THE NUA SÍLICE

 

One of the defining characteristics of our bikes is their versatility, and in this post we present one of our most versatile models yet: the Nua Sílice, a bike which could be classified as one of the new breed of Road Plus bikes, with 650B (27,5”) wheels and generously wide tyres (48mm). These tyres have an exterior diameter similar to that of classic 700/28 road tyres, but with no less than 2.5 times more air inside, and with a considerably lower pressure.

And what does this mean, in real terms? It means that we have a bike with the same dynamic performance as a standard road bike, but with a level of comfort and a capacity for absorbing impacts which allows offroad riding on almost any terrain.

If you’re asking if these tyres wouldn’t make your bike roll slower on asphalt, the answer is a clear “no”. In fact, if the road is not perfectly smooth (and how many actually are?), wide tyres can actually roll faster than narrow, high-pressure tyres. The reasons for this phenomenon are basically two:

  1. Better absorption means the tyre adapts to irregularities in the road, reducing suspension losses.
  2. The shape of the tyre’s footprint on the road reduces the torque necessary to turn the wheel, which again reduces energy losses.

On top of all this, wider tyres mean better grip and fewer punctures. Could it get any better? If you like to know more about all this, you’ll find various articles on the subject in Jan Heine’s (Compass) excellent blog, for example this one:
https://janheine.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/12-myths-in-cycling-1-wider-tires-are-slower/

Our take on the Road Plus genre is the Nua Sílice, of which the bike we proudly present here – custom built for David in Denmark – is a very nice specimen. He wrote to us looking for a winter/gravel/commuter bike to use for his 17 km daily commute along roads and gravel tracks, and for weekend treks on all kinds of terrain. Shortly afterwards, his Nua was born, looking like this:

 

 

David had sent us a fit sheet done by a specialist bike shop, so we designed his frame to perfectly fit his proportions.

 

 

David also had a clear idea of many of the characteristics he wanted his new bike to have, for example a carbon fibre fork, an internally geared hub, and a belt drive. For the fork, we chose a Dedacciai Gravel, a lightweight full carbon fork with sufficient tyre clearance to allow wide tyres (in this case Panarecer Pari-Moto) even with mudguards. It comes with a solid 12mm thru-axle.

 

 

For the gearing, we decided on a smooth and ultra-silent Shimano Alfine 11 speed. With its ample 408% range, it will be able to manage any kind of incline.

 

 

Combining IGH’s with drop bars isn’t always easy, but in this case it was no problem thanks to these microSHIFT brake shifters, designed specially to combine with the Alfine 11.

 

 

The microSHIFT brake shifters are only available for cable disc brakes, so we installed these Hy/Rd brake callipers from TRP with an integrated hydraulic system which converts mechanical pull to hydraulic push, vastly reducing the amount of adjustment and maintenance necessary, and slightly increasing the braking power.

 

 

For the front hub we opted for a Shimano Ultegra RS770, one of the only hubs on the market which combines a 12mm thru axle with 32 holes. We needed this combination so we could install WTB KOM i23 TCS rims, which will stand up to every kind of off-road punishment.

 

 

For the handlebar, we chose a Salsa Cowchipper, a so-called “dirt dropbar” with a radical 24º flare in the drops which increases leverage and stability for offroad riding.

 

 

Among other components we selected were the Crank Brothers Double Shot hybrid pedals – half flat, half clip-in:

 

 

A Brooks Cambium C15 All Weather saddle:

 

 

And some Curana C-Lite mudguards, beautifully integrated into the bike:

 

 

To sum up: a bicycle which will perform equally well on roads and on dirt tracks, and which will even allow for some serious mountain biking. A bicycle which will be David’s faithful companion on his daily commute, but also on his weekend adventures. We’re very happy with the result, and it would seem David is too:

“Today I received my Nua and after putting it together I couldn’t resist to go out and trying it out. The first impressions couldn’t be better, and not just because the looks. After a 2h ride mixing inner-city bike lanes, open roads and gravel roads I can’t remove the smile from my face. It’s such a nice ride. Super comfortable, very silent, stable and surprisingly fast! Can’t wait til next ride!”

