Specialized Bicycle Components, one of the nation's most prolific and well-known
makers of high-performance bikes, filed the lawsuit last year, alleging that Choi and Forsman
stole the design for their bike before leaving the South County-based company in 2010.
They say Volagi and its signature bike, the "Liscio," is based on Specialized's trade secrets.
Choi and Forsman deny stealing any designs from Specialized, maintaining that their former
employer is simply bitter because the pair have developed a unique product that's drawing
raves in the biking world. The partners view the lawsuit as an attempt by a powerful company
and its well-paid lawyers to wipe out a small competitor.
"They were embarrassed," said Forsman, 41. "A lot of this came down to appearance."
Added Choi, 50: "We thought we had a better idea. And in order for us to pursue it, we
were going to have to quit Specialized. For them to pursue this is an incredible surprise."