We broke the story about HIA Velo back in August 2016. The upstart brand, led by Tony Karklins, purchased the assets of Guru Cycles and moved the equipment to Little Rock, Arkansas, with big plans to reinvent not just how carbon bicycles were made, but what could be made.

Karklins, who ran Orbea USA for a number of years and has been in the industry for some time, told us “It’s not just about making it in America, it’s about making it better here.” Using domestically sourced materials. It’s Mitsubishi carbon tow that’s prepregged in Irvine, CA, using Newport 301 resin. It’s also about offering options. Lots of paint choices, and there’ll be 12 sizes (six actual frame sizes with two head tube heights for each, with the taller one being 2cm taller – 47 to 61cm). It’s also about transparency – there won’t be any secret rooms, they’ll show the entire process- and user friendliness, with a BSA threaded bottom bracket, refined cable management with easy internal runs, and a lifetime warranty plus repair service if you wreck it. The repairs, if it’s user error that necessitated it, will generally be a couple hundred bucks since that’s what it actually really costs and won’t void your warranty.

The other big ingredient (and big news) is their signing on as the exclusive bicycle manufacturer to use Innegra high modulus polypropylene fibers. Innegra is made ion Greenville, South Carolina, and is added to HIA’s carbon fibers to prevent the frame from breaking apart in a crash. Or, more importantly, it’ll keep the frame together if you get a hidden crack, it’ll allow the frame to slowly reveal the danger zone rather than a sudden, catastrophic failure. Beyond the safety aspects, it’s flexible, so it’s used in higher quantities in areas like the chainstays and fork legs to add compliance and comfort to the bike.

The video above shows how it holds things together. The first card is layered carbon/Innegra/carbon, the second is Innegra/carbon/Innegra. Note that neither actually comes completely apart despite my best efforts. Potential trolls should also note that except for severe impacts, your tubes are not ever likely to be subjected to bending forces like this.  This is an extreme example to show material properties. Also, frames will have many more layers than three.

Allied Cycle Works Alfa premium carbon fiber road bike made by HIA Velo in the USA

Karklins said Innegra adds about 25-30 grams to the frame. They’re currently at an 875g frame weight for size 56. Fork weight is claimed around 325g and will also be made in house.

Allied Cycle Works Alfa premium carbon fiber road bike made by HIA Velo in the USA

Allied Cycle Works Alfa premium carbon fiber road bike made by HIA Velo in the USA

Logos are minimal, with the Allied logo on the seat tube being aluminum that’s flush with the paint finish. The Eagle logo covers the ports when the bike’s equipped with SRAM eTAP, but for mechanical drivetrains, the wings will flare up to act as cable stops.

Allied Cycle Works Alfa premium carbon fiber road bike made by HIA Velo in the USA

Small touches like the Eagle on other cable stops helps brand it without being obnoxious.

As for this brilliant chrome finish, they purchased CyclArt and relocated Jim Cunningham from San Diego, CA, to Little Rock, AR. The process is something they’re working on as a stock option, should be available in about six months. It’s a $600 paint upgrade option because it requires an absolutely perfect finish and about two days of work. They say it’s also surprisingly lightweight. Their goal is to introduce a new paint option every week, though, so more affordable looks should be forthcoming. The Frames are made and stored raw, then painted and assembled on demand.

Allied Cycle Works Alfa premium carbon fiber road bike made by HIA Velo in the USA

Allied Cycle Works Alfa premium carbon fiber road bike made by HIA Velo in the USA

“When I got into the industry, every brand made their own bikes,” said Karklins. “Now, it’s a sea of sameness, with everybody doing virtually the exact same thing often in the exact same places.”

Allied Cycle Works Alfa premium carbon fiber road bike made by HIA Velo in the USA

This first model is called Alfa, and it’s their top level road bike from which everything else will be derived. Retail is $2,700 for frame, fork and Cane Creek headset. Their website’s build configurator with all options will be online next week. Look for SRAM and Shimano equipped complete bikes with various upgrade/downgrade options to suit your needs.