 

 

 

That’s all for now. If you don’t already subscribe to our newsletter and you’d like to receive regular updates about our latest custom builds and ideas for your dream bike, sign up here.
Safe and happy cycling!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE NUA GRAVEL 1×11

 

Geoff wrote to us all the way from Australia. He explained that he planned to spend a few months in the south of France and would need a lightweight and versatile bike on which to explore the highways and byways and the beautiful offroad tracks typical of the region. On top of that, his new bike would need to serve as a daily commuter once he returned home to Australia. A couple of months later, his Nua was born:

 

 

This Nua is best categorised as a Gravel Bike: a machine which is equally comfortable on or off the asphalt. On this bike, Geoff will be able to ride pretty much anywhere.

 

 

The frame is tailor-made, with specially designed dimensions and geometry. Also custom designed are the chain and seat-stays, S-shaped to permit the use of Sram Rival road cranks, with a narrower Q-factor than usual.

 

 

Speaking of Rival 1 components, we substituted the original road-bike 11-36 cassette with an 11-42 MTB one to make steeper hills a breeze.

 

 

The hydraulic brakes are impressive, very progressive and strong.

 

 

The bike has been designed to be ready for whatever changes the future might bring: it has eyelet mounts for racks and mudguards, sliding dropout inserts ready for a Rohloff hub (as well as internal cable routing), a belt port to allow for the installation of a Gates Carbon Drive transmission, etc…..

 

   

 

It’s always a pleasure to use top quality components, like the Chris King headset, the Brooks leather bar tape, or the Gilles Berthoud saddle.

 

 

   

 

When we test-rode the bike we loved it, and it seems that Geoff does too:

“Hi Roberto, My Nua arrived safe and sound today and is even better in the flesh than the photos.

Thanks for all your help and time with the build…

 

 

That’s all for now. If you don’t already subscribe to our newsletter and you’d like to receive regular updates about our latest custom builds and ideas for your dream bike, sign up here.
Safe and happy cycling!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LA BESTIA

 

Peter wrote to us from Australia asking about a titanium fork for one of his bikes, and ended up ordering one of the most amazing custom builds we’ve made to date.

 

 

Principally designed to pull a trailer on long treks across the Australian outback, this bike will also be Peter’s welcome companion on his weekend bikepacking trips, and on quick excursions into the mountains.

 

 

We designed the frame specially with a gravel bike geometry: neutral angles and a low bottom bracket for extra stability. We combined this with 27,5” wheels, Plus tyres, a light and maintenance-free Lauf TR fork, and a Pinion 12-speed gearbox.

 

     

 

    

 

And, of course, we installed a Gates CDX belt to complete an extremely robust and low-maintenance assembly. One which will be able to cope with any climate and terrain.

 

 

The icing on the cake is the adjustable mount for the Pinion shifter, custom made for the bike. Peter often has his hands on the drops, and he has a bit of a bad wrist, so he was very particular about the positioning of the shifter. He has experience with Pinion, so he knew exactly what he wanted. This is precisely the type of thing we mean when we say we offer a custom service.

 

 

The fast-rolling 3” wide gravel tires are super comfortable, and the clearance with the fork is great.

 

 

We put in a third pair of eyelets for a water bottle, necessary if you’ve got a frame-pack taking up its usual spot.

 

 

A Ritchey WCS dirt road handlebar with a Thomson stem.

 

 

A rear hub by Pinion with 120 POE, and an indestructible front hub by Chris King.

 

         

 

The headset is a Chris King i7 tapered.

 

 

The new Hylex hydraulic brakes by TRP were an obvious choice.

 

 

In a nutshell, a beast of a bike which could withstand an apocalypse, but which nevertheless maintains the elegant lines which define a Nua. A bike you can throw anything at, bombproof and maintenance-free. We hope that Peter enjoys it as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it with him.

 

 

That’s all for now. If you’d like to receive regular newsletters with updates about our latest custom builds and ideas for your dream bike, sign up here.
Safe and happy cycling!

 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A NUA

 

8 a.m. You’re out the door, bound for the office on your Nua Dual, looking forward to your morning commute through the sunny streets of Barcelona.

