Why Some Companies are Not Attending Interbike

Our sister company, Hotvelociti explains in their blog post today why they are not

Original zebra design from Hotvelociti (c) presented at Interbike in 2010

attending Interbike this year: Copycats.

Certainly the problem of copying in fashion is not a new one.

And though cycling apparel, bicycles, and accessories are not considered part of the fashion industry, the business does not escape from the bad human habit of emulation.

Some pundits have said that copying is good for innovation.

But in some cases, emulation is downright stealing. Castelli has long complained of this phenomenon occurring at Interbike, and as a result began requiring clients to come into a private area when they view the merchandise.

Last year Specialized bicycles did not allow attendees into their booth unless they were clients or would be clients or bicycle shop personnel. And Trek Bicycles no longer even attends the Outdoor Demo held today and tomorrow, after initially canceling their attendance in the Main Hall several years ago.

Is it fair to call someone a copier? That is both easy and hard. First, how much of a likeness is the copy? If someone can’t tell with the naked eye, or thinks its made by the same company, the likeness is too much.

Cycling is not the only industry outside of fashion that is affected by outright stealing: technology is one of the biggest industries affected by it.

Judge for yourself: Above is the Hotvelociti Zebra jersey produced in 2010 for the 2011 season.

It was part of an entire collection of Zebra jerseys, jackets, dresses and arm warmers made by Hotvelociti.  The design was unique when created by them.

And below is a poor imitation of it posted on a site called Sprint Design, two years later.

The jersey that appeared in Sprint Design this year.

What do you think?

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