Vagabonde Cycles – Fat from the French Alps


Patrice Drouin spent 20 years as a designer in the auto industry in France before focusing his vision on making quality custom bicycles. He started Vagabonde Cycles in 2008 and since then has crafted more than 200 bikes. We feel fortunate today, because we get to share Vagabonde Cycles very first Fat-Bike. Patrice designed his fatty to excel in all four seasons, in the Vercors Mountains,  located in the Rhône alpes region of France. That is where Patrice lives and where Vagabondes are made. Patrice shared “there is a lot of rock, stones & snow. and the fat is really good on this type of terrain.”

Vag collage

(click to enlarge)

The frame is made from a blend of Columbus and Reynolds tubes chosen by Patrice to compliment the intended riders size, weight and style in a total custom package that includes a set of stainless steel racks. Patrice told us that he drew the inspiration for his rack design from snowshoes. The racks would make it very easy to make some gator board fenders for when things get wet.  “Leave it to the French” to make a fat-bike with an Eccentric Bottom Bracket (EBB)! I’m skeptical about how EBB’s will hold up to kind of abuse that comes with the snow, salt, sand that fat-bikes get exposed to, but time will tell if it’s a good idea. When I asked Patrice about other options, this is what he had to say. “Yes, we can offer paragon or 2soulscycles sliding dropouts in place of an EBB.” Patrice offers a totally custom build from stem to stern. Note the cable braze-ons for a Rohloff, internally geared hub and the clean brake mount on artfully sculpted drops. The Vagabonde’s segmented, Reynolds 631 steel fork is equipped with braze-ons for cages and the sweet custom rack.



Vagabonde’s company motto is “take the best of the craft world and the industrial world”. Each Vagabonde bicycle is unique and personalized…..a balanced blend of hand-built craftsmanship married to modern manufacturing and design.

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Just an old cat that rides bikes, herds pixels, ropes gnomes and sometimes writes stories. I love a good story.


  1. I like the rack. I like how it makes me think of the Eiffel Tower and Napoleon Bonaparte.

    On the south side of the FA (French Alps), you can smell the mayonnaise… that is where it is mined, by Pierre and his goat.

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