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Custom down to the bar bag! Check out this Victoire stainless steel touring bike with a "French touch"

From balance bikes to race bikes... Check out Victoire No.501 custom bike build

Victoire builds steel and stainless steel custom bikes in Beaumont, France. To this day, the brand has made 523 custom-made bikes, from balance bikes to road racing bikes. Sitting somewhere in the middle, we came across this touring bike on its Instagram: the Victoire No.501. 

2022 Victoire No.501 gravel bike

All bikes are individually tailored with the choice of components, geometry, design and paint. The Victoire No.501 is a "light and modern" touring bike inspired by the Victoire 417 and 491. 

Victoire uses stainless steel which allows the weld seams to remain visible, making the frames "timeless," becoming its trademark. The customer, named simply as John, chose stainless steel for aesthetic reasons, with parts of the bike left unpainted and polished.

Victoire says, "it pays tribute to the craftsmanship of the framer." This finish is impossible to achieve on non-stainless steel bikes without the frame deteriorating quickly. 

2022 Victoire No.501 gravel bike weld

> Check out our best steel road bikes 2022 

For the painting, John requested "sobriety, discretion and visibility of the hair cords."

He said: "The first thing that jumped out to me was the incredible soldering work," so Victoire chose a slightly bluish-grey "to emphasise the raw stainless steel."

The geometric transition from grey to raw metal adds subtle detail to this bike. The mudguards, fork and stem have been painted in the same tones.

2022 Victoire No.501 gravel bike paint

The bike is also equipped with disc brakes and a 44mm carbon fork with a tapered steerer tube.

Being from Portland, USA, John wanted his Victoire No.501 equipped with Chris King components. The headset, bottom bracket and hubs are in the limited edition black/gold colour scheme of the Oregon franchise, a historic partner of Cycles Victoire. The gold Chris King markings and the tyre sidewalls are reminiscent of brazing.

2022 Victoire No. 501 gravel bike Chris King hub

For the drivetrain, John chose the European brand INGRID which can also be seen on Stayer gravel bikes.

> Stayer teams up with INGRID for gravel framesets 

INGRID's gravel bike crankset costs €349 (~£300) and runs a 1x chainring.1x chainrings save the cost and complexity of a double chainring, front derailleur and shifter, and is one less thing to think about as you ride.

2022 Victoire No.501 gravel bike crankset

Looking more closely, John included a subtle bit of bling to his build with the SRAM PowerLock Chain Link in 'rainbow.' He has also chosen to use Hope Union Clip Pedal RC which cost £160 and offers a "dual mechanism designed for easy pedal entry, secure cleat holding and positive, consistent release." 

2022 Victoire No.501 gravel bike casette

John also chose INGRID's Rear Derailleur RD1 which costs €579 – €649 (~£500 - £560). It is fully removable and "goes against the grain of current production" by opting for cable transmission instead of electronics. They are compatible with 11s or 12s shifters for drop bar and flat bar, Campagnolo, SRAM, Shimano and more. John is running a 1X12 set-up pictured here, opting for Campagnolo shifters. 

He has also chosen to use Challenge Getaway Pro Series gravel tyres, 700 x 40mm, with "tread designed to take you beyond where the pavement ends," on Enve rims. 

2022 Victoire No.501 gravel bike Sinewave Cycles light

The final few things to talk about are that this bike is equipped with mudguards, a front pannier and dynamo hub-powered lights. The Sinewave Cycles dynamo-powered light offers "superior brightness at low and medium speeds" so we're told. Dynamo power is optimised at these low speeds, reaching 200 lumens at 5 mph, 500 lumens at 8 mph, 650 lumens at 10 mph, and 750 lumens at 13 mph.

> Best front bike lights 2022

The front luggage rack is an original piece, made of stainless steel, which is said to be very light. It has an integrated shifter to fix the Helmut pannier and a Sinewave lamp holder with lamp protection.

2022 Victoire No.501 gravel bike rear rack

John wanted to be able to increase his load capacity for longer rides so also opted for a "lightweight", stainless steel rear rack designed by the creator of Victoire No.491. It can hold three "manything cages" to fix bags or clothes. 

2022 Victoire No.501 gravel bike bar bag

Custom down to the bar bag, a front bag and frame bag from the founder of Helmut Equipment was requested. It is made from black XPac canvas which is said to be lightweight, durable and waterproof.

John would probably say this is the best bar bag for off-road riding!

2022 Victoire No.501 gravel bike back

Victoire has made nearly all types of bikes, but what would your dream custom-built bike be? Let us know in the comments section below...

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…

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