The inventor of the ProFlex mountain bike, Bob Girvin, set the scene alight with his revolutionary frame and fork designs. A former aerospace engineer, his ideas culminated in the world’s first mass-produced, full suspension mountain bike. Critics didn’t think full suspension would catch on, but it did — in a big way — although ProFlex was surpassed as quickly as it appeared. Germany’s Peter Laibacher reinvigorated one in his own unique style.
The 1996 ProFlex brochure records that Popular Science magazine named the 855 model “The best new recreational product of the year”, while Mountain Biking Magazine awarded it the ‘Suspension Bike of the Year’ award. Sticking elastomers inside the rear triangle gave a whole new meaning to off-road riding comfort, and a ProFlex was touted as both a downhill bike and an agile climber. Coupled with a Girvin fork, it was, if nothing else, an engineering marvel.
Peter Laibacher lives in the German town of Grossbottwar, about 25km away from Stuttgart, the home of Porsche and Mercedes, and Pelagro is Peter’s passion, customising bicycles with as much innovation as Bob Girvin. The frame and forks were found on eBay and were polished before tabs for the brakes were welded on and resprayed. The scheme was inspired by Peter’s motorcycle racing background aboard Ducatis, hence the Bimota references. See more on the Pelagro website.