Designed in the Netherlands, made in the Far East from 3AL/2.5 grade titanium and costing a little over a pound for every gram, the Van Nicholas is a distinct nod in the direction of Elite’s Ciussi. It would be the most obvious choice for riders with a Ti frameset or those looking to shave every last ounce from a treasured road or TT mount.
Titanium’s phenomenal strength, corrosion resistance and forgiving nature make it an ideal frame material but early bottle cages tended to eject their contents at the merest hint of a bump or rough surface. This model closely mimics the tried and tested design found amongst better quality aluminium cages.
Plastic side grippers hold most bottle types securely, passing the bridle path test (ridden for a mile along rutted tracks for a mile at 17-20mph) for both PET and trade type bottles. Release requires a slightly different technique so have a few practice runs before a competitive ride or prepare to launch your bidon at the least opportune moment. The cage also lends itself to unexpected roadside/club run purchases as it will take 1.25 and 1.5 litre drinks bottles without lasting distortion.
Frankly, it's horses for courses: svelte and competitively priced against other Ti cages it might be but shaving weight from the tyres and other components are more cost-effective measures. That said, if you’ve a Ti bike, have cut every last gram or are simply smitten by the wonder metal, the Van Nicholas won’t disappoint.
Combines Looks and performance a cage for the weight conscious or those simply unable to resist titanium
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Van Nicholas Ti bottle cage
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The most obvious market are riders with Ti framesets but it is generally designed to appeal to weight conscious road and TT riders.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Designed in the Netherlands but fabricated in the Far East from 3AL/2.5 titanium complete with stainless fasteners.
Lightweight, adaptable and very durable.
35g is certainly light but only as part of a bikes calorie controlled diet.
There are more cost effective performance upgrades.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Behaved extremely well, has just te right level of purchase on the bottle with no sign of ejection over rough surfaces.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Low weight, attention to detail and it's ti!
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? If I had a titaium bike
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)