What's Cool In Road Cycling

How Bike Brands Are Coping With Covid



Over recent days I’ve talked with several bike brands about how they’re coping with the Covid-19 virus and balancing protecting employees’ health while keeping the business rolling.

These conversations happened between March 24h and 26th, and even during that time, and by the time you read this, the landscape will have changed.


Alé Bikewear – Italy
As of the 26th March, Alé Bikewear closed its doors as lockdown is tightened by the Italian government, while the Italian government and people struggle to get out from under the Covid crisis.

Manufacturers, shops and businesses across Europe and around the world have closed or scaled back as people shelter at home and stay away from each other to slow the spread of the Corona virus.  Alé BikeWear near Mantova, Italy is south of that country’s epicenter across the north, but still feeling the effects, and in fact closed the doors from March 26 – April 3 as per government order. Ahead of that the technical cycling clothing brand took measures to protect workers throughout their headquarters in design, sublimation, sewing (and the rest of the building) with safety precautions like sanitizing the workspace, reducing staff, ensuring large spaces between workers, and everyone wearing masks. Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like on the inside in the days before the March 26 closure. 

This message was posted on their website:

Dear friends, suppliers, customers, enthusiasts, the moment is difficult but those who love cycling know it well: sacrifice and effort are part of us, of our passion, of our world, and they do not scare us.
Now, more than ever, it’s time to be bold, get up on the pedals and face this climb. Let’s do it in a group. Together. Because today there is no leader to follow, we are all team mates and we must all sprint and pass the finish line. Our priority in Alé is your health and well-being. We are collaborating and following the directives indicated in the latest ministerial decree.We therefore inform you that the company will be closed from March 26 to April 3. We will continue to update you on our social channels, giving you indications for future developments. Alé products will eventually be available and delivered by our e-retailers partners. In the meantime, come on! Let’s stay home and stay positive! Above all, we must be a team: now more than ever it is necessary to ride together, even if only virtually and all from home.
I send you a big hug: I am sure that we will be coloring the world with our jerseys very soon and it will be even more beautiful to ride together. For real.Alessia Piccolo


Arundel Bike – USA
Arundel Bike is based in Texas and best known for making the kind of bike gear they’d want to buy themselves.  Selling mass quantities of product is not part of their dna, but pouring their hearts into design, sourcing the best materials and finding ways to offer top end accessories like cages, saddle bags and floor pumps is.


Owner Chris Watson told me:
“I’m at home today but will be in the office tomorrow.  Trading off with David.   On Mar. 24 our local government imposed Shelter in Place.  They’ve been stepping up COVID policy almost by the day.

You know how Nero fiddled while Rome burned?  That’s me and David.  I’ve been working on a pro team styled bike rack for a team I’m helping.  David has just completed a bike (he’s quite an accomplished fillet brazing guy) for a friend.  We aren’t really in business to make and sell this stuff but we do love it.

These two are True Temper S3 construction.  Great riding stuff that’s out of production unfortunately.

Yet we’ve been in touch with multiple bike shops, some who’ve reported brisk business.  Whether it’s kids off school or adults off work, getting outside seems to be popular right now.  As a result (and as of today…) we choose to think the bike business might fall into a strange place whereby bike repairs and bike sales go up rather than down.  Or alternatively, I’m full of shit:)


Basso Bikes – Italy
From Joshua Riddle – Marketing Manager –
Over the last several days we here at Basso Bikes have been inundated with calls, emails and messages concerning the Corona virus pandemic. We certainly appreciate the outpouring of concern for us and all of our employees and it makes working during this stressful time a bit easier. While we gladly take the time to respond to each and every message, mail and call we receive we felt it important also to issue an official statement in order to inform everyone about the realities here on the ground and how we are coping with them.

As is common knowledge, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Italy hard. Initial quarantines were scattered around northern Italy but did not directly affect our operations in San Zenone degli Ezzelini. However, the situation escalated and the federal government signed a decree over the weekend making the entire nation a “protected area” and as such placed it under state-wide semi quarantine. All Italian citizens are required to remain in their homes and can leave only in the case of emergency, grocery shopping, pharmacy visits and travel to and from their places of employment.

We at Basso have taken several measures to ensure that we are:

  • Being as responsible as possible in the face of a threat that requires us all to participate in preventative measures if we are to defeat it
  • Reducing the risks of infection and or contamination amongst our staff and partners
  • Still providing the same great service and products as you all have come to expect from our brand

We have implemented the following measures:

  • Cancelled all travel abroad and within Italy for entire staff
  • Implemented a “smart-working” or home-office organization for all roles and departments that don’t have a physical need to be present in the office.
  • Taken measures to ensure that physical proximity between working staff is held to a maximum in order to reduce contact and exposure between colleagues

While the scenario in which we are living at the moment makes for a complicated and stressful atmosphere and simply getting to work is a challenge of sorts, we are quite lucky insofar as we produce our products in house. This is an advantage that is proving to be quite beneficial at the moment as we are not experiencing shortages of product to fulfill existing orders nor do we have problems taking on new ones. Our factories remain fully staffed and our production, proudly based in Italy, has not suffered any setbacks. Logistical providers remain operative and as a result things are business as usual for Basso.

We thank you for your warm wishes, demonstrations of support and kind words during this difficult period. We are happy to continue to serve you, working to create a better cycling experience with the same passion and dedication to quality as always. We are also happy to take the added effort to ensure that our staff, colleagues and partners are as safe as possible and that we are all working to contribute to a quicker solution to the virus that has affected us all either directly or indirectly.





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