Van Nicholas (Netherlands) - The Zephyr has been a stalwart in the Van Nicholas stable for many years, offering the supreme blend of comfort and poise required for an all-day racing machine, but the latest version has been improved in several key areas to push this already great bike onto new levels of performance excellence.
“The question we asked ourselves,” says Ralph Moorman, General Manager of Van Nicholas, “was how do we increase comfort without compromising on performance, and vice versa.” The answer lies in a lot of clever engineering.
The legendary vibration damping qualities of Titanium already offer significant performance and comfort advantages, with the thin, supple stays helping to soak up a lot of the road ‘buzz’ you would experience with other frame materials, but by re-working the geometry to accommodate larger volume (up to 35mm) tyres, they have added another level of comfort to help iron out the lumps and bumps of any road surface.
Rigidity is still crucial at the high stress points, however, to ensure effective power transfer and precise control. To this end, Van Nicholas have focused on three key areas: the head tube, the bottom bracket, and the axles.
The head tube is, arguably, the single biggest transformation. By casting the entire head tube to include a short section of both top tube and down tube, it allows the welding to be located further away from the points of highest stress in that area. This improves overall rigidity and decreases the chance of metal fatigue. The bottom bracket has also been redesigned to fit a threaded T47 model, which is a versatile solution that aids lightness and stiffness with its oversized configuration. Finally, the addition of thru-axles help to increase rigidity under acceleration, braking or rapid direction change, compared to regular quick release skewers.
Internal cable routing throughout takes care of the aerodynamic improvements, and flat-mounted disc brakes with 140 or 160mm rotor options ensure safe stopping in any conditions.
When asked if he thought they had achieved what they set out to achieve with the Zephyr Disc, Ralph said: “we believe we have created the perfect blend of performance and comfort, the ideal bike for long day’s racing – so yes, I believe so!”
The Zephyr Disc is available from January 2023 as a complete build in sizes XS, S, M, L and XL (48cm, 51cm, 54cm, 57cm and 60cm) from €4.749 and as a frame (including front fork) from €3.199.