Nicolas' Victoire Virage
Nicolas' Victoire Virage
Nicolas rides bikes half of the year and spend the other half skiing. He uses biking to stay in shape during summer. After chating about his cyclist journey, we can say he is a travel and distance lover :
Over the last few years, I had the opportunity to do a South America tour, Adriatic tour, Ireland tour and also some very beautiful rides in France but it is during my first BRM 400 that I realized that I enjoy long distance routes. I like to draw on my mental and physical resources to be able to make it to the finish line.
Nicolas is a Chilkoot club member and this is through our friend Luc Royer (owner of two Victoire bikes : a Versus and a Virage) that he discovered our creations. Looking for a sporty and confortable bike, he was also interested in an authentic bike made in France. He first chose the Victoire Versus but then he met Thierry St Léger (who also owns a Victoire Virage) , ultra-distance specialist and his project moved into a new direction.
After riding a few times with Thierry, I changed my mind and I decided to go for a long distance fixed-gear bike. I discovered a more spiritual and liberating approach... the feeling of loneliness, in harmony in your own bubble with your bike. A feeling that is quite hard to explain but still very much there.
Nicolas’ Victoire Virage is very different from a classic fixed-gear bicycle which is usually used for the track or the city. The conception started with the fitting where we defined the different fulcrums. We then had to adapt the frame geometry with the fixed-gear drive train : the bottom bracket has to be higher than a classic road bike. Pedals are turning non-stop so it is crucial to fix them higher to avoid any contact with the ground during turns. To get a confortable position, it is important to offset this bracket height with a longer head tube. This will make a smaller height difference between two contact points, more appropriate for long distance.
Nicolas also wanted to be able to mount a derailleur in the future. So we used a specific 130mm fixed-gear hub (fixed-gear hub are usually 120mm). The frame has Paragon Rocker dropouts which have the distinctive characteristic to have removable aluminum inserts, with or without a drive train fixation. There are threaded inserts under the bottom tube and the right base in order to mount some cable stops if Nicolas wants his project to evolve by mounting a derailleur system.
Nicolas got his Victoire Virage the day before the Born to Ride 2018. Since he was in a hurry, he took his first test in front of our workshop.
I remembered what I said to my wife this morning : « I’m going to get my baby at the maternity ward ». This is exactly what I felt when I saw it and rode it for the first time. I was chocked by the position, the confort, the nerviness of the bike and even more by the look. This blue and gold that I chose as a nod to my first ever car, the legendary Clio William.
Nicolas took his first ride on his Victoire Virage at Bréhat in Bretagne and along the French west coast to San Sebastian in Spain, and he validated his third Born to Ride in a row.
I was not concern about this race even if I haven’t ridden the bike before. I had a great feeling when I got it the day before and I had full faith in Victoire work. Since the first contact, and despite my requirements and my project change, I always had the good listening and advices that I was looking for. My Virage brought me to San Sebastian with no pain and it was full pleasure. I was in withdrawal when the race was over so I went back on my bike the very next day.