The cadmium yellow of Mavic is one of the most recognisable brand colours in cycling. The French company was founded in 1889 as a bicycle parts manufacturer and thus celebrates a 125th anniversary this year. There will be gifts galore and one of them is this collaboration with California’s Ritte Bicycles, which is currently up for auction on eBay.
Mavic is an acronym for ‘Manufacture d’articles Velocipediques Idoux et Chanel’ — Idoux and Chanel being the surnames of the founding fathers, Charles Idoux and Lucien Chanel. Neutral support for professional racing started in 1973, sparking an iconic 37-year-long affiliation with the Tour de France and the Paris-Roubaix.
This Ritte Vlaanderen is just one of a series of joint project bikes with Mavic to celebrate the 125th Anniversary, the others being Argonaut, Lynskey, Mosaic and Seven. They are all equally as spectacular in appearance and takes the Ksyrium 125 wheel as inspiration. Ritte and Mavic are auctioning the Vlaanderen on eBay, with all proceeds benefitting World Bicycle Relief.
From the press release: “Mavic is proud to offer this very limited edition Ritte Vlaanderen bike with our Ksyrium 125 Anniversary wheel-tyre system and SRAM Red 22 components. Hand-painted by Ritte founder Spencer Canon, this bike is truly one-of-a-kind.
The seat mast is uncut in order to fit a wide range of potential owners of this piece of history. The Ritte x Mavic 125th Anniversary Vlaanderen is part of a collection of bikes designed and built to celebrate the 125th year that Mavic has been your trusted partner in cycling.
All proceeds from the auction will benefit World Bicycle Relief and their efforts to provide simple and sustainable bicycle transportation to entrepreneurs, healthcare workers and students across rural Africa through sustainable work-to-own and study-to-own programs.
Until 12/31/14 all donations (including this auction and up to $1 million) will be matched thanks to generous gifts from a small group of anonymous donors. More information can be found at www.worldbicyclerelief.org. To learn more about the impact of WBR please watch their new video.”
Ritte founder, Spencer Canon, answered these questions about the project:
What is your favorite Mavic story from your years in cycling?
My first disc time trial wheel was an aluminum Mavic Challenger. The year was 1991 and I’d spent my early years pouring over pictures of, Mavic-equipped funny bikes and the mythical pros who rode them. My day had finally come and I too had my own bright yellow Mavic disc to race to glory.
Of course, I rarely won, but I didn’t care. Because the sound it made, to this day, is the most inspiring and exhilarating sounds I have ever enjoyed. Imagine the hollow whoosh of each pedal stroke and dramatic thunk of gear changes of a carbon disc and multiply that by approximately a million.
It was the kind of sound that would illicit utter fear and awe by riders as they passed me. I loved that disc with all my heart until the day it was blown off the roof of our team’s Vanagon and run over by a Sedan DeVille.
What inspired the design of the bike you built for the anniversary?
I created a paint design for our Vlaanderen carbon frame that was unmistakably Mavic and unmistakably Ritte. So I used Mavic’s iconic yellow in our traditional Ritte color blocking with our more current ‘8-Bit’ design language of multicolored squares.
The red squares are Mavic’s official accent color and the gray-blue squares are both our accent color and the color from the Mavic disc on Greg LeMond’s Tour winning Bottecchia. I also loved the vertical Mavic fork decals on those 80’s bikes, so I painted them on the fork blades nostalgia’s sake.
When it comes to our one-off paint designs, I often approach the project with only a rough idea and as I paint the frame I let the idea develop in real-time. My paint jobs are often a little sloppier than others, but I look at each custom frame as artwork and don’t mind seeing the brushstrokes.
How has Mavic influenced you as a builder?
I grew up with Mavic’s aesthetic and witnessed Mavic’s continuing innovation over the last few decades, so Mavic has influenced me as a designer in ways I’m probably not even aware. Mavic is one of the few cycling brands that are so interwoven into the fabric of cycling culture that it almost feel like our sport would unravel without it.
Now, start bidding. Here’s a chance to own a real part of cycling history, and you’ll be contributing to a great cause. Special thanks to John Watson for the impeccable photography. Head to The Radavist to preview the other bikes in the series.