If you have noticed a “new” dual pivot brake on the market, manufactured by TRP, it is a
blatant copy and rip-off of my design.
In short, here is what happened:
I was approached by the TRP marketing manager in August of 2007 with a proposal. He was
aware that I had a lightweight, robust brake design but not the resources to pursue it, and his
company had the resources, but had been unable to come up with a worthy design. It seemed
like a good match.
With mutual agreement, he then presented the idea to Tektro management (Tektro owns the
TRP brand) and they showed interest and directed him to pursue the idea in greater detail.
So at Interbike in September of 2007 I meet with their VP of Engineering to show them my
designs (samples of both the Al1 and Ti2 calipers) drawings and support documentation. We
went over design ideas and issues. I was VERY open with them about all the ideas I had, all
the testing I had done, what changes I would make for high-volume production, my costs,
price targets, machining and setup operations, etc. I stressed the goal of a mutually beneficial
relationship, and was very willing to work with them in any capacity.
He seemed quite pleased after closely inspecting my calipers and hearing my ideas.
In retrospect, one of his final responses was very prophetic, “there’s nothing here we can’t
do”. Which I took to mean he was interested in working with BC2A Design, but as it turns out,
was not at all what he had in mind.
After Interbike, the TRP marketing manager and I worked out what we both believed to be an
equitable agreement between Tektro and BC2A Design, which he then presented to Tektro
management. This was not some half-baked, unreasonable demand from myself, but a
proposal that we both worked on, that was reasonable, taking in to account the lower pay
scale and costs of doing business in Taiwan versus the USA; and I stressed (many times) my
willingness to work with Tektro to reach a mutually agreeable deal.
Unfortunately during September and October very little was accomplished, so by December of
2007, the TRP marketing manager recommended that he take samples of my calipers with him
for a trip he was making to Tektro’s main office in Taiwan to “help with negotiations”. I agreed,
but stressed to him not to let the calipers out of his hands so that they would not be copied,
and he agreed that this should not be allowed to happen.
He returned from Taiwan a little over a week later, saying he had no luck, and negotiations
were still not moving forward. Then, 2 weeks later, in a complete reversal, he told me Tektro
management was no longer interested in my designs. Done.
3 months later, TRP announces their “new” machined aluminum dual pivot brake design, which
looks amazingly similar to the BC2A Designs, and as it turns out, are in fact direct copies
incorporating many of my ideas for machining and volume production, although fortunately, as
one would expect from a company incapable of coming up with original designs and not fully
understanding what they are copying, an inferior, heavier version with greater twisting and
bending loads under heavy braking.
Tektro’s shameful business practices reflect poorly on their company, and their response “it’s
not an EXACT copy, most of the dimensions are not identical”, or worse yet, blatant lies to
defend themselves, show again how dishonest they truly are.