Custom bikes made in Vosges

Custom bikes made in Vosges
Custom bikes made in Vosges

Established for a year in Epinal, a workshop designs and manufactures custom-made bicycles. A niche sector in full development in the Vosges.

In the heart of Epinal, Yann Babelian and Noémie Mauguin have set up their workshop. For a year, they have been practicing their specialty: manufacturing custom bicycles. Everything is handmade including the frame. “We work from simple tubes” explains Yann Babelian, who defines himself as an artisan, “I was at one bike per month. Now we work in pairs. The objective is therefore to double production and round up to thirty bikes per year. We have also equipped ourselves with machines to achieve this“.

We are often criticized for being elitist, but our clientele is not exclusively made up of wealthy people.

Yann Babelian, Founder of Khelonys

Post-covid, it really exploded” confesses the founder of Khelonys, “It’s true that the market is calmer at the moment but our clientele is different. The people who come to see us know what they want and also know that they have to wait before being delivered. We are often criticized for being elitist, but our clientele is not exclusively made up of wealthy people. For our customers, cycling plays an essential role in everyday life“.

The bike is handmade including the frame and wheels. 60% of the pieces are of French origin. For each bike that leaves the workshop, it takes around fifty hours of work. “When we make a bike, we ask ourselves the question of how we will be able to repair it because our customers must be independent in their repair. This is a large part of our clientele, they are people who travel by bike.“.

Repair but also adapt. Noémie can equip any two-wheeler with an electric battery. “You just have to see if there is space and if the wheels are of good quality, it is possible“.

For her part, Céline Fritsch left her job as an engineer for couture. Established for a year, it creates accessories for bicycles. “Here, for example, I am making a bag that we will attach to the frame of the bike. Each frame has its shape and inclinations, we do not find this type of product in large retailers but not as well suited“.

The Vosges, land of cycling? To be checked on May 4 and 5, 2024 at the Petit Champ de Mars in Épinal during the Enjoy bikes show.

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