This is Carolina: America’s oldest bicycle maker filling orders in Conway

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 6:18 PM EST
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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Believe it or not, America’s oldest bike-maker actually has roots in the Grand Strand.

Worksman Cycles opened up shop in Conway in 2017, and the company originating in 1898 out of New York City is one of the country’s first when it comes to bicycles. The company’s president said he knew he wanted to move operations elsewhere, and Conway was the perfect place.

Now, 50 employees are churning bikes out to fill Christmas lists all over the world.

“We sent a whole container of these to New Zealand. That was a first for us,” said Wayne Sosin, president of Worksman Cycles. “One of the things we’re working on now that I’m so excited about is we’re working with the Salvation Army. They’re using one of our tricycles with a really large cabinet on it and they feel they can access the homeless populations and places that are harder to reach with trucks. So they’re going to ride into these homeless populations with tricycles and help these people by giving them food.”

At the facility, some workers paint tricycles headed to the Salvation Army using a spray powder and a 400-degree oven.

Worksman Cycles has also made a more local impact, such as a partnership with Vocational Rehabilitation in Conway. It’s hired several deaf and hard of hearing people through the partnership.

“I was the first deaf and hard of hearing person that the company hired, so once I got hired that really opened the door for deaf and hard of hearing people to want to come here and want to work,” said Xavier, one of the employees hired through the program.

Xavier also serves as an American Sign Language interpreter for co-workers.

Sosin said the company makes 15 different types of tricycles and bicycles. The company used to mainly makes tricycles for big companies like Boeing and Amazon, as a way of transportation across the warehouses and factories.

Due to the pandemic, Sosin said non-commercial bicycle sales have soared, and the company has a handful of styles to choose from.

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