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The workshop's Blog

The place where we tell you about life in the workshop, the bike rides on the roads and paths and the stories of our bikes and those of their owners.


Victoire n°502 is available for sale

Victoire n°502 is available for sale

A Victoire bike is an exceptional object, the creation of which requires a great deal of discussion, reflection, drawing and trial and error. The result of this process is a unique piece of art, the fruit of our know-how and the experience of our team of framers, painters and mechanics. To receive their bikes, our customers have to wait several months, the time needed to create an exceptional machine.

Occasionally, a Victoire bike finds itself without an owner. In such cases, it is immediately available to the lucky few. This is the case with Victoire n°502, which we describe below.

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Victoire n°502 is a rarity, even among Victoire bikes. In fact, it's the 9th Victoire bike made with the limited series of Colombus Cento tubes, out of 10 bikes in total. This series of tubes was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Milan-based brand. True to its transalpine heritage, these tubes are dedicated to cyclosportive use on the road.

We've chosen to commemorate this limited series by adding a small medallion marked "9/10" on this bike. There won't be another, and this is the last Victoire Cento still available.

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To go with this series of prestigious tubes, we've chosen the very best in Italian-style groupsets. The Campagnolo Super Record fitted to Victoire n°502 is the top of their range. Fans of the brand will appreciate the unique ergonomics of Campagnolo shifters and the Super Record's low weight.

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We have devoted a full article to the Victoire n°502 in our Bikes section.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested in this unique machine.


Interview with David Rouméas, Effigear founder & CTO

Interview with David Rouméas, Effigear founder & CTO

To mark the delivery of Victoire n°536, equipped with a Mimic gearbox, we organized an event in partnership with Effigear. We took the opportunity to ask David Rouméas (founder & CTO) a few questions.

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We regularly organize themed evenings at our Cartel Cycles et Café boutique. Whether it's a presentation of original bikes, the publication of books or magazines, or a meeting with cycling personalities, we try to bring people together around our passion for hand-crafted bicycles.

It was an opportunity to welcome the Effigear team in a warm atmosphere to learn more about the Mimic.

Can you tell us a little about the history of Effigear?

Originally, it was an engineer, Guy Cavalerie, who had the idea of replacing his derailleur with a gearbox in 2003, and designing it himself! In parallel with his professional activity, he created and tested several prototypes in his garage. The very first patent for the Effigear gearbox wasn't filed until 2007.

In 2008, I joined him in his adventure and we developed a three-axis gearbox, which became the Originale and which we integrated into our own frames. In 2012, we officially registered the Cavaleries Bikes (mountain bikes) and Effigear (transmission solutions) brands, and delivered our first Cavalerie mountain bike with Effigear gearbox the following year.

In 2020, Vincent Lecornu joined the adventure. The same year, we signed a partnership with Valeo to develop and sell an electric motor system that integrates a gearbox. It is the Cyclee, currently on the market. At the same time, we've developed our new two-axis gearbox, the Mimic, which we introduced in 2021. It's lighter, more compact and in a frame-mounting format common to other gearbox manufacturers.

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What are the main differences between a gearbox and a derailleur system?

With a gearbox, shifting is instantaneous and possible even under load or at a standstill. There are no more cracking sprockets or jumping gears. A gearbox retains its efficiency over time, whether it's used in dry weather, rain, mud or dust. Our Effigear gearboxes come with a five-year warranty, and we're used to saying that they last as long as your bike!

What's more, maintenance is virtually non-existent: all you need to do is change a few centilitres of oil about once a year. The running cost is seven times lower than that of a conventional derailleur system.

What are the technical specifications of the Mimic gearbox (weight, development, number of speeds)?

The Mimic is a 9-speed gearbox, equivalent to a 1x11 or 1x12 groupset, with a development range of 470% (equivalent to a 10-47 cassette). It weighs just 2 kg, barely more than a complete derailleur system including cassette.

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What are the main uses (mountain biking, gravel, etc.)?

