Le subtil de Stefan
Stefan, interested in the history of French cycle craftsmanship, was looking for an elegant and understated road bike. We made it a Victoire made for asphalt with stainless steel discs, from the Columbus XCR series of tubes.
Stainless steel is particularly suitable for sports bikes such as Stefan's Victory. It is a material derived from steel. The increase in mechanical characteristics made it possible to eliminate the oxidizable nature by removing carbon from its composition. This results in a material that is even stronger than the best steels, and extremely durable because it is not susceptible to corrosion.
The exceptional mechanical characteristics of the XCR series make it possible to shape very thin tubes (0.4mm in the center) thus making it possible to manufacture a bicycle that is at the same time light, durable, comfortable and dynamic.
The frame of N°483 has options that are frequent on Victoire bikes : The cables go internally and stainless steel strips protect the paint on the steering tube from the friction of the sheaths.
For the group, Stefan's choice fell on the Italian supplier Campagnolo. A 12-speed Chorus group fitted with a 50-34 double chainring and an 11-34 cassette was therefore mounted on his bike.
With the exception of the Chris King headset, all of Stefan's bike is of European origin. Indeed, the carbon wheels come from Mavic, a century-old company based in Annecy. They are fitted with François Marie Boyaux tires which are handcrafted in France.
The stem, seat post, Deda handlebar and the Fizik saddle complete an array of predominantly Italian components. To these is added a Brooks bar tape that comes to us from the other side of the Channel.
The paint of Stefan's Victoire consists of two metallic colors, which cover the frame but also the fork and the stem. The first is a deep midnight blue that is fully revealed when you place the bike in the light. The second, used for the markings, is a gray blue which marks a contrast with the first while remaining in the same tones.
As with all Victoire bikes, Stefan's No. 483 was finished in the workshop in our cabin in order to best meet the customer's expectations. Being under our new graphic identity, the bike includes a seat tube marking which informs all the people who have worked on the bike as well as the series of tubes used for manufacture. The bike was then varnished to be finally polished by hand.
On Victoire bikes, the contact surfaces are hand polished to preserve the finish when fitting parts such as brake calipers, and the bike was then varnished to finally be hand polished.
I wanted it to be metallic blue, chic and understated, in the great tradition of French cycling. He was as I had imagined him to be.
I contacted Victoire 2 and a half years ago after having restored three old bikes that I had collected from my father, a Peugeot Perthus from 1988, a Tour de France gypsy (both from my father) and a Peugeot PH that I had received from my uncle when I was 12 years old. I immediately found the Perthus brilliant, quick, light and well adapted to my size, and the restoration of these bikes gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in the history of the equipment manufacturers of Saint-Étienne as well as of René Herse. There, I told myself that my beautiful modern frame was much less tasty. Neither once nor twice did I set out on a quest, I contacted Victoire with whom I worked on a project for a personalized and especially steel bike.
Very quickly he took me away, I took my hands off and he was going straight. Then I did 65 km and it felt like I had had it forever.