van nicholas boreas

words and photography by Emil Rosenberg

Born in Holland and specialized in premium titanium bikes, Van Nicholas recently released their new Boreas. A bike for the adventurer, the tourer, the audax racer. Built for speed and comfort without compromise.


Mars 31st, 2016. The new Van Nicholas Boreas is a thing of beauty. With tidy welds and an impressive attention to detail, this frame stands out from almost any crowd. According to Van Nicholas themselves, this frame is built for all-day comfort combined with race performance, made out of aerospace grade titanium.


A bold statement, certainly, but it made the testing exciting. Were the Boreas going to live up to its claims? We used the climbs and descents of Mallorca to find out.

The first impression of the bike was undoubtedly the incredible comfort. While this was my first experience with titanium bikes, I had no idea what to expect – but it felt like I was floating. Heading out for Puig Major and some serious climbing, we used small roads with various surface quality to get there.

It proved to be the perfect testing for this bike and without feeling dull the Boreas smoothened the bad roads to a point where not even the sharpest holes would get me out of the saddle even. So far, the bold claims for all-day comfort seemed very true.

Technical details
– Frame: Van Nicholas 3AL/2.5V Seamless Cold Worked Plain Gauge Titanium Tubing
– Frame sizes available: 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm & Tailormade
– Tapered headtube, ovalized downtube
– External cable routing
– Sportive geometry
– 31.8 mm clamp on front derailleur
– 27.2mm seatpost diameter with a 31.8mm seatpost clamp
– 130 mm rear dropout
– Press fit bottom bracket
– Fits most 28mm tires
– For caliper brakes only
– Hand brushed finish
– Price: €1799 (including fork)

landscape landscape

The gradient slowly rose against us, and the light frame set combined with Ultegra 6800 and FFWD F3R Tubular wheels kept the weight to a minimal. Perhaps those 1195g wheels could be counted as cheating when reviewing a bike in this type of terrain, but it made me want to go faster and faster despite the gradients getting steeper and steeper.

The geometry of this bike is endurance-oriented. Which means longer chain stays (to fit wider tires but also provide stability), a quite short top tube and a regular to generous sized head tube.

It’s not really what I’m used to riding, but it felt all right riding quick uphill, both in and out of the saddle. The custom carbon fork was plenty stiff and allowed me to tackle tight hairpins with confidence both going up and going down.

landscape landscape

Before trying this frame, I can recall people saying titanium isn’t made for racing due to lack of stiffness compared to carbon. And with that in the back of my head – I was expecting some brake rub when pushing the bike out of the saddle.

After all, I’m more than capable of pushing four digits in sprints. But to my surprise and excitement, I wasn’t able to. The stiff wheel set is probably a part of the reason for me not able to get them to rub, but I believe it’s an indication of the rear triangle stiffness as well.

Going downhill, the bike delivered almost the same performance as on the rough flats or the steep hills. Compared to a modern high-end race bike (which isn’t the fairest comparison) there are some benefits of riding an uncompromising carbon frame when trying to break the speed barrier while descending.

That being said, the Boreas was handling very well downhill, bring both predictable and very stable in high speeds.

landscape landscape


“The Van Nicholas Boreas titanium bike is claimed to offer the performance you need to go fast and the comfort you want to ride all way, fused in one package.

The bike certainly delivers both with its light weight, well-balanced stiffness and neat features like the generous fork and seat stays which accommodate even some fatter tires.

The bike handles precisely, and tackles almost any terrain wish ease. A premium product but with details, performance and finish to back up the price tag.

But for those who wish to get something timeless, high performing and comfortable and durable the Van Nicholas Boreas can do it all.”

worth sharing?

Name: Emil Rosenberg
Age: 24
Lives in: Nacka, Sweden
Bicycles: Specialized S-WORKS Shiv TT, Cervélo S5, Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon
About Emil: ”My passion for cycling lies in the challenge that puts your physical and mental capabilities to its absolute edge. I strive to capture the elegance of the hardest sport in the world.”
Follow on Velonode: @emil

Sign in to add a favorite

Perks with being a member:

  • Personalize your feed: make sure to get the content that interests you.

  • Discover and follow our contributors: choose to follow curators that brings the best content to your feed.

  • In the future you will also be able to add content to share with other members on Velonode. We are working as hard as we can to make it possible for you to collect, curate and share your best cycling tips. If you don’t want to wait, apply here to become a contributor.

Join now and start curating your experience!