Sometimes a customer appears and pushes us to raise the bar for our creations.
This is Robert’s, from the UK, case. About to retire and change his house for a motorhome and see the world, he needed to complement the pack with a good bicycle to cycle touring around the places he visited, and his carbon road bike was not the right instrument, so he decided to order a proper bike from us.
Until then everything was normal, but we soon saw how his wishes went beyond our “standard” offer, and with persuasion he ended up convincing us to create our most complicated bike to date, entering unknown areas.
Robert’s Nua is basically a moped with pedals.
He began by taking an interest in a Nua Roure Pinion.
Then he wanted to add a good electrical system, something we don't normally do, but at his insistence we decided to grant his wishes and we went to Neodrives, which offers an ideal system to work with the Pinion gear box, the Z20.
But then he thought it’d be a good idea for the system to be an S-Pedelec, capable of reaching 45 km/h. At that point everything would start to get a little more complicated, since the Neodrives Z20 RS (45 km/h version) is only offered with a battery option, designed to be integrated into a large hydroformed aluminum down tube. Something impossible for our titanium frames, with an only 45 mm in diameter down tube. Still, we accept the challenge.
We designed and built a complex support to externally install the battery, inside the main triangle frame. It wasn't easy due to the strange battery’s attaching points, and the frame being quite small. We wanted to keep the battery “quick release” system, so Robert could easily remove it if needed, which didn't make things easy either. This bracket also includes space and brackets for an electric-horn (another eccentric wish) and a big amount of cables and junction boxes. We finally managed to integrate all the stuff in there with dignity, so the next step was…. a frame bag where all this could be hidden and protected from water, maintaining easy access to charging or removing the battery.
And what better than making a frame bag ourselves, according to the needs? And there began a new journey for the Nua Team.
Marian, a Nua Team member, with experience designing and making shoes and fashion accessories, bravely offered to make the prototype, although she finally ended up making the final bag, with great mastery. After designing the bag, equipping ourselves with a good sewing machine, researching the right materials, creating the patterns and all the long process that goes into creating a bike bag for the first time, Marian surprised us with this beautiful frame bag, created with X-PAC VX21, a super resistant and waterproof multilayer material, ideal for bikepacking bags. We equipped the frame with a multitude of eyelets to mount both, the custom battery support and the frame bag, for a safer and cleaner assembly.
Robert needed a full set’s bags: side panniers and top bags, front and rear, and given the success of the frame bag, why not make them ourselves so that all the bags would match each other? Without thinking too much about it, we launched ourselves into this crazy project that took us hundreds of hours of learning, design and testing, and in which the entire Nua Team participated in one way or another, although most of it was carried out by Marian, once again, doing an incredible job, as you can see in the following photos.
With the same materials that we use for the frame bag (X-PAC and waterproof zippers), for the side panniers anchors we use Ortlieb hooks for easy removal, and for the top bags we devised our own system with semi-elastic straps. All bags have rigid plastic or flexible foam interior reinforcements as required and other details.
We are certainly very happy with the end result, which is certainly professional, and although the time invested was exorbitant, it is well spent as we plan to use this experience to offer our own bags in the near future.
And continuing with creating custom components, obviously we made a full set of custom racks to work in harmony with our custom bags, with which we have enough experience, and Marcos and his torch worked their magic once more time, materializing Roberto's designs.
Just missing the final bike assembly, something complex due to the big quantity of cables and plugs this e-bike system needs, which we made even more complicated by including special Magura brakes, with brake light indication and buttons for the electric horn and high beams on Supernova e-bike lights.
This bike has the same functionalities as a motorcycle, except for the turn signals.
After finishing the build-up and programming the electric system, it was time to... test the bike! After a first quick test, Roberto returned to the workshop with a big smile on his face. The bike, in its most powerful mode, accelerates and runs in an incredible way. With a monstrous torque, the thrust is constant until reaching 45 km / h. Roberto had to use his old motorbike skills to tackle the first roundabout, as he entered at a much higher speed than expected. Luckily, the bike's stability is up to the task, and the 4-piston Magura brakes are powerful. This vehicle is very special and not for everyone, but it offers a lot of fun without a doubt.
In short, this bicycle has been a real challenge for the Nua Team members, as well as for Nua as a company. We’re not going to hide that sometimes we have doubted whether accepting the project was a wise decision, since fitting it into our day to day in a year in which we have made more bikes than ever, plus the supply problems and other inconveniences we all suffer due to Covid, it has been something stressful. The hours dedicated to this project are difficult to calculate, but we estimate that no less than 500, so obviously, it hasn’t been a profitable project at an economic level for us, but it has been at many other levels, growing our skills and knowledge to new levels and showing ourselves how far we are capable of going. Now the Nua Team is stronger without a doubt. And we have out there a very special bike, and another fully satisfied customer.
If you want to know more about Nua Bike offer, go to the BIKE menú on our website and you'll find our builder. And if you have any doubt or question you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks a lot for reading us!