made bids. 

    Head licenses its trademark for use on bikes and many other items. Licensees include NOVUS BIKE S.r.o. of the Czech Republic, which sells Head-branded bikes in several markets. Cycle Force Group, based in Iowa, has the U.S. license for Head bikes. 

    Nyle Nims, the president of Cycle Force Group, told BRAIN he has been licensing the Head name for more than five years and has found the company a pleasure to work with. He said he was unaware until Thursday that Head had bought the assets. 

    "My impression is they will keep this intact," Nims said. "They are very loyal to the independent retailer: that is the core of their business (with tennis and ski products)... I think this will be a great move for the employees of ASE and the whole Fuji dealer network."

    ASE is the parent company of Performance and brands including Fuji, SE Bikes, Kestrel, and Breezer. It filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 16, listing debts of more than $100 million. It has been running liquidation sales at Performance stores since soon after the filing. Last week, Specialized Bicycle agreed to buy the Roubaix bike trademark for the U.S. from ASE for $700,000.

    The court will consider the asset purchase agreements from Head and Specialized at a hearing on Jan. 22, and if approved the sales will be closed immediately after that hearing. The deadline for objections to the sale is Jan. 21 at 4 p.m. ET.

    More information: ASE Bankruptcy | Head.com/us-US/about.

  • CABDA West draws 1,100 retail attendees on opening day, show director says
    UPDATED: Corrects retail attendance figure

    Editor’s note: The retail attendance figure originally supplied to BRAIN was for non-exhibiting attendees on the expo’s first day. That total includes media as well as companies that did not have booth space at CABDA West. Show director Jim Kersten says 1,115 retail buyers and staff attended the first day, and an additional 330 were issued badges the second day. There was no way to tell if first-day attendees came back for day two, since badges were not scanned or tracked upon entry.

    DEL MAR, Calif. (BRAIN) — Opening day of the inaugural CABDA West expo here brought in 1,115 retail attendees, show director Jim Kersten said. Many exhibitors said those dealers came predominantly from Southern California, with pockets of attendees traveling to the show in San Diego County from locations as far away as New York, New Jersey, Iowa and the Denver area.

    "I've seen more L.A. dealers here than I did at Interbike," said Derek Butterfield, a Los Angeles-area rep for J&B Importers.

    Exhibitors were largely pleased with the number of retailers they saw, and they welcomed the ease of setup in the expo hall at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Racetrack.

    "It's a cost-effective show. For the traffic that came by it was good bang for the buck," said Tim Harb, owner of distributor LBC Bicycle Supply in Bell, California.

    Many brands from throughout California said CABDA West's affordability and close proximity made it a low-risk, must-attend event.

    "We can't afford not to do it because we're in California," said Ross McMahon, U.S. sales manager for Santa Cruz-based Praxis Works.

    However, McMahon expected to see more retail traffic on the event's opening day.

    "I'm not regretting we came. I just wish there was more," he said. "A two-day show like this, I want to come away with 25 new dealers," adding that by the middle of the day he had made contact with only a handful of new retailers.

    Several exhibitors said the show drew a strong representation of retail decision-makers, and they wrote up new business throughout the day.

    "We've had great talk with true quality buyers," said Jake Inman, who works in inside sales for distributor BTI.

    "I got to talk to a lot the guys I wanted to target," said Jack Gresmer, bike sales manager for Osprey Packs.

    Rocky Mounts' Andrew Duran said the rack brand had signed four new dealers by mid-day. Los Angeles County brand Aventon Bikes brought on seven new shops. It also sold five of its show bikes to a San Diego-area dealer.

    "If I had to book the show again today, I'd book it again," said Justin Christopher, the company's vice president of e-commerce.

    Show director Kersten said the event benefited from a last-minute surge in pre-registration, jumping from 1,150 signups at the start of the week to 1,800 by Wednesday.

    Many exhibitors said they contacted their current dealers in Southern California ahead of the show, and that they got valuable face time with them in addition to reaching potential new retailers.

    CushCore's Kenny Roberts used the drive down from the company's base in Bend, Oregon, to visit a dozen retailers along the way.

