Co-Founder & Managing Director
ASSEMBLE THE TROOPS
Don’t tell Tony Karklins, “It can’t be done.” That’s a surefire way to guarantee he’ll make it happen. HIA Velo’s founder and visionary didn’t just stumble upon a new idea for best in class American-made bicycles. It was a lifetime of events, experiences, choices, and challenges that paved the way to HIA Velo.
Tony jumped into the bike business at 11 years old and hasn’t looked back since. Nineteen years of retail business provided the opportunity to grow a small local bike shop to a top-100 retail store. His success with retail stemmed directly from his ability to find, develop and empower talented individuals who also were excited about cycling. These 19 years also sharpened his eye for opportunities and trends in the cycling industry.
After two decades of bicycle retail, Tony went on to pursue a career in importing, distribution and brand management with Orbea bicycles of Spain, eventually springboarding Orbea to the top selling European bike brand in America by 2005. During his 14 years as Orbea’s North American Managing Director, he was also a key member of the global marketing, sponsorship and product development teams and helped lead Orbea into the top echelon of bicycle brands.
After Tony’s departure from Orbea in 2014, he had a blueprint for building the next great brand in the industry. After searching the world over for the next brand to import and distribute, he chose to blaze a new trail and create a brand from the ground up. In the wake of carbon fiber’s digression from in-house production, Tony found himself thinking, “What’s so hard about manufacturing carbon in the US?” So he challenged the system that said it couldn’t be done, beginning with a commitment to creating product MADE HERE and BUILT HERE. “I want people who purchase a bike from HIA Velo to know we made it right here and the right way, from the inception of the product, design, engineering, testing and manufacturing. We made all the best effort to source the best domestic materials, apply the most modern technologies and build a timeless product that you can enjoy for years.”
Tony’s vision for competitively scaled American manufacturing started with composing an all-star team — a highly talented group of designers, engineers and artisan production specialists passionate about bicycles and American advanced material manufacturing. Together they understand that, ultimately, what drives a bicycle is human power. When you have a team of bike builders who themselves love to ride, the end result is something that thrills the newbie and the discerning bike racer alike.