Located in Auvergne, the Cycles Victoire Company is reasserting traditional French know-how in the art of exceptional bike making. That they should become acquainted with Berluti was only natural. The result? A beautiful collaboration.
“Les Cycles Victoire has certainly made quite a few bikes that are unusual, made to measure, and personalized. In fact, they’ve been doing just that for the past 3 years.”
Les Cycles Victoire has certainly made quite a few bikes that are unusual, made to measure, and personalized. In fact, they’ve been doing just that for the past 3 years. Recently, an order placed by the head of a communication company in Paris surpassed all the previous out-of-the-ordinary demands. "The client asked us to make a bike with a quadruple front fork rather than the usual double fork”, says Julien Leyreloup, co- founder and owner of Cycles Victoire. “He also wanted two top tubes instead of the usual single tube. And finally, he was not against the idea that his bike be foldable and easily stored into the trunk of his Mini Cooper ... Well, that's what we did for him. We are currently finalizing the bike. It is unusual. I 've never seen anything like it. The result is quite aesthetic. "
At Cycles Victoire, each new customer request is a challenge and an opportunity for reinvention. "People who come to us are passionate. Their tastes and needs are very specific. We make it a point of honour to satisfy each one of them. It is the raison d'être of the brand." At Cycles Victoire, one sees the total opposite of a production chain. Much more time is used for everything —for much more perfection. The workshop produces, on average, two frames per week. "It's craftsmanship… but at a high-tech level”, comments Julien Leyreloup. “In the crafting of our bikes, we use the most advanced and modern technologies ... "
“At Cycles Victoire, each new customer request is a challenge and an opportunity for reinvention.”
As such, no bike is impossible to create for Cycles Victoire. When they do not attempt to meet the requirements of an extravagant boss, this artisan house manufactures racing bicycles, city bikes, fixed-gear bikes, polo bikes and even —most recently— mountain bikes. They also produce a series of high-end spare parts.
Established in 2011 and based in Clermont-Ferrand, Cycles Victoire is de facto promoting French savoir-faire. "Manufacturing in France is crucial for us”, confirms Julien Leyreloup. “Thirty years ago, in Clermont there were half a dozen manufacturers of bicycles and bicycle parts. Today, there are hardly any. I am originally from Clermont - I completed my studies here. It was important to me to be able to create something right here, in this area." The benefits are numerous: more personalized responsiveness and more quality, resulting in more prestige and aura. Customers from all over the world, seduced by the exceptional French artisanal craftsmanship, come to Cycles Victoire. In Asia, including Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, more and more fans of Cycles Victoire are emerging.
“Order after order, bike after bike, a certain idea of France —and a certain idea of elegance— are spreading.”
Order after order, bike after bike, a certain idea of France —and a certain idea of elegance—are spreading. Cycles Victoire bicycles look pretty amazing. They completely break with mainstream standards. "These days, most bikes are covered with flashy stickers and fluorescent paints. This is not at all our style. We love pared-down beauty." Stripped of any little sticker or imposing markings, Cycles Victoire bicycles are refined and subtle, powerful and beautiful.
Ultimately it makes total sense that the brand be involved in a unique collaboration with Berluti. Between the two houses, each comes with its specific know-how, each with their similar and complementary forms of elegance, and each with the same desire to define a modern gentleman who properly fits into this day and age: always chic but never snooty. Inspired by the aesthetics of the messenger bikes used by deliverymen at the beginning of the century, the bike crafted by Cycles Victoire for Berluti is at the crossroads of all these similarities.
“Each bicycle crafted by Cycles Victoire is unique.”
CREATING THE WHEELS
Each bicycle crafted by Cycles Victoire is unique. The starting point of the manufacturing process, however, always starts with the wheels. For these, each aluminium alloy hub is assembled by hand, as is the case for the Berluti bike. The spokes are also built and assembled manually, for more precision. The Berluti bike uses wooden wheel rims that are made in Italy. The process takes between one and two hours.
CRAFTING THE FRAME
From a crude steel tube, Cycles Victoire technicians shape the Berluti bicycle frame. Generally, the shape of the tube, its thickness and its diameter are systematically adjusted to fit the client’s morphology and cycling style. The construction of the frame may take between 1 and 4 days.
ASSEMBLY AND FINISHING
In this final step, the various components of the Berluti bicycle are assembled.
There are a thousand things to think about, to finalize, and to adjust. And each of them is crucial.
This finishing step takes about three hours. After this, the bike is carefully packed into a wooden crate, ready to be safely delivered to its happy owner.
Starting in May, Berluti will offer a special-order capsule collection of bicycle accessories, including cycling shoes, a saddlebag, pedal straps, and more.