    "It made sense since we're so strong on the West Coast to get out the dealers and educate them on installation and stuff," Roberts said. "We're getting a lot of good leads here at the show, and meeting a lot of people we haven't met before."

    CABDA West continues Thursday. For more on the show, see the Feb. 1 print edition of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

  • Thesis launches bike brand with unusual fulfillment model
    Thesis offers one carbon frame that can be built up as a gravel, road, cyclocross or adventure touring bike. Bikes are delivered 20% assembled and consumers hire "Local Bicycle Professionals" to complete the assembly.

    Editor's note: A version of this article ran in the Jan. 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News. 

    SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) —  A new bike brand from an industry veteran is making waves with innovative products and its fulfillment system, as well as with its alignment with the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association.

    Thesis is being launched by partners Alice Liu and Randall Jacobs. Jacobs has worked as a product developer at Specialized and in Asia on product strategy and supply chain consulting projects. He was also co-founder of OpenBike, an open platform for bicycle electronics and software.

    Thesis offers one carbon frameset that is built up with various part kits as a gravel, road, 'cross, or adventure touring bike. On the Thesis website, customers can choose frame and handlebar tape colors, component sizes, gearing, and wheel and tire options.

    Bikes drop ship from Thesis' Taiwan consolidation facility in two boxes — one with the Chinese-made frameset and one with everything else, including wheels with tires, rotors and cassettes mounted. Thesis calls this a 20 percent assembly level and said it keeps costs down while allowing consumers to work with a local assembler who presumably will do a better job than a factory assembly line and who can customize the build.

    Thesis is enlisting shops, fit studios, mobile service providers and independent mechanics to finish bike assembly. Consumers can opt to assemble bikes themselves, but then the bike will not be covered by warranty.

    Complete bikes start at $3,000 with a single-chainring SRAM Rival drivetrain, house brand carbon wheels with DT350 hubs, and aluminum cockpit parts. Customers can expect to pay $250-$350 for professional assembly by a Thesis "Local Bicycle Professional." Under the plan, the LBP receives the assembly fee from the customer. If the LBP sold the bike, he or she also receives a 10 percent commission. Because the bikes are customizable, many customers are opting to pay the LBP for a bike fit as well, Jacobs said.

    The program is not wildly different from that offered by many boutique brands that enlist shops to fulfill online bike orders. And many online brands have aligned with mobile service providers including Velofix to provide assembly and fulfillment. Thesis' difference is the lower price, custom options and its openness to working with various types of LBPs, as long as they have requisite mechanical skills, licenses, insurance and a solid reputation for service.

    "We are somewhat agnostic about whether the Local Bicycle Professional has a [physical] retail location or not. We are more inclusive of new business models like mobile service, independent fitters, studios and even people working from home spaces if that's legal in their area. For us, what matters is that they are skilled mechanics and can provide outstanding service," Jacobs said.

    Thesis is the first bike brand to sponsor the PBMA, signing on as a bronze-level sponsor (a $750 annual cost). In an email message to the PBMA membership, Jacobs made the case that many shops don't make money on bike sales under the traditional system.

    On social media, some PBMA members disagreed with the premise and some saw the sponsorship as an end run around the IBDs that employ most PBMA members. "We caused a little stir," Jacobs said. "I could have crafted the message better. But it's inevitable that people don't like to talk about things changing."

    Jacobs conceded that while some shops have closed in part due to lack of margin on new bikes, some that remain have learned to profit on bike sales, especially on urban and higher-end bikes.

    "Brick and mortar is not going away, but the old-school model of pumping shops full of inventory and debt is not sustainable," he said.

    "The fact that we are the only bike brand supporting the PBMA I find shocking, but also telling. Mechanics are often unsustainably paid and we risk losing the base of expertise that the industry relies on. We believe mechanics and fitters are the backbone of the industry."

    PBMA's president, James Stanfill, said a handful of members were upset by Thesis' sponsorship. "The email went out to 8,000 people and there are just five to eight people on social media making noise about it," he said.

