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The magic of riding bikes takes us right back to our childhood. That spirit of freedom. You can go anywhere, do anything and that decision is all yours. Bike riding as an adult has a little bit of this childhood magic in built. That experience of freedom that comes in a way unlike any other form. At the same time, there is a wholesale movement to understand where your products come from, how and why they came into being and most of all, who made it.
Cue the custom built bicycle. The natural evolution of the quiet stepped Mark Hester, founder of Prova Cycles in Melbourne, Australia. We sat down as he delivered a fascinating story of creation shadowed by his posse of tooling.
Mark’s passion for the technical started early, racing karts from the age of 4 til his early 20’s, tinkering in his father's shed building things which eventually led him to studying mechanical engineering in Australia. Speed was never far away from this life long technician, moving from an internationally successful university race car team, through to an engineer at a V8 supercar race team, following up as a stability control engineer at Bosch, and then as a test driver/technical specialist at Jaguar Land Rover in the UK. During all this transition, one thing began to take a hold as a constant source of happiness, that was cycling.
Mark lights up as he talks about the rides he has done from stages of the Tour de France through to two rounds of the mountain bike enduro world series in Scotland and France. One thing sticks out from this part of our conversation - his love for the international cycling community - bikes being the barrier breaker.
It was inevitable that cycling and engineering would combine and Prova was born in 2010 - built on Mark’s professional experience and the premise of no compromise engineering and constant evolution - our kind of craft. Unwavering, thoughtful, performance craft.
Mark moves around his work space with ease. You can see he’s in his natural environment. Just the right amount of torque, delft touch on the welder and an ever scanning eye. The mechanics of his mentality are evident not long after our first meeting. Few spoken words but reasonably well calculated. Prova bikes are an extension of him. Each another limb and we’d certainly find solace in that.
From 3d printed titanium parts, individual structural frame analysis, crazy quality TIG welds to the immeasurable emotional results customers from around the world have responded with. The magic inspires the maker, crafting for a user who connects again with the magic. That’s the result of doing what you love for the people who love what you do.