It sounds like there's a $1400 stimulus check coming our way for those eligible. As mountain bikers, assuming food and lodging and debt is ok, it's our duty to spend it and help the economy. And what better way to use it than to spend it on U.S. bike-related companies.

Better if they're locally made too as there is a global shortage of bikes and components made in the big overseas factories that supply most companies with components. This seems a be a chance for U.S. companies who make parts to be noticed. And it's a good time for us to support them and spread the word.

Here are some of our best product recommendations. But please feel free to add your recommendations in the comments below.

1. Industry Nine Stem and Hubs
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The A35 stem is a work of art that looks that can personalize a dream bike.​
Remember when we used to trick out our bikes with those anodized Kooka stems? Rasta colors or anodized green or pink were often the finishing touches to a custom bike spec'd piece by piece to perform and look just right for the owner's tastes.

Well, Industry Nine is here to the rescue as with their A35 stems that blend fit, engineering, and aesthetics. It pays homage to the old but you can't get it in 120mm length. 60mm is the longest they create and that's pushing it for All Mountain and Trail bikes.

The Industry Nine A35 stem is crafted from aluminum billet into a svelte design of equal form and function. Using practices honed in their machine shop over a decade of CNC manufacturing, Industry Nine introduces a strong and beautiful component to personalize their mountain bike.

U.S. made art from Asheville, NC
Taking name and shape from the A-axis in their five-axis machining centers, the A35 is an all-mountain stem utilizing a 35mm bar diameter. The A35 is machined, anodized, and assembled entirely in their Asheville, NC facility and available in lengths of 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, and 60mm. Add their expressive mix of 11 anodized colors, and you've arrived at the intersection of execution and style.

MSRP: $145
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2. Saris bike racks and trainers
Saris is a company based in Madison, Wisconsin producing bike racks and trainer locally, sourcing labor and materials from the area. They've listened to consumers and have addressed modern bike rack needs with their latest rack, the MTRR neatly folds up and out of the way.

"We listened to consumer feedback and saw changing trends in the marketplace where there was a different approach to the platform-style hitch rack," explained Heather Fortune, the Wisconsin-based company's director of marketing.

We tested the MTR and found it one of the finest racks we've ever tested, perhaps even one-upping the hallowed 1UPUSA rack revered by many owners in the last decade.

Saris MTR Hitch Rack

The Saris MTR hitch rack comes in 1- and 2-tray base models that can be expanded with 1- or 2-tray add-ons.

And like all of their racks, the Saris MTR is made in the USA and built from American-made steel and aluminum for maximum durability. It also has a lifetime warranty just in case.



Saris MTR Hitch Rack

The Saris MTR is made in the USA and built from American-made steel and aluminum for maximum durability. It also has a lifetime warranty just in case.

When the trays are loaded and locked in place, each one cascades upwards, which helps eliminate handlebar clearance issues and lessens the chance that you'll drag your rack on the pavement even when entering or exiting steep driveways. When not in use, the trays fold in on top of each other, narrowing the rack's footprint and delivering a tidy and clean aesthetic.

MSRP: $800
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3. Kitsbow mask, Flannel Swift X top and Merino Hoodie
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Back in May of 2020, at the height of the Covid crisis, Kitsbow shut down manufacturing of their bike products to answer the call of the severe PPE protection for first responders.

"As you know, since 2012 we have been committed to making the best cycling apparel possible. That commitment will not change; even in these difficult times. Our primary focus is on the health of our staff, families, and our community. That community includes you. It’s with this in mind, we have decided to pivot our production to making face shields for first responders as well as reusable face masks."

- David Billstrom, Kitsbow CEO and former EMT and firefighter


"Although it is a simple design, to make it at scale, you need a computer-controlled fabric cutter for the foam headband, computer-controlled laser cutter for the shield material, and dedicated careful makers," Billstrom said. "We had all three, and the crew came in on Saturday. I posted the (Facebook) photos of the team, and, pow, we are at 26,000 units ordered and climbing."

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They followed through on that promise and worked with health agencies and scientists to deliver the best protection available during the time of need until production from traditional sources could catch up.

Now, these masks and shields are available to consumers and in classic Kitsbow style, they're producing some of the best options and best-fitting masks available. They've employed what they know about fit and measurements and have made up to six sizes available on their most popular masks.

Wake Protech Mask
MSRP: $29.95
Buy Now


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Women's Galena Merino Hoodie

While we're at it, we might as well talk about the other stunning Kitsbow products starting with the Galena Merino Hoodie. Details like a perfectly fitted hood and neck cowl, secure rear and hand pockets, and shirt length front and rear dropped hem add to its wearability.

