Giant-Alpecin considers safety bikes after collision.

Giant protection

Giant protection

Six riders from the Giant-Alpecin WorldTour squad were injured Saturday in Spain when a 73 year old Englishwoman driving on the wrong side of the road plowed into them.

American Chad Haga was airlifted to a nearly hospital and Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo champion John Degenkolb nearly lost a finger and is sidelined for at least three months.

In light of these disastrous events, the team is considering a temporary switch to safer bikes, changing from their Giant race bikes to a bike with a higher level of safety protection.

“We are 100% committed to Giant but for now we’re considering the safety of our riders,’ said team manager¬†Iwan Spekenbrink. We’ve got to take extreme measures to protect the riders from cars and bad drivers.”

The team is in negotiations to purchase¬†a dozen pedal powered bumper cars. The modified bikes cost $2000 and may be delivered to the squad as early as next week. While Giant-Alpecin riders will still race on their bike sponsor’s equipment, all training rides will use the bumper bikes.

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Reached for comment from his hospital bed, Haga said he’s looking forward to testing out the bumper bikes. “What an awesome idea. I don’t have to be worried about getting rammed by a car now,” said Haga. “I can train knowing my bumper bike is ready for anything.

Safety features include:

Construction from 1/8″ thick wall 3″ x 1″ box steel for durability, with 3/16″ x 3” flat steel under the bumper.

Padded steering wheel prevents any poking injuries from handlebars,

Raised pedals to keep feet out of the bumper zone, with a lowered center of gravity.

Raised pedals also allow bumper support to go under, rather than around, the legs.

Wide stance to prevent tipping with a heavy, on-the-ground build.

 

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