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Austin police get new bike supplier

Published January 13, 2021
Bicycle World Texas will replace Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas (BRAIN) — City officials here are recommending that Bicycle World Texas provide bikes to the police department, five months after Mellow Johnny's ended its relationship with the department.

The City of Austin purchasing department evaluation team made the decision on Jan. 8. Two other vendors submitted offers: Pedal Power Bicycles of San Marcos, Texas, and e-bike manufacturer Benelli. The contract doesn't require city council approval and is expected to be officially executed shortly, according to the purchasing department.

Bicycle World Texas, located in Waco, referred questions to Texas Endurance Sports, which operates the retail location. Texas Endurance Sports did not reply to a request from BRAIN for comment.

The five-year contract calls for the annual replacement of 40 bikes used in the downtown area and 5-10 used in parks. Accessories will include racks, bags, headlights, and taillights.

Bicycle World Texas will replace Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop Austin, which ended its affiliation with the police in August after staff expressed concern over officers using bikes aggressively to block Black Lives Matter protesters from roadways. The Downtown Area Command has more than 150 bicycle patrol officers.

Mellow Johnny's $200,000 contract was in its second year with $52,325 expended.

There has been a movement by some in the industry to end the sale of police bikes. BikeCo, the North American distributor of Fuji bikes, suspended sales of bikes to police forces in June, citing recent reports of those bikes being used as weapons at protest marches. Fuji police bikes are sold through bike shops.

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