Foucauld's Victoire Bellevue
Foucauld's Victoire Bellevue
Part of the team of Parisian friends l'Amicale Cycliste, Foucauld is also a Rapha ambassador for France and the writer of really good stories on his blog La Conjuration. However the essential was missing : a bicycle that fits perfectly his riding and his personnality. He answers for us to our questions to share his Victoire Bellevue project.
Hello Foucauld, which kind of cyclist are you ?
I ride all of the year, with a 100K or a brevet during the weekend, and a 2h ride during the week. I also bring my bike during my holidays and I try to take part in some events like the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, the Concours de Machines, the Rapha Prestige Massif Central or the Tour du Vaucluse Historique. What I like the most, it is what we do for some years with my friends from L'Amicale Cycliste : our families come from different regions, so each of us try to organize a weekend at home. We went to the French Riviera, the North of France, the Massif Central and soon to Basque Country. Each time, we work on our routes to ride on the road less traveled.
What kind of terrain are you riding ?
Only on roads, but it is not a problem if they become unpaved. Like I said, I ride everywhere in France. I like a lot the hilly regions like Luberon or Auvergne that I discovered this year, or the hinterland of Nice.
Why did you choose a Victoire bespoke bicycle ?
The style of Brahms' Véloce was for me, apart from a few details, perfect. I first planned to buy a carbon frame but the one I wanted was not available in my size. At the same time, I saw a cyclist with this bike that used to be a dream but aesthetically, it was already out of fashion. I realized that this kind of consumption wasn't for me and as I want to ride my bike for a long time, I wanted something personnal and timeless.
If Victoire seemed to offer the best balance between a unique product, performant and quite affordable, it is the possibility to interact as much as I wanted that was important for me : to follow the different steps and share my worries and my questions was essential. I did not want to order a bike like we order on internet and sum up a custom frame to a bike fitting, a paint and a budget. It was important for me to come visit you, talk about each details and get your feedbacks on the parts.
What were your specification for this bespoke roadbike project ?
I wanted a bicycle as timeless as possible, that means classic but not vintage. Specification were timeless : a modern frame, with almost no logos and a sober colour lighted by some silver parts. I wanted internal routing but no disc brakes. I also wanted a light bicycle to climb, that does not need too much power to pedal, and that can ride in every condition.
In my opinion, a tailor frame has to fit the best its owner riding. It rains often in Paris, and as I ride throughout the year, I already put removable fenders during winter (Raceblade or MKII), so I chose to integrate them to my build.
Which equipment have you selected for you Bellevue ?
As I wanted as much silver parts as possible, while keeping performance in mind, I had a limited choice. I did not like the new Ritchey Classic logo so I chose a Tune seatpost and stem. For the handlebar, I was convinced by the article wrote by Nicolas Joly on the Soma Highway 1. By the way, even if his Bellevue and mine are different, I think our approach was similar.
The choice of the groupset was the most difficult because there is really a few high end silver references and most of the crankset are way too massive for a smooth handcrafted bicycle. I initially selected a Shimano Ultegra but the new Campagnolo Potenza Silver groupset convinced me to go for the Italian one. I combined it with a Tune Smart Foot crankset, more elegant.
For the saddle, I like a lot the style of the Brooks Cambium C15 carved. It is a bit heavy, but I tried the C13 carbon model and I did not like it. I will maybe try later a Selle Italia SLR Superflow that is half lighter while being comfortable.
For the wheelset, I chose the Tune TSR 22 according to Julien's recommendation. For the fenders, I liked a lot the Swarf carbon models used on the randonneuse du Concours de Machines.
Foucauld had a precise idea of his bespoke bicycle, so we had to translate his demands in technical solutions : choice of tubing among the many references of Columbus, Reynolds and Tange, design of the geometry, integration of the components... Thanks to our experience gained through our hundreds of creations, combined with our field tests, we can answer with precision to the different demands of our customers.
For Foucauld, who wanted a classic style road bike but not vintage, the aim was to get a light and comfortable bicycle, adapted to long rides in every conditions. One of our challenge was to fit the 185mm with a sportive geometry, according to Foucauld's specification.
The main tubing comes from the Tange Prestige range. They are really thin (about 0.4mm at the center), with a round profile. The top tube is 31.7mm diameter and the downtube 34.9mm for a good filtration of road bumps.
Foucauld wanted initially a 44mm headtube, but he followed our recommendation and went for a 36mm one, compatible with 1"1/8e carbon fork and external headset. This standard match better the style of the bike. The fork is a Columbus Hiver with fender inserts.
The frame as well as the fork and the Tune stem are paint in a metalized grey that match well the silver parts.