Local police officers are vouching for a bike model that can be bought in Northeast Ohio after news that the City of Cleveland’s bid for RNC police bikes appears to favor a company in Washington state.
Several current and former police officers contacted newsnet5.com after viewing the city’s invitation to bid on 300 police bikes for the RNC in July.
Some of the technical specifications allow for exceptions but the chain stay and seat yoke is listed as a “must have.”
Local shop managers like Landon Tracey of Eddy’s Bike Shop said that specification puts local bike shops out of the running for the massive contract.
“They’re very specific parts on this bike that are only made with this Volcanic bike and you’re not going to find any other manufacturer out there,” Tracey explained.
Sgt. Brian Muntean of the Massillon Police Department told newsnet5.com that Trek Bikes, which are sold at several local shops across Northeast Ohio, sell a police patrol model that is ideal for law enforcement use.
“I would see no reason whatsoever to get a bike out of state when there are local dealers in the area that specifically sell and market a law enforcement bicycle,” Muntean said.
Muntean was trained on a police patrol bike through a program in Cleveland. He said many of the officers in the class used Trek bikes.
“I’ve probably bought 10 mountain bikes in the past 15 years and I’ve only bought Trek for a reason,” said Muntean, who also rides mountain bikes for a hobby.
The City of Cleveland declined to comment on the matter at this point.
“This is a competitive bid process and thus, the City will not comment until a bid has been accepted by the City,” a spokesman told newsnet5.com.
Volcanic Bikes founder Eric Kackley told newsnet5.com that his small business is not in the position to finance bikes for a local bike shop.
“I believe a high-quality product made in the United States is buying local and makes the most sense for the Republican National Convention. I am open to great ideas that work for everyone all around,” a statement said, in part.
The International Police Mountain Bike Association, which provides training for public safety cyclists, told newsnet5.com IPMBA recommends a mountain bike from a reputable manufacturer, in good working order, properly fitted to the rider.
“Mountain bikes designed and spec'd for public safety use are recommended because they tend to be sturdier, with heavy-duty components and other features designed to stand up to a wide array of riding conditions, to include stairs and curbs, urban environments, off-road areas, etc. They need to be built to last,” a spokesperson said in a statement said.
The IMPBA lists several models, including the Trek Police Edition and Volcanic models, on its website.
Bids for the RNC police bikes are due to the city by March 19.
UPDATE: In an email received after this story aired and was published Wednesday night, a spokesman told newsnet5.com that Volcanic bikes now plans to partner with a local shop. Details on that partnership are still to come.