 

 

You pedal along effortlessly. The Schwalbe tires offer the lowest rolling resistance on record, and it’s noticeable.
The Pinion gearbox, with its Porsche-derived technology, is smooth as silk, silent, fast. You can even change down while you’re stopped at the traffic lights, with just a simple twist of the shifter.
You take a detour through the park for fun, and a little kid stares in wonder at your bike while their mum tugs at their hand because they’ll be late for school.
You arrive at the office and leave your bike leaning against the wall, where you can’t help admiring it for a minute with a smile on your face before you concentrate on work.

 

 

 

1 p.m. A colleague suggests heading to the beach to have lunch at a bar she knows there, so you both hop on your bikes and have a friendly race on the way.

 

 

 

6 p.m. Enough work for the day. You decide to do something different on the way home. Changing into your biking gear, you take your Nua Dual and head up into Collserola, the hills behind Barcelona, which are riddled with dirt tracks of all sorts. Here you can put the off-road capabilities of your Dual to the test while you burn off the stress caused by that difficult meeting.
The bike climbs beautifully. Finding the right gear is a breeze. You reach the top exhausted but happy. A group of cyclists all with almost identical carbon mountain bikes stop for a drink of water and eye your Nua Dual with surprise. Their curiosity gives rise to a pleasant conversation about its titanium frame and fork, its sequential gearbox, its belt transmission…
You wave goodbye and begin the descent. The geometry of the bike and its balanced centre of gravity make it incredibly stable. In top gear and at 50km/h you can still pedal. Its wide, low-pressure tires eat up the pot-holes and stones without a second glance. You think that the extra absorption afforded by the titanium also helps. You get to that hairpin bend and the brakes come into play, progressive yet strong. You have an agreeable sensation of control and security which mixes with the adrenalin which has been coursing through your veins for a while now.

 

 

 

 

 

8p.m. You arrive home at last, drenched in sweat. After a nice warm shower, while you’re toweling your hair dry, you can’t help admiring your Nua, hanging there on its wall mount, and you’re grateful to it that it will never ask for anything in return. A tire change and new brake pads every now and again, new oil for its gearbox every 10 thousand km (which you can do yourself in five minutes). And that’s it. It will be ready – with no maintenance or adjustment necessary – for the trip you’ve planned with friends next weekend: two days camping in the Pyrenees, exploring new paths, sleeping under the stars and enjoying a lot of laughs.

 

 

Like all our bicycles, your Nua Dual is totally customizable. Just drop us a line at contact@nuabikes.com and together we’ll configure a bicycle which is totally unique and adapted to your needs and tastes. And if you’d like to receive regular newsletters with updates about our latest custom builds and ideas for your dream bike, sign up here.
Safe and happy cycling!

 

 

 

3 NEW NUAS

 

This post is just pure self-indulgence: a photo-essay of three of the latest and sleekest Nuas to come out of our workshop. So scroll on down to get some ideas for your dream bike, or just to appreciate the beauty of a bicycle well made.

 

1. Santtu’s Nua Kuopio

Santtu wrote to us from beautiful Kuopio in Finland, looking for a bike he could use for his daily commute along stunning lakeside paths. Here are a few photos of the
drop bar single speed we made for him:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My Nua rides very smoothly. No sound at all. Everything works great!
The bike is beautifully finished, light and lovely. Thank you so much :)))))”

 

 

2. Richardson’s Nua 8-Speed Alfine

We recently shipped this marvelous bike to Pensylvania. Simple in design, but capable of handling any surface thanks to its 8-speed hub and wide tires.

 

 

 

 

 

“Now that the weather here in Pennsylvania has been warming up in the last month, my Nua is getting a lot of road time.  I’m really loving it!  It’s also gotten a lot of attention and comments from my friends, all of whom mention how unique it is.

Thanks again for such a great product!”

 

 

3. Phillip’s Nua Single Speed

Phillip got in touch with us in search of the perfect single speed on which to ride the streets of Berlin in style. A few weeks later, this was the result:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Just wanted to drop you some lines after my first commutes to work. The bike looks and rides awesome. I enjoy it very much. It is very clean and neatly assembled. Great quality. 

Thank you for this amazing bike and the great service”

 

 

That’s all for now. If you’d like to receive regular newsletters with updates about our latest custom builds and ideas for your dream bike, sign up here.
Safe and happy cycling!

