Among the constant bad news about the worsening spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, brands and people in the bike industry are trying to make the most of a bad situation. Check out some of the positive news stories to come through our inbox we spotted this week.
Santini and Kitsbow shift clothing production to make facemasks
Performance clothing manufacturer Santanti announced this week that with the falling sales of its clothing range due to the virus it was planning to instead shift its production lines towards masks with the aim to produce 10,000 a day. The masks once produced will be given to those fighting against the spread of COVID-19.
Talking to local news outlet, BergamoNews.It
, the marketing manager for Santini, Paola Santini, said: “We have made the prototype, now we are waiting for the go-ahead from the Politecnico di Milano which is testing it and from Monday 23rd of March we could put our mask into work. We have already tested the machinery and we are ready to produce ten thousand masks per day. We receive many requests, but the priority will be addressed to Bergamo and its province, because we touch the difficulties of our hospitals and how much they still work in companies with their own hands.”
Kitsbow have also decided to start making protective equipment for local first responders and medical staff. They have apparently already had an order for 26,000 units that will ship on Monday. Read more on Bicycle Retailer, here
Industry Nine hopes to shift manufacturing to support fighting the virus
Industry Nine has announced on social media that they have CNC machines ready to make parts that could be in short supply because of the COVID-19 outbreak. In their statement, they specifically mention ventilator components but they are asking anyone to get in contact with them if they think they can help them make the items that are in desperate need during the crisis we are currently all facing.
Monkey's Sauce begins produce hydroalcoholic gel to supply hospitals
Monkey's Sauce has decided to use its large stock of glycerin and alcohol to produce alcoholic gel for hospitals. Monkey's Sauce said: "Monkey's Sauce and Hexis Group (our parent company, manufacturer of self-adhesive vinyl films) produce hydroalcoholic gel to supply hospitals. Glycerin is a major component of our sealant and we use alcohol to clean all machines & to produce some products like Hexis Shagclean. As we have a lot of stock that's why we decided to produce hydroalcoholic gel. Thank you to all the staff currently working at the factory while respecting the safety rules"
BMZ Group stops production of batteries for ebikes to make batteries for ventilators
The BMZ Group, who produce Li-ion batteries that are used in e-Bikes, has decided to convert their production lines to make Li-ion batteries for medical equipment with a focus on ventilators, which are in short supply across the world. They have found that companies producing ventilators desperately need batteries with the company seeing a 50% increase in inquiries.
BMZ Founder and CEO Sven Bauer told Cycling Industry News
: “For us, health protection is paramount. That is why we didn’t hesitate for a moment when we received a distressed call from manufacturers of urgently needed ventilators. We are in the fortunate situation of having access to an extensive inventory, allowing us to increase the number of batteries we produce for use in medical technology.”
RGT Cycling indoor training app has been made free to users
With some parts of the world on full lockdown and others asking to limit any potentially dangerous activities more riders have been looking towards indoor training apps to get in some miles. While Zwift has offered up some added events, RGT Cycling has decided to make their platforms completely free to users. The programs, which normally cost £12.99 (per month), will now be available to everyone at no charge for the time being as they want to encourage people to stay indoors and not put themselves in a situation where they might add to the strain of healthcare services.
Alex Serban, the founder and CEO of RGT, told Cycling News
: “As the impact of COVID-19 is felt around the world, this mission has become more important than ever and after watching inspiring communities come together to support each other, our need to do everything we can to help became obvious.
“At a time when focusing on profit would be easy, this removal of restrictions will provide free access for all and, we hope, offer some support to the cycling community.”
Cycling shops report a rise in sales as more people look to cycling as a mode of transportCycling Industry News reported earlier this week
that with the spread of COVID-19 and the worries over using public transport they have found that bike shops have been seeing a rise in sales.
Energise e-Bikes has found that they are selling to people who they would not normally serve with a spike in sales at weekends. They told Cycling Industry News: “We did have a spike on the weekend sales-wise, particularly in the 30 to 40-year-old commuter demographic, which we don’t see that often.
Tring Motion’s David Barnett, hasn't found quite the same kind of sales as Energise but they have seen more people coming to have repairs on their bikes: “Mine has been mainly repairs, activity has increased despite my website being offline for a few days. I have had an uptick on lower priced units, for sure.”Bicycle Retailer
has also reported that New York has seen a rise in sales with New York city bridge counters seeing increased traffic and Citi Bike share system finding a usage increase of over 50%.
In the same report, it mentions that Bicycle Habitat which has three locations in the city has found increases of over 75% in their shops since the outbreak of COVID-19. Charlie McCorkell, owner of Bicycle Habitat told Bicycle Retailer: “We’ve been pretty busy; we’re an important part of the whole system right now and we’re doing our best to keep it going.
“We’re seeing sales in two categories: the transportation category and the other is what I call ‘normalizing your children’s experience in a time of crisis.’ We’re selling a lot of kids bikes. I think parents are trying to give kids a good experience as opposed to everything sucks out there.”
Trash Free Trails announce selfless isolation initiative with the DIY spring trail clean
Trash Free Trails were set to kick off their Spring Trail Clean tour next month, which would have seen them head to 10 locations across the UK to clean up the trails from plastic waste left behind by trail users. But with the spread of the virus and government restrictions, the plans could not go ahead but that does not mean that trails can't be cleaned. To keep their idea going, they have announced 'Selfless Isolation', which involves anyone interested to head out to their local trails and pick up any rubbish that you can find. Even if we can't have as much fun on our bikes at the moment we can at least make sure that the places we ride stay clean and healthy for when we can return to the trails.
It is important to remember your own country's guidelines when outside your home. If your government is suggesting 'social distancing' then please follow the rules and remain at least 2 meters away from other people (try not to visit your trails in large groups) and do not travel unless it is necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19.