A gravel-ready disc brake version will launch at NAHBS that’ll hold up to a 40c tire. This Alfa road bike can take up to a 28c with Dura-Ace brakes, but basically will hold as large of a tire as your modern road bike rim caliper brakes can accommodate.

HIAvelo.com

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37 COMMENTS

  1. And I hate to say it, as interested as I was in what they are doing, the first 3 seconds of the video lost me…. garage opens up and dude is flanked by two Audis. Sort of a statement of their intended demographic right there…

    • I don’t get the “Audi” things you are talking about? Looks like two older Audi’s an S4 and maybe an A6, Hardly expensive cars in this day.

    • Are you always so easily offended? The sight of two cars that a successful person might own has you all b-hurt? Didn’t you also notice the obvious, the video shows a house? OMG, their demographic doesn’t include homeless.

      • Not offended at all. It’s a simple marketing decision. Several seconds of vision changed the ‘image’ of the story. The whole video would have been different if that several seconds would not have been included or was handled differently. Old models or not, the car badges make a statement about the consumer they chose to represent and that decision will place the brand in many people’s minds.

  2. “so inegra is same as kevlar? strong but soft. Road bike must be stiff and strong”

    No, it’s not the same as Kevlar and it’s there as a reenforcement to prevent catastrophic frame failure, not for strength or stiffness. It’s the same concept as “ripstop” fabric.

  3. I was thinking that this whole concept had been put together really well – ethos, process, finished product. But then I looked at the geo chart. Do they not believe in women and short men? Minimum reach of 382 on a low stack frame is very long. And the progression from there is odd.

    Sad to see such a stunning bike let down by a basic element.

    • Short? Their geometry seems more pushed toward people with longer torso’s, not short people per se.
      As for women…yes, this geometry may be a challenge for some as most will have longer legs for a given height. I also fall into this category although I will say one needs to try it out. I’ve been on different make bikes with near identical stack and reach (and stem length) and the bikes feel very different. Tube angles? BB Drop?

  4. I’m wondering if they’re tube-to-tube or monocoque construction. If the former than additional sizes will not be difficult. And custom is an option, which will have to be t-t-t, although will cost more. I want to see how that eagle badge on the down tube “flares up” for wired groups. The tips on those wings are sharp.

    • This Alfa model is a monocoque. The tube-to-tube bikes they show in the video all went out the door as HIA Velo Founder’s bikes. I have one, and it’s a dandy bike for sure. I know these guys a bit, and they’re doing all of their production for the frames and forks in Arkansas. I’m proud to have been involved on the front end of this project. It’s pretty exciting to see it happen there under one roof in Little Rock.

  5. Bikes need to be held to the same standard cars (American Automobile Labeling Act: “…each automobile manufactured on or after October 1, 1994, for sale in the U.S. bear a label disclosing where the car was assembled, the percentage of equipment that originated in the U.S. and Canada, and the country of origin of the engine and transmission.”).

    I don’t mind a bike stating “Made In USA,” but to me it means diddly-squat when the REST OF THE BIKE is made of non-American components.

    • Good point. Maybe they can put a blank bulleted list on the seat tube that lets the buyer write in the country of origin of each component on the bike based on how they build it. Then they can add a disclaimer under their “Made Here” graphic that clairifies that they are only referring to the frame and fork, except for other components that may be added or selected by the buyer that are also made in the USA, but that they do not claim to have actually manufactured those components.

    • that sounds like a tremendous waste of time and resources to no tangible benefit, and probably why nobody has bothered to figure any of that out

    • innegra isn’t a substitute for UD carbon, like it was mentioned in earlier posts it is used to augment UD carbon to mitigate damage in certain failure modes.

  6. At Fork Dork,
    Stiffness of T-T vs Mono — Keeping all things equal
    T-T has internal walls, and are almost always custom laid for the end user, usually by very knowledgeable hands.
    Mono have no internal walls in the structure and are almost always mass produced where they are making hundreds or thousands at a time.

    Basically the answer is it depends on how it is built, and if you want to start changing fibers and modulus, then there is no way to blanket predict stiffness by looking at the outer shape

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