Words and photos by Victor Equoi (@starfish_g4ng)
Hi everyone! I’m Victor from the Starfish Gang, a group of bicycle riders and a brand based in France. We’ve been working together since 2016 to build some fun and retro-cool bikes from different eras and disciplines: track, road, MTB, and finally discovered the awesome possibilities that bikepacking could offer us some years ago.
As an illustrator, I’m trying to draw and design some items and goodies with locals that can help people during bike trips and put some fun into the world of bicycles that’s too often ruled by performance and seriousness, from custom knives to handmade bike bags. “Fun until we die and after!” is what Starfish Gang is all about!
While many of my friends stayed in the city of Bordeaux during the Covid-19 era, I decided to go back into the French Alps to re-open my mind and connect back to nature. The paths out here are quite difficult, alpine, and rocky, so I decided to switch to an MTB as my Crust Evasion found its limits (if it can be said to have limits) among the challenging terrain. I’ve now bikepacking around the region for a little bit more than a year.
This rig is based on a Fat Chance Bicycles Yo Eddy 2.0 hardtail from 2015, with True Temper tubing. As I already built two or three of the retro versions from ’91 with my friend Fujok back in 2017-2018, I thought it could be an awesome hommage to Chris Chance. As it turns out, it was definitely fun to build up the latest version of his frame.
- Frame Fat Chance Bicycles Yo Eddy 2.0
- Fork RockShox Pike 2021
- Rims Mavic Crossmax 29″
- Hubs Mavic Crossmax
- Tires Maxxis Minion DHR II (front) / Maxxis Agressor 2.3 (back)
- Handlebars Thomson MTB Alu Bars
- Headset Chris King Inset 7
- Crankset Praxis Cadet
- Pedals Crankbrother Stamp 3 Large
- Cassette SRAM GX 11-speed
- Derailleur SRAM GX 11-speed
- Brakes Paul Klamper
- Shifter(s) RAM GX 11-speed
- Saddle Brooks B17
- Seatpost Rock Shox Reverb
- Stem Thomson X4 (50mm)
- Front bags Atelier Rebier x Starfish Gang Sunset Pack Pouch Bag
- Frame bags Restrap frame bag (large)
- Rear bags Restrap saddle bag (14L)
- Accessory bags Atelier Rebier x Starfish Gang Sunset Pack Stem Bag
- Other accessories Simworks John Cage
I had the chance to find one of these rare framesets near home and decided to start bringing it to life. I wanted something strong to go on downhill rides with friends, but fun when loaded up for bikepacking. Finding some parts wasn’t easy during the pandemic, so I decided to go full black to highlight the awesomeness of the Team Violet Paintjob. I added some mechanical Paul brakes on it to avoid hydro struggles during the bike trips, some cool Starfish Gang stickers, SimWorks stuff, and a set of “Sunset Pack” bike bags designed by the talented Atelier Rebier and me. They include a set of stem bags and pouch bags handmade in Bordeaux, with a patch and unique zebra pattern.
As this Yo Eddy can be built with the original segmented steel fork for more gravelly rides or a 120mm suspension one, I think it could easily become my do-everything bike. The last trip I did with this bike was the Piccolo San Bernardo Pass near Mont Blanc, which was a freezing but deeply intense and worthwhile experience!
See more from Victor on Instagram @starfish_g4ng.
Send Us Your Bikepacking Rig
Use the form below to submit your bikepacking rig. We’ll choose one per week to feature in a Reader’s Rig Dispatch and on Instagram. To enter, email us your best photo of the bike (preferably at a 90° angle), your Instagram username (optional), and a short description of you and your rig. If your bike is selected, we’ll need a total of five photos and a little bit more info.
Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.