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Gravel

Payson McElveen joins Allied Cycle Works

The 28-year-old mountain biker, gravel racer, adventurer, and podcaster will ride American-manufactured carbon in 2022.

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Longtime Trek-sponsored cross-country mountain biker and gravel racer Payson McElveen has signed a multi-year contract with Allied Cycle Works.

The 28-year-old will join 2019 Unbound Gravel winner Colin Strickland to ride for the Bentonville, Arkansas-based carbon frame manufacturer. Both are also supported by the Meteor Cafe, a cycling-centric community cafe with locations in Bentonville and Austin, Texas.

(Photo: Allied Cycle Works)

McElveen raced for Trek for six years and was supported primarily by Orange Seal in some manner for nearly 1o years. He told VeloNews that he agonized over the decision to leave his longtime partners but that Allied — founded just five years ago — offered an opportunity for parallel growth that he couldn’t pass up.

“They’re smaller which opens up certain possibilities to me,” McEleveen told VeloNews. “When I learned more about their vision overall, where they are now and hope to be, I became more and more intrigued. The fact that they’re bucking a lot of trends in terms of bike manufacturing, that they do everything from A to Z in the U.S. Their sustainability vision. I wanted to help them tell that story. I’m really excited by what they have coming down the pipe.”

McElveen, who has been selected to compete in the Life Time Grand Prix, a six-race off-road series, declined to comment on what mountain bike he would be riding in 2022. Allied does not currently have a mountain bike on the market.

While McElveen has an extensive palmares that includes two marathon MTB national championship titles and two victories at The Mid South gravel race, the Texan based in Durango, Colorado is becoming increasingly focused on race alternatives. Last spring, he rode Bentonville’s 140+ miles of singletrack in one day, then challenged others to follow suit. In September, he set a fastest known time across Iceland after bikepacking a route across the remote Westfjords region.

McElveen said he’s officially caught the bike adventure bug.

“Iceland solidified that I want to do things like that annually as far as the eye can see,” he said. “I have a notebook dedicated to super crazy ideas like that and I’m really sorting out what’s viable. Right now there are four to choose from. I’m good at putting one more iron in the fire that I can put up with.”

Allied CEO Drew Medlock said that the brand will endorse myriad McElveen projects.

“His bike skills speak for themselves and we love that he brings more to the sport beyond competing,” Medlock said. “We look forward to working with him on several levels.”