Van Nicholas Yukon – Titanium Touring Bike Assessment

by jpc_touring-bicycle

The bike I journey most frequently is the Van Nicholas Yukon. I usually occasions name it my ‘Swiss military bike’ resulting from the truth that it fits all of my biking functions – i.e. street driving, touring, and so on. I’ve had it for simply over three years now and in that point the Yukon has proved to be trouble-free, comfy and enjoyable. It’s additionally eye-catchingly good to take a look at!

Why All Function?

The Van Nicholas Yukon is marketed as a fast-paced Audax or sportive bike. It guarantees consolation, responsiveness and sturdiness. It delivers all of these and extra! My first impression after I took it out of the field was that it’s superbly constructed and completed. The welds, the embossed emblem, the Titanium end itself – all very spectacular. Within the design of the Yukon, Van Nicholas additionally had the great sense to incorporate braze-ons for rear panniers in addition to good clearance to suit mudguards when and if wanted.

When you won’t select to go mountain biking with the Yukon, it’ll deal with just about the whole lot else. On a weekday journey with the ‘quick’ group, I sit simply in behind the “prime quality” street bikes and get to the espresso store not lengthy after them. On a slower, countryside street journey with the 28mm tires, (Schwalbe Marathon Supreme semi slicks), and the Specialised Toupe saddle, it handles the gravel roads with ease. I’m assured on no matter I discover on the market, and in Australia, that may imply plenty of variations from the street floor, situation and upkeep, to the odd kangaroo or snake.

I’ve obtained a Sram Apex setup with a 50-34 on the entrance and 11-32 (10 velocity) on the again. The place I principally journey may be very hilly with some robust climbs and I’ve by no means been in need of gears. Throughout a latest bike tour in Taiwan, I needed for “only one extra gear” on just one event – the second day of a 90 km sea stage to 3300 meter summit. The final two kilometers to the summit had been tremendous robust, however I feel the issue was extra the legs than the gears!

The Sram Apex choice was, for me at the very least, made primarily on value, because it’s far cheaper to exchange if I bang it up someplace. Having mentioned that, Apex appears to work properly as soon as I’d obtained the entrance derailleur “leaping off the chain from the small ring to the large” difficulty sorted. I’ve obtained no complaints with both the Sram Apex system itself, or the out there gear picks.

The brakes are caliper fashion. I don’t have sturdy emotions or opinions within the caliper versus disc brake dialogue. Nevertheless, if a disc possibility existed for the Yukon, I might in all probability go for it.


That is my first Titanium bicycle and I’m not one to go on at size concerning the varied opinions, qualities and controversies across the materials used to construct bikes, however consider it after I hear that “nothing rides like Titanium.” It is perhaps gross sales hype, I do know, however it sounds true to me – particularly after I changed the seat publish with a Titanium one from Van Nicholas and seen a right away, noticeable distinction.

There’s sufficient stiffness within the body to deal with properly with out being too twitchy, and can also be “relaxed” sufficient to dampen street vibration. It responds to further effort and all the time seems like what you placed on the pedal goes straight by way of to the street. It’s clearly a really sturdy materials and virtually indestructible.

van nicholas cassette

How Does It Experience With Panniers On?

Once I cycled round Taiwan I used the setup pictured: Topeak bag with connected small panniers, plus extras on the entrance bar. There was round 15 kgs of substances in complete and I’m round 72 kgs myself. Every little thing I wanted was crammed into the out there house: tent, sleeping bag, garments, sleeping mat, and so on. There wasn’t a variety of room left over, however it all match okay.

The bike dealing with improved if something with the additional weight. As soon as I obtained used to the dynamic of getting the burden behind me, the journey appeared even more true and extra secure than unloaded. Descending was the identical, there wasn’t a second the place the added weight had me feeling nervous. The Yukon feels tremendously secure in all conditions.

On the flats, the configuration and gearing of the bike meant that I might effortlessly common very affordable speeds if I needed, way more so than a regular “touring bike.”

In abstract, simply soar on the Yukon and go! Panniers or not, it’s nimble!

Body Geometry

The Van Nicholas Yukon is an odd mixture of genres, it appears to me, however it works. Within the head tube angle (72), the fork path (70mm) and seat tube angle (73.5) the numbers look on the “touring bike” finish, however relating to the chainstay size (42.5cms), and the wheel base (101.5cms), it appears extra like a cyclo/street setup – a bit extra bunched up. The general impact is that whereas it’s a fairly relaxed journey, you do get the sensation of the bike being tucked proper in beneath you. That is particularly noticeable when you’re out of the saddle (sure, with an adjustment in driving fashion, and a little bit of confidence, you will get out of the saddle with the panniers loaded) – the entrance wheel launch is true under you and at first gave me the impression of being too far ahead (overbalancing virtually). I don’t give it some thought or discover it anymore, however the match is tight.

One other “hold the focus” second is when descending, due to the tucked up impact, the entrance can really feel barely unstable if the descent is bumpy. I’m a cautious downhill rider and haven’t had any mishaps, however I’m cautious. The results of this general tight’ish geometry is the very constructive reward for effort that comes with the Yukon – what I placed on the pedal goes straight to the street.

van nicholas yukon touring bicycle in taiwan

Execs And Cons?

The professionals clearly take the prize. Whereas it’s a mid-priced bike, you’ll be driving it for a very long time, so that you get your cash’s value. Stability, construct, dealing with, sturdiness, high quality, genuinely multi-purpose, and cozy… the professionals go on. There has by no means been a single day that I needed I might get off the bike resulting from discomfort or any of the multitude of nagging aches and pains we’ve all skilled.

The one con I’ve (which might be a consequence of the tight geometry within the wheel base and chainstay size), is that there’s about 1.5 cms of toe overlap on the entrance wheel, highlighted particularly when the mudguards are on. I’m used to it now, however it takes a little bit of getting used to and requires adjustment to the driving fashion, plus full focus at any time when it’s important to negotiate intersections, sudden stops, or it’s late after an enormous day trip and so forth. I’ve solely fallen off as soon as, at an intersection, in a bunch. All of it regarded fairly clumsy, and I felt a little bit of a novice, however no hurt performed. On one other event in Taiwan, my toe hit the mudguard, which took fairly a deal of time to restore afterwards, (the mudguard that’s!). I feel that if Van Nicholas ever re-designed the Yukon body, a few centimeters further up entrance to chop out the overlap can be an ideal enchancment, in the event that they haven’t already performed so.

The Van Nicholas Yukon – In Abstract

The Van Nicholas Yukon is a wonderful titanium “all-rounder” for the rider who does a little bit of the whole lot. It’s properly well worth the cash! Simply watch the toes and the bumpy descents.


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Van Nicholas Yukon – Titanium Touring Bike Assessment  
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