The Mimic is ideal for mountain biking, gravel or touring bikes. It can be coupled with an electric motor in the rear hub, offering a lightweight, high-performance electric solution. It can also be fitted to lightweight cargo bikes that don't require electric assistance.

What can you expect from a Mimic if you're used to derailleur gears?

Using a gearbox means rediscovering the pleasure of riding, and only riding! There's no more fussing with sprockets, chainrings, keeping the chain in line... shifting is fluid, smooth and instantaneous!

In mountain biking, the improved weight distribution enhances the efficiency of the rear suspension, which grips the ground better in winding sections or with roots, for example. On gravel or urban bikes, this architecture reduces unsprung weight and makes the bike more stable.

And of course: no more derailing or getting your hands dirty with sludge!

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Victoire & Distance bikes in stock !

Victoire & Distance bikes in stock !

Want a handmade bike built in France but don’t feel like waiting weeks for it? Look no further : we have a few exhibition models available immediately online on our web shop or in our bike shop in Clermont-Ferrand. Come and check them out !

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Our on-display road Victoire is available at a special discounted price. You can find all the info on this Columbus Cento custom bike on its dedicated page.

This Victoire is available immediately and can be admired at Cartel, Cycle & Café, in downtown Clermont-Ferrand. You can also order it directly on our web shop.

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The Victoire 525 was built for long distance road biking. It's equipped with fenders, lights with the associated dynamo & a Campagnolo Ekar groupset. It'll be the ideal compagnon to ride across France... or any other country !

Victoire 525 is available for sale immediately and can be admired in our Cartel shop. We'll add a dedicated page in the "Bikes" section of our website soon.

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This Distance 30 is a unique piece ! It's a testimony of Victoire & Distance history, as it is our 100th Distance ! It was reviewed in multiple magazines and it was featured on the front page of Cyclist this summer. This Distance 30 is equipped with a Campagnolo Ekar groupset, Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels & high quality components from Deda.

It's available at our Cartel shop at 4500€.

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The Distance Croix-Morand is a versatile bike entirely made in France (like all Distance bikes) in Victoire's workshop in Beaumont. Its geometry makes it the ideal companion for all use-cases, at ease on dirt paths, heavy-loaded with bagages for touring or on a long-distance bike-packing race. This Distance Croix-Morand is welded with Columbus Zona & Dedacciai Zero Uno tubes.

Equipped with all necessary rack mounts, this bike is assembled on a L size frame, Shimano GRX components & Fulcrum Rapid Red 5 wheels.

Available at Cartel or on our web shop !

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This other Distance Croix-Morand is equipped similarly than the above model but on a S size frame. Paint finition is "Forez-Gump", our preferred shade of green !

Available at Cartel or for shipping anywhere (contact us !).

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Want a sporty gravel bike to race on all dirt path ? This Distance 45 was made for you. Assembled with a M size frame with a "Forez-Gump" green finish, he's equipped with high end components : Sram Eagle with a Ratio kit, Fulcrum Rapid Red 5 wheels and Columbus Futura Cross+ fork.

You can read all about its configuration on our web shop, or come & admire it at Cartel while drinking an oat milk flat white !

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This Distance 45 is our best-selling Distance bike. It also is our sportiest gravel. Its fork and frame feature all necessary rack-mounts, making it the ideal machine for bike packing tours.

This bike is a size L frame, with a Mocha paint finish and Shimano GRX components.

You can order it on our web shop or at Cartel (12 Place d'Espagne in Clermont-Ferrand).


The paint finish of a Victoire's fork

The paint finish of a Victoire's fork

At Victoire, we attach the greatest importance to the quality finish on our bikes. The paint job, entirely made by hand, is a stage to which we pay particular attention. It's a complex process, which requires several stages of preparation. Have look behind the scenes in our workshop to discover the key stages of a fork paint job.

Once built, each of our creations is cleaned, primed, painted and varnished. Depending on our customer's requirements, we make customizations between these stages, such as creating patterns, gradations, adding glitter and more. Most of these options require a masking step to precisely delimited the painted areas.

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On the fork shown above, the Columbus brand logos have been printed on translucent masking films.

