Moda's titanium audax bike has been designed with winter riding in mind, but the beautifully finished frame and racy wheels and tyres deserve some summer outings too. There's nothing sleepy about the Nocturne when it comes to speed, and the spec sheet is tempting, too.
The Nocturne is titanium wearing its Sunday best. The highly polished frame and etched graphics look fabulous, while butted tubes keep the frame’s weight down. Get up close and the neat, precise welds only add to the impression of quality.
It’s willing to play when the road gets twisty, needing little persuasion to change direction quickly or hold a tight line. That said, it’s also stable enough to be a relaxed ride after many hours of pedalling. The Moda’s tall head tube will suit riders whose backs give out long before their legs, which is great for sportives or audax riding.
But that’s not to say the Nocturne isn’t made to go fast. The American Classic Victory wheels are light and stiff, helping the Moda fly up hills. Skinny Kenda tyres also keep the rotating mass down and the average speed up. In fact, with the mudguards left in the shed we’d happily race on the Nocturne.
Those same wheels and tyres are less forgiving than you’d expect of a bike designed for four-seasons riding, though. In isolation the Nocturne is comfortable enough, but you feel more shaken by rough roads than on some other titanium bikes.
We’d consider trading a little speed for more comfort by fitting wider tyres. Heavier-duty mudguards are another possible upgrade before winter rolls around. Blade style guards might have a certain minimalist cool, but ’guards which curve around the tyre do a better job of protecting you and the bike from spray.
This style of bike often earns its keep as a fast commuter during the week. The Moda has mounting points for a rack on the seatstays, but the luggage carrier would have to share the mudguard eyelets down at the rear axle. That’s not the end of the world, but if you do plan to carry loads, separate mounting points can be a better bet.