Endurance athlete Payson McElveen has left one of the biggest brands in the industry, Trek, after several years, and is joining Allied Cycle Works. McElveen will join fellow endurance athlete Colin Strickland to ride with Allied.
“We are excited to welcome Payson to our bike family,” said Allied CEO Drew Medlock in a press release. “His bike skills speak for themselves and we love that he brings more to the sport beyond competing. We look forward to working with him on several levels.”
Though McElveen has extensive mountain bike experience, regularly racing stage races, and events like the Leadville 100, or setting FKTs on the White Rim Trail, he’s leaned into gravel racing more and more over the years and took first at the Mid South gravel race in 2020.
“I am thrilled to begin this next chapter of my career with Allied Cycle Works,” said McElveen in a press release. “The decision to step away from a solid relationship with one of the most established bike manufacturers in the world was not an easy one to make. But Allied caught my attention years ago, and then captured my heart when I started to get to know the brand more intimately. As a competitive athlete, the bikes themselves are the top consideration. The fearlessness of their design and product development ethos, both current and planned, is unique within the industry. It became clear to me that Allied designs and makes the absolute best bikes, then focuses on marketing them. That’s unusual in an industry where brands often craft their product development around marketing constraints. Furthermore, Allied bikes are made here in the United States, every step of the way. That means fine craftsmanship, close collaboration between all departments, and the ability to stay nimble throughout the design process. For someone in my position, that means the opportunity to play a role in the entire process. From product development to envisioning an inspired paint scheme, it is a dream scenario for me. What Allied is doing now is what inspired me to take the leap, but where Allied is headed is why I want to make it home for many years to come.”
According to Allied, McElveen will focus on Lifetime’s Grand Prix off-road series, which includes the Sea Otter Classic Marathon XC mountain bike race, Unbound Gravel, Crusher in the Tushar, the Leadville 100, and Big Sugar Gravel.
With Allied Cycle Works only making gravel bikes, it’s unclear which bike McElveen will race at mountain bike events. A representative with Allied Cycle Works had no comment on which bike he’ll use for XC.
Allied is based in Bentonville, Arkansas and makes their carbon fiber frames in-house.