I know you’ve been spoilt with all the Gallic designed titanium here recently but I couldn’t resist putting in the last two brands that Olivier told me about. Again it’s fascinating to find that there’s this huge scene going on just over the water that we know nothing about!
First up we have AlTira cycles who, funnily enough, also have a passion for making nice bikes in Titanium. (I should mention that I haven’t confirmed that their frames are made by XACD – but I’d say it was a pretty fair bet).
Not much news on the founder of AlTira but they offer up an Enduro and an XC mountain bike frame. The Enduro frame is one of the more contemporary ones we’ve seen from the French guys and looks quite a lot like Love You Long Time:
The down tube is of a decent diameter and shaped at each end, you can see the top tube is shaped to meet the seat tube too. I like the part polished, part sandblasted finish, he’s also got the AlTira name masked into the polishing on some of the bikes.
Potential frame builders take note: AlTira spec the cold worked stress releaved tubing (CWSR) option and put lots of butting into the down tube. CWSR tubing is quite a bit stronger than the stock tube and not that much more expensive, I’ll be looking into this in a more detailed blog later on…
Triple butted in this instance means three different wall thicknesses along the length of the tube. You could run say, 1.2mm wall thickness near the head tube, bring that down to 0.7mm for the center section and then finish off at the bottom bracket with 0.9mm. Those are examples though – I’m not sure you can get the larger diameter tubes in 1.2mm thickness for a start.
He rides them, and hopefully so can you, there are no prices or ordering details on the website but there is a contact form so you can get in touch.
More details over at their tastefully designed website: http://www.altira-cycles.fr/
The final micro brand is probably the smallest – Vilvy Cycles. Looks like the main man is Vincent Valero as the blog is under his profile. There are two frames here sharing a similar design with a bendy dual top tube and some other interesting little tweaks like internal cable routing. The Damo is a skinnier tubed XC frame with the Gouappe being the beefier enduro style model.
Well – it certainly looks a bit different but it’s still got a pretty skinny downtube and I’m not sure about the holes put in the top tubes to run the cables through, you can’t deny it gives it some rather clean lines though.
Not a huge amount of info on the blogspot site and the last update was from May but you can check it out here: http://vilvy.blogspot.com/
Phew, that really is all the French micro brands for now – unless you know of any more? Do get in touch if you do…