FIRST LOOK: Ventum's NS-1 Road Bike
Out of the blue, and without warning, Ventum launched a brand new bike on the Big Island. And interestingly, it wasn't a tri bike. This is the NS-1, a UCI-legal, road geometry, road racing bike. And honestly, it's beautiful. Ventum co-founder Diaa Nour walked us through the bike, which is named after himself and his other co-founder Jimmy Seear. NS-1 stands for Nour/Seear. Diaa told us that the goal for this frame was to make an absoutely race-worthy frame that was equal parts aerodynamic AND light weight. Without disrespect to the larger brands, Nour said that their goