At the beginning of July this year, the second edition of the Concours de Machines took place in Ambert, Auvergne, France. For the second time, the UK’s Brevet Cycles was in attendance, this time with this stunning purpose-built randonneur.
A randonneur is not a touring bike, and the Concours de Machines sets out to prove that fact. It’s a showcase of the modern constructeur, those builders who make an extra effort to build bikes in the spirit of their French and continental predecessors.
These bikes are designed specifically for audax or brevet racing — distances of 200-plus kilometres with checkpoints along the way. Riders only really require luggage to carry their food supplies and a map, so usually, a handlebar bag will suffice.
It’s a style of event that Brevet Cycles’ Sebastien Klein is solely dedicated to, although he has built the odd tourer, and all his frames are inspired by the work of legendary constructeurs such as Alex Singer and René Herse.
Sebastien designed this entry around a low-trail geometry, 650B rims and wide supple tires like the extra light Compass Baby Shoes. The main frame uses a mix of Columbus, Tange, and Reynolds tubing, and he routed the rear light wiring through the top tube.
The components were selected according to functionality and aesthetics: they’re all robust and serviceable. The drivetrain is a combination of René Herse cranks and a 10-speed Campy Record and Veloce mix, with Compass Rinko center-pull brakes.
A full suite of Gilles Berthoud gear was used: handlebar bag, fenders, and saddle. The bike performed superbly on the two-200km technical trial, which included a mix of on-and-off-road terrain. No doubt Sebastien already has his sights the on the 2018 edition.