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Cafe Roubaix blowup, Serotta saga dominate BRAIN traffic in 2013

Published December 29, 2013

LAGUNA HILLS, CA (BRAIN) — BicycleRetailer.com readers flocked to two big stories in 2013: the continuing saga of the Divine Cycling Group — a tale told in articles published from February to December — and the brief social media explosion over Specialized's attempt to protect a trademark from use by a Canadian bike shop.

Here's a look at the top 10 stories of the year, according to our traffic numbers:

1. ASI says Calgary bike shop can use Roubaix name. (Dec. 9) The most viewed BRAIN article of the year by a wide margin was our report that Specialized, in fact, did not own the Roubaix trademark that it was trying to enforce. Instead, Fuji Bikes owner ASI owns the mark and licenses it to Specialized, and ASI's CEO said he had no problem with its use by the Calgary shop Cafe Roubaix. 

2. Ben Serotta's letter to the cycling community. (Aug. 7) The second most viewed article was an open letter from the veteran bike builder following his firing by the new managers of the company he founded 40 years earlier. All the articles related to Divine Cycling Group were well read this year.

3. Shimano to slash number of North American distributors. (July 12) Not counting several other articles related to the Cafe Roubaix blowup and the Divine Cycling Group, the third most viewed article of 2013 was of great interest to retailers, distributors and Shimano's competitors. 

4. Garmin Vector power meter in 'mass production.' (Aug. 1) Readers (likely including more than a few consumers in addition to our regular trade readership) were eager for news about Garmin's long-awaited entry into the power meter market. The company had been close-lipped about the product, but an executive let some information out during an investor conference call that BRAIN covered.

5. LeMond to introduce three bikes at Interbike. (Sept. 12) Five years after his less-than-amicable split from Trek, the Tour hero brought back bikes bearing his name. 

6. Felt lays off 6, blames industry downturn. (Aug. 1) More grim news about a tough year in the bike world.

7. New bicycle-friendly state ranking released. (May 1) Nothing like a little state vs. state rivalry to drive readership. 

8. DealerCamp faces near-death experience. (July 29) BRAIN's blunt report on the event's situation drew many readers.

9. Fred Clements: Amazon, destroyer of jobs. (July 31) The NBDA executive director shared some facts and opinion about the e-commerce giant.

10. Specialized recalls forks on Tarmac SL4, Crux and Secteur (Jan. 25). One of the 20 bike-related recalls BRAIN reported on this year. 

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