In spite of itself, cycle polo continues to thrive, fuelled by the fervour of devoted players and fans. It has been embraced most passionately by the French, with major sponsorship of teams and marketing collaborations by brands such as Le Coq Sportif and Louis Vuitton. Bike polo requires extreme agility and, naturally, the equipment has evolved with the sports’ popularity. The French again lead the field here, with the latest hard court polo bike from Victoire Cycles.
Victoire have offered their HBP (Hardcourt Bike Polo) frame for a while, developed with Gregory Barbier, who won the French, European and World championships onboard the first emanation, but this is the latest, which features even more polo-specific design aspects. The most obvious being a near 1:1 gear ratio, and extremely steep and responsive geometry. Greg and Victoire joined forces to produce the Velvet fork, with removable V-brake slots on the back and a mount for disc brakes.
Further inspection reveals a fillet brazed frame at the same standard that has gained Victoire their respected reputation. The geometry has been tweaked since the last version, too: the rear wheel has been brought even further forward, necessitating a cut-out section in the seat tube. The top tube has been extended to compensate and to eliminate toe overlap. There are plenty of options available to customise the frame, so if you’re a hardcore hard court poloist, consider the Victoire Cycles HBP.