Named after Skeiron, the Greek god of the north-west wind, Dutch titanium specialist Van Nicholas says this is its most advanced bike to date.
The £1,795 aero-optimised frame has been designed around internal cable routing, an ovalised and flattened top tube, and bi-ovalised down tube to minimise the bike’s frontal area, while a broader shape at the bottom bracket provides a stiffer connection with the bottom bracket shell.
The carbon fork has a bowed front profile. The wider spacing means the disrupted air from the front wheel doesn’t crash into the fork legs, making it a smoother and potentially faster design. The crown’s been designed to cheat the wind, with a stepped profile that’s matched to an interlocking bottom section of the titanium head tube. Aero benefits aside, it’s a great-looking detail.
Detail is where the Skeiron frame shines. The 3D cast titanium rear dropouts are some of the most beautifully sleek I’ve seen. The thru-axle assembly and internal cable exit tunnel look incredibly slick.
On the road, the Skeiron feels robustly firm. Its power transfer through the pedals is impressive and the FFWD F3D wheels spin up to speed with rapid ease. The rear feels firm, even with the big-volume 28mm Schwalbe One tyres taking the edge off bumps and road vibrations.
It’s not an uncomfortable ride, just solid feeling. The rather rigid VNT leather-covered saddle doesn’t help, but I did like its long, narrow shape.
Up front it’s a very different story, with the full carbon fork and classy cockpit looking after you very well. When that’s combined with just the right side of sharp, stable handling, the Skeiron becomes a formidable partner for riding fast and descending at speed.
When you’re riding at these speeds you need the confidence that you can slow down just as quick, which is what you get with the combination of flat-mount BR-RS805 brakes and Shimano’s IceTech rotors.
The gear range of 50/34, 11-28 is exactly what I’d recommend for most riders, and when Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 provides the shifting you’re in good hands.
Titanium has its charms, and plenty of fans, and I like its toughness and longevity. When it’s worked well, it exudes a lovely ride quality, the Skeiron has some of that supple feel, but is at the firmer end of the titanium rides I’ve experienced. While the frame is beautifully finished, it’s also very expensive.
Van Nicholas Skeiron specs
- Weight: 8.75kg (57cm)
- Frame: Butted 3Al/2.5V titanium
- Fork: Carbon, 12mm thru-axle
- Gears: Shimano Ultegra Di2 50/34, 11-28
- Brakes: Shimano BR-RS805
- Wheels: FFWD F3D
- Tyres: 28mm Schwalbe One
- Bar: VNT alloy 44cm
- Stem: VNT alloy
- Seatpost: VNT titanium
- Saddle: VNT chromoly rail