Victoire Cycles Polo Bike

Victoire Cycles Polo Bike

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.

Victoire Cycles Polo Bike
Victoire Cycles Polo Bike
Victoire Cycles Polo Bike
Victoire Cycles Polo Bike
Victoire Cycles Polo Bike
Victoire Cycles Polo Bike
Victoire Cycles Polo Bike

  • itsmefool

    That the French have embraced cycle polo surprises me not…anyhoo, what’s the deal with cutaway seat tubes? Do they weaken the structure enough to warrant worry? Seems to me just bending the darn thing (like Surly did on me Karate Monkey) would be the way to go, but i’m no metallurgist!

    Oops, almost forgot…cool bike!

    • Victoire Cycles

      Actually this bike is a prototype. We had lot of asking about cutaway seat tubes, so he did this bike to test it out for a long time, we will see how it works. Thanks for the comments!

  • jeremynorth

    I like the French saddle. Gilles Berthoud if I’m not mistaken. The bars are far too wide, but maybe they have to be for more control. The wheels not matching spoils the look of an otherwise very nice bike

    • Victoire Cycles

      YEs, the saddle is a Gilles Berthoud, Soulor, fully made in France. Gilles Berthoud is the man!

  • Angelo Medina

    I love simplicity

  • Icicle_bay

    One of the coolest things about this is the disc guard, and you didn’t take a picture… Also, what is up with the cable routing? Can you just run a Pott’s mod star nut and then go through the steerer tube?

    Very pretty bike.

    • Charlie Sprinkle

      They can’t run the pott’s mod because this is a hydraulic brake setup. There are a number of players running through-steerer brake housing with mechanical breaks (mech. disc, v-brake, u-brake) but a through steer setup here would be a pain. Why they ran it several loops around the stem/steer tube is beyond me (other than wrap up excess hose for photos before a final trim down).

      • Icicle_bay

        You would just need to cut the hose, reattach it, and bleed the brake. You might want to tape it or reinforce it at the steerer tube, but it’s entirely possible. They make a pott’s mod star nut that is big enough to run that cable through. I think the new shimano saint brake, with the bh-90 hose and a 140 or 160 rotor would work insanely well.

        • Charlie Sprinkle

          It’d be more trouble than it’s worth when it comes to travel and break down of the bike, IMO. This bike isn’t made to barspin and doesn’t ever need to (safely able to spin once for the occasional incident is fine). As another player, if something should malfunction with that setup, i’d want to be able to quickly swap out lever, line, and brake mechanism by having a second brake kit ready. A pott’s mod would not allow for such a thing.

          • Icicle_bay

            I agree that it may not be completely practical for your average polo player, but I think for this particular build, as it seems cost is not an issue ($210 for the Berthoud vs $200 for a Saint brake or $115 for an XT), it would be a very good idea. You could also have a full spare mechanical setup with a hinged brake lever at the ready. I think a lot of people do no realize how strong these hoses are. The potts mod in this case is not for bar spins, but to get the cable out of harms way, with the least amount of cable exposed to snags and scrapes.

            In breaking the bike down for travel there should be enough room to safely disassemble the caliper from a post mount and allow the bar/stem to rest beside it in a box.

            The only other option I would consider would be a front roller brake, but the weight and performance of modern roller hubs suck.

          • Matt

            FWIW Charlie Sprinkle, I’m running my SLX’s through the steer tube with a Gravity Cap. Most of the more modern hydro setups can be disconnected at the lever without the need for a bleed (if you’re careful).
            As for travel breakdown, stem off and bars zipped to the top tube (when using a bike bag)