Over 120 years ago ŠKODA started life as a cycle company. Since then our love for two wheels has never wavered. Cycling has remained important to us since that day and we’ve honoured that heritage ever since.
When co-founder Vaclav Klement bought a bicycle from a German manufacturer which broke shortly afterwards, he teamed up with bike mechanic Vaclav Laurin, and they began producing their own bicycles.
Besides their first names and a love for cycling, they had another thing in common: a strong inventive spirit. 1895 saw their first invention together, a bike called the ‘Slavia’.
After just a short time, there were already five Slavia models on offer, including a lady’s bike and a hybrid bike. Step by step, the bicycle range was expanded. There were tandem bikes ‘for two gentlemen’ and ‘for a gentleman and a lady’, children’s bikes for boys and girls, delivery tricycles and speciality bicycles with a drive shaft.
Cycling is credited with playing a role in the emancipation of women and the working class. Who would have thought two wheels could help break through years of oppression for women.
From the production of motorbikes in 1899, Laurin and Klement built their very first car in 1905 - The Voiturette A which could reach speeds of 25mph (which was very impressive at the time!). A merger with ŠKODA Works, a large industrial company, in 1924 saw the ŠKODA name appear on an automobile for the very first time.
Long after the Slavia, cycling was still very much a part of us, which is why in 2014, to sustain the inventive spirit that began well over a century ago, we launched our brand new bike. And we couldn’t wait to get into the saddle so we could get close, closer and closest to the action.
Alongside still making bikes, we keep our love for two wheels alive by supporting many different cycling events around the world; including Tour de France, the most famous bicycle race in the world, as official sponsor and vehicle partner, RideLondon, The Tour Series and the Tour of Britain, to name but a few.
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© ŠKODA AUTO a.s. 2017