The hits keep coming in this one, and how can they not when Prova Cycles is involved? Mark Hester of Prova Cycles splashed into the scene in 2018, and a year later won ‘best in show’ at Bespoked Bristol. Needless to say, Provas are often a key talking point of any show.
In addition, this gallery looks at a brand new offering in the lower-priced end of the market. And there’s the return of a familiar name.
Are you viewing on a mobile-sized screen? This gallery is best experienced on a TV with a bowl of popcorn in hand, or perhaps on a desktop computer. If sticking with the phone, please do these builders a favour and turn your screen sideways.
Shimano had a large presence at the show, with much of its display dedicated to showing off the bikefitting.com systems. There were three different setups shown, including the fitting bike, a Wahoo Rollr set up to do the fit on an existing bike, and then a third jig merely for measuring and adjusting the final setup onto the bike. Those that have been in cycling for a decade or two are likely to recall the Teschner name. Through the 1990s and early 2000s, Teschner’s bikes were ridden to numerous elite victories (sometimes under other brand names) and were also held in high regard by owners.
Having spent the past decade on various projects, Peter Teschner is now looking to get his namesake brand going again and with the use of some rather cutting-edge materials. Teschner seemingly has big plans involving numerous different material options. Shown here are custom lugs made with MarkForged 3D-printed Nylon infused with carbon fibre. These lugs are then bonded to impressively low-weight moulded carbon fibre tubes, which feature layers of an almost weightless product called Xantulyr that’s said to reinforce the structure.
It all sounds very impressive, but it’s important to note that the displayed bike hadn’t yet been ridden. It’ll be interesting to see how this tech progresses, especially given Teschner has his sights set on the top-end of the market.American brand Moots was represented at the show by a local distributor (Dawson Sports Group). This new Vamoots CRD is the Colorado-based company’s first bike with integrated cables.It’s hard to look past the creations from Dan Bolwell of Penny Farthing Dan, especially given many stand taller than me. Shown here is a custom build that aims to be a modern-day replica of Harry John Lawson’s Bicyclette design from 1879. This design is considered the first bike with rear wheel drive and a chainwheel setup. It was a precursor to what became the Safety Bicycle.
The Bicyclette was designed to bring cycling to more mainstream purposes, whereas the Penny Farthing was a more performance-focussed machine. The Bicyclette was also the world’s first suspended mullet (a joke for the mountain bikers).
On a more serious note, the craftsmanship of this bike is just incredible. Bolwell is a true maker, and so much of what you see on this bike was handcrafted by him.
Unfortunately the weird proportions of this design earned the nickname ‘the Crocodile’ and Lawson’s Bicyclette never found market demand. It seems aesthetically inclined bicycle snobs have been around since the late 1800s.
Compared to the original, Bolwell’s design aims to reduce the trail figure significantly to make it handle with less wheel flop.Rumour has it that the design never took off because it tried to introduce a new bottom bracket standard.The craftsmanship on Bolwell’s builds is always incredible. He even creates his own tyres and rims.The steerer linkage connects the handlebars to the fork.Note the adjutable saddle fore-aft.Just incredible all around. Penny Farthing Dan’s Instagram is also highly entertaining and well worth a follow.Founded in 1932, Carradice is a family-owned business based in Nelson, Lancashire, England. If you enjoy products that are made ‘like they used to be’, then this is one well worth looking into.Each item is individually signed by its maker.Hailing from Denmark, Omnium Cargo bikes are now available on Australian shores. This V3 looks like a hoot to be at the front of.Prova Cycles had a customer dreaming of a new custom singlespeed road bike. The result is the typically spectacular Speciale Ti with some ultra special sliding dropouts thrown in to the mix.This custom build is kept as practical as a modern road bike in every sense, it just doesn’t have gears. Interesingly, it could be converted to run gears in future, and it’s even got the shifters to do it.Introduced last year, Prova’s Speciale Ti has one of the most detail-focussed and aesthetically pleasing takes on integrated cabling. The top section is 3D-printed titanium, welded to a machined head tube. Inside you’ll find a number of one-off machined components that are designed to provide mechanical-fit sealing against the elements and greatly reduced chance of the headset working itself loose.UK-based Sturdy Cycles is a friend of Prova’s from across the pond. Both makers use 3D-printed titanium parts when it makes sense to do. This bike was fitted with Sturdy Cycles’ printed titanium cranks.Of course Hester designed a 12 mm thru-axle and Flat-Mount-friendly sliding dropout system to match the bike. Once again, 3D titanium printing opens up such possibilities. Meanwhile credit for that flawless finish goes to Mark’s sister, Kelly.
See that line at the base of the seatstay? That’s a split that allows cog sizes (and matching chain lengths) to be swapped without having to break the chain. It also means this bike is ready for a belt-drive if that were ever desired.The sliding element is captive, with the thru-axle pulling it all together. And yes, that is a Partington wheel being run singlespeed. Why? Well, why not?There’s also a hidden T-slot nut that keeps the brake mount secured. It’s for details like these that Prova Cycles has earned such a reputation.One more of that gorgeous dropout.No, I lied. OK, this is the last one of the dropout, I promise.A first look at the latest wheels from Australian-based Partington. These are the brand new R-Series MKII which offer a 39 mm front depth, and a 44 mm rear depth.The core technology to Partington’s wheels is the single-piece Boomerang-like carbon fibre spokes that wrap around the hub shell. With the exception of the CeramicSpeed bearings, Partington makes just about everything in-house.
The result is a wheelset that’s claimed to be ideally stiff in a lateral sense while having controlled radial comfort. They’re also insanely light at under 1,200 grams a pair while being tubeless-compatible with a 21 mm hooked rim profile. They’re anything but low-cost, but are certainly interesting and desirable – enough so that I’ll be reviewing a pair.This custom Prova road bike belongs to Sydney-based Dave Evans of SRAM. Can you spot the unique features?Sure, the VeloCraft paint is spectacular, especially the way it matches with the headset and flows through to the matching bar and stem. And as always. the build by Dan at Superbe Velo Service is flawless. However those aren’t the unique bits …This is one of the first road bikes I’m aware of that runs SRAM’s UDH. It’s certainly the first road bike I’ve seen to actually make full use of that UDH and fit a SRAM XX SL transmission with 10-52T cassette. Combined with a 48T chainring this one is designed to go places.
Sorry Dave, but you can no longer tell me that 1/1 gearing is all you need for gravel when you own an even-lower-geared road bike. 😉The real story with this bike is that it’s a travel bike. Bet you didn’t notice these couplers in the previous photos!The Z-couplers are a patented design from tandem-experts Santana Cycles, made by Paragon Machine Works. Once undone you’ll find the rear brake hose with a Q-Connector quick connect coupler.Those couplers are secured with a single hex fastener, something that requires a surprisingly high torque. Either way, this system is impressively elegant-looking.
Be sure to check out the upcoming Handmade Bicycle Show Australia special episode of the Geek Warning podcast, one which includes a chat with Hester about these very creations.Let’s finish with a little teaser of a little bike. I liked this so much it’ll be getting its own feature story.