La randonneuse à complications d'Hervé
Hervé came to meet us with the project of creating a gravel bike with a suspended fork at the front. But, as often, his project evolved a lot between the first contact and the realization. After many discussions and several visits to the workshop, Hervé's Victoire 481 has turned into an extraordinary, comfortable and ... removable touring bike !
Throughout the realization process, Hervé clarified the lines of his project by sending us various handwritten files, diagrams and sketches of its realization.
The frame of Hervé's bike has been designed and produced in such a way that it can be split down into two parts thanks to a mixed system composed of a coupler on the lower tube and a system, inspired by Ritchey Breakaway, entirely created and produced in our workshop. The bike can therefore be dismantled to facilitate its transport, according to Hervé's wishes.
The Victoire fork n°481, made in our workshop, allows the front luggage racks to be placed back from the wheel axle, in order to center the load on the bike. This front load position offers more stability when the bike is being pushed, or when it is going at very low speed.
Frame, fork and stem have all been painted with a slightly glittering blue. Produced by powder coating, this finish has the advantage of being extremely resistant. It is therefore perfect for this type of project, intended to cover long distances on the roads and pathes, loaded with many bags. It should also prevent most of the splinters caused by dismantling and transport.
The luggage racks were also made by hand in our workshop. Manufactured by Marco, our framer and experienced bicycle traveler who took charge of this project, they incorporate many details in accordance with Hervé's expectations. They were painted in dark blue, in order to match the rest of the components.
At the back of the bike, a small support is used to maintain the bag chosen by Hervé. At the front, a an extension completely protects the Sinewave beacon lamp from possible shocks.
The Victoire n°481 being intended to travel the paths, it is equipped with WTB Horizon tires of 47 section. This wide format offers great comfort and more flexibility for a loaded bike. The Mavic wheels chosen are in 650B in order to make the bike more compact, and easier to handle than if it were equipped with larger wheels.
The front dynamo hub is a SON radiated on its circle at the workshop. It allows Hervé to be self-sufficient in energy. It thus supplies a USB charging port, but also the bike's front / rear lighting kit.
The mount up, like the project, is atypical : Hervé's various material tests led us to pieces that we rarely work with.
The cranks come from the French manufacturer "Spécialités T.A", located in Sissonne, in the Aisne. They were chosen very short, after several tests performed by Hervé. The drivetrain is provided by Stronglight. This is the Osymétric reference from the equipment manufacturer from Saint-Etienne, supposed to provide constant pedaling.
Hervé has chosen mechanical disc brakes, which have the advantage of being easy to maintain while ensuring safe braking even in wet weather. The braking of his bike comes from Paul Components, a Californian company.
The Thudbuster seatpost from Cane Creek provides additional comfort thanks to an elastomer system, for a total weight of 580 grams.
The ZIPP Service Course 90mm stem has been painted the same color as the frame and fork, to standardize the aesthetics of the bike.
Hervé has already covered several hundred kilometers on his Victoire and this is only the beginning !
I have already ridden 800 kilometers, including a stage of 170. I am really satisfied with the position and the handling of the machine.
"My friends and acquaintances are struck first by this type of bike, then by the possibility for a craftsman to manufacture such a "thing" and obviously by the quality of the realization ... "