Su­per­bike show­down

Three pres­ti­gious, high-end bikes from the most fa­mous cy­cling na­tion in the world, put to the test in the cyclists’ play­ground of the French Alps

Bikes Etc - - CONTENTS - WORDS MATTHEW PAGE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY DAN MIL­NER

Three high-end bikes from top French brands take on the mighty Alps.

The Tour de France is the big­gest sport­ing event in the world, with more peo­ple watch­ing it than any other event, and as a coun­try, France seems to be ahead of most when it comes to cy­cling. But given its pres­ti­gious his­tory and the pop­u­lar­ity of the Tour, the num­ber of top end bike man­u­fac­tur­ers is sur­pris­ingly small. This wasn’t al­ways the case and many rid­ers will no doubt re­mem­ber the days of Peu­geot, Mo­to­bé­cane/mbk, Gi­tane and Vi­tus bikes. While those brands have ei­ther dis­ap­peared or changed di­rec­tion, there is still a hand­ful of French man­u­fac­tur­ers that con­tinue to pro­duce highly de­sir­able bikes and what they all share in com­mon is the unique French flair and tra­di­tion­al­ist de­sign that helps them stand out as some of the most iconic and pres­ti­gious brands in the World. We picked three en­durance­fo­cused bikes from the three big­gest names in French cy­cling and took them to the heart of cy­cling, the French Alps, to see if any of them have that cer­tain Je ne sais quoi that makes a su­per­star stand out.

Our bikes feel at home on the twist­ing hair­pins of the Col de l’ar­pet­taz

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