Local layoffs at Mountain Cycle, Specialized settlement progresses

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Cross Crusade #2 - Alpenrose Dairy, Portland OR

[Van for sale]

The news is no longer simmering, it is boiling over. Kinesis, the Taiwanese parent company of Mountain Cycle has decided to chart a new course for the local bike brand. The future of the brand is still up in the air, but my sources tell me that it will not include Portland. So that’s the end of Mountain Cycle as we know it.

Kinesis gave employees a days notice before letting them go. Only one employee remains at their “dead” offices on North Williams Street, and he is there to liquidate remaining inventory.

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Big news simmering at Mountain Cycle

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A few hours ago, an employee of Portland-based bike manufacturer, Mountain Cycle left a suspicious comment on my recent post about the Specialized/Stumptown Saga. The employee wrote, “I don’t think Specialized will be bothering Mountain Cycle any longer. More news to follow…” Then, after being prodded by another commenter, he added, “I have not been given permission to make an official statement.”

Now, I notice there is a post on a popular mountain biking forum site that says Mountain Cycle employees have been given notices and that “there is no more Kinesis USA, or Mountain Cycle.”

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Stumptown story goes national

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mountain cycle specialized logos

The March 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) includes a story on the Specialized/Stumptown saga, which first broke on this site back on January 31st. BRAIN is a well-known bike industry trade magazine that goes out to every bike shop and manufacturer in the U.S. The article is not available on-line, but I’ve scanned a copy that you can download:

This story has already made its way around the world via the Web, and the opinion of nearly everyone on the Internet is that Specialized is doing the wrong thing. However my feeling is that Specialized cares much more about how their peers in the bike industry think about them, than just lowly Internet users.

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Oregonian picks up “Stumptown” saga

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The “Stumptown” incident is far from over. The Oregonian covers it in their business section today with a front page article by Helen Jung. Helen also writes about it on her blog.

This story has sparked 139 comments so far on this site alone and has spread all over the Internet. Specialized has definitely struck a nerve and 99% of the feedback so far has been vehemently opposed to their decision. This article by the Oregonian will take the bad PR for Specialized to a whole new level. It makes me wonder if their response will stay the same or if they’ll change course and back down before more damage is done.

One thing’s for sure, there will be more developments in this story. Stay tuned.

Specialized responds to Mountain Cycle

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[In case you haven’t been following the Specialized and Mountain Cycle saga, read this post first.]

Yesterday I sent an email to Specialized’s legal person, Kim Arca. I wanted to give them the chance to make a statement because I felt like by saying nothing they were only making things worse for themselves. Here is the text of my email:

Hi Kim,

Jonathan Maus here. I just want to let you know that I have nothing against Specialized and that I would like to offer you space on my site to come in and make a statement about this situation. I’m willing to publish a statement from you, unedited, and without any commentary from me.

I think an honest statement would really help Specialized at this point. Hope to hear from you soon.

And in return I just got the email below from Kevin Franks, head of media relations and corporate communications for Specialized:

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Specialized, Mountain Cycle disagree on “Stumptown”

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Portland stuff at Interbike show
[Not to be confused with Stumpjumper]

[UPDATES: A reader has posted the cease and desist letter from Specialized. See it here. (PDF)

*Specialized responds.]

North Portland based Mountain Cycle and global bike giant Specialized Bicycle Components of Morgan Hill, California are locked in a disagreement that neither side is backing down from. At issue is Mountain Cycle’s use of, “Stumptown” which has been the model name for their cyclocross bike since 2003.

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