Some say that in the environment where they work “they have done it all”, but few will be as legitimate to say it as Quentin Polizzi. Quentin has been in and working in the bicycle business since he was fourteen years old. An apprentice in a bouclard on Boulevard Sébastopol in Paris, at the age of 18 he became manager of the Allo Vélo store, specializing in rentals. When he opened his own shop, l’Atelier des vélo (ADV), he was only 23 years old but had already discovered all aspects of the trade.
A good day – lost act? -, breaks the neck of the femur. Her absence generates a certain disorder in the accounts, which he measures upon his return. Then it occurs to him that he has only taken three weeks of vacation in three years. And that life is to live it, and not just to work. So she pulls back the curtain. And she parachutes as an “autonomous off-roader”, in connection with three Parisian shops with very different registrations: for the bike shop, the triathlon shop and the BMX dairy.
He welds at home, then settles down
At that time, he had started to do some paintings, but alone and for pure pleasure. He would like to insist on this path, but needing a salary to buy accommodation from him, he is still procrastinating. Thus we find him, again, at the helm of one, then seven, Cyclable stores in Paris. He is at home, even in his living room, where he welds frames. He participated in his first Concours de machines which took place in Ambert (Puy-de-Dôme) that year – this time Cyclable gave him three weeks off. ” My bike was ranked 13th or 14th out of 28he says, I was very happy, because I still considered myself an amateur. »
“Painting is the evening dress you put on the frame”
But the fold is taken. A further conventional break, he becomes a cameraman on his account. Since his sentimental life no longer compels him to live in Paris, he decides to try his luck in the countryside with the same gesture. He then he settled in Ain. ” In Argenteuil I worked in 16 m². There I have 38 m² of workshop, showroom and paint shop: I breathe! »
Aesthetics for ethics
Quentin Polizzi is very attached to the finish, and therefore the decoration, of his bikes. “ The painting is the evening dress you wear in the frame. I like the idea of mastering everything from start to finish, let alone putting the finishing touches. »
This attention to detail, which ends with the painting operations, is clearly present in the manufacturing choices themselves. The keyword in ADV is aesthetics. A bike should ride efficiently, but fundamentally it’s made to look good.
The evening dress (L. Cheron)
Polizzi’s taste is a kind of singular in-between, evoking medieval illumination, heraldry and tattoo at the same time. Also, he worked with gun engravers. The bicycle, with elements covered in chiselled interlacing, is on display at the Saint-Étienne museum (Loire). ” If it weren’t so expensive, I would consistently offer it to my clients.he regrets. It gives the bike an identity. »
“I will never have a great BMW, but I have done many bikes and I am swimming with happiness”
But this slightly baroque bent can find expression both in painting and in the use of these elaborate old-fashioned connections, involving the use of thin tubes, but sometimes limiting geometric possibilities. ” As for aesthetics, I have references. Bishop Bike, when it comes to frames with hardware, it doesn’t get any prettier. And Julie Racing Design, who inspired me with the idea of the integrated seatpost and the mix of materials. Someone like Matthieu Cholet from Pechtregon is very technical, he has incredible solutions: I’m less so, I’m dedicated to aesthetics. »
Meticulous work. (L. Cheron)
In fact, for its second participation in the Concours de machines, the Atelier des vélo presented a mix of carbon and steel of astonishing beauty. “ I had replaced the single top tube with three small tubes. I created hardware, and finally I had the copper frame. “Your order book is full until September. You could do more, but you don’t necessarily want to. As for the “cameraman training” you offer: one per month is enough. ” I lived in Paris for 35 years and now I have the plain in front of me and the mountains behind me. I’m not rolling in gold and would be better off in a chain store. I will never have a great BMW, but I have done many bikes and I am swimming with happiness. “, he concludes.