Back in the mid 1940′s a small company, known then as Kyungsung Precision Industries, had it’s humble start as a steel tubing and handmade bicycle parts manufacturer. At the time, the startup was focused on making bicycles for the Korean market. That was just the early start of a foundation that would eventually pave the way for the company to manufacturer vehicles of all kinds. The brand is now known to the world as Kia, one of the fastest growing companies in the automotive space. In honor of their humble beginnings, Kia has decided to take it full circle and go back to their roots, with a modern twist. They wanted to design a bike that paid homage to their roots, but that would also promote environmentally friendly alternatives to transportation.
Enter the new K Velo. K Velo is series of bicycles, designed by Kia Chief of Design Officer Peter Schreyer. Schreyer, for those that don’t recognize the name, used to design over at Audi. Who coincidentally released a line of bicycles of their own not too long ago. Today, Schreyer is credited with the new look of Kia, which includes the “tiger nose” profile on many of Kia’s vehicles. That design flows over to the K Velo, a mini velo bike with 20-inch wheels, a compact frame, and an internal 11-speed hub. The mini velo concept is wildly popular in Asia, where the smaller footprint of the bike is ideal for commuting in urban environments.
The K Velo is available in two variants, CITY, which includes 11 gears, a basket with the same “tiger nose” design found on Kia’s automobiles, and fenders. A SPEED version will be lighter because it lacks the basket, fenders, and internal hub. The K Velo will initially only be available in Korea, but could expand depending on demand.