As if documenting two massive galleries from the 2023 Handmade Bicycle Show Australia wasn’t enough of an undertaking, Andy White was so smitten with the Piccolo 20″ hardtail – made by titanium maestros Prova Cycles – that he’s giving it a standalone feature. Let’s take a detailed look at the Piccolo below!
A diversion: ensuring my facts were as straight as a top tube for the Handmade feature, I texted Darren Baum: ‘Got a minute to chat?’ An hour and a half later we’d covered house renovations, artificial intelligence, the speed of life and a full dissection of the Handmade show. Darren’s big takeaway was the incredibly high standard of all exhibitors. I likened this to pro cycling now – the standard of everyone is so high, the pace so furious, we rarely see the incredible attacks synonymous with the 2000s. So how do you create something that truly stands out in a field so deep in talent? ‘You build a 20” mountain bike’ was Darren’s answer.
So how did the Prova Piccolo MTB come to be. ‘Charlie needed a new bike’, Mark Hester, builder and now world class Funcle to Charlie. ‘We looked at a few options on the market like the Commencal and Prevelo and thought we could do better’.
With the same attention to detail you’d find on any Prova frame, this scaled down ride uses the Mostro gravel platform for the rear dropouts, 142mm wide to keep it as narrow as possible, and a flat mount disc as a slightly safer setup to avoid things getting snagged. Smaller tubes maintain the proportions and aesthetic, with integrated cable routing for brake and dropper post.
Kids spec pedals, grips, and the Microshift 9-speed group was picked for its wide range, small shifter lever size and light action. The HEIR Air fork was purchased from Prevelo and is buttery smooth, lighter than a coil, adjustable and fully serviceable.
Charlie had creative artistic input into the ninevolt anodised finish. Look closely and you’ll find her favourite animal polished into the top tube, alongside the logotype by her Mum, Kelly Hester, who is responsible for Prova’s composites, 3D parts preparation, and post frame treatments.
The bars – a combination of 3D printed clamp and titanium tube make a lightweight, rad result. The geometry is all scaled based on the same progressive geometry found on the Ripido to make it as balanced and comfortable for the young rider.
The wheels are White Industries to light bicycle carbon BMX rims, nipples chosen to suit the visual, custom built by arguably Melbourne’s best known wheel builders – Superbe Velo Service, who also assembled the bike with the same attention given to all Prova’s.
With the same consideration and time to build, the most frequently asked question I got about it at the show was ‘How much?’. Mark’s answer ‘Less than private school’. Once Charlie outgrows it, there’s at least another niece and nephew who will get to enjoy it over the next 7 years.
For those who are keener than curious, contact Prova and give your kid(s) the very best.