Robin Williams puts Roark in orbit

March 5, 2008
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bike22Brownsburg-based Roark Custom Titanium Bicycles got a big marketing boost from a man from outer space--figuratively and literally. In its annual buyer’s guide published last month, VeloNews, one of the nation’s largest cycling magazines, featured actor Robin Williams and his take on the Handmade Bike Show in Portland Feb. 8-10. The headline read “Mork on Roark,” noting Williams’ 1970s role in the sitcom Mork and Mindy, where he played a being from another world. In Williams’ review of the show, he raved about Roark's latest models, calling them “pieces of art” with superior engineering. Williams is well known—and respected—among cyclists. He is a regular in the San Francisco cycling scene and is a close friend of seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. He also happens to be a Roark bike owner, buying the titanium two-wheeler about seven years ago. His unsolicited endorsement in cycling circles carries significant weight, said VeloNews’ Charles Pelkey. Williams isn’t the only one in orbit over Roark. Judges at the Handmade Bike Show named Roark 2007’s best handmade titanium bicycle.

Roark’s parent company--Roark Welding & Engineering--is best known for its work making parts for fighter jets and other aeronautical uses. Roark’s bicycle division is only a fraction of the size of giant bike makers like Trek and Cannondale, but Pelkey noted that Roark’s experience working with titanium is hard to come by.

“The type of work Roark does is a niche part of the industry, albeit a profitable one,” Pelkey  said. “It’s kind of like what Ferrari is to the auto industry.”
  • Anthony - thanks for covering something that doesn't fall into the typical NBA, NFL, IMS, NCAA categories we tend to always focus on here in Indy. I can vouch that there are a few of us cyclists that are reading your blog and appreciate the nod for one of our local cycling related companies.
  • Anthony-

    I am really glad to see you comment on this. Indianapolis has a vibrant cycling community (Marion Knights are a national powerhouse) and the Major Taylor is a great track venue and of course, we have the Little 500 just down the road. For years, Indy has had a great relationship with the sport that I hope continues to grow, from the Pan Am games to most recently the IRL's 'Race to Replace' held last year at the Speedway. Thanks for commenting on this.
  • Anyone familiar with this company is familiar with the late Woody Collins, who helped launch Roark's bicycle division. Collins was a real asset to the local cycling (and larger sports) community. He was an unsung hero who never sought the limelight, and this latest honor is a testament to what Woody started years ago.
  • The big announcement at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Portland was that Indy will be hosting this event in Feb.09. There will be over 100 custom bike builders visiting for 3 days. The NAHBS is led by local builder Don Walker of Walker Bicycles in Speedway. This will be a great showcase of Indy and the Cultural Trail, Zipp wheels, and the above mentioned. I believe some bike lanes will be appearing this summer also. Indy needs bike culture to attract the best and brightest not a Chinatown.
  • It's awesome to see you guys giving some press to the local cycling community. (Especially as a proud Roark owner!)

    Keep it up...

    Matt Tanner, USA CYCLING COACH
    Two Wheels Cycling

    NEW! - Check out our Blog!
  • Well done Anthony, I love the cycling news keep this up. I ride with the guys at Roark and have even taken a test bike for a ride. What they say about Roark is true they are top of the line rigs and I will talk the wife into one very soon. Honey if your reading this HINT HINT.

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