Finally found time!
I had the Yukon custom-built by Hewitts 5 years ago. I wanted a dedicated Audax bike which would not be too heavy with mudguards and a pannier rack fitted.
As I am 6’10” tall it needed to be something special… Going the Titanium route was an easy choice, as Paul had previously supplied me with an excellent MTB from the same supplier.
I was also confident that the bike would fit: Paul set his jig to my dimensions (including a 40” inside leg!), and his calculations dictated that the frame geometry would have to be a combination of angles. As it would be used predominantly for longer rides, the position was set up to be relaxing, but not too upright. I use longer than standard cranks and these were factored into the design.
Paul also ensured that there would be scope to increase or decrease the handlebar length and height if required; an option I had not previously enjoyed.
The bike arrived surprisingly quickly, and I felt immediately right at home on it – as expected.
What impressed me most about the Van Nicholas was the quality of the workmanship, coupled with the fact that they had re-engineered the frame with larger diameter main tubes to compensate for the additional length.
It has proven to be both extremely rugged and incredibly light. The ride quality is ideal for longer distance rides, being reasonably compliant, but it still handles like a lightweight, being responsive and efficient on climbs; my old steel frame would be noticeably flexing when climbing out of the saddle, whereas the Van Nicholas transmits what power I do have into forward motion, without flexing.
The Bike is fitted with Isaac Carbon Audax forks which are quite stiff, and coupled with 23mm tyres it handles like a good road bike – it’s easy to forget it has mudguards and a rack.
The bike is used regularly over winter (worn out 2 sets of wheels so far; now upgraded to ceramic rims!) and the bare-metal finish has been extremely durable - in fact it still looks like new.
Easily the best all-rounder I could have wished for, and I fully expect it to last me a lifetime.
PS Let me know if you want a photo…although this would mean me cleaning the bike first…