As a kid who grew up around bikes, and (in his own words), “failed miserably” as a mechanic, Olivier Lavigeuer knew he still wanted to work with bikes. He’d spend his youth cultured in bicycles, whether it was cycling 20k to baseball practice or helping his dad (who happened to produce the catalog for Guru Cycles in Montreal). When Olivier was older, he began working for Guru in basic capacities. But as company staff turned over, he began to learn every piece of the puzzle from cutting carbon sheets to building templates for bikes, making the tubes, and eventually creating ideas for future frames. Ever since, he’s had his hands in just about every carbon fabrication process you can imagine.
After more than 10 years of loyal employment with Guru, upon the company’s closing, Olivier attended the auction to see if he could pick up some equipment. While there, he happened to see a nonchalant guy make a bid for the entire factory. Intrigued, Oliver followed up with the buyer — none other than Tony Karklins, founder and owner of the future HIA Velo. After Olivier explained his background with Guru, all Tony could say was, “You’re coming with me.” Shortly, Olivier transferred from Montreal to Little Rock, Arkansas.
As HIA Velo’s engineering technician, Olivier is charged with trouble shooting, fabrication efficiency, and modifying the processes associated with new engineering methods for carbon. Most companies who scale large want to outsource these processes due to high costs. But Olivier values the fact that every detail happens under one roof; as the “hands-on” engineer in the warehouse, you’ll see Olivier touch every step of the production floor operations. He understands the culture of the company seeps through to every job level, however big or small.
What Olivier hopes you’ll say when you ride a bike MADE HERE BUILT HERE: “I never found the limits of this bike.”