Marcel's Dirt Bike
Marcel is three years old and has been riding the balance bike intensively for a year. Marcel had a very precise idea of what he wanted: a dirt bike to ride in the skatepark as well as in the forest where he practices the ATBB (All Terrain Balance Bike) every weekend. As we do not make 95cm children's motorcycles, we made him a playful and blue balance bike, because it is his favorite color.
This balance bike was designed with the most high-tech materials that we could find in the workshop, meaning miscellaneous tube offcuts. Because Marcel weighs about fifteen kilos, the tube diameters are smaller than on a classic Victoire. The head tube is thus 1 '' in diameter, and the seat tube is machined for a 25.4mm diameter stem. As on the majority of our projects, the frame, the fork and the stem are manufactured in the workshop. The whole bike has been brazed with 40% silver by Olivier, and all the welds have been polished by hand.
Unlike most balance bikes on the market, the Victoire N°484 uses 12'' wheels with actual clincher tires. These offer far more cushioning and grip than solid tires (which can be useful in the forest, when your only brake is your shoes).
For the hubs, we ditched the usual plastic bearings normally found on this type of machine: we found in our stock of fixed-gear hubs a pair of Victoire Low flange 16-hole hubs. You may not known it, but Victoire began by manufacturing and selling fixed gear hubs made in France. The frame manufacturing business has since long taken over, but we still have a stock of hubs and spare parts.
The hubs have been modified to accommodate 12mm thru axles, which are lighter and more modern than the 10mm bolt-on systems we used before. The spokes were also cut to measure by JP Racing Bike and the rims received the same aesthetic treatment as the frame : matching paint and protective ceramic clear coat.
The steering angle of 67 °, the zero-offset fork and the 25mm stem allow Marcel to be comfortable, even on the craziest slopes.
The seat post adjustment is identical to a classic Victoire frame, with a seat clamp brazed to the rear of the seat well. The double curved trigger guard ensures both comfort and solidity by allowing vertical flexibility.
A Victoire isn't complete without a Chris King headset. Marcel has set his sights on a very rare 1 '' headset headset in bourbon finish.
Marcel's favorite color being blue, the frame, fork, stem and rims were painted an electric blue metallic. Numerous spots of light brown metallic echoing the color of the Chris King headset were then projected onto the frame.
Finally, the entire bike was covered with two layers of ceramic clear coat, with subtle blue and brown glitters.
Marcel took delivery of his Victoire into our showroom. In love with the color, he went to try it immediately and without waiting on his favorite tracks.
I really love the blue color with the brown splashes that looks like mud. Besides, I can turn my handlebar and do barspins, while I could not on my other balance bike because it was blocking, that's really cool !
Designed, produced and painted by Olivier and Julien in duplicate during the evenings and weekends, their two balance bikes required way too many hours of work for a similar model to ever be marketed.