Van Ni­cholas Ske­iron Disc

Dutch brand Van Ni­cholas spe­cialises in ti­ta­nium frames where tech trumps tra­di­tion

Cyclist - - Bike Reviews - Words PETER STU­ART

To look at the gleam­ing metal tubes and the or­nate logo, it would be easy to as­sume that Dutch brand Van Ni­cholas has a long and rich his­tory of frame build­ing. In fact, it’s about a decade old and only re­ally came to promi­nence in 2012 when it was bought by Koga bikes. The fact that the ti­ta­nium spe­cial­ist has built such a rep­u­ta­tion in that time says a lot about its bikes, and the Ske­iron is its first frame built for hy­draulic disc brakes.

Ske­iron was the Greek god of the north-west wind, a name that might bet­ter lend it­self to an aero­dy­namic car­bon frame, but it does in­di­cate that the pur­pose of this bike is to race.

‘We op­ti­mised the frame for rigid­ity at the key stress points by in­cor­po­rat­ing a press­fit bot­tom bracket, ovalised down tube and hy­dro­formed, ta­pered chain­stays, and a ta­pered head tube and top tube,’ says Ralph Moor­man, general manager of Van Ni­cholas. ‘That’s all fur­ther helped by the 12mm thru-axles for the wheels.’

In terms of ma­te­rial, Van Ni­cholas has mainly sided for butted tubes with a 3AL/2.5V ti­ta­nium mix­ture, com­monly called grade 9. A stiffer grade 5 (6AL/4V) mix­ture is used for the parts of the frame where higher rigid­ity will im­prove the ride.

‘The head tube, bot­tom bracket and dropouts are made of grade 5 ma­te­rial,’ says Moor­man. For the most part, the softer grade 9 is used not for

THE SPEC Model Van Ni­cholas Ske­iron Disc Groupset Shi­mano Du­raAce Di2 9170 De­vi­a­tions None Wheels FFWD F3D FCC DT240 CL Fin­ish­ing kit Fizik Cyrano 00 bars, Fizik Cyrano R1 stem, Van Ni­cholas ti­ta­nium seat­post, Fizik Aliante R3 sad­dle, Vre­destein...

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