GC Sports | Van Nicholas

Why Titanium?

Van Nicholas' aim is to make the best bikes possible for their intended application. We believe Titanium is the best material to achieve our aim. This is why:

Nothing looks like Titanium

The soft glow of brushed and polished Titanium is unique. We hate to see the beauty of Titanium hidden under gloss and lacquer, that’s why we choose not to paint our frames. It needs no embellishment; the allure of naked Titanium is hard to resist, impossible to ignore.

Nothing rides like Titanium

Titanium has in inherent flexibility ideally suited to frame building. Road vibrations are for the most part absorbed before they reach the rider, so it is as though you are gliding across the tarmac. Once you experience the magical ride of Titanium, you’ll want to continue riding on it forever.

Nothing lasts like Titanium

Its high tensile strength and superior fatigue resistance mean, with standard use, the material properties of Titanium remain identical for life. And a natural coating of Titanium Dioxide ensures it will never corrode, even in high acid or alkaline environments. No wonder our frames last a lifetime.

 

Van Nicholas Astraeus

Van Nicholas Astraeus

 

MATERIAL COMPARISON

When trying to pick a material for a bike frame, there are many really important material considerations; weight, stiffness, strength, toughness, impact resistance, ride quality, corrosion.. We’ll discuss all of these issues in the context of choosing a bike.

Permanent deflection

Permanent deflection, or plastic deformation as it is also known, is much higher in Titanium than other materials and accounts for its fabled ‘spring’. This is why a Titanium ride is so much more comfortable than other frame building materials.

Fatigue resistance

The inherent flexibility and high tensile strength of Titanium allows the energy stresses of regular use to be effectively dissipated without degradation of the material, ensuring Titanium frames stay stronger for longer.

Impact resistance

The high tensile, or ultimate, strength and low elastic modulus of Titanium combine to create unparalleled impact resistance, meaning Titanium frames can soak up much harder punishment than frames built from other materials.

Corrosion resistance

Titanium’s natural coating of Titanium Dioxide prevents it from oxidising in the atmosphere, so it will never rust, unlike steel, and, unlike aluminium, it will not corrode when exposed to acidic or alkaline environments. So aesthetic and performance quality will never be compromised by the weather.

Strength to weight

The tensile strength to density ratio for Titanium outstrips every other frame building metal. Simply put, for the same weight frame, Titanium will be twice as strong as steel and three times as strong as aluminium.

Stiffness to weight

Rigidity is essential for efficient power transfer and Titanium’s stiffness to weight ratio is superior to all other metals. Titanium combines low weight for easy climbing, high rigidity for blistering performance in the sprint and the perfect balance of both to deliver Titanium’s legendary ride quality.

 

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Van Nicholas Tuareg

 

TITANIUM FACTS

3 AL/ 2.5 V 

All our frames are made from aerospace grade 3AL/2.5V Titanium, which contains 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium. This offers the perfect balance of strength and plasticity for use in thin-walled bicycle tubing.

Titanium Use

The 3Al/2.5V Titanium alloy we use was developed for use in high pressure hydraulic lines and is found on virtually all new military and commercial airplanes.

Type of Tubing

We use two types of tubing to make our frames: cold-worked, drawn, seamless tubing and seamless hydroformed butted. Both types of tubing create extremely strong, lightweight frames, but the seamless hydroformed butted tubing is even lighter and more durable. Only our very best bikes are made from this tubing.

Environmentally Friendly

Once produced, Titanium is an environmentally friendly metal. All of the scrap we generate through the manufacturing process can be fully recycled.

Strenghth

Titanium is twice as strong as aluminium and half the weight of steel.

Tolerance

Titanium has an incredibly high tolerance and will maintain the same properties up to 600°C.

Production Process

Titanium’s extreme oxygen reactivity (the same process that makes it so impervious to corrosion) makes production of the seamless tubes a very long and expensive process – hence the premium price tag.

