HIA Velo stands for “Handmade in America.” It’s the brainchild of bicycle industry veteran Tony Karklins, who was previously the owner of the Orbea’s original U.S. presence. HIA Velo recently launched their first model, a full carbon road bike called the ALFA that was designed and manufactured from start to finish all under one roof at their Little Rock, Arkansas, headquarters.
“Bringing large scale manufacturing back to the U.S. is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Karklins explained. “Almost all composite bikes from the major brands come out of just a handful of overseas factories, with little differentiating them. We managed to bring development, production, testing, painting, and sales all under one roof. There are countless benefits to this approach, which we feel is a better way.”
The ALFA is a full carbon monocoque frame that uses Innegra fibers that are claimed to improve vibration damping and impact resistance. These fibers are used in specific areas of the frame and fork.
ALLIED has many other models planned and their current schedule is to release one new frame each month. ALLIED’s Director of Product and Engineering, Sam Pickman, has an extensive background working for companies such as Specialized and he helped develop bikes that have won the Tour de France and World Championship events. “It used to take a month before I could see the result of a layup change because everything takes so much time when dealing with an overseas vendor,” said Pickman, describing the advantages of working small. “Now I can do a layup and test it in just 24 hours. That allows us to bring to market a better product, quicker, because our hands aren’t tied.”
Although the unique chrome and naked carbon finish is what catches your eye, the ALFA has an impressive spec sheet at an even more impressive price. The claimed frame weight is 875 grams for a size 56cm. The frame is available in six sizes, and within each size there are two headtube length options, standard and tall, which adds two centimeters.
The ALFA frameset sells for $2,700. Complete builds start at $4,000 for a Shimano Ultegra and climb to $7,400 for SRAM eTap.
ALLIED is available direct to consumer via their website, which has an online configurator. Options are available on paint as well as spec with parts from brands such as SRAM, Shimano, Rotor, Mavic, Fizik and more. ALLIED has also currently partnered with 25 dealers throughout the U.S., giving some customers the option of having their ALFA shipped to the dealer or directly to their front door.
ALLIED Cycle Works’ future plans include gravel bikes and disc brake-equipped bikes. For more info check out alliedcycleworks.com.
See more new products from the 2017 Bike Press Camp.