    He noted that Thesis is one of the few brands that vets potential retail partners for technical skills as well as business bona fides.

    "[Thesis] is interested in working with individuals and companies that are qualified to work on bicycles. For most brands, that's not even a piece of what they think about," Stanfill said.

  • BMX league for beginners grows ranks in 1st year under USA BMX

     Editor's note: A version of this story appeared in the Jan. 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.

    OKLAHOMA CITY (BRAIN) — Celestial Cycles owner Sheridan Marquardt figures his BMX race business has tripled since the beginner-focused BMX Racing League arrived at the local track, where the Oklahoma City retailer is now a title sponsor of the facility.

    "They approached us when they started the league, and I was just blown away by their idea. It's been a huge success. The league sells out. They've got more kids than they can handle, which is great," Marquardt said.

    The BMX Racing League launched in September 2016 at the home track of retired pro racer and Olympic medalist Donny Robinson in Napa, California. Modeled after many youth team sports, the league initially offered five weeks of instruction and racing at BMX tracks, targeting kids who had never raced before and making the sport less intimidating for families to approach.

    After a period of modest expansion across the country, sanctioning body USA BMX acquired the league and launched an effort to scale up participation at the start of 2018. Robinson, a bronze medalist in BMX at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, serves as program director.

    The league currently operates at about 50 tracks throughout the U.S.

    "We're at about 2,500 riders who completed the program, with many of them moving on to the open racing program, racing in novice, intermediate and expert [race classes]. It's nice to see riders of all skill levels finally have their place in our sport, whether they are a go-getter who wants to advance ever-higher, or a boy or girl with a basket and streamers on their bike," Robinson said.

    Historically, retention has been a challenge in traditional open BMX racing, but Robinson notes the BMX Racing League is seeing 75 percent retention within USA BMX programs — whether that's staying in the league or moving into open racing.

    "Our goal from the start was to bring riders in and retain them at the local BMX track. We don't have a preference on how they participate in BMX Racing, but we're helping them develop bike skills they didn't know they had. They can use these skills in the league program, in open racing or anywhere else they're on a bike," he said.

    Based on feedback from tracks and league families, USA BMX added a sixth week to the program this year. 

    "Week one does not involve any racing for the members. Our biggest shift is to educate the riders and parents in week one," said Rob Gardenhire, chief marketing officer for USA BMX. "Weeks two through five are part instruction and part racing. Then in week six we actually welcome them into open racing at the local track, so it's a way for them to connect with that track community even further."

    The league is also gaining new participants through the USA BMX Foundation's STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program and Track Modeling Program, where students learn about track design and visit a local BMX track before rendering their own scale track models on paper and in dirt on classroom tables.

    "The Foundation's programs are a perfect fit for schools, and it's fascinating to see the content come to life in the hands of students. Our goal is to then build a bridge between using bicycles as a tool for STEM-related learning, and helping kids build a more long-term interest in riding — hopefully on the BMX track. But if not, then wherever it makes sense for them," Robinson said.

    Heading into 2019, the BMX Racing League will continue its relationship with DK Bikes, which provides bikes at a discount to league families and to tracks so they can build loaner fleets. USA BMX is also in talks with several other industry suppliers about sponsorship opportunities, Gardenhire said.

    And retailers like Marquardt report getting additional support for league participants from the brands they carry.

    "We are a Redline dealer, and they've been super helpful," he said. "Fly Racing has been huge too. If we need to get some clothes for some kids or whatever and we find some money for it, they give us a break on that just so we can get kids on the track on bikes."

    More information: bmxracingleague.com.

  • What is mobility and why should the bike industry be paying attention? The latest Shift Up podcast takes a look

    (BRAIN) — "Mobility" is a common buzzword in the tech and transportation industries, and in the European bike industry. In the U.S. bike industry? Not so much.

    In the latest Shift Up podcast, host Arleigh Greenwald explores the topic of mobility with Andy Boenau, the director of mobility strategy for the Gotcha Group, a South Carolina-based transportation company. The two discuss mobility sharing, investing in first and last mile mobility, and removing barriers from your consumer's journeys.

