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Founder of Victoire, Julien designs and paints all the tailor-made creations produced in our workshop. After a few years spent riding a Distance 45, Julien wanted a new ride that could range from gravel to bike traveling. We made a prototype with knobs to test new ideas.

As with most Victoire bikes, versatility was part of Julien's specifications. His practice is mainly off-road and Julien wanted a bike to complement his mountain bike, for sporty gravel outings as well as for weekly itineraries. The point of making this bike was also to test new ideas for luggage transport, and is the result of many brainstorming sessions with the whole team.

The aesthetics of this bike are freely inspired by Laurent Belando's Pechtregon, author of the book Vélos nomades. The magnificent sand-colored Pechtregon that we see in the pages of the book could have been a Victory, because you had discussed with Laurent the possibility of making him his bike for this book. Finally, the timing decided otherwise and it was our friend and colleague Mattheu Chollet who took charge of making Laurent's new bike. It was during a visit to the workshop that Julien was able to discover and appreciate Matthieu's work on this extraordinary travel gravel. The sand color and the silver components from Hope therefore borrow directly from this project. Thank you for the inspiration, Matthieu and Laurent !

This bike happily borrows from the different ranges of the two Italian manufacturers Columbus and Dedacciai. The top tube is a hydroformed Columbus Life with a very flat profile, and the bottom tube a intensely worked Dedacciai Zero. The seat tube with some bending is a Columbus Zona MTB. The rear triangle is also a mix made with Columbus XCr chainstays and Deda Zero Uno seatstays.

This heterogeneous set allows to obtain at the same time a frame that is light, powerful, comfortable and compatible with big tires.

As on all Victoire frames (whether steel or stainless steel) all the contact areas between the frame and the components are made of stainless steel. Thus, bottom bracket, frame dropouts, internal passages, bottle cage inserts or steering cups are all insensitive to corrosion. This allows all areas of contact with the various components to be left raw and greatly extends the life of the paint.

This frame also inaugurates a new detail to come on Victoire frames: a stamp specific to each framer, allowing them to sign their work. The one placed on the Victoire n°491 is the one of Olivier Moly, our production manager. It represents a Daruma doll, and we will come back to this new specificity very soon.

The geometry is an extension of the work done on the Victoire n°465, with dimensions borrowing a few codes from modern mountain bikes. The stem is therefore shorter than on a conventional road bike, with a length of 70mm.

Julien therefore lengthened the top tube by 20mm compared to the bikes he used before. This increases the wheelbase of the bike and therefore stability at high speeds, while the small stem takes care of handling at low speeds. The fork angle has also been laid down with a value of 70.5°. This modification allows the front wheel to be moved away from the crankset. Julien was therefore able to fit 700 * 47c wheels instead of the previous 650B ones.

The bent seat tube also makes it possible to optimize the geometry : the bending saves space between the seat tube and the tire, and avoids obtaining a too long rear. This keeps good responsiveness to the pedal stroke, while allowing the mounting of large tires.

The selected fork is an Enve Adventure. The multiple inserts, the generous wheel arch or the integrated passage of the light supply cable were in perfect harmony with Julien's needs.

As we often do, the stem is made from steel tubing in the workshop. Several advantages to this : it allows the height of the stem to be increased without having to use a spacer. The tightening of the fork steerer is integrated into the body of the stem, leaving the rear without roughness. The headlight power lead from the dynamo runs directly from the steerer tube to the lamp, minimizing the length of exposed cable.

Like the fork, the stem is painted to match the frame.

After extensive testing, we now recommend 650B wheels for people who are 1m70 or less, and 700c wheels for people who are 1m75 or more. Between the two, an analysis of the morphology allows us to advise the most suitable size.

Below 1m70, the 650B wheels will provide all the necessary comfort thanks to size of the tire, without generating an overlap phenomenon.

The 700c wheels will provide a crossing capacity and better comfort for the tallest ones, and a significant gain in inertia.

The Victoire n°491 borrows a maximum of parts from the Hope catalog. The English brand, a benchmark in the mountain biking world, has been producing parts for road or gravel use for several years. Impressively powerful brake calipers or the super light yet stiff RX crankset fit perfectly on this versatile bike.

The silver finish has been selected to match the beige tones of the camouflage paint created by Julien.

Below 1m70, the 650B wheels will provide all the necessary comfort thanks to the large ball of the tire, without generating an overlap phenomenon.

This bike also made it possible to test a new transmission solution. You may have heard of Ratio, a small English brand that decided to do what Sram and Shimano have refused to do for several years: combine control levers for "drop bar" type handlebars and cassettes and cable derailleurs for Mountain biking.

Sram does offer it in an electronic version, but at Victoire we do not defend this solution of planned obsolescence, sorely lacking in the possibility of repair and autonomy. As for Shimano, the very low cassette ratio offered (381%) makes the GRX groupset not very suitable for versatile gravel and travel use.

We ordered the Ratio parts a few months ago to make up our own mind. After several hundred kilometers, the results are excellent and we fully confirm the comments made in the various tests that can be found on sites like : It even works better than Sram 11v!

The development range is perfect and allows you to get out of the most delicate situations in the paths, while ensuring a good cruising speed on the flat and downhill. Julien chose a 42 tooth chainring and a 10/52 cassette (520% development range).

One of the ideas behind this project was to make a bike at the crossroads of modern bikepacking and traditional hiker. Bikepacking was developed to transport clothing and belongings on bicycles not intended for. This made the bike considerably lighter compared to a traditional hiker, but the loading capacity, practicality and quality of fixation were reduced.

Once is not customary, the luggage was not entrusted to our friend Rodolphe from Helmut Equipment, but to Neza Peterca from What happened. Rodolphe was busy manufacturing our saddlebag kits for our Distance brand and many Victoire tailor-made projects that we will present to you later, we decided to test a new solution to expand our offer.

We discovered Neza's work through Patagonia, and we immediately appreciated the quality of his work and his ideas: Neza is specialized in both the realization of tailor-made saddlebags and in the repair of outdoor clothing. . she also frequently uses old bags or hiking clothing to create her saddlebags, which considerably reduces the ecological impact of her creations.

For Julien's bike, Neza designed a set of tailor-made saddlebags, giving free rein to his inspiration, with the only starting instruction that the frame would be painted in shades of sand.

The range of possibilities is endless with What Happened, and that is why we now offer these products in addition to the Helmut Made in France range.

For the lights, Julien trusted Sinewave for the front lamp, and Supernova for the rear light. The integration has been integrated to the maximum. The cable passage is made entirely in the fork to come out at the level of the stem, and that of the rear light is completely integrated into the frame, passing through the bottom bracket at the T47 standard.

If you pass by the workshop and if Julien is not camping in the chain of Puys, you will have a good chance of seeing the Victoire n ° 491 in the middle of the workshop. As a reminder, visits are possible throughout the year by appointment, so don't hesitate to come and let us know, meet the team and discover our know-how.

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