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Does anyone recommend Van Nicholas?

popettepopette Posts: 2,089
edited November 2008 in Road beginners
I want something a bit different and there is so much out there that I can't decide. I like the look of Van Nicholas - it doesn't seem too flash and the marketing spiel really does sell the benefits of Titanium to me. I'd want a "sportive type" frame - perhaps the zephyr or the euros.
Anyone got one? Is it any good?
I was hoping to spend around the £1500 mark but could push the boat out a little bit for something really special. Got any recommendations?

Thanks
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Posts

  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    For titanium, why do the predictable thing and choose a VN? Just re-badged Airborne by all accounts.

    You have Enigma, Sunday, or Burls as well for something individual as well as loads of other ti frames.

    http://enigmabikes.co.uk/

    http://sundaybicycles.co.uk/

    http://burls.co.uk/
  • woody-somwoody-som Posts: 1,001
    I have a VN zephyr, and love the look and more importantly the ride. I bought it as a summer bike and kept the other bike Giant OCR as winter bike. The difference in ride is amazing, the VN feels like it has suspension, most of the bumps in the road seem to vanish, but that seems to be the properties of TI. The VN warranty is also very goood, I know someone who crashed there bike, and got a replacement at half price.

    Don't know about the euros, but which ever one you get, you ill not regret it.

    Chris
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    A titanium Sunday with Campagnolo Centaur is about £1600 I think.

    I seriously considered one of those before deciding to build my own bike.
    I like bikes...

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  • fizzfizz Posts: 483
    I've got a Vardar

    DSC_0512.jpg

    Carbon forks and rear seat stays, Alu frame. I'm really pleased with mine, I'd defo recommend one.

    Was a bargain as well, £849 full 105 groupset.
  • kmahonykmahony Posts: 380
    Titanium is great and have heard good things about VanNic. Some of their complete bike deals are very good.

    I got a Litespeed last year. Hard to describe, but the comfort over long distances is amazing compared to my old Alu Giant (also a good bike)

    I've never had a good carbon bike so can't compare to that.

    Is there somewhere you can get a bike fit included?
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    For titanium, why do the predictable thing and choose a VN? Just re-badged Airborne by all accounts.
    /

    Because they're cheaper. And why not, anyway? Why pay more money just to be a bit different?

    BTW I have a VN Yukon and I am very, very happy with it


    a serious case of small cogs
  • I've got a Vardar as well with Centaur kit - whilst not titanium i still think it's beautifully made and a pleasure to ride.
    Has the head wind picked up or the tail wind dropped off???
  • BarbesBarbes Posts: 72
    I bought a VN Euros late last summer and I would say it's hard to beat at your price point considering you'd get a decent Centaur or Ultegra group for your £1500.

    No regrets at all so far and just itching for spring when I can retire the winter bike and get back on the Euros.
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    toontra wrote:
    For titanium, why do the predictable thing and choose a VN? Just re-badged Airborne by all accounts.
    /

    Because they're cheaper. And why not, anyway? Why pay more money just to be a bit different?

    BTW I have a VN Yukon and I am very, very happy with it

    Cos they're boring? And aren't finished very well and are badly styled? I could go on if you want :lol:
  • craigwendcraigwend Posts: 321
    toontra wrote:
    For titanium, why do the predictable thing and choose a VN? Just re-badged Airborne by all accounts.
    /

    Because they're cheaper. And why not, anyway? Why pay more money just to be a bit different?

    BTW I have a VN Yukon and I am very, very happy with it

    Cos they're boring? And aren't finished very well and are badly styled? I could go on if you want :lol:

    Nearly rises to bait... but can't be bothered.

    Simply no complaints with my euros, in any dept.
    There's always www.cyclechat.co.uk
  • If my wife really meant that I could have my dream bike for my 40th....
    Merlin Extralight

    It seems a shame to wish away 3 years of my life, but...
  • Man. I like the idea of Ti but have never really been all that keen on the natural finish most of them seem to have. But those Sunday's are beautiful.

