The Vosges company of electrically assisted bicycles (VAE) Mustache Bikes, which markets its new high-end product (the "J") on Wednesday, has won its bet to revive the French know-how of the manufacture of a frame. biking. Even if many craftsmen in France - including some in the Vosges - create bikes from scratch in a short circuit, the know-how of industrial production of frames has been "neglected in France for years", according to Greg Sand, co-founder of Mustache.
Industrial bicycle frames today mainly come from China or Taiwan. “Manufacturing a frame industrially in France has not been done” for around forty years, says Emmanuel Annotot, second co-founder of the company. “Around forty years ago”, the Saint-Etienne region produced executives in France. But this know-how has been “abandoned” all these years on an industrial scale, notes the representative.
So, if it all started from a “dream”, that of being able to create a bike “as close as possible to us” and “in a short circuit” according to Greg Sand, bringing this know-how back to life will have taken the teams of three years. the Vosges company and its partners, with necessary adaptations to already existing installations. They were able to rely on a partnership with Les fonderies du Midi, a company based in Vitrolles (Bouches-du-Rhône), which is “rare in the world of cycling”, according to Emmanuel Annotot: it was necessary “to recreate everything with them to adapt to the constraints” of creating a bicycle, in order to create “a seamless part”, with “excellent rigidity”. A Jura company takes care of the machining and the painting is carried out in Alsatian workshops using a “new process” of electrostatic powder painting.
“Before, the frame traveled 15,000 kilometres. It's less than 1000 now”, welcome the founders of Mustache. However, the bike could not be entirely created in France, the company having partnerships with major brands, German for the tires or Italian for the saddles, for example. However, it is entirely assembled in Thaon-les-Vosges. Eleven years after its creation, Mustache Bikes achieved 130 million euros in turnover in 2022 and has nearly 150 employees.