Rex's Victoire De Ville
Rex's Victoire De Ville
Rex lives in China and is what we call a bike lover : he is riding bikes since he is two years old and he is fond of custom bicycles. His first one was a steel Pelizolli Pista GP in champagne color and chromed lugs from Italy. He is now riding most of the time on his titanium Firefly road bike but he also have a custom Bishop steel track bike. We are actually really honored to join these references of the framebuilding scene in his collection :
How I knew about Victoire ? That's a good question. Actually, I ordered a custom Bishop track bike in Martini Racing scheme years ago and I was one of the first guys who knew your Victoire X Bishop Supersprint hubs project, which is very very nice. So I knew there is a superb hub maker in France - not very common in the modern custom bike world to be honest. Some time after, I discovered that you started to build custom frame sets, with very nice and clean fillet brazing method, and I just fall in love. I've ordered two hubs from you, one Supersprint for my Bishop and another custom 16h 100/110 track hub for my daughter's bike. Both of them rides super smooth and I just can't help but love them. After look at all your projects from day one, you guys just gets better and better. The key point to let me make the decision is your Berluti city bike project, extremely elegant and classic, so I thought it was time to pull the trigger.
Rex has also some stock vintage bikes like Masi 3V, Eddy Merckx MX-Leader and Cannondale R2000. However, this project is not for him, but for his father :
" My father is the man who taught me how to ride a bike. He was used to pick me up home by bike everyday when I was in primary school, that's the deepest memory in my mind connected to my father and my childhood .So this project was in my head for quite some years and finally I choose you, Victoire, to make my dream come true : the ultimate commuter bike with perfect details and classic style. It is a gift for my father's 60th birthday and I believe he is gonna love it very much. "
Rex's demands for this project were quite simple : a nice and elegant steel city commuter bike with gears. The specification was a low bottom bracket height, a upright handlebar and fenders. He also wanted a chain hanger, a custom stem with integrated bell and, of course, a custom geometry for his father:
"The most important for a custom bike is the perfect fit, which I think you dialed nicely. I will add an aluminum front basket when I will get the bike and it will be the perfect grocery getter of all time."
The comfort is the main target on this kind of project. That's why we went for small diameter tubing from the Reynolds 853 range. The 14mm seatstays are weld in front of the seat tube and the long chainstays offer a better filtration of road bumps, like the bended blades of the custom fork. The geometry is inspired from the bicycles of the Golden Age of French builders with a large rake and steep angles. All the frame parts and braze-on are in stainless steel. It enabled us to leave the contacts area raw to protect the paint. Rex chose a metallic black paint for the fork, frame and stem, with a gold Victoire logo on the downtube.
The custom stem is an evolution of the one we made on our Light Randonneuse of the Concours de Machines. Rex immediately fell in love with it when he saw it. We slightly changed the design to make it more compact and lighter. Moreover, brake boss is integrated to the stem, like the bell.
Rex chose with care each components of the bike in order to make a very high end and authentic urban bicycle. He selected a Shimano Dura Ace 7700 drivetrain, that matches perfectly the aesthetic of the frame. Most of the components are from Jan Heine's company Compass. Some of them are replicas of famous parts of the Golden Age of handbuilt bicycle like the René Herse crankset or the centerpull brakes inspired from the Mafac Raid, originally made in Clermont-Ferrand. The Gilles Berthoud leather saddle and tape, as well as the fenders complete the part of French craftmanship on this De Ville bicycle. At last, the 650B wheels were handbuilt in our workshop on Dura Ace hubs laced on Grand Bois rims. They are mounted with Compass BabyShoe Pass 42c tyres.
" My first impression when I saw pics of the bike is "eyes wide open and smile on my face", happy, excited and well worth the wait, plus sooooo much appreciation to all your guys!"