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In this edition of Bikes of the Bunch, we travel to France where Tony Bidel shares the story behind his new bespoke steel road disc bike made by Victoire Cycles.
By Tony Bidel
This bike is for me the conclusion of a new step in my relationship with Victoire Cycles. It’s the third frame that they have built for me. I’ve known them from their beginnings because my two first frames were built for Hardcourt Bike Polo.
Last year I found Julien from Victoire Cycles at the Rapha pop-up store in Paris in 2015 and the idea for a new frame destined for the road was discussed. After some rides and long discussions Julien told me that he would be delighted to make me a new road bike.
The project was built with the idea of having a nervous but comfortable bike with disc brakes for long distance rides. It would replace my current Felt F1. I ride the bicycle for pleasure, to get in touch with nature, share the road with friends, take photos… it’s really what I like. I am not looking for pure performance even though I like to press the pedals…
Julien was very clear about the wait period once the 50% deposit is paid. It takes 10-12 months but there were many things to decide. In the first phase, which lasts several months, time is devoted to the choice of components to define the configuration of the bicycle. There was also the occasion to visit the Victoire workshop for a weekend to carry out the postural study, to make the selection of tubes, and ride a bike in this super region, Auvergne.
Frame: Columbus HSS
Headset: Chris King
Groupset: SRAM Red 22 Hydro with Chris King PF30 bottom bracket
Wheels: ENVE SES Disc with Chris King R45 hubs and Challenge Strada tyres
Saddle: Brooks Cambium C13
Bar tape: Brooks
Once all the components were chosen, Julien worked on the geometry in the second phase. This was a very exciting time in the realization of the bike it gave me the first picture of the bike. We worked together on the design because I didn’t want a frame that was too sloping.
The aesthetic of the bike was a very important point for me. I wanted to differentiate my bike from the usual productions of Victoire. I was able to use a different typography, add details and choose a personalized color. The idea was to create a contrast between the frame + fork + stem and the rest of the parts.
The third and final phase, the production phase, was the shortest in the long wait for the final result. Victoire Cycles sent me pictures at different times during this production phase. Each photo created more and more excitement as the new bike came to life.
I decided to go back to Auvergne for take possession of the bicycle directly from the workshop. The discovery was an incredible moment, to touch the bike and discover every detail. It was one year of waiting broken up by discussions, research, frustration, and excitement, but all were forgotten for the satisfaction of being able to hold this bicycle that I had been dreaming of.
After a quick change, we took to the roads of the Auvergne under a beautiful winter sun to test and make the final adjustments to the bike. Right away, I felt a great comfort, a smooth bike that does not hesitate to respond to the first pedal stroke. I love it !!!
If it was to be done again, I take it the same way. I like this bike as it is. I have to thank the teams at Victoire Cycles and Bicycle Store Paris for making this bike possible.
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