Other Industries

Despite being developed primarily for aerospace applications, Titanium is now used in numerous industries. Marine, architectural, medical and petrochemical industries all regularly make use of Titanium components, and you can also find its magical properties gracing consumer goods like golf clubs and jewellery.

Descent

Titanium is so-called after the Titans of Greek mythology, symbols of immense strength.

 

Van Nicholas Yukon

Van Nicholas Yukon

GC Sports | Cycling

Health Benefits of Cycling 15 Minutes A Day

Feeling a bit lazy today? Can’t be bothered taking the bike out for a spin? Well here’s a few quick facts about cycling and exercise in general that’ll get you off your behind.

Cycling is an effective and enjoyable form of aerobic exercise. Cycling can reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. It can reduce your ‘real age’, lowering it more than a decade lower than your chronological age.

The indirect health benefits include reducing serious injuries caused by falls in older people, osteoporosis, and hip fractures.

Statistics indicate that cyclists, even those who only travel short distances, can reduce the risk of death by 22 per cent.

The best results are achieved when cyclists are breathing heavily, but are not out of breath. Exercise increases HDL (“good” cholesterol) and reduces the amount of triglycerides in the blood. This means improved cardiovascular health and leads to a reduced chance of heart blockage as well as reducing the risk of stroke. There are some reports that link exercise to a lowered risk of cancer.

Cycling burns the calories in a chocolate bar or a couple of alcoholic drinks in one hour (300 calories). In modern lifestyle terms, that’s a fifteen-minute bike ride, five times a week, burning off 11 pounds of fat a year.

Exercise continues the fat-burning process after your workout has ended. Once the sweating stops the body’s metabolisms remains high. Can you increase the post-exercise burn?

A few scientific studies suggest that exercising for 20 minutes at 35 to 55% of aerobic capacity, as in riding briskly, elevated metabolism for 20 minutes after stopping. That means that a 20 minute, brisk bike ride burns fat for 40 minutes. Cycling has been proven to reduce stress and depression and relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Some have also suggested that 'even a small amount of cycling can lead to significant gains in fitness'. One revealed that aerobic fitness was boosted by 11 per cent after six weeks of cycling 'short distances' four times a week and cycling four miles a day the aerobic benefit increased to 17 per cent.

So – take that bike out for a spin and enjoy!

bike race

A Guide to Racing Bikes

Road bikes or racing bikes are designed to go as quick as possible while likewise ensuring the rider's safety. They are mainly showcased as skeletons of bikes, however there is a reason they look so bare. Everything is toned down in order to conserve weight and enhance aerodynamics, which is important if you want to go as fast as you can. These two aspects will certainly assist offer more speed. There are numerous gears for racing bikes, but they are clustered together so that the cyclist can select immediately which gear to use for the event. The riding position is hunched over to offer less wind resistance. Some will certainly favour drop handlebars, which will make the rider to stoop over more. The tires are also very thin and extremely high pressured.

Types of Racing Bikes

There are numerous kinds of racing bikes. The most common is the conventional racing bike, which is best for road racing. The riding position is stooped over, however still high enough which allows the rider to see where he or she is going. It is also extremely fast.

Another would be the time trial bike, which is used to go as quick as possible around a circuit or an oval on a closed-off road. The riders are very much stooped over. Some prefer the use of extensions on the handlebars for increased comfort and grip. Others attach front wheels to modify the riding position to something even lower than the norm.

Another would be the track racing bike, which is raced indoors on oval circuits - without any brakes. A rider can only stop by decreasing the way they pedal, and the gear makes it impossible to suddenly stop pedalling. This racing bike is stripped down to the absolute minimum without any add-ons to make it lighter and faster.

Comments

On the plus side, racing bikes are extremely fast. The slick tires allow very little drag on the road, and the aerodynamic position keeps the wind drag to a minimum. On the other hand, due to the fact that the bike is extremely skinny, it's safe to say it might not win any awards for comfort in comparison to mountain bikes, for example.

