My Kit

Photos By Matthew Martin

Name: Addie Teo
Occupation: Occupational therapist

The Kit: Vanderkitten jersey, shorts and socks. “The quality of the Vanderkitten cycling kits is always superb, as well as the fit. I am also a brand ambassador for Vanderkitten for the past two years and am looking forward to being one again in 2016.” The helmet is a Giro Atmos, and the cycling shoes are Specialized women’s S-Works road shoes. 

The Playlist: Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Green Day, Rise Against, Sum 41.

The Bike: Trek Silque SL Di2 women’s specific design road bike.   

On The Bike: “When I ride, hydration is a must. I usually have at least two water bottles consisting of sports drink. I also carry energy gels and sports bars for nutrition.” “On my road bike and mountain bike, I have a saddle bag or a seat bag that has a bicycle tube, tire inflation kit and multi-tool for possible flat tire or bike mechanicals. I also use a Garmin 520 cyclocomputer to record my ride speed, distance, elevation, heart rate, power output and more.” 

Where I Ride: “For road biking, I enjoy riding on the Arkansas River Trail, the Maumelle Lake loop and the Little Italy loop. For mountain biking, I enjoy riding the Vista Trail, the Womble Trail and Iron Mountain Trail.”

Why I Ride: “I ride to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and also to de-stress. To me, riding on the river trail on my road bike or being in the woods on my mountain bike is so good for my soul. I ride to keep healthy and to keep being young at heart. I also enjoy cycling as a way to socialize and to bond with friends and families.”

 

Name: Cliff Li
Occupation: Hydrologist, FTN Associates Ltd.

The Bike: Orbea Alma

The Kit: Louis Garneau jersey, Louis Garneau bib shorts, ExOfficio hiking shorts, Louis Garneau gel gloves, Mavic Razor mountain bike shoes and Louis Garneau helmet, mostly purchased at Spokes Little Rock.  

The Playlist: I don’t usually ride with music but if I did, it would be Dream Theater, Linkin Park, Iron Maiden and 80s hair bands. 

On the Bike: Electra bicycle bell, Bontrager water bottle cages (2), Niterider Lumina headlight and Serfas Thunderbolt taillight (for night rides).

Where I Ride: Lake Ouachita Vista (LOViT) Mountain Bike Trails, Upper Buffalo Headwaters Mountain Bike Trails, Slaughter Pen Mountain Bike Trails.

Why I Ride: “Because it fulfills my physical, mental and emotional needs all at the same time. When I’m shredding trail, I’m completely in the moment, sometimes almost zen-like, focused only on that specific instant in time. It’s a great workout, stress-reliever, keeps me in shape, and there’s almost nothing more fun. I ride to be connected to nature and at times, it’s great therapy. Even better, the ride experience is enhanced when experienced with friends.”

 

Carbon Fiber Tech

Carbon Fiber Technology Makes Cycling a Lightweight Affair

By Mel Jones / Photo Courtesy Tony Karklin

Little Rock native Tony Karklin knows a thing or two about the bike industry. After 18 years as an owner/manager of Chainwheel, in 2001 he founded Orbea USA, bringing the much-lauded Spanish brand to the United States. Today, he’s the general manager of San Diego-based BST Bicycles—he commutes to the west coast every other week—which is bringing the production of carbon fiber bikes back to the U.S. 

Karklin points out that while there are a lot of good bikes on the market today, most bicycle companies aren’t producing their own bikes anymore. Most brands have outsourced carbon bike production to Asia. “[Parent company] BST Nano Carbon is working to be the first to produce carbon at a volume in the USA. Being so close to production will enable us to build much more advanced products using proprietary materials and processes,” he says. “We will be able to react to market changes much quicker and ultimately produce higher quality and competitively priced products.”

Carbon fiber consists of fibers about five to 10 micrometers in diameter, and composed mostly of carbon. The carbon fibers are mixed with epoxy and turned in sheets called Prepregs. Prepreg sheets are placed around custom tooling and into molds that are cooked under extreme pressure and temperature. The end result is a structure that is amazingly lightweight and durable. Karklin notes that carbon fiber is the ultimate bike-building material. “Carbon fiber is optimal for bicycles. In addition to being lightweight and durable, it’s also stiff and shock absorbing,” he says. “Any cyclist who rides regularly should be on a carbon bicycle.”

Another significant advantage that BST has is an amazing engineering team that came primarily from the aerospace sector. “We are using some carbon optimization tools that are more advanced than anything used before in the bike industry,” Karklin says. “This technology is leading our development process and is allowing us to produce some of the most advanced products in the market.”

Cyclists interested in taking a carbon fiber bike for a spin won’t be waiting very long. “This September we are relaunching the Ellsworth mountain bike brand,” says Karklin. “Ellsworth is famous for its instant center tracking suspension technology, which makes for the most efficient and best riding full-suspension bicycles. We offer a range of nine models consisting of hard tail XC, all levels of full-suspension bikes, a carbon fat bike and even gravel road launching later this fall.” 

Ellsworth will be sold locally through Spokes’ Kavanaugh location in Little Rock, and will be in stock around October. Karklin recently became a partner at Spokes, and says that they are working hard to expand their mountain bike business. “Arkansas has some of the best trails in the nation, and I hope to see a lot of Ellsworth bicycles riding on them soon.”