History

History

When Josef Fuchs founded his small bicycle and sewing machine store in Ondřejovice near Zlaté Hory in 1907, he could hardly expect that this would establish more than a century long tradition of bicycle production in the Jeseníky region. The company survived World Wars I and II, a lot of economic recessions and political crises, as well as the rule of the Communist Party, and yet has been succeeding in winning recognition in the harsh global competition accompanied by strong economical and political turbulences of the modern era. With the workforce of about 80 people, VELOBEL currently ranks among the largest employers in the Zlaté Hory region. In addition, VELOBEL is the second eldest region's survivor company after the engineering plant Ondrstroj a. s. (founded under the name Hassman und Sohn in 1899), and also one of the oldest manufacturers of bicycles and components with unbroken history in the bicycle industry in the Czech Republic. This cannot be overstated, as all the other industries that had been giving bread and butter to people in the Zlaté Hory region almost from time immemorial gradually faded away after 1989. Metal mining ended in 1993, textile works Zlatex a. s. (former state-owned company Moravolen, which itself had continued the long tradition of textile industry in the Zlaté Hory region) went bankrupt in 2011 and its whole premises were demolished in 2014 and 2015. Last but not least, a famous stone processing plant was relocated to nearby town of Mikulovice in 2017. Together with the engineering plant in Ondřejovice, the VELOBEL company remains the very upholder of the former fame of Zlaté Hory as the industrial center of the western Silesia.