Backcountry legal BS leads to backlash, rebranding support & apology – If you haven’t ignored social media for the last week, you probably heard one of the latest corporate overreach controversies – or rather social media s#*tstorms. Who owns the term “backcountry”? Technically, it’s Backcountry.com. After trademarking the work backcountry a little over a year ago, then selling apparel branded with their name, Backcountry.com started filing lawsuits against every little company with the word backcountry in its name.

Countless small businesses succumbed to the shakedown tactics over a word that’s literally at the heart of the outdoor industry. We have almost twenty pages of stories about the backcountry, oddly just one & a half in the last decade that have even a passing reference to Backcountry.com. So while some companies gave in to avoid legal fees, some like MT outdoor brand graphics & PR team Wheelie Creative stepped up to have each other’s back – offering a free rebranding to any company caught in the crosshairs.

The end result though, Backcountry.com felt the weight of the internet crash down on them and gave in…

As of this Wednesday, they started dropping some active lawsuits, then apologized for the whole mess. Read about it all on Backcountry.com, well unless you are in Europe like me. Backcountry.com didn’t want to deal with the hassle of internet users’ rights so they decided to forgo GDPR compliance and just redirect us to a partner who was willing to deal with our community. Oh well, you can’t win every battle.

Advocacy, Industry news & all around good vibes

  • Explore US bicycle accident statistics with 1point21 – Rosenthal & Kreeger and a team at 1point21 dug into the data to get a comprehensive look at cycling risk in America. Analyzing more than a decade of national bicycle crash data to highlight every bike crash statistic possible, the survey found $237 billion in medical costs of adult bicycle injuries; 783 bicyclist fatalities in 2017 alone, a 3-fold increase in adult cyclist deaths since 1975, and a 32% increase in pedestrian & bicyclist fatalities from 2008-2017. There are several surprising findings in the full report over at: RosenthalKreeger.com

Parlee Cycles factory tour - showroom with first bikes built

  • Thank Parlee for keeping your carbon bike cheaper, for nowBRAIN is reporting this week that importers of Chinese-made carbon frames into the states are getting a bit of a reprieve thanks to Parlee. They petitioned the U.S. Trade Representative for a tariff exclusion, so that importers of carbon frames made-in-China would not have to pay the extra 25% tariff. The deal even means such importers can claim back tariff already paid since the Trump administration jacked them up last year. This isn’t the same as anti-dumping penalties, but just applies to frames-only and is good until Aug 7, 2020. Interestingly, they only other cycling industry China tariff exclusion was awarded to complete singlespeed road bikes, thanks to State Bicycle.

  • Pinarello Prince goes on World Tour to support World Bicycle Relief – Pinarello has set a goal for cyclists around the world: team up to ride the distance around the equator. Inspired by their long-distance, endurance road bike, form your own team & ride 40,000km. Sign up with Pinarello, join the challenge on Strava, then between now and next Sept 2020 rack up the miles and Pinarello will keep donating more Buffalo bikes to WBR. So far, they’ve gotten about 400,000km which amounts to 40 WBR bikes. Join in to show your support & get Pinarello to keep donating more. PinarelloPWT.com

Gear, Deals & Recall news

  • 8bar Showroom Closing Sale up to 50% off – Berlin’s 8bar bikes is having a mega closing sale next week. Not because they are going out of business, but actually the opposite… because they are scaling up. 8bar is about to move their showroom into a new bigger & better space. And they don’t wan to have to shift a bunch of inventory – moving really is easier with fewer things. So, their having a huge 8bar Showroom Closing Sale. Starting Nov 11th at 11:00 only in their Wrangelstraße Berlin showroom you can save 30-50% off of everything in stock – from clothing to frames to complete bikes. 8bar-bikes.com

  • Trickstuff recalling lightweight Dächle disc brake rotors – German trick MTB component maker Trickstuff issued an immediate recall on their one-piece stainless Dächle UL disc brake rotors. The 160mm & 180mm rotors have 12 indented cutouts along the outer braking surface next to paired round holes that can crack & could lock the wheel. If you have these rotors, stop riding them now & contact support@trickstuff.de to get replacements. Trickstuff.de

Where to ride

  • Don’t miss out trail riding at Pivot Palooza in Scottsdale, AZ this month – There’s only a couple of weeks to go until McDowell Mountain welcomes the inaugural Pivot Palooza. Head out and join the Pivot family for incredible desert riding, camping & hanging out around the fire pit under a starry Arizona sky. There are still spots, but entries are limited, with time is running out. Register now for Pivot Palooza Nov 22-24. WesternSpirit.com/Pivot-Palooza

11 COMMENTS

  1. I would love to know what Backcountry are doing that is so shady they cannot possibly comply with the GDPR and have to just block all Euro web traffic. I’m equally sure Backcountry would love that we don’t know.

    • Do they sell product to Europe? If not, why comply with European law? I’m sure backcountry is not the only US based company doing this.

      • They have an EU sister site that’s under the same umbrella: https://www.bergfreunde.eu/ . I worked for them for two years and made my exit as soon as I had another place to land. Their CEO is a bad person; the worst person I’ve ever worked for… don’t believe that any word of that letter is sincere.

        It should also be noted that they own Competitive Cyclist as well.

      • Exactly they don’t sell outside the us. Note most companies that sellbi. The EU don’t actually follow gdpr. It’s hard to prove. Gdpr was mainly a trick to get sweet google money.

  2. “We only want what’s best for the whole community and we want every person and business in it to thrive. Backcountry has never been interested in owning the word “backcountry” or completely preventing anyone else from using it. But we clearly misjudged the impact of our actions.”
    These statements are completely at odds with what they actually were doing. BackountryDOTcom pulls a Specialized.

  3. Seems like a poor attempt at an apology solely in response the backlash. Would they have done the same if their actions didn’t hurt their sales? Doubtful. Over the past 5 years, I’ve purchased 4 bikes from Backcountry.com and spent thousands on parts. I will be taking my business elsewhere.

    • Thanks for noticing that @Reedo. Tbh, I was probably on Friday afternoon autopilot reading a Press Release and just copied what I saw. You are correct, and I’ve replaced it.

  4. It’s important for people to remember that a company is responsible for safeguarding its own copyright or it falls out of protection. This is why the North Face went so hard after the South Butt; they have to maintain their brand.

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