Keen to support local industry but don't want to increase transmission risks? Try these tips!
We're at the start of what could a long time with new expectations on socialising, shopping, recreation and work. The decisions we make, as mountain bikers, over the coming weeks will not turn the tide on a global pandemic. But smart decisions about our movements can help reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the greater community and decrease the chance of infection to those at risk.
Last week we outlined some riding tips for those who are social distancing, and some indoor training tips for those social isolating. Just 4 days later, it is now probably more socially responsible to limit your trips to the trailhead. That's for you to decide, but there is every chance we could have that enforced, like in Italy, Spain and other countries.
With wide-ranging measures put in place by state, and then federal, government on 22nd March, the impact on the bike indsutry is immense. And this is already on the back of bushfires and a crazy summer. So what can we, as mountain bikers, do to help the local and greater industry while making sure we do our civic duty to reduce the chance of transmission?
Easy - check out our contactless tips!
Buy your next bike online
There's nothing like walking into a high-end mountain bike shop, talking to educated staff who live and breathe mountain biking, and planning out your new bike. We have extolled the virutes of buying a bike via your local store before, and plenty of shops will be happy to have you pick up the phone and get in touch.
But buying a bike online doesn't mean you are sending your money overseas - with retailers like Bicycles Online delivering bikes, and parts, Australia-wide. We have tested a range of bikes from Bicycles Online, including the Marin Alpine Trail 8, Marin Gestalt X11 gravel bike, and the Marin San Quentin 3 hardtail.
Like bikes from Bicycles Online, Canyon bikes come out of the box almost ready to ride. They're all pre-built and checked before being packed again, so any work at your end is minimal.
Ride Sports in Brisbane also have Sunn, Kellys, THOK and NS mountain bikes that can be delivered for a flat rate of $150. Or you can arrange a pick up, which could be organised to be contactless. We have tested a few bikes from Sunn, plus the THOK Mig-R eMTB. Given their direct sales model the pricing is pretty sharp, and they are worth checking out.
Click and collect, or book ahead, for your new bike
A lot of major brand's offer click and collect. So, you do all the browsing you want on the internet, pick your bike and size, and store pick up. Then pay your money, and you'll be told when the bike is ready!
Simon from Specialized dealer Studio de Velo in Sumner, Queensland, has been quick to adapt their services and shop.
"We are moving to offer non-contact shopping including payments with either contactless PayPass or bank transfers, for essentially a click and collect style transaction, and we're offering to deliver goods in the local area. Hopefully our workshop can continue to operate behind closed doors as it will allow us to offer some income stability for staff as well as keeping customers rolling in a time where riding a bike has become the number one form of exercise!"
We’re keeping an eye on recommendations this week as to the trading options for Studio de Velo over the coming days. At this stage we’ll be open for business 9.30am tomorrow as normal! . Feel free to call us or send an email, we’re offering free pick up and drop off on service bikes and demo bikes. If you’re stuck and need some supplies get in touch and we can look at dropping them off for you. . Let us know if you’re working from home yet!? Are you still managing to get out on the bike? . Again thank you for the support during these interesting times. . . . #businessasunusual #studiodevelo #bikeshop #4074 #4074communityandbeyond #localbusiness #smallbusiness
Trek Bikes dealer Park Bikes in Sydney Olympic Park are lead by an incredible team devoted to customer service, precision bike fit and exceptional workshop work. They have just released an update about COVID-19, and while they are open, their doors are shut. You need to make an appointment, but their own website is being updated right now, and they are happy to arrange pick up and collection for a range of services.
Using Australian business for services
Lots of bike shops are offering pick up and drop off services, and if you have a favourite local shop, keep an eye out for updates.
Of course, smaller operators are really quick to adapt. Ryan Walsch is one of our main bike and product testers, and runs Fixed By Ryan out of his pretty amazing garage.
"Utilising the online bookings and secure dropoff points I’m able to ensure no contact is made. All bikes are thoroughly washed including touch points with disinfectant, and again touchpoints again before collection or delivery. Payments are made via the paylink on the emailed invoice as usual and no cash payments will be accepted at this time."
Still, some people are cautious and Ryan isn't penalising those who want to wait this all out.
"There are no fees for cancellations or rescheduling and are happy to provide phone support and troubleshooting to customers whom wish to say home."
There are lots of service only operators out there - maybe it's time to do a search in your local area?
Cyclinic have always promoted their 24/7 online booking service, and increasingly for anyone looking to keep their suspension working well, now is the time to do it. If you're not going to be riding as much, you're better off sending your fork and shock off for some high-quality love right now.
If you're pretty handy yourself, Cyclinic have just about every small part available to order, and some handy advice on their website.
If you're after something more specific, then DIYMTB down on the south coast of NSW are the people to get in touch with. From bearings, tools, sweet Titanium bolt kits and high end headsets, bottom brackets and more - this crew are likely to have what you need for home workshops and essential upgrades and maintence.
Lead Out Sports can also sort you out with some sweet Abbey Tools, or high end Kogel bottom brackets or other parts. Their webshop is simple to use, and when we tested one the their Kogel bottom brackets we were really impressed! This is also where you'll find Backcountry Research Straps and Smoove Lube, amongst other popular items.
New threads and other items online
Ground Effect are a New Zealand company that have only ever sold via mail order, so their process is super slick. Their website has information on sizing, materials and returns, even with videos showing how the gear fits! What's really cool is that all their clothing is made in New Zealand.
A couple of years back we visited the offices, had some scones that the company owners made fresh, went for a ride and then had some beers. Their Snipes shorts are possibly some of the best we have ever used.
If you're ofter something from an Australian brand, then you can log on to the DHaRCO website and order what you need. The Gravity Shorts and 3/4 Trail Jersey are an all-time combo - you can read our review here.
What about riding?
So, when can we go out en masse onto the trails again? We don't know. Some locations are closed, most notably Maydena Bike Park shut down completely until late September.
But, they have bookings opening up with a crazy discount for late September onwards. Given they have a generous policy for changing bookings if conditions prevent them opening up in September, it's an awesome way to invest in this world-class mountain bike park AND book your seat on a shuttle for when their gates open up again.
Subscribe to mountain bike magazines
Heading out to a newsagent might not be at the top of your list, but what about reading a mountain bike title with in-depth features and considered product reviews, advice and tips? Our subscriptions cost just $59 for 7 issues delivered direct to your door (and wrapped in plastic!). Plus right now you can enter to win a brand new Merida One Twenty 700 trail bike when you subscrbibe, or renew your subscription.
This is just a small sample of ways you can social distance, look after your bike, look after society in general, and keep the industry afloat in tough times. Do you know a local mountain bike business that's going above and beyond to act in a safe and civic way at the moment? Email the details and a photo over to email@example.com and we'll give them a shout out!