 

 

A NUA DOWN UNDER

 

John wrote to us all the way from Australia, impressed by our bikes. He realised he’d finally found what he’d been searching for all these years. He needed a well-equipped bicycle, big on quality and small on maintenance. One which he could use for his daily 50 km commute as well as for weekend adventures. In addition, he wanted something designed and made to measure. Something special. Very special. What better than a Nua? After almost a hundred emails and many hours of work, his Nua was born:

 

 

The process of defining John’s bike aesthetically was interesting. At first, he tended towards a strict classicism, but over time that changed to a mixture of classic and modern. The result was a neoclassical style which we love!

 

 

 

A Rohloff Speedhub IGH can circumnavigate the world several times in it’s working life, so it will certainly stand up to John’s level of use for a good few years.

 

 

Combined with a Gates Carbon Drive CDX, it makes for a reliable, silent transmission which needs no more maintenance than an oil change every 5000 km.

 

 

The wheels are hand built, with H+Son Hydra rims, Sapim D-Light spokes, and some gorgeous aluminium nipples, anodised in orange, also by Sapim. The front wheel uses a Chris King hub, so as to be up to the standard of the rear Rohloff hub.

 

 

John wanted the best brakes available. We suggested Trickstuff Cleg 2, and it was a case of love at first sight. Unfortunately, they weren’t available in the colour he wanted, so we had to order them in orange and blue, and then spend a good few hours polishing off the blue!

 

 

The quality of these brakes is impressive. They’re made in the heart of the Black Forest, and we think they might be the best brakes in existence.

 

 

 

In keeping with the orange theme, and also with the high-end componentry of this bike, we chose a Chris King i7 tapered headset, in “mango”.

 

 

If you’ve been following our adventures you’ll know that we love Gilles Berthoud saddles, especially the Galibier model with its titanium rails. In our opinion, it’s the best leather saddle in the world (not to mention the lightest).

 

 

Another component we have a bit of a fetish for are Compass tyres. They’re flexible, lightweight and they look great. Perfect for a top-end build. Here you can see them with some beautifully discreet Curana mudguards, necessary on a bike which will be in daily use, rain or shine.

 

 

To sum up, one of the most complete and best-equipped bikes ever to come out of our little Barcelona workshop. Now it’s riding the streets of Victoria, half a world away! We’re very happy with it, and so, it would seem, is John:

I am very, very happy with my Nua. This bike is such a joy to ride, fits me perfectly, and the overall look exceeds my wildest expectations.”

 

 

That’s all for now. If you’d like to receive regular newsletters with updates about our latest custom builds and ideas for your dream bike, sign up here.
Safe and happy cycling!

 

 

 

 

GRAHAM’S NUA

 

At Nua Bikes we make custom bicycles. And by custom, we mean that we’ll completely tailor a bike to the customer’s needs and wants. That can mean anything from simply using black spoke nipples when hand-making the wheels, to designing and constructing a modular, dual-purpose front luggage rack, or indeed finding a way to combine a Rohloff IGH with drop-bar brifters. We did all this and more for our latest build, which is as custom as our customer needed it to be.
Graham wrote to us wanting a commuter for daily use which could also be used for off-road adventures and weekend excursions with panniers. A few months later, this “randonneur adventure bike” was born:

 

 

This is the most complex and accessory-rich bike we’ve made to date. Nevertheless, it maintains the classic clean lines which are the hallmark of a Nua.

 

 

The Rohloff 14-speed IGH comes supplied with a twist shifter for use on flat handlebars, so using it with drop bars has, until recently, involved a bit of compromise. This Nua is one of the very first bikes to use the new Gebla Rohbox shiftbox, which allows us to use road bike shifters, no problems. Here you can see the Gebla shiftbox beside the original Rohloff model:

 

 

And here is the simple but effective internal mechanism:

 

 

Since the Rohloff hub already incorporates an indexing mechanism, we modified the SRAM Force 22 shifters, getting rid of a few extraneous bits.

 

 

This is how the whole thing looks: the Rohloff with its special shiftbox, the powerful SRAM hydraulic brake with a Hope rotor, and the Gates Carbon Drive Center Track belt.

 

                 

 

And here are the shifters, now relieved of their superfluous parts and installed on a super-light 3T carbon bar with internal cabling. The right lever changes up a gear with each squeeze, the left lever changes down. Intuitive, quick, and direct.

