Tristan's Victoire Vitesse
Tristan's Victoire Vitesse
We are very pleased to present you today with our latest creation, which constitutes a first for us: the Victoire Vitesse, a steel TT bike made to measure. We’ve always wanted to further expand to the entirety of activities related to cycling, and making a triathlon bike has invariably been a desire. After a first prototyped frame initiated in 2013, a real opportunity arose when Tristan, satisfied owner of a Victoire Virage -with which he took part in the Half-Ironman in Vichy (France)- contacted us for a project of this type, soon after he discovered the work of Rob English, for which we have ourselves considerable admiration. That’s the reason why we enthusiastically accepted this challenge of conceiving a hand-made frame-kit adapted to both triathlon use and Tristan’s measurements.
Carbon triathlon bikes commercially available are usually very complexly shaped, making the moulds necessary for their production really expensive. Consequently, those bikes are barely available in more than 3 or 4 different sizes. However, Tristan having relatively long legs, the frame has been designed with the greatest care in respect to his morphology, once a prolonged fitting session was completed in our workshop. Triathlon bikes, due to their aero handlebars, have an extremely specific geometry, with a highly stiff saddle angle, a top tube generally short and low handlebar.
Once the contact points were established, we started from scratch for the conception of the frame. The main difference with the “usual” Victoire bicycles is located in the apprehension of the fork, which is designed inversely to a classic headset system. In this case, the stem is directly welded on the fork steerer in such an angle that it is horizontal to the floor. The fork steerer tightening is adjusted from behind the crown, permitting a more compact and aerodynamic fork. The Reynolds 853 fork blades are in a drop shape to increase the penetration in the air. Making only both the stem and the fork took us up to a week worth of work.
Tristan is a powerful cyclist; therefore, his main concern was the pedalling performance. Thus, we chose mainly tubing from the Reynolds 853 range, which is the best combination of steel available on the market. Only the streamlined seat stays are Max’s ones from Columbus.
The front triangle has the singularity of being constituted of 5 tubes, unlike 4 on usual bikes. The top tube is aligned with the stem, to optimize the air flow. To do so, it is raised by a fifth tubing, joining it to the headtube.
Tristan also has a considerable saddle height so we decided to choose an integrated carbon seatpost, to improve this area’s stiffness. The frame was initially welded with a steel 853 seat tube, then we machined it by hand to fit the carbon seat tube in. The steel tube is therefore a lug between the low seat stays and the top tube.
The rear triangle is way more classic in order to keep a good balance, with Reynolds 853 oval chain stays and the Max’s streamlined seat stays from Columbus.
Tristan gave us carte blanche for the frame conception, paint but also on the components choice.
Greatest attention has been paid to the braking system integration. Brakes are from the TRP range. The front ones, V-brake type, have been disposed behind the fork for aerodynamic motives. Likewise, the rear ones are located under the chain stays. Cables, similarly to the derailleur, route internally.
Transmission has been delegated to SRAM, with their Force1 range. Satisfied with the single chain ring transmission since the beginning, it occurred to us that this system could be interesting in a triathlon use as it provides many advantages: easy to use, elimination of derailment risks which could cause a lot of harm during a race, mechanical simplicity in the crankset area which already had the brake.
Finally, we were supported for this project by Mavic. Working with this famous French brand has been a great pleasure and we are even more pleased to announce that we can now offer the totality of their range on the Victore bespoke bicycles. The Sang Jaune brand immediately approved and joined this project combining innovation, performance and French craftmanship. Based on the CXR Ultimate 80, the wheels have been laced specifically by the Mavic Service Course to adapt a XD freewheel body accepting the SRAM cassette 10-42. Hence, the rear wheel is laced with a hub and spokes specific to this project.
Once his bicycle has been received, Tristan directly took part in the Half-Ironman in Aix-en-Provence, France, with great success :
After a short try of my bicycle on Friday for about 40km, I could finally test my Victoire TT bike with the Half-Ironman of Aix-en-Provence. Planned: 90km alternated with a mediocre to good ground, flat sections, uphill false flat ones and bumps with for instance the Cengle mountain pass.
No adjustments were needed, everything was perfectly set as it has been made to measure, and the position was extremely comfortable.
The journey started with flat 20km allowing me to enjoy all the bike’s capacities. Its responsiveness and stability are what stroke me the most. Respecting the watts I set, I could easily attain 42km/h. Uphill, riding out of the saddle was pleasant as the handlebars were perfectly adjusted. The bike being relatively light, I could feel its responsiveness but the rigidity is definitely there. Downhill, the bike being also extremely stable, I could attain the 70 km/h without shaking.
Last difficulty of the journey was the mountain pass with 4km at 7-8% but the bike responded greatly. On the steep parts, I would go with the 50x34, at 380W without losing too much energy.
In the end, I finished the 90km in 2h23 with an average above 37.5 km/h. I ranked 23e overall, but 5th amateur and 1st in my age category, which qualifies me for the world championship of Half Ironman 2107 in Chattanooga. However, I’m not going as my main goal now are the qualify round in Hawai on the long distance.
All in all, the bike is aesthetically beautiful and meets perfectly my needs. I would like to give special thanks to Victoire’s team, because being patient for a year has been more than worth it. The outcome is amazing!