    Got me thinking that maybe if I could stretch to the price of the frame all I'd have to do is swap all the components over from my current bike and I'd have bike of great awesomeness....

    WIFE: DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!
  • They do look beautiful - but they also look like beautifully rendered CAD models.....
    Has the head wind picked up or the tail wind dropped off???
  • I bought a VN Zephyr in 2006, its a very good race bike , better than my 2 Eddy Merckx's especially on rough surfaces. Comfortable, responsive, and predictable handling,its the best road race frame I've ever had,and seems to be finished as well as the other titanium frames I've seen-Litespeed/Burls whatever.

    If 'her indoors' rationed me to one bike, the VN is the one I would keep.!

    Rich.
  • pedylanpedylan Posts: 768
    They do look beautiful - but they also look like beautifully rendered CAD models.....

    Not true they exist in the flesh and what's more they ride beautifully. I've got a Silk Road with Centaur carbon cranks and the Reynolds forks, wheels, bars and stem.

    Popette you've got a Cheshire address pop to Macclesfield to see Greg for a chat and a fitting. Even if you don't buy it'll help your final choice and ensure you get a bike that fits.

    Pedylan.
    Where the neon madmen climb
  • "Because they're cheaper. And why not, anyway? Why pay more money just to be a bit different?"

    I've just got a Ti bike from Justin Burls, and I can't recommend him him enough. As for cost, my bike came in at about 1.8k with full Utlegra (including wheels), and top quality finishing kit - Deda Supernatural bars, Specialized Toupe, Pro Race2s etc. Taking into account the finishing kit, this seems like a better deal than the built up Van Nics.

    But you are also getting a fitting and custom design included in the price.

    Custom isn't for everyone - there's a lot of waiting, and you have to put effort into finding bargains on the kit if you want to get to keep it to decent price, but I recommend you have a chat to Justin if you are thinking of getting a Ti frame.
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    edeverett wrote:
    "Because they're cheaper. And why not, anyway? Why pay more money just to be a bit different?"

    I've just got a Ti bike from Justin Burls, and I can't recommend him him enough. As for cost, my bike came in at about 1.8k with full Utlegra (including wheels), and top quality finishing kit - Deda Supernatural bars, Specialized Toupe, Pro Race2s etc. Taking into account the finishing kit, this seems like a better deal than the built up Van Nics.

    But you are also getting a fitting and custom design included in the price.

    Custom isn't for everyone - there's a lot of waiting, and you have to put effort into finding bargains on the kit if you want to get to keep it to decent price, but I recommend you have a chat to Justin if you are thinking of getting a Ti frame.

    Well, all I can say is I got an exact spec.d price from Justin before I bought. A Burls worked out £200 more than the Yukon, and the extra was all in the frame - £200 more. I'm not saying it isn't worth it, I'm just saying it wasn't worth it for me.


    a serious case of small cogs
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    hi everyone - thanks for all the replies

    I've booked a fitting at Paul Hewitt - they sell VN, litespeed and Enigma. I will have a look at Sunday bikes too. I remember that I once posted a question on this forum and someone from that company took the trouble to give me a very long and knowledgable reply - I was really impressed with that.

    I love the look of the brushed Ti. I think if I bought carbon I'd forever be worried about inadvertently bashing it and creating some unseen fracture that would one day rupture on a huge descent (perhaps the Tourmalet in July) and kill me!! Drama queen or what? :D I don't like the font of the Enigma logo - not the best reason for ruling out a bike so I shall try to keep an open mind on that one.

    What's the pecking order in Titanium bikes in your opinion?

    There are a few must haves for this new bike: it has to have a relaxed riding position for long days riding in sportives and it must be reliable. I said I don't want anything too flashy but I wouldn't mind if the occasional person gave it an admiring glance IYKWIM. I just want to look at it and love it and look after it. And once I've got it, I never want to buy another one. Sounds a bit like my husband really. :lol:
  • Who says that Ti bikes have to be boring????

    web.jpg

    Given the light weight that bikes build up to these days you can afford a bit of paint!!

