Most bicycles are made overseas, but there is one American-made manufacturing company that builds everything from scratch in a facility in the country and it’s located here in Arkansas.
HIA Velo which stands for Handmade in America is located right off Riverfront Drive in Little Rock. The manufacturing company was born in early 2016 and just launched its first brand, Allied Cycle Works, this year.
"Each frame we manufacture is about 500 pieces of carbon fiber," said Tony Karklins, founder of HIA Velo.
Right now he has three products, all road bikes, that are 100 percent carbon fiber. Each bike is made from scratch in the Little Rock facility. He’s already sold nearly 1,000 bikes.
"This is probably the next big brand in the cycling industry," Karklins said.
Tony Karklins brand isn't even a year old, but his history in the bike industry goes back much further.
"I’ve been in the bike business my entire life here in Little Rock, Arkansas," said Karklins adding his frustration with the way the industry was heading. “Factories were closing and jobs were shifting to Asia and one by one these wonderful history brands were collapsing."
With HIA Velo, he’s already changing that.
“We are the one brand in the world that actually makes every product themselves and proud to say we chose Little Rock Arkansas to do that," said Karklins.
Currently, they build six bikes a day with hopes to soon build 10 a day.
"Each frame is 20 to 25 hours before its ready for paint," Karklins said.
With plans for additional factories in central Arkansas, this is just the beginning for a company that’s already selling worldwide.
"It’s a much bigger thing for the state of Arkansas than most cyclist know about today," Karklins said.
These high end road bikes sell anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000.