Jono Church
Owner & Mechanic

Jono grew up riding bikes and first went mountain biking in about 1996 on Christchurch’s Bottle Lake trails. Then in 2001, whilst at high school, he got a new hardtail (because his parents wouldn’t let him have a BMX) and started heading out into the Port Hills to discover more riding and his love for exploring.

He quickly found downhilling and would spend most weekends shuttling Christchurch’s unforgiving rocky Victoria Park trails. Jono also raced all through the summer around the South Island. Always keen to keep things fresh and take on a challenge Jono loved doing almost anything on two wheels - cross country racing, dirt jumping, trials, touring, bmx and even cyclocross. These days big jumps and steep technical tracks are Jono’s favourite things to ride.

Jono learned early on that he would need to be able to fix things himself if his bikes were to keep working! Always curious to see how things work, he taught himself how maintain his own bike and at age 16  started working in bike shops after school. Aside from doing the first year of an engineering degree Jono has been a full time bike mechanic, since he was 18.

In 2009 he moved to Rotorua and began working for Wide Open Distributors running the suspension service and wheel building department. Jono quickly found a passion for all things suspension related and became the Marzocchi Service Manager for New Zealand. In 2012 his skills and experience were recognised by the MS Mondraker Race Team who had recently changed to Marzocchi suspension. Jono was flown to Queenstown and was responsible for the set up and testing of Brook MacDonald and Markus Pekolls’ race bikes whilst working closely with Cesar Rojo.  

In 2013 Jono completed a Frame Building course (Chromoly Brazing / Tig) at the United Bicycle Institute (USA) and has built both road and dirt jump bikes since. Being keen to get back into the retail side of the industry led Jono to join Bike Culture in 2014. Jono was noted as being a  quieter mechanic but that’s because he’s always thinking about the physics of suspension, and new ways to make bikes better. This is what ultimately led to opening The Suspension Lab and provided a platform to fully utilise those years of experience!

Favourite Riding

In Rotorua: Kataore

In New Zealand: Kaimanawa Forest

In the World: New Zealand


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