    I have to say that the ride is very comfy on longer days out - this one was custom fitted for me - and in answer to the last question, I would have to say that Serotta are towards the top of the Titanium pecking order!
  • BlondeBlonde Posts: 3,188
    Exactly. If Serotta are somewhat out of your budget range, but you don't like the look of the bare metal, there is nothing to stop you getting your Ti frame painted. Bob Jackson do a lovely paint job. Part of the attraction of Ti for me though, is not having any paint chips! I want a bike that will take mudguards for winter and not rust, so I am considering a few different Ti audax frames at the moment.
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    Hiya blonde - no, I love the look of bare Ti too. Have you been riding on a Ti bike on all these amazing distances that you do?
  • PositronPositron Posts: 191
    Hi P, yes definitely, got my Euros from Paul Hewitt a year ago (Campag Veloce for ~£1300). Unfortunately not been out on it in a while so it's just hanging up in the garage looking lovely at the moment, and untarnished by any mud. [Funny how you get a Ti bike for the durability of the metal and clean it more...]

    p.
    Never order anti-pasta to arrive at the same time as pasta.
  • BuglyBugly Posts: 520
    fizz wrote:
    I've got a Vardar


    Carbon forks and rear seat stays, Alu frame. I'm really pleased with mine, I'd defo recommend one.

    Was a bargain as well, £849 full 105 groupset.

    Poppette asks whoudl I get a ti frame and your response is totally of topic it may be a fine bikle but its not Titanium :shock:
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Bugly wrote:
    fizz wrote:
    I've got a Vardar


    Carbon forks and rear seat stays, Alu frame. I'm really pleased with mine, I'd defo recommend one.

    Was a bargain as well, £849 full 105 groupset.

    Poppette asks whoudl I get a ti frame and your response is totally of topic it may be a fine bikle but its not Titanium :shock:

    Actually the original question in the topic title was "Does anyone recommend Van Nicolas", so it wasn't totally off topic as the Vardar is a VN.
    I like bikes...

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  • fizzfizz Posts: 483
    Bugly wrote:
    Poppette asks whoudl I get a ti frame and your response is totally of topic it may be a fine bikle but its not Titanium :shock:

    I was recommending the brand, not the model, which is what I thought the orginal poster was asking for ? I was only trying to be hellpful.
  • pedylan wrote:
    They do look beautiful - but they also look like beautifully rendered CAD models.....

    Not true they exist in the flesh and what's more they ride beautifully. I've got a Silk Road with Centaur carbon cranks and the Reynolds forks, wheels, bars and stem.

    Pedylan.

    I never doubted their existence - I said the images on the web site look like well rendered CAD models.
    Has the head wind picked up or the tail wind dropped off???
  • MapmanMapman Posts: 254
    Have had a VN Yukon from Mr Hewitts for a year Fitted perfectly for a more relaxed ride on jig beforehand ,great service frrom Mr Hewitt AS others have said Titanium tends to float over the bumps For the same amount of effort definetly less "beat up " other frame materials dek bgreat srvice
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    VN are really well thought out bikes, and if you go on the site, email "sales" you usually get the man himself

    I've heard nothing but good reports about Hewitts (Vermooten of this and many other parishes is a fan)

    If you go for the £1300 price point, spend the extra and get yourself the best factory wheels on the market-Neutrons

    (I ride a litespeed road bike and an Airborne crosser-love Ti....my other 2 bikes are steel)
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    I've a VN Euros, which I'm very pleased with. It's an excellent all-rounder, a good compromise between all out speed and comfort on the longer ride. I'd definitely recommend it, but look to upgrade the wheels from the stock ones if you can.
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    If you’re choosing a new bike, especially for sportifs and (p)leisure  riding, go for one with slack angles

    Many of the “race bikes” on sale, have steep angles, to make them uber responsive, so they can be flicked around in a pack

    The best bike for a sportif/pleasure will have a head angle of less than 73, which will make it stable on descents. FWIW, my Litespeed has a 74 head tube angle, and as a result is very twitchy

    I believe VN have addressed this

    My 2p worth
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
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