    Boenau points out that while the bike industry and bike shop owners may have little connection with their local planning and transportation departments, policy makers still view bicycling as one of the fundamental modes of transit.

    "As long as people still have legs, biking and walking are going to remain the fundamental modes," he said. He urged all industry members to get to know the policy makers for their communities and nearby campuses. "They are our allies . the bike industry and the local governments and campus administrators have the same goals in mind as far as getting more people on bikes."

    Greenwald said the bike industry, including retailers, need to make their voices heard so bike remain part of the transportation plans. "If we sit on our heels in this moment and think PeopleForBikes is doing its job, we are going to be run over by scooters and others options," she said.

    Boenau can be reached through his Twitter account. A free chapter of his book, Emerging Trends in Transportation Planning, is available at subscribepage.com/ETT-freechapter.

    Previous episodes can be seen at bicycleretailer.com/podcast.

    Subscribe: Apple Podcasts  | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS

  • CABDA West, opening Wednesday, boasts pre-registration of more than 1,100 retailers

    DEL MAR, Calif. (BRAIN) — With gray skies and rain in the forecast, CABDA show director Jim Kersten may not have gotten the balmy Southern California welcome he hoped for as he set up for the inaugural CABDA West expo here in San Diego County this week. But he certainly took comfort in dealer pre-registration numbers ahead of Wednesday's show opening — 1,150 attendees from 410 shops.

    "When we first started putting this together I was going to be happy with 275 shops, so I'm very impressed with the turnout we're getting. I knew we weren't going to replicate Chicago numbers immediately our first at-bat out here, but it's definitely better than I thought it was going to be," Kersten said.

    Many of those dealers are concentrated in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, but Kersten said retailers as far away as Denver, Salt Lake City and the Phoenix metro metro have also signed up. He expects drive-in traffic as far north as San Francisco, more than 500 miles from the event venue.

    CABDA West is Kersten's first event outside of the Chicago area since resurrecting the regional trade show in 2015. Staged at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Racetrack, the sold-out show will feature 185 booths representing 300 to 350 different industry brands, a full seminar and tech clinic schedule, and bicycle demos. Festivities start Tuesday night with an exhibitor party at host hotel the HIlton San Diego/Del Mar, adjacent to the racetrack.

    Efficient Velo Tools owner and service expert Brett Flemming will present a keynote address in the hotel's Del Mar Ballroom at 9 a.m. Thursday, the closing day of the show. Doors open at 8:30, and the first 200 attendees will be served free breakfast.

    "I told Brett to talk about whatever topic he wants, but I want to light a fire under people's asses about the service end of the business. We can't do anything about tariffs, we can't do anything really about margins, but we can do stuff about service dollars and bringing in money that way," Kersten said.

    The weeks leading up to the show were a juggling act for show director Kersten, as Emerald Expositions' announcement in early December that it was canceling the 2019 Interbike show ramped up supplier interest in exhibiting at CABDA West.

    "We did what we could. We were kind of landlocked because they (the racetrack) have another event going on for part of our days. So we were able to take over an extra building and shift our seminar space over there, which opened up some floor space. We were just about sold out before that announcement too. So what it really did was add about 30 companies to our wait list," Kersten said.

    He also had to come up with contingency plans should rain put a literal damper on the show's outdoor demo area. The National Weather Service is forecasting at least a 40 percent chance of rain through Thursday in the Del Mar area.

    "We have some space that we're calling 'The Ark' internally," Kersten laughed. "We'll be able to pull everybody inside and miniaturize it. We'll be able to move just about everybody inside with some demo capability there."

    For dealer education at CABDA West, Kersten has encouraged shorter, less in-depth sessions running about 45 minutes. "I wanted them to be more quick-hit rather than sitting in a room for three hours. I want people to be able to go to four or five quick-hit seminars and walk away with more knowledge," he said.

    "We're also working with the PBMA on their workshops, so that's where you're going to go for a deep dive."

    Kersten has previously stated that he's considering other locations for additional CABDA events, but told BRAIN this week that any announcement is unlikely to happen before he can analyze data from the inaugural West Coast show. However, he did not rule out making an announcement at the CABDA Midwest show set for Feb. 13 and 14 in Chicago.

