Concours des Machines 2017 | Menhir

We also were lucky enough to speak to Yoann at Menhir Cycles, where he gave us an inside glimpse into his submission for the Concours des Machines in 2017.

Yoann first became aware of the Concours race when he watched the 2016 competition while working at Festka in the Czech Republic. There, he was convinced that someone was going to make a dismountable bike since Milc Industry was close by, but none were there.

So he set to change that. Once his registration was validated, he set off to create a bike that had a removable system. Yoann wanted to find a solution that could potentially replace the traditional S&S couplings. Despite his many attempts, he wasn’t satisfied in terms of manufacturing, aesthetics, and weight. But when he came across English Cycles, he realised that simple clamps also worked very well. Therein lay his final answer.

Yoann prefers mountain biking and BMX riding to road. Concours gave him the chance to test the H-bar from Jones, which is very versatile for all types of practices with its comfort and ergonomics. This allows you to ride long distance better. And for his fork, he went with Truss¬†thanks to the one he saw on Matthieu from Pechtregon‘s bike, after learning how much it helps to stiffen your fork for disc brakes.

The entire discovery process took about two months, in addition to looking for the components that would go on the bike once Yoann had made up his mind. Building a bike is a very meticulous and thorough process, and he went so far as to also render the complete machine beforehand on a 3D modelling application so that he could predict the interactions between the base, pedals, tires, brakes, etc.

The manufacturing itself lasted more than a month. Some things did not work the first time, such as the stays and the post-mount bindings, but he got there in the end.

When most people first get to the Concours race, it can seem very competitive at first. But once you’re behind the scenes, you take the opportunity to get to know each other and support one another when it gets hard. Yoann experienced this firsthand, from the easy first kilometres through the freezing Col des Supeyres (where his hands were so frozen he couldn’t even change gears), to the point where his group was asked to turn back to support a fallen rider, all the way to the finish line. There were great friendships made on the asphalt that weekend.

Once the race was over, Yoann thought about selling the bike because from the beginning, he always knew that this was an investment. But then he took it on a ride where he discovered even more capabilities about it (and himself as a rider), and he realised he wasn’t finished with it yet. So at the moment, he’s enjoying the experience of getting to know the bike better. We’ll see where it turns out next!

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Words by @jlyn7
Photos by @daam