Passense Custom Track for GrossKost Fixed Crew

Last week, we brought you the works of wünderkind Julien Douvier, where we mentioned that he had artistically photographed this Passense Custom Track bike. The bike is so beautiful that we just had to find out more about the build, and the masterminds behind it, Grosskost Fixed Crew, was very kind to answer a few questions for us.

Grosskost Fixed Crew (GFC) was formed six years ago in Strasbourg, France and draws its name from Charly Grosskost, a French racing cyclist who came from the same region in Alsace as themselves. Cyclists Thibaut CholeauConstant WiederkehrLoic BiteaudBoris Groh, and cameraman Julien Douvier comprise of the current team make-up.

Last year, three of them participated in the National Moutarde Crit in Dijon, where they all qualified for the A final which enabled them to ride with proper professionals. As a result, they decided to invest a bit more effort and time with the team this year in a bid to really explore the depths of how far they could reach.

Two years ago, Passense was a relatively new brand on the fixed gear scene. In a bid to gain traction in the market, they organised a sharing scheme on Instagram where each Like/Share/Comment was an entry into a contest to win one of their steel frames. Boris wasn’t familiar with Passense and thought the game was a bit of fun, so he decided to take a chance and ended up winning. Two weeks later, the frame was in his hands.

Boris kept sharing photos of the frame on social media and ended up becoming friends with the founder, Johnny. They had many conversations about GFC and the different projects they were involved in, which brought them to a serendipitous meeting of minds: Johnny was looking for new bike designs whilst GFC were looking for a sponsor. On top of that, Boris (a product designer by day) was seeking out a company to build a frame he had already designed.

From there, a partnership was born.

As designers, messengers, and students, everyone in GFC has ridden a variety of bikes for a very long time. Steel frames were the way to go in commuting and messenger scenarios, and they also wanted something different than the norm seen at fixed gear events. A compact bike, accessible enough for everyday life yet responsive enough to compete in criterium races, was an important requirement.

An integrated seat post and oversized tapered headtube for more rigidity were quickly added to the features list. Rounding out this machine was a high bottom bracket to enable the rider to dip lower during curves. All in all, the design process took about 3-4 months to complete.

Boris then sent these design blueprints to Johnny, who then worked on the technical side of the equation. After several exchanges about the paint job, logo, and aesthetic, Johnny created the first five custom frames just one week later using a double-butted Chromoly 4031 – a holy grail in the cycling world. Three more days passed by before the frames were in the hands of GFC. A record finish by Johnny and the Passense team.

The riders of GFC plan to participate in races all across Europe, and are looking forward to meeting new people and riding bikes together. Boris, specifically, is excited about exploring other ideas in the way of designing gravel bikes and cyclocross. They hope the collaboration with Passense continues, as the latter have proven themselves in the quality and turnaround time of their frames (which speaks volumes about their dedication).

For the Grosskost Fixed Crew, riding is not just a job. It is a passion.

Follow their adventures here:

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Many thanks to Boris Groh for answering all our questions. Photos courtesy of Grosskost Fixed Crew.

Passense Custom Track bikecheck on saadl.com here.

Words by @jlyn7
Photos by @JulienDouvier