This hoodie is the perfect layer for any cool weather activity, commuting and mountain biking in unpredictable temperatures. It will perhaps be the most comfortable everyday hoodie you’ve ever worn.
MSRP: $195
Buy Now

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Swift X Kitsbow Icon Relaxed Athletic Fit

$235.00
And since it's 'unexpected' money, might as well recommend a 'splurge' item, something normally out of reach. Made to order in North Carolina this Swift X flannel will ship the day it is made. Featuring Pendleton® wool, this Icon Shirt is a timeless homage to the rugged PNW mountains that Swift calls home, and for this project was given a very special colorway to commemorate the Swift x Kitsbow collaborative process.

Kitsbow designed the Relaxed Athletic Fit as an ideal Shirt-jacket fit. Cut with just enough room in the shoulders and chest for layering, while allowing for excellent range of motion and a moderately tailored look. It's not cheap but you can wear riding, around the house, dinner date or even those casual weddings mountain bikers are known for.

Buy Now

4. Your local craft brewery
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Craft brewers have been kind to us, supporting our local economy, bike events, and trail building efforts. And although alcohol sales are up during the pandemic, a lot of local brewers are hurting right now. Tap rooms, events and dining out are way down and a lot of local brewers rely on local sales.

So let's drink beer from growlers, cans, the more local the better. The key is to support the local folks and pursue a flight to quality beer.

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What's your favorite beer and where do you live? What beer companies are active in your cycling community? Let us know in the comments below.



5. Vacation at Bentonville, AR or other riding destinations.
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And last but not least is to 'buy a vacation' to a riding mecca or destination. My highest recommendation is Bentonville, AR because it is so progressive in embracing the riding lifestyle. The trails are truly incredible. When I visited two years ago, there was a spot with four three parallel bike trails. A bike path, a flowy trail, and a massive jump line behind it. Such is the norm in this mountain bike heaven as they maximize the terrain to create the best mountain bike trails possible. They truly understand that at the core, the trail is the product. They have hundreds of miles of singletrack available in the surrounding area and they had six professional crews working in different areas to create more.

The infrastructure is developing with travel, lodging, and food options. The airport is spacious and modern and just a few minutes away. Lodging is plentiful with big hotels and many Airbnb options available. And the food options are mind-blowing as famous chefs have been moving into the area, blending modern techniques, healthy ingredients, and Southern flavors.

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And finally, the people are warm and friendly. Southern charm and hospitality play a part and many mountain bikers and active lifestyle folks have moved into the area to pursue the lifestyle they enjoy and place to raise their kids. An influx of bike companies has moved in as well to create a sustainable economy where they make products locally and the employees can afford a house and a nice bike!
There is a mountain bike buzz about Bentonville, Arkansas that is getting louder and louder. Folks kept talking about the trails but I kept ignoring it. Sure they have Walmart money but they don't have any elevation! And it's in the Midwest where there are no bike destinations. Or is it in the South? Where is it anyway?

Well, folks who I respect and who ride a whole lot better than me have ridden out there and their reviews have been stellar. Not only are they talking about the riding but they can't stop talking about the food! They even rave about the art (when they don't have an artistic bone in their body, unless it's bike art at from the Handmade Bike Show.)

And to top it off, a few folks I know moved there! And a couple bought vacation houses there so I had to visit and see for myself.

I was blown away as well with the available food options. There were so many chefs eager to show off local ingredients, blending traditional styles with modern creativity. One can feel the pride and satisfaction of the locals at all levels of the food and service industry.



The newly opened breakfast joint, The Buttered Biscuit not only served great food but also showcased the hospitality of the owners and staff.

The appreciation for art was apparent with the art and light display embedded in the forest in the Northern Forest Lights exhibit of the Crystal Bridges Museum. Art is unpretentious and approachable in this town as they expose folks to art that is meaningful to them.



And I feel that I've merely scratched the surface of the Bentonville community that has built a lifestyle and economy around mountain biking and other healthy categories. They've accomplished so much in the past five years so one can only imagine the possibilities for this community in the next five years.

They're grooming a generation of mountain bikers who appreciate food, art, and life. And they're building a blueprint that many communities around the world will follow.

More info: bike-bentonville

Other recommendations:
We know the fun list is a bit limited but we hope it gives you product and destination ideas to support the bike economy and to keep your bike stoke high. Here are a few of our lists of best products to buy:

Best bike stands for the home mechanic
Best tools for the shop and trail
Best flat pedals