Whatever your speed thrill though, the racing bike will most likely outstrip it. Racing bikes are quick, light, and extremely versatile. Here at GC Sports you can be sure that we have the perfect racing bike for you.

GC Sports | Mountain Bikes

Thinking about buying a mountain bike?

Are you a cycling enthusiast? If you are, then it’s likely you very well know how troublesome buying the perfect mountain bike can be. If you’re a newbie and wish to buy your very first mountain bike, but something of excellent quality, then look no further than a Scapin or Olympia model. You should never settle for anything less than satisfactory. If it is anything to go by, you should settle for the best there is in the market. Quality and price do come hand in hand, however, and it is a reality that we all have a specific budget range. Not to worry though, there are so many quality affordable mountain bikes in this range, it's just a matter of looking out for the best deals.

Budget

The first thing to consider when buying a mountain bike is your budget. Begin with some research on the different price levels of available mountain bikes. You need not go inside every sporting goods store to compare prices. The internet will do just fine, maybe even better, as there are countless of online stores and biking websites from which you may get the information you need. (Tip: Keep an eye out on GC Sports for our blog posts!)

Style

Another important factor is your style. Mountain bikes are manufactured differently from one another. The reason for this is that there are different specifications and requirements on mountain bikes depending on your riding style and the terrain types that you encounter. For instance, the different cycling styles include smooth riding, cross country racing, mountain cruising and downhill. You need to know which of these styles you will be focusing on. This is very important in finding out the right mountain bike for you. Here's another tip - buy according to your needs and style.

Suspension

Equally as crucial is the choice between full suspension and hard tail. To be honest, a full suspension mountain bike is the better choice. That is, if it is within your budget. However if you opt for the hard tail, meaning the bike has no rear suspension, the bike will be much lighter and pedal more efficiently. Full suspensions are of course the most comfortable. However, the hard tail is a pretty good alternative, so this decision will be based on what you really want and what your budget is.

Don't forget to take the bike for a test ride. Try testing out several different bikes, so you can get a feel for ‘your’ bike and which one works best. Also, keep on the lookout for seasonal sales and promotions. This way, you will be able to save some euros and afford the best possible mountain bike within your price range.

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Cycling: For Fun and Fitness

Aerobic fitness has many benefits.

Excellent health is based upon aerobic strength, flexibility and aerobic fitness. All of these factors are crucial. For healthy heart, any type of aerobic workout is excellent. Normally, this requires motion that is continued over a period of time which utilises the power of your arms and legs. This type of exercise makes your heart work harder. Aerobics causes your body to burn fat for energy and use oxygen. Cycling is a good example of aerobic activity.

Cycling is an exceptional exercise for people with high blood pressure or heart disease. Study shows that cycling is in fact much better for lowering blood pressure than more intense activities like jogging.

Ultimately, it strengthens and conditions your heart.

Cycling has the following benefits:

  • enhances your endurance
  • flexibility is increased
  • strengthens muscles that support joints
  • enhances your memory and attentiveness
  • keeps you in shape
  • reduces stiffness and ache
  • ability to perform daily tasks is boosted
  • makes you feel great
  • reduces sleep disorders and improves your sleep
  • increases your self-confidence
  • helps you feel more positive
  • reduces anxiety

How about cycling when you’re feeling under the weather?

How about heading out there cycling and seeing how beautiful the world actually is? How about feeling that cold breeze? How about your body realising all those happy hormones while cycling which are natural pain killers? How about taming all those mountains? How about chasing after the sun?

We may be biased but, trust us, it really feels great!

Do you remember the number of sports and games you played as kid? Do you remember the number of times you fell while cycling? Don't give up on it, it felt fantastic, no? Let's pedal back to the time of cheery delight. Cycling is the very best means to have fun while staying healthy and fit. And age is no obstacle to cycling. Who knows who you might meet along the way!

Here at GC Sports we have a huge selection of Scapin and Olympia bikes, so feel free to check them out.