There’s always something new happening around the Victoire Cycles workshop. It’s located in the Auvergne region of France, in Clermont-Ferrand, home also to Bibendum and the famous tyre manufacturer of Michelin.
Victoire and Michelin are well connected, as well as being neighbours: an employee at the factory was one of the first Victoire customers and now he’s returned with another order, this ruby-red tandem.
The Michelin employee received one of the first road frames made by Erwan, Victoire’s master builder, who must have done a good enough job to attract another order from the same customer.
The customer, Gérard, wanted a bike to ride with his son and they’re both quite tall — 1.9 and 1.8 meters — which required a challenging design solution. They have, however, ended up with a comfortable bike that still manages to look well-proportioned.
Columbus Zona and Life tubes were used in the construction of the frame, fillet brazed by Erwan and painted with a transparent candy red which allows his skill with the torch and files to shine through.
It’s based around a 700c H Plus Son set of wheels with clearance enough for both road and cyclocross tyres. Although a slippery CX course can be difficult enough for one rider, let alone two on the same bike, the Chaîne des Puys chain of mountain features are nearby, which will be the setting for many adventures aboard the tandem.
The spec sheet lists a mix of Shimano XT and Ultegra, Chris King bearings and downhill disc brakes by Formula. The forks were also brazed by Erwan from Reynolds unicrown BMX-style legs.
Tandem bikes are enough to make any builder baulk, but this is the second to roll out of the Victoire workshop, and there’s already orders for more. With a finished weight of 15kg / 33lbs, including pedals — not bad for a bike with a 220mm headtube, it’s easy to see why.