A little bit of magic died along with Ezra Caldwell of New York’s Fast Boy Cycles. He was a favourite frame builder for many of our readers. But it’s comforting to know that his simplicity and appreciation of life still provides inspiration. It did so for Franck and his new commuter from Victoire Cycles.
Ezra’s frames were never embellished with unnecessary flamboyance. Even his elaborate touring bikes were honest and uncomplicated. It was a worldview that Franck and the team at Victoire both admired, and sought to replicate with this new machine.
That Fast Boy rationality has been captured by Victoire, albeit with a typically French influence. Franck was after an easy ride to traverse his location in the south of France, which is occasionally tormented by strong winds.
White Industries‘ Dinglespeed drivetrain was employed, which enables the rider to switch between two gear ratios by having two teeth counts on both the front chainring and the freewheel that use the same length of chain.
Tange sliding dropouts with Paragon Machine Works aluminium inserts were installed into the rear stays, underneath a custom rear rack. Paul Components cantis and seat post were used, as well as a Chris King headset.
Victoire modified a Pacenti crown for the forks, a unit also used by Ezra on his Burlington Burner and, inspired by Speedvagen’s Urban Racer, a custom handlebar was created, based on a Velo Orange bar brazed to a Victoire stem.
Naturally, a French Gilles Berthoud saddle and bar tape has been installed, whose deep leather contrasts well with the paint, painstakingly applied by Ludo, Victoire’s man of colour. The hues were selected by Franck, based on an Austin Mini colour code.