Naples bicycle manufacturer issues recall of 91,000 bikes

— When it comes to bikes, being off the chain is not a good situation, as the Naples-based bicycle company handling a large recall is finding out.

As many as 91,000 bikes, which are manufactured by Bridgeway International of Naples and sold at Walmart stores, are being recalled to replace the chains.

Bridgeway International received 11 reports of the chain breaking, including nine that involved cuts and bumps to the riders, Bridgeway reported.

When the bicycle chain breaks, it can cause the rider to lose control and fall, Bridgeway announced Friday in a prepared statement.

“It’s easy to fall forward, hit your elbows, bump your knees, scrape yourself up pretty good,” said Mike Grimm, vice president of Bridgeway’s U.S. operations

The bikes’ chains, which were purchased from a manufacturer in China, had faults in them leading to the chains’ breakage and some bicyclists being injured, Grimm said.

Bridgeway International of Naples sells the bikes affected by the recall exclusively to Walmart stores nationwide and on the company’s website.

The NEXT-branded men’s, 26-inch, hybrid bicycles, are manufactured in China for Bridgeway.

“We’re trying to find the people who purchased the bikes,” Grimm said.

The label on the bottom of the bike, he said, will be posted with a manufactured-on date sometime between January and April 20, 2011, he said.

The red or orange bikes have model numbers LBH2611M and LBH2611M2, which are located on the frame between the pedals, according to Bridgeway’s prepared statement issued Friday.

Those who have purchased one of these NEXT bikes, should visit www.powerxbike.com, Grimm said.

Through the website, or by calling (877) 934-3228, inspections can be arranged with National Assemblers, which was contracted by Bridgeway to do the inspections and repairs, Grimm said. The inspections are then done by appointment, taking the bike to the nearest Walmart or by another special arrangement made with National Assemblers

Despite the recall notice stating there were as many as 91,000 bicycles being recalled, Grimm said he estimated the actual numbers of bikes affected to be less.

“It’s the only time we’ve been through anything of this magnitude,” Grimm said. “We’ve definitely seen a slow down (in sales), but I don’t think it will be a devastating blow to the company,” he said.

Bridgeway, which was started by Naples resident Steven Turner about 12 years ago, is no longer using the same chain manufacturer, Grimm said.

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