Jules' Victoire Versus
Jules' Victoire Versus
A challenging project
When you start a bespoke bicycle project, you want to get a product both unique and personal. You also want a bicycle that fits perfectly your morphology, particularly if it is nonstandard. Jules is 2.01m tall, and wanted to get a bike that is for the first time at his size. He also wanted a timeless bicycle that will follow him for many years. This companion had to be versatile, to ride for an hour or for a several month trip.
The first challenge for us was to design a geometry that combines a comfortable position and a well balanced style. The fitting was essential for this project : Jules has a crotch height of 1.00m, so his saddle is very high. To get a low gap between the saddle and the handlebar, we have to increase the headtube length, that is not the best solution to get a well-proportioned frame. That's why we went for a custom steel fork, with and Axle To Crown distance higher than the one of a gravel carbon fork. Like that, we got a 230mm headtube length and a well balance geometry. The handlebar is 50mm below the saddle : it provides a comfortable position for long distance rides and technical terrains.
The second challenge was to fit a road crankset - with a small Q-factor and designed for tires up to 40mm - with Jules' demand to mount MTB tires up to 2.00 wide. The chainstays were customized to have enough space to fit these different elements.
The technical solutions
Obviously, the choice of tubing was also important to get a handling adapted to Jules' morphology. Besides the 44mm headtube, we selected a 31.6mm seat tube and a 42mm down tube, a non-common choice for a comfort / long distance oriented bicycle. Tubing comes from Columbus Zona and Life range. We also put a double seatclamp to hold well the seatpost on bumpy roads.
The fork is sized like a MTB fork, with Reynolds 853 fork blades and a 1.5" tapered Paragon steerer tube. The Thru-Axle 15mm dropouts come from the US manufacturer. For travelling, the fork gets eyelets for a Tubus Tara style rack.
The frame can also fit a rear rack. According to Jules' demand, there are three bottle-cage mounts. At last, the cable routing is internal, so he can mount a bikepacking frame bag without obstructing the brakes and derailleur functioning.
Frame and fork are painted with a subtle shading of Porsche reference, Agate Grey and Anthracite Brown Metallic. To get a bicycle durable, capable to face up to every conditons, the paint is covered by a ceramic clear coat, our most resistant finish.
Besides the frame, Jules wanted reliable and versatile wheels. So we build by hand a handcrafted wheelset with Velocity Aileron 32H rims laced on MTB Chris King ISO hubs with Sapim CX Rays spokes. Chris King hubs, with their homemade bearings, are known for their quality : we have many witnesses from clients who are riding Chris King products for many years. The wide rim profile enables to mount tires from 30 to 50mm wide. Jules will ride knobby tires, like the Michelin Racer Ultimate 29x2.00, and Compass Bon Jon Pass 35mm for smoother terrains.
With traveling in mind, Jules has preferred a mechanical braking with TRP Spyre. For an optimal functioning, we selected a 180mm front disc and a 160mm rear disc. The drivetrain is a Sram Force 1, reliable, easy to use, with a wide range of gears. Shimano XTR pedals, a carbon Fizik handlebar and Enve components complete the bike setup for a final weight of 11,45kg, with pedals and bottle-cages.
Jules plans to travel in Scotland with his Victoire Versus, and is thinking about taking part to the French Divide over time. He also ordered this bicycle with a round the world trip in mind.