Bike Industry Takes on COVID-19, 2020 Olympics Cancelled, Prepare for Solo Rides [MTB News Mix]

The mountain bike news mix this week has a markedly different theme due to the coronavirus outbreak.

MTB News Mix is a weekly update of all things mountain biking where we cover new products, pro race results, trail news, and more.

The 2020 Summer Olympics have been cancelled

Coronavirus has been wreaking havoc across the globe for weeks now. Several UCI World Cup rounds have been cancelled, and athletes and fans have been wondering what it would mean for the 2020 Olympics.

None of us are quite sure when this pandemic will settle down, but the International Olympic Committee is sure that it won’t be in time to kick off this years’ summer Olympics. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know,” an International Olympic Committee member told USA Today.

At this point, it sounds like the Olympics will be rescheduled to 2021. The committee said that the ramifications and process of rescheduling the 2020 Olympics, scheduled to take place in Tokyo, would be “immense.”

Bike industry manufacturers chip-in to fight COVID-19

As the U.S. prepares for what’s to come while COVID-19 spreads, experts recognize that there will likely be a shortage of much needed medical supplies like masks and respirators.

Industry-Nine and Kitsbow aren’t waiting for an order to use their manufacturing equipment to make medical supplies. Both brands are already planning how to shift production from mountain bike wheels and apparel to parts for respirators, and medical masks.

“At our disposal are dozens of CNC machines ready to make parts in short supply like ventilator components,” said Industry Nine in a statement. “Our engineering teams have years of robotics and automation experience ready to support companies producing PPE like masks and gloves” Industry Nine is seeking medical supply company contacts to find out what they can produce and who to send parts to.

Mountain bike apparel brand Kitsbow, known for producing high end shorts and jerseys, is working on face masks that will hopefully be reusable, and as effective as N95 medical masks. Kitsbow also plans to make face shields for first responders. The first shields will go to Buncombe and Burke County Emergency Management. Both counties are near Kitsbow’s home in Asheville.

The masks are sold at cost to local first responders and medical staff, and Kitsbow intends to distribute them internationally as they make more.

IMBA urges mountain bikers to keep our distance

While most of us in the U.S., even those under ‘shelter in place’ orders are able to ride, IMBA has urged mountain bikers to consider a few things. First, make sure the land or space is open. Some parks have shut down in response to overcrowding. IMBA says that it’s also best to reschedule trail work days until the coronavirus pandemic slows down. IMBA also reminds us that protecting each other is the most important thing.

“Right now, protecting each other is more important than mountain biking,” says Dave Weins, IMBA Executive Director. “Staying home is essential to safeguard our communities and slow the spread of COVID-19. Our trails will be waiting for us. IMBA wants to make sure we will all be there for our trails.”

If we do ride, we should remain socially distant and communicate with others when we pass them on the trail. With more people out of work, or working from home, there will likely be more people on the trails. IMBA says to be mindful about distance in between others when passing, and to be an even better steward than ever.

It’s also very important to ride conservatively and within our limits to prevent injury and avoid straining the healthcare system even further.

Ryan Leech offers 30-day wheelie course for free during the pandemic

Skills guru Ryan Leech offers an array of online skills coaching on his website, Ryan Leech Connection, and now riders can try a taste for free. Leech had a number of people requesting to put their memberships on hold due to losing their jobs, so he decided to make at least one of his courses free of charge.

For those who are stuck hanging around the neighborhood during isolation and social distancing, practicing wheelies is a solid and safe way to get some bike time in. Leech partnered with Pearl iZUMi for this program and they are donating $1 for every rider that enrolls in the wheelie challenge to Trips for Kids. Check out more information here.

FSA Bike Festival Garda Trentino postponed

As is the case with most bike events planned for this spring and early summer, the FSA Bike Festival Garda Trentino has been rescheduled from May, and is now planned to start on the 24th of July in Riva del Garda, Italy. Follow the event on Facebook or Instagram for continued updates.

Industry Nine partners with We Are One for carbon hoops

Industry Nine has partnered with Canadian brand We Are One Composites to make the ultimate wheelset. The new rims are hand laid in Kamloops, BC, where We Are One is based, following Industry Nine layup procedures and molds, and are available in several different packages. The new wheels will work for anything from XC to downhill, and everything in between.

The wheels have a shallow rim depth and use a thicker bead wall to reduce the risk of pinch flats and damage on impact. They all of course use Industry Nine hubs. For more information on the available models, see the I-9 website.

Race Face T2 Tailgate Pad

Race Face has been a strong player in the tailgate pad game for a long time, and now they have re-envisioned the popular T2. The T2 has six adjustment straps for a snug fit on any tailgate and an adjustable window for backup cameras or tailgate handles.

There are of course downtube straps and raised bumpers for a solid hold on bikes. The pad is available in two sizes and Race Face says it will fit any truck out there. MSRP is $150 for a size S/M, and $160 for a size L/XL.

Spurcycle makes Compact Bell better for flat bars

Spurcycle has a new Compact Bell, that’s been made better for flat bars. The Compact Bell is now 50% slimmer and it has better integration with brake, dropper, and shifter levers on most modern mountain bikes. The Compact Bell is available now and sells for $39.

Ninja MTB Performance has something to keep your kids (or yourself) busy

Ninja Mountain Bike Performance teamed up with Sketchy Trails to create free MTB coloring pages for kids… and grownups too.