Victoire Voyage "René" Randonneuse
Victoire Voyage "René" Randonneuse
Although it was presented several times on the Internet, like on the Australian website Cycle Exif, our randonneuse Victoire Voyage "René" was never officially presented among our other bikes. One week before the first re-edition of the Concours de Machines which will be about the light randonneuse, here are the details of this bicycle.
The project of this randonneuse was born more than a year ago, in order to participate in the first edition of the Like-bike show in Monaco. We wanted to create a bike which reflects our savoir-faire at its best by making a large number of homemade components. The randonneuse (or touring bike) is definitely the most difficult bicycle to build for a frame-builder. The fenders, the lights, the racks and several accessories eyelets represent difficulties that an artisan must take into account.
The first frames that we have realized were Virage models for fixed-gear. Sober and uncluttered bicycles, with just a few components. Building their antithesis was a real challenge for us.
The genesis of this bike was strongly influenced by the discovery of the book written by Jan Heine about one of the most famous French builders, René Herse. We have freely drawn our inspiration from his machines by adapting them to the modern standards in order to take the best of the two periods. For us, that was a way to pay tribute to the craftsman from Levallois and in general, to the legacy left by the builders during the first half of the 20th century. Up to 1949, year of the last Technical Trial there was Indeed clearly a golden age of handmade French bicycle especially because builders innovated and pushed the technical limits of their bikes.
A large number of handcrafted and tailor-made pieces
The frame, the fork, the stem and the rack were totally tailor-made and built in our workshop in Beaumont, Auvergne, France. First of all, the frame is made up of a front triangle in Reynolds 853 steel tubing of small diameters in order to increase comfort. Thus a top-tube and a seat-tube of 28,6 mm are associated to a down-tube in 31,8 mm. All this is completed by a stainless steel bi-laminated head-tube in 1"1/8e. The rear triangle is in stainless steel.
The fork crown was reworked by hand to give it a unique style. The fork blades have a big bending which enables to raise comfort thanks to an easier distorsion on vibrations. The front and back rackshave been tailor-made, in such a way as to receive bags from Gilles Berthoud (decaleur is not on the pictures). The stem is like the René Here models adapted to the standard 1"1/8e.
The machined flange with the dynamo front hub SON enable to use the same length of spokes at the front and rear. That facilitates the upkeeps in case of breakage. Spare spokes are fastened on the right chainstay to protect it from the chain.
French and European components
To respect the spirit of the bicycle, we selected a large number of French or European components. We find a lot of components from Gilles Berthoud, handmade in Pont de Vaux, France : aluminium mudguard, twister shifter enabling to use a Rohloff hub with a road handlebar, Soulor saddle and leather bar tape with all of the luggages. The bottom bracket is a Spécialités TA Carmina, made in Sissonne (North of France). The Rohloff hub and SON as well as the lights are produced in Germany.
For our randonneuse, we have selected wheels of 650B diameter, with 42 meterwide tyres. We get the same diameter as wheel in 700*23c but with a bigger tyre. In this way comfort is better. The wheelset is also stronger in this configuration and enables to avoid toe-overlap.
Concerning the drivetrain, we have chosen a Rohloff hub with internal gears, very popular among modern travelers thanks to its ease of use, its reduced maintenance and its reliability. Through that we get a bike with an refined profile.