 

 

Another interesting aspect of this bike is its front rack. Graham wanted a basket to put his backpack or shopping bags in for daily use, but he also wanted to be able to use front panniers on weekend trips. There are a couple of products on the market which allow this, but there isn’t anything (or if there is we couldn’t find it) which allows you to remove the top basket but still use the rack as a support for the panniers. So we designed and constructed a rack from scratch, which was time-consuming, but we’re very pleased with the result:

 

 

The top basket is practical for transporting everyday loads, even books if you’re so minded!

 

 

It’s been beautifully fillet brazed for us by Marcos from Solei Bikes, and finished off with a home-made base of carbon fibre sheets.

 

 

The basket attaches and detaches quickly and easily using four titanium screws especially turned for the occasion (M8 with the shank reduced to M6 so as to render washers unnecessary), leaving a light-weight structure which supports the Ortlieb panniers.

 

                 

 

The front rack includes a bracket (specially designed and made, of course!) for the Supernova E3 Pure front light.

 

 

Which is powered by the best hub dynamo on the market, the SON Delux.

 

 

The lighting set-up is completed with a minimalist Supernova taillight, mounted on the fabulous Thomson seatpost.

 

 

And to crown the Thomson seatpost, what better than the new Brooks C-13 with carbon fibre rails.

 

 

All the components on this bike are top-notch, from the Chris King headset to the marvelously supple Compass tyres, and including our new tapered titanium fork with internal cable routing for post-mounted disc brakes.

 

                 

 

To sum up, an exceptional bike: functional, robust, reliable and lovely. A bike which Graham will be able to ride pretty much anywhere that takes his fancy, both on the streets of San Francisco and in the surrounding mountains.
We’re extremely happy that the time and energy we’ve put into this bicycle have borne such satisfying fruit, and it would seem that Graham is too:

The design, fit and finish is wonderful – exceeding my expectations. I am very happy with it and it is exactly what I asked for. Full of potential for years of adventure. I am really happy I contacted you!”

So happy in fact that he’s planning on ordering another bike from us, this time with a Pinion gearbox, but that’s another story……

 

 

That’s all for now. If you’d like to receive regular newsletters with updates about our latest custom builds and ideas for your dream bike, sign up here.
Safe and happy cycling!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOM’S NUA

 

Tom got in touch with us to ask us to make him a special bike. One which would be with him for the rest of his life. A bike he could enjoy on a daily basis, but which he could also use at weekends and on family holidays. This was the result:

 

 

Tom wanted as clean and simple a look as possible, so we used our complete Nua titanium set: seat post, stem, and handlebar, in addition, of course, to our Ti-CORE frame and titanium fork.

 

 

We decided to install a Shimano Alfine 8 IGH, ideal for the terrain Tom plans to use his bike on.

 

 

Among Tom’s priorities was an integrated lighting system. He wanted something discreet and maintenance free, so we went – once again – with the Supernova E3 system, minimalist and always reliable.
We were feeling creative, so this time we installed the tail light directly on the mudguard, using a special little bracket we made for the occasion.

 

 

To power these lights we decided to use the new Alfine hub dynamo, much smaller and lighter than its predecessor. To complete the trinity, we installed an Alfine crankset as well.

 

     

 

Tom’s Nua will primarily be ridden on city streets, but will occasionally be required to tackle a dirt track or a forest path alongside a river, for example. With this in mind, we chose Compass Barlow Pass 38-622 tyres, one of the best options out there for this kind of hybrid use. The super-supple casing makes them a delight to ride on any surface.

 

 

And their tan walls go beautifully with the honey brown leather of the Brooks saddle and grips. The saddle has a copper frame, the sight of which led us first to swoon with copper love, and then to install a gorgeous (and lovely sounding) copper bell by the Japanese firm Crane, and also to paint the covers of the hydraulic disc brake levers to match.

 

 

This bike has taken time to build, but it’s been worth it! We hope that Tom will enjoy his Nua for many years to come, as he rides it along the streets and woodland ways of his native Austria.

 

 

If you’d like to receive regular newsletters with updates about our latest custom builds and ideas for your dream bike, sign up here.
Safe and happy cycling.