The Pull: Sam Pickman of Allied Cycle Works
The emergence of HIA Velo, the parent company of Allied Cycle Works, is notable as much for the quality of the carbon fiber bicycles they make as where they make them. At a time when all of the major bike makers produce their carbon fiber bikes in Asia, Allied has gained distinction for producing carbon fiber frames in its facility in Little Rock, Arkansas. That’s reason enough to pay attention to them, but the fact that they are producing carbon fiber framesets that don’t cost as much as a motorcycle makes them all the more interesting.
Sam Pickman is HIA Velo’s head of engineering. Pickman got his start in the test lab of Specialized and eventually rose through their ranks to lead the engineering efforts behind what Specialized called “the new” Tarmac, the company’s fifth iteration of its famous road bike.
Pickman began to see shortcomings to sourcing product overseas and left the company with a vision in his head for developing and producing carbon fiber products in a different way. He’d barely packed up his desk, though, when HIA Velo’s founder and CEO, Tony Karklins, called him to enlist his help.
The bikes that have emerged from Pickman’s workstation, the Alfa and the Alfa All-Road feature some of the most sophisticated construction methods being used in carbon fiber, and yet are often less expensive than products from Allied’s competitors.
I needed to find out from Pickman how they produce such a high quality product without charging luxury prices.
The Pull is brought to you by the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, the world’s premier annual gathering of bicycle framebuilders and framebuilding enthusiasts. The 2019 show will take place March 15-17th at the Sacramento Convention Center in Sacramento, California.
The Cycling Independent is hosting its first-ever event October 12th through 14th, 2018, the Red Kite Ronde et Vous. The two-and-a-half day event will feature bikes from some of the industry’s top frame builders, two gravel rides, some of the world’s finest craft beers, which are brewed locally, plus enough food to make the pedaling fun. For more information, or to register, go here.
To learn more about Pickman’s work, visit AlliedCycleWorks.com.
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