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!