Last year, Canadian brand Guru Cycles shut down after years of expanding their production capabilities and talents. We toured their facility a few years back and walked away very, very impressed with the techniques and equipment. Fortunately, rather than seeing it go to waste, industry veteran Tony Karklins purchased the assets and began moving it all to Little Rock, Arkansas, with the goal of creating a premiere domestic carbon fiber bicycle manufacturer.

We have a phone interview scheduled later this week, and we’ll be touring their new factory this fall. For now, check the full PR and a few pics after the break…

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PRESS RELEASE: Earlier this year, HIA Velo was formed as a partnership between cycling industry veteran Tony Karklins (founder of Orbea USA), Douglas Zell (long time cyclist and founder of Intelligentsia Coffee), and Sam Pickman (an 11 year veteran of Specialized’s senior engineering team).

“For the last two decades, I have seen bicycle factory after bicycle factory close down and shift their production to Asia. Now, few bicycle brands actually manufacture the products they sell. Even stranger, most of the composite bikes from nearly every known brand are made in only a handful of factories in Asia. We founded HIA Velo because we feel there is a real competitive advantage in having full control of the entire product development and manufacturing process under one roof, here in the USA. Our goal is to re-shore best in class, high volume composite bicycle production and to create great American manufactured cycling brands,” says Tony Karklins, HIA Velo’s Founder and Managing Director.

In February of this year, HIA Velo acquired all assets of Guru Cycles in Montreal, Canada. “Guru had one of the largest and best equipped high-end bicycle factories in North America,” says Karklins. Five containers of equipment and machinery were relocated to HIA Velo’s facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the installation took approximately 90 days.

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“We have assembled a first class development and production team,” says Sam Pickman, HIA Velo’s Director of Product and Engineering. Chris Meertens, a previous co-worker from Specialized and a true master in composite part development joins HIA Velo as Senior Composites Engineer. Olivier Lavigueur joins as Composites Production Manager after working in the Guru composites department for nearly 11 years. David Woronets,
founder of Zen Fabrication in Portland, Oregon, brings 15 years of steel and aluminum production experience to HIA Velo and joins as Metal Product and Production Manager. “I am feeling confident in the team we have assembled. There is a great chemistry building, and everyone is dedicated to the project,” says Pickman.

“Paint was the last piece of the puzzle. We purchased Cyclart from Vista, California in July and will be relocating them to Little Rock early this fall. Cyclart will handle all production paint for HIA Velo products and continue to offer premium refinishing, restoration and repair services to the industry including composites repair,” says Karklins.

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“Words are not enough to describe the excitement and energy surrounding this project. I am exceptionally optimistic about what is possible here and that it very much could be unlike anything ever seen before, particularly for bicycles made and built in the United States. The quality and integrity of the people involved as well as the beauty, strength, and utility of design have all the signs of being the best available anywhere. I cannot wait to see this all come to life,” says Douglas Zell.

HIA Velo is scheduled to launch its first brand, Allied Cycle Works, by spring of 2017 and is in discussion with other brands and joint venture opportunities in the industry that believe in the benefits of domestic manufacturing.

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“Throughout the fall, HIA Velo will have several limited edition product releases as production scales up and as we prepare for the launch of the Allied Cycle Works brand,” says Karklins. To sign up for further information, visit www.hiavelo.com and www.alliedcycleworks.com.

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28 COMMENTS

    • SEVEN, IndyFab, Crumpton, Appleman, and actually…plenty of Parlee’s are US made along with a lot of small quantity builders. They aren’t doing anything special if they aren’t going to provide US made bikes, in a decent quantity and price. Otherwise, they’re just like all the rest, other than Trek who’s US made bikes are actually pretty inexpensive(tough to say that but we’re talking over $1000 cheaper for most) compared to these other brands.

  1. I honestly think people could really care less other than to have something to brag about to their boutique bike-loving riding buddies.

    Glad to get an American frame so that I can hang non-American components on it.

    Question: Does one need to itemize their bikes when proclaiming loudly so that everyone can hear that your bike is Made in the US of A? “Except the derailleur…and cranks…and wheels…and tires…but, hey, this frame is good ol’ Arkansas-bred, baby! Color me patriotic!”

    I suppose if one needs only one object in their entire house that’s American made, then by all means get jingoistic about it.

  2. It’s real simple, guys and gals. American made doesn’t mean a thing. Flatbiller is more right than most people. Globalization does not suck. Globalization presents opportunities for all of those who are willing to take part. It doesn’t matter and barely anyone cares where stuff is made. If it’s a superior quality and value combination, it’ll be a success, no doubt about it. If they’re focused on quality and value and this is the way they can provide it, they’ll succeed. If they have some grand illusion that simply being located in American is good enough…well, they’ve got too much money and time for their own good and hopefully the machines go to somebody more careful during the next liquidation.

    • seriously, Ally Cycling Works… We got ourselves the first fail right there. Do something quick to fix that. GURU was cool but in my neck of the woods it was also synonym to constant bragging of a failing model, so here’s to that…

    • Unfortunately, even if they wanted to keep the Guru brand, they can’t. Guru (the bike brand) lost the rights to the name when they sold off the Bike Fit end of their business to Dorel years ago. (Dorel licensed it back to them until their bankruptcy) So they did not have the option to use or buy the Guru name /branding.

  3. Flatbiller has a point. But it’s not only bike related stuff….@Jeff Sadik and @The real Dan: have you looked at your computers,phones,TV’s,shoes,clothing,kitchenware,tools,…the list is endless…where does all that stuff come from? There is no way US citizens would be able to consume as much as they do if all those goods would be made in the US with the according price tags. I dislike globalisation,the price tag on our environment just for transporting goods is unsustainable but we are all way too keen to have this and that gadget and consume more. Where do you think Apple produces? Where does all the stuff being sold in Walmart and all the other big stores come from?

    • Wait, so because some things are’t 100% American-made, we shouldn’t care about domestic manufacturing? What a myopic view.

  4. “Where do you think Apple produces? Where does all the stuff being sold in Walmart and all the other big stores come from?” But does that make it right, or something to emulate? For all those that like to pan ‘Made in *Insert your locality here*’, local industry provides local jobs, which build local economies and keeps local people employed. Not everyone is ‘suited’ to work at a computer or do some other faux white collar desk/service job, so what happens to all those?

    Before one goes off like a Trumponian halfwit, think deeper about what you are saying and the long term implications for your society…

    • Why do people think only Americans are entitled, as their right, to have local economies with well paying jobs that people can live poverty line. Globalization sucks for all the other 1st world people and their first world problems. Don’t want a desk job? Be a farmer.

      • While it is true that just because you sell a certain product, doesn’t meant you’d be able to afford it, let’s not forget, we’re talking about bicycle here, an individual-sporting goods.

    • A lot of places offer discounts to their employees and often flat out free. The more advertising the better. I work repairing aircraft parts. I don’t make enough to outright pay out of pocket to travel. That’s why I CAN travel to… let’s say Japan and back to the USA for a cool $300. Companies offer incentives. A start up like this will only attract people who are passionate about cycling, for the most part. They will be happy with a decent wage and some cycling perks, I’m sure.

  5. Hopefully they will be contacting all us GURU dealers that were saddened to have lost the brand. For those asking about the GURU name going away it makes perfect sense since GURU had sold the name to Dorel and was leasing it back from them. They need to move on an continue to separate from the fitting system.

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