    The most important piece of data "is seeing where people come from and where they don't come from. I have very good data on bicycle stores. We spend a lot of time keeping the list updated with openings and closings, so i know where the bike stores are. If we plot all points on a map and say we're missing this big chunk of people, we're going to work really hard to put a show within a couple hundred miles of them. Once we figure that out, we still have to find a venue with the size and time we need. It's a combination of stuff that's harder to do than I originally thought," he said.

    Seventy-five to 80 percent of CABDA West exhibitors are also signed up for CABDA Midwest, Kersten noted. "I think if we have decent turnout here, I expect to see them at both shows or maybe all three or four shows next year," he said.

    Editor's note: Managing editor Toby Hill will be covering CABDA West for BRAIN. 

  • Thieves swipe Urban Arrow cargo bikes from van on way to CABDA West

    VALLEJO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Thieves stole the contents of a rental cargo van including two cargo bikes and materials on the way to the CABDA West show this weekend.

    Ed Rae, the North American agent for Urban Arrow, said the trailer was broken into in a hotel parking lot in Vallejo, California. He said it appears an attempt was made to steal the van; when that failed, all the contents were taken. They are valued at about $15,000.

    One of the cargo bikes stolen is the Cargo L model, the only one of its type in North America. The other bike is a Family model, one of only a handful in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are Bosch-equipped bikes that retail for $6,000 each. Also stolen were some parts and accessories, booth backdrops, roller banners, flags and similar items.

    Frame numbers:
    Cargo L UAMM170930
    Family UAMM170599

    Both stolen bikes have white frames. 

    Rae said the vehicle used in the theft was an older-model, white-ish Chevrolet pickup with a camper top. A police report was filed with Vallejo police. 

    "These bikes are utterly distinctive and not typical stolen bikes, so thieves will have a hard time moving them," Rae said. "Please be on the lookout, either in shops or online."

    Rae can be reached at 503-703-7626.

  • Specialized agrees to pay $700k for Roubaix trademark in the US; ASE bid deadline pushed back

    DURHAM, N.C. (BRAIN) — Specialized Bicycle has agreed to pay bankrupt Advanced Sports Enterprises $700,000 for rights to the Roubaix bicycle trademark in the U.S.

    ASE, which has been licensing the trademark to Specialized since 2003, has agreed to remove the trademark from the portfolio of assets that are set to be auctioned this month. ASE also agreed to withdraw a motion it had made with the bankruptcy court to cancel the licensing contract. Canceling the license and then auctioning the trademark would have jeopardized Specialized‘s use of the trademark on one of its best-selling bike lines.

    A bankruptcy judge this week agreed to schedule a hearing for Jan. 22 where he will consider whether the asset purchase agreement between ASE and Specialized should be accepted. A sales hearing is already scheduled for that day regarding other assets that are being sold this month.

    Under the tentative agreement, the trademark will not be subject to competing bids. The official committee of ASE's unsecured creditors supports the sale; Wells Fargo, an ASE creditor that holds the Roubaix trademark as collateral, also supports it.

    While detail paperwork is still being drawn up, Specialized has agreed to assume the trademark and any related rights and obligations. That includes the assumption of an agreement that ASE's Advanced Sports Inc. (ASI) division made with Daniel Richter, the owner of Café Roubaix in Calgary, Alberta. In 2013 Specialized had threatened to sue Richter for use of the Roubaix mark for his business. Specialized, ASI and Richter later announced they had agreed to settle the issue. 

    ASI has had a Fuji Roubaix road bike model in its lineup since 1992. Although Specialized has registered the trademark in many countries, in the U.S. it has licensed it from ASI.

    On Friday, the court also agreed to reschedule the deadline for bids for other ASE assets. The bid deadline, originally Friday, is now Monday, Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. If competing bids arise, an auction will be held Jan. 16 at 10 a.m., a day later than originally scheduled.

    A sales hearing to consider asset purchase agreements remains scheduled for Jan. 22.