Kia Back In The Bike Biz But This Time With Electrics

Korean car company Kia may be best known to Americans for their low-cost automobiles, but they started out as a bicycle company. Well, they are back at it with their KEBs or Kia Electric Bicycles. They recently showed two prototypes that they say are intended for their Euro customers.

Both feature a 250-watt electric hub motor capable of churning out 33 lb-ft of torque, a detachable 36-volt lithium-ion battery, and a 25-mile range. Shimano brake and gear components are used, but everything else is made in Korea.

The frames are claimed to be assembled using an automated stamping/welding process that allows for unique frame shapes similar to more-expensive hydroformed units. Weighing in at a claimed 44 pounds, the KEBs can reach 15.5 mph.

What’s wrong with this picture? Saddle rule #1, the saddle should be parallel to the ground. That tilt is going to keep the rider slipping forward.
The automated stamping/welding process results in a frame that looks more carbon fiber than aluminum. We bet conventional bicycle builders will be checking out this process closely.