Le Cento n°6 de Sébastien
Sébastien, a professional fireman, was dreaming of a unique and very sporty road bike. Together, we produced the Victoire n°492, a Victoire made for asphalt equipped with rim brakes without any compromise on performance, the sixth Cento made in our workshop.
Sébastien's Victoire is built from the Columbus Cento series of steel tubes. This is a very limited series created for the hundred years of the Italian manufacturer. Each tube of the Cento series has been designed to increase the transfer of power to the rear wheel of the bike, maximizing the dynamism and responsiveness of the frame. They are therefore reserved for performance-oriented projects.
At Victoire, we have acquired 10 series of Cento tubes, for ten unique bikes, real collector's items. Each Victoire Cento is thus numbered from one to ten on a brass plate engraved by hand and brazed to the seat tube.
Each tube has a specific shape. The head tube, for example, is tapered so that it can directly integrate the bearings and follow the shape of the tapered pivot. This shape saves aerodynamics and weight while offering rigidity. This socket goes perfectly with the Columbus Futura Caliper carbon fork mounted on Sébastien's Victoire.
The upper tube has a diameter of 31.7mm at the level of the headtube, for high piloting precision. But it decreases to 28.6mm at the level of the seat tube, to increase flexibility in this area and thus promote shock absorption for greater comfort.
The lower tube has the largest diameter available in its class in the Columbus range: 44mm. Its thickness is very thin: 4 tenths in the center of the tube. The three available lengths make it possible to have the shortest possible reinforcements to maximize weight gain.
By combining these characteristics, we obtain a tube of the same weight but much more rigid than a conventional tube in 31.7mm, therefore more efficient.
A very distinctive element of the Cento series, the bottom bracket is ball-shaped. In addition to ensuring good compatibility with the down tube, this specific shape will accept without flinching a powerful pedaling without deforming.
The shell legs that bind the bases and seatstays of the bike together guarantee maximum rigidity.
The Victoire n°492 has a rim brake system. Although increasingly rare, this system is simple, functional, timeless and more than enough for many road cyclists.
As it is often the case with Victoire, all the cables for Victoire n°492 are internal to the frame. This results in a bike with a clean line.
Sébastien chose a Dura Ace double chainring transmission in 50 - 34, with a 10 - 30 cassette, the very top of the range from Shimano, with great reliability.
Sébastien already had a Mavic Cosmic Ultimate wheelset which was therefore fitted to his Victoire n°492. This fully carbon model with glued spokes, formidable efficiency, is ideal for ultra-sporty bikes.
For his components, Sébastien chose a Zipp SL speed stem, handlebar and seat post. These very light, high-end carbon components meet Sébastien's desire for speed.
The painting, carried out in the cabin of our workshop, consists of three metallic colors, covered with a glossy clear coat polished by hand. Two shades of blue cover the frame, fork and stem. One is a navy blue present at the top and bottom of the bike, while the other is a cyan blue that has been applied to the center of the frame, visually linking the tapered socket and the fork.
A lighter gray blue than the two other colors were used to make the markings of the bike, allowing them to stand out from the rest of the finish while remaining in the same color palette.
As is the case with all Victoire bikes, all contact surfaces are made of stainless steel and have been left unpainted, allowing the paint to be preserved when assembling the components.
I didn't know if I had to go for a bike capable of doing a bit of everything, favoring versatility over exclusivity... And finally, with the Cento series release, I made up my mind.
On the first ride, I was impressed with the stiffness of the bottom bracket, nothing moves. It's a ball of nerves that requires pulling bigger than with my other bikes to be used as it should : the frame does not moves at all. You have to have the thighs, work in the axis sitting on the saddle uphill because the frame requires energy.
I have of course done the Puy Mary with it, I have tried it on hilly courses with relaunches that I like, and where it is present. Anyway, he calls to order and will impose to return if the cartridges are blank ! I use this bike daily because I go to work with it, I go out between noon and two if possible, sometimes the weekends also. This is the use I want from it, over distances that will go up to 150 / 200km.
It goes straight ... having fewer kilometers than last year, I improved my lap times in many segments.