La randonneuse agile de Philippe
Philippe met with us to make his project for a versatile lightweight hiker for long-distance outings a reality. We have created the Victoire n°490 for him, a bike with classic aesthetics that combines simplicity, comfort and practicality.
The Victoire n°490 frame is made from Columbus XCr stainless steel tubing. These very thin and small-diameter tubes offer more flexibility and make it possible to emphasize comfort, the main quality of a hiker intended to travel long distances. This very thin format also matches the classic aesthetics of the project.
The top tube and the seat tube of the Victoire n°490 have been fitted with eyelets which allow the Helmut Equipement frame bag to be attached.
The Victoire de Philippe fork was handcrafted in our workshop. Thus we were able to affix the number of fixing eyelets desired but also to make the best use of the contact surfaces in order to operate the hub dynamo without having to resort to a wiring system.
The Victoire n°490 is intended to travel long distances independently. It is therefore equipped with a SON dynamo hub which powers a front and rear lighting kit as well as a USB charging port placed at the rear of the front lamp.
The fork crown of Victoire n°490 was made by Olivier, our production manager. He started from an existing tee that he opened up at the fittings and on which he removed material in order to achieve a minimalist result. He also reinforced the fender mounting eyelets with stainless steel inserts.
Philippe's front rack was hand-made by Marco, our bicycle travel expert. It allows the stowage of a Helmut Invader bag on the upper platform, and its handles can accommodate two side bags for trips that require more loading. This luggage rack placed set back from the wheel axle allows you to center the load on the bike and gain stability.
It was made with 8mm tubes, suitable for light hikers such as Philippe's. When it comes to hikers intended to be heavily loaded, we then use a combination of 8 and 10mm tubes.
Finally, Marco has designed this luggage rack so that its handles can be dismantled to keep only the upper platform. . He placed the eyelets for fixing the handles independently of the mudguard fixings: thus, to lighten his configuration, Philippe has nothing to disassemble other than the handles, which can be unscrewed with a few simple blows of the BTR key.
Detail additional feature made possible by bespoke manufacturing: it has been designed with an elbow that protects the headlight from possible shocks.
The stem of Victoire n°490 was made to measure to perfectly match Philippe's measurements, without having to use riser rings. The use of a custom-made stem also makes it possible to use tubes with a diameter similar to the frame in order to obtain a coherent visual whole.
The Victoire n°490 crankset is a White Industries, made in California. It is mounted with a chainring of 42 teeth from the same manufacturer.
The chainring is associated with a Sram XG 11-speed cassette in 10 - 42, which will allow Philippe to face all types of elevation changes smoothly, even when loaded.
The lighting of Victoire n°490 is provided by a Sinewave Beacon headlight fixed on the front luggage rack of the bike as well as a rear SON light placed on the rear mudguard, which allow Philippe to remain visible when the light drops.
The wheels of Victoire de Philippe are Mavic Open Pro Aluminium, made in France. The rear hub, spoked on its circle by hand in the workshop, is supplied by White Industries.
These wheels are equipped with Challenge Strada Bianca tires in 36mm, as comfortable on asphalt as on gravel roads.
Philippe's Soma handlebar allows you to descend into the hollow of the handlebar without difficulty. Just like the Paul Components seatpost, it was chosen in a polished aluminum finish.
Discreet, the paint of the Victoire n°490 is based on a play of materials between the frame and the various polished aluminum components. It is made of a shade of metallic gray which reveals in places the stainless steel of the frame and the welding work carried out in the workshop.
The rear triangle is half gray - half stainless steel, revealing our artisanal welding work.
Frame, fork and stem have all been painted to create a cohesive whole. This set of neutral colors highlights the saddle and the Berthoud handlebar tape as well as the tires with beige sidewalls. This equipment adds a slight touch of color to the whole while recalling the aesthetics of vintage hikers.
When I got on my bike, after a few hundred meters, this thought came to mind: it seems to be made for me, everything falls to hand, everything is in the right place.
Last Wednesday, the Christmas holidays ended, air temperature 6°, I leave for a little warm-up. Having stopped for 3 months due to an injury, I will only do 35 kilometers including 1 km of road rutted and slippery and 1km of cobblestones.
The bike is indeed very comfortable while being very rigid, no extraneous noise, a feeling of compactness, with perfect heading stability. I used to ride my hands half on top of the handlebars, half on the hoods. With the Victoire I stayed the entire ride with my hands on the hoods in complete comfort. The rutted parts (with potholes) passed without problem as well as the paved area which I did not suffer as with my previous bike which was still a steel frame.
This is happiness. I expected to feel some pain the day after the outing because after a three-month break and at my age, it is possible. Well no zero aches, so I'm a happy cyclist !