Tape is applied all around the masking film to protect adjacent surfaces from unwanted paint splashes.

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Once the masking film has been carefully placed in the desired location, the fork is ready to be painted.

Following the stencil principle, the paint is sprayed onto the surface using an airbrush gun. Using small circular movements, the material is applied evenly.

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After a few hours' drying, the masking elements can be removed.

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Each piece is carefully removed one by one with the tip of a scalpel to avoid any alteration of the newly applied paint.

If the previous operation is sufficient, a coat of varnish is applied to the entire fork.

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At this stage, "orange peel" effects and over-thicknesses may appear due to the extra material added under the varnish.

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Polishing steps are then carried out to eliminate all undesirable roughness and relief effects.

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The surface is first sanded by hand using soapy water and very fine-grained sandpaper. This slightly abrasive step creates a matt effect on the painted surface.

This is followed by a three-stage polishing process using a polishing machine.

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The rotary motion of this tool, applied to the entire surface of the fork, gives an even level of polish.

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The result is a perfectly smooth surface that not only looks good, but also provides optimum protection for the fork. It also allows water to run off easily, preventing the build-up of mud splashes.

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Would you like further information? We'll be with you every step of the way. Don't hesitate to contact our team, and we'll offer you customized solutions tailored to your needs.


Introduction to TIG Welding : Training course for bicycle framebuilders students at the AFPA (Beaumont, France)

Introduction to TIG Welding : Training course for bicycle framebuilders students at the AFPA (Beaumont, France)

From April 17th to 21st, our ten trainees in bicycle framebuilding course took part in a TIG welding course at the AFPA (Agence nationale pour la Formation Professionnelle des Adultes) in Montluçon (France). Olivier Moly, our workshop manager, oversaw their learning and shared some pictures of their first steps.

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Unlike traditional torches where the flame is used, TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding uses the electric arc process. This technique offers a quick and localized heating.

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TIG welding is a great solution to get a high level of precision to create weld beads, making it well-suited for the thin-walled tubes used in bicycle workshop.

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During this week-long training, our trainees became familiar with the "pulsed mode", a specific function of the TIG technique. This mode allows welding sequences with controlled variations of intensity. It is a method that requires careful preparation and a certain level of dexterity from the welder.

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This training week enabled our learners to expand their knowledge. We hope that this diversification of knowledge and techniques will be an asset in enhancing their professional skills.


Tooling designed by our friend Jolie Rouge Cycles.

Tooling designed by our friend Jolie Rouge Cycles.

Julien Fritsch, one of our framebuilder friend, specializes in the creation of handmade bicycles. From his workshop in Savoie, he works on behalf of Jolie Rouge Cycles. In 2022, he developed specific bicycle frames’ control kits.

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Today, these tools are part of our daily routine. Placed on the marble floor of our workshop, they contribute to the quality control of every Victoire et Distance creation we produce.

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For us, these tools transcend their functionality. These crafted pieces enrich our hand-crafted activity. They show there is a community of framebuilders. If you are a frame builder and would like to get quality tooling, don't hesitate to contact Julien.


Victoire in partnership with the APFA : the first bicycle framebuilder training course in France.

Victoire in partnership with the APFA : the first bicycle framebuilder training course in France.

Since its creation, Victoire has always wanted to develop the French bicycle bespoke. After having manufactured more than 750 bikes in a decade, we decided to pass on our knowledges.

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From next autumn in Clermont-Ferrand, the AFPA (Agence Nationale pour la Formation Professionnelle des Adultes) will offer a set of separate training courses with the aim of training future professionals in the cycle sector. 

The three training courses offered will be as follows :

  • Discovery of the bicycle framebuilder profession ;
  • Training in the different modes of maintenance, repair and sale of bicycles ;
  • Training in the bicycle framebuilder’s profession ( February the 6th )
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If you are interested in one of the first two offers, contact the AFPA directly for any inquiries. Our team, for its part, will intervene specifically on the latest training with the objective of supporting the framebuilders of tomorrow to acquire the necessary tools to develop a practice of excellence. This offer, supported by the « Innovation pour l’emplois » program of the Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, is unprecedented because it is the first « bicycle framebuilder »  training in France. This projet is supported by our colleagues from the Association française des Artisans du Cycle.

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The creation of this partnership with AFPA is a first step towards greater recognition of our profession. The reflections we have conducted on the training path of bicycle framebuilder want to meet medium and long-term objectives. Through the transmission of our knowledge, we wish, on the one hand, to relocate a French industry that has faced the limits of the globalised system. On the other hand, we want to strive towards the recognition of designers producing by hands in France and lead to the creation of an official bicycle framebuilder title recognized by the state.

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Would you like to become a bicycle framerbuilder ? Send us your CV and your cover letter by email to victoire-cycles.com.


Le Concours de Machines 2022

Le Concours de Machines 2022

The Concours de Machines 2022 was one month ago, and as usual we needed some time to bounce back. So a little bit later, here is what happened during this exciting week-end :

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We are very proud to say we won the second price in general competition, right behind Cyfac. This place on the podium rewards many months of work.

We also won the price for best artisanal work. This special price rewards the best quality of craftsmanship and innovative details. It reflects the energy and passion we put in each of our creations.

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We want to congratulate Jeanne for her performance behind the handlebar of her Victoire, finishing second on the 218 K race, only a few minutes behind Fanny who rode for Stolen. This is truly outstanding knowing she only rode a few kilometers the day before when she discovered her new bike.

Despite a fall on the wet pavement at the beginning of the ride, Jeanne kept going and managed to finish in the top-trio, several hours before the other contestants.

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This year’s Concours was organized by Andréas Behrens, founder of Cycles LaFraise and winner of 2018’s Concours. For the first time, the concours coupled with a custom bike show, with around thirty exhibitors. Many visitors came during this two days show, excited to see some frame building creations.

Thursday was for technical inspection, the race was on Friday, and the show began on Saturday morning with a social ride which gathered a hundred participants through the Belgium border.

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This new concept will continue in the years to come and we are happy to see a yearly event coming for all custom made bike’ lovers.


Jeanne, pilote of the Concours de Machines 2022's Victoire

Jeanne, pilote of the Concours de Machines 2022's Victoire

The Concours de Machines 2022 is approaching fast. This edition presents two important caracteristics : First, its thematic is based on the mythic Paris-Roubaix race. Second, for this year, it only allows womens to ride the creations that will be showcased for the contest.

When evocating the Paris-Roubaix race, we directly think at its cobblestones that got the reputation to be exausting to ride on. That's where the challenge is mainly based for this edition of the Concours : the realisations will have to allow the pilots to evolute on a destroyed and slippy ground, that makes articulations goes through hard times went you ride on that kind of terrain during long distances. The topology, on the other hand, is relatively flat, according to the north of France landscapes.

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For the moment, we will not talk to you about the Victoire of the Concours de Machines 2022, but of its future pilot instead, which is Jeanne Lepoix. You maybe know her for La mini passagère, an adventure board in which her and her partner Xavier are telling us three months of travel between Roscoff and Strasbourg, travel accompanied by their daughter Zoé, who was less than a year old when they left.

Jeanne has already done the French Divide and has traveled Icelandic roads and tracks in the past. It is therefore not its first attempt when it comes to bumpy terrain and studded tires! This is even a field that she has already practiced with an exclusively female entourage in October 2020, during a getaway named Girls on fire. She will also participate for the third time to the Malteni this 16 april.

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Jeanne came to visit our workshop, meet our team and discuss her project, intended for the Concours de Machines 2022 and for herself, which will be entirely manufactured according to her morphology. There, she discovered all the manufacturing steps necessary to make a Victoire bike.

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Jeanne has carried out, as we do for each of our Victoire clients, a static and dynamic postural study which makes it possible to think of a geometry perfectly adapted to her morphology.

In addition to her website, you can follow Jeanne's adventures on her Instagram profile. For our part, we will reveal to you little by little behind the scenes of the manufacture of the Victory of the 2022 Machine Competition until the holding of the Competition, to which we will be waiting for you !