LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BRAIN) — A group of industry veterans is setting up a high-volume carbon bike factory here, using equipment purchased from Montréal’s Guru Cycles, which went bankrupt last year. The group, doing business as HIA Velo, also purchased the Cyclart bike painting business, which is being moved to Arkansas. HIA Velo will release its own bike brand next year and expects to manufacture for other brands as well. HIA is an acronym for “Handmade in America.”
HIA Velo’s owners are Tony Karklins, (the founder of Orbea USA), Douglas Zell (a long-time cyclist and founder of Intelligentsia Coffee), and Sam Pickman (an 11-year veteran of Specialized’s senior engineering team). The company also has hired Chris Meertens, a former composite part developer at Specialized, who joins as HIA Velo’s senior composites engineer. Olivier Lavigueur, who worked in the Guri composite department for nearly 11 years, joins HIA Velo as its composites production manager. David Woronets, the founder of Zen Fabrication in Portland, Oregon, joins as HIA Velo’s metal product and production manager. Zen shut down its OEM production earlier this year.
Karklins …read more