I’m opening a thread on this as some of you might be interested. Earlier this month the Concours de Machines (or Technical Trials) happened in France for the 1st time since 1949. It’s a competition where framebuilders enter a bike (or “machine”) built following a list of constraints. These machines are then ridden over several days on various terrain and after that, the bikes are judged on a combination of criteria including performance of the rider (the fastest earn maximum points) and of the bike itself (realisation of the initial constraints, reliability).
The focus is on light rando bikes - comfy, reliable, well integrated, able to ride well on different terrains and fast.
The aim is for framebuilders to present/share their work and propose innovations, and for the public to get to know the current framebuilding industry of France. I think this is an extremely cool event because it’s like a bike show but the bikes also get thrashed and you get to see it - you can even ride with the competitors. Would love to see something like this happen in Australia.
This was a fairly small event so there’s not heaps of stuff in English - I still found a few articles and posts:
A quick intro by Jan Heine (who was also one of the judges)
A detailed presentation by Cycles Victoire (current French Framebuilders)
Following this is a bunch of excellent articles in French - if you can’t read the language I still recommend you have a look as there’s heaps of pics of the bikes.