Chris Farley’s family settles with Trek over fat bike name

Terms are confidential but Trek can continue making Farley bikes

Fat Bike News
Trek Farley

The 27.5-inch wheeled Trek Farley fat bike is one of Mtbr’s favorite snow tamers.

Updated June 7: Trek says the family of the late Saturday Night Live star Chris Farley has settled a lawsuit against the Wisconsin-based bike maker for naming its fat bikes Farley. Trek’s Eric Bjorling told The Associated Press the settlement was reached Wednesday. Terms are confidential, but Bjorling added that Trek will be allowed to continue making Farley bikes. You can read more about the original lawsuit below.

Original Post: The battle between Trek and the family of late comedian Chris Farley is heating up — and it is definitely not a laughing matter.

According to an Associate Press report, the family has filed a federal lawsuit against the Wisconsin-based bike maker, claiming its fat bike named the Farley “misappropriated Farley’s name and traded on his ‘fat guy’ brand of comedy.”

The former Saturday Night Live star and movie actor grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, just a half hour from Trek’s world headquarters in Waterloo.

The lawsuit was originally filed in California in 2017, but a judge recently ordered that the case to instead be heard in a federal court in Madison because it’s closer to all involved parties.

The AP report also revealed that the Make Him Smile company, which was founded and is run by Farley’s family to protect his publicity and property rights, claims damages may exceed $10 million.

Farley weighed about 400 pounds, the lawsuit states, having “spent his entire career building, then capitalizing on, his unique brand of ‘fat guy’ humor and acting style.” And he “carefully guarded and policed his brand, rejecting overtures from companies he felt did not warrant it, and even feared that losing weight would jeopardize his brand as a comedian.”

The lawsuit further alleges that Trek chose the name Farley “to immediately associate defendant Trek’s fat bikes with one of their favorite ‘fat’ and ‘loud’ comedians,” and the company’s executives knew what they were doing when they made the decision.

Of course, Mtbr can’t speak to any of this. But we have ridden the bike and were highly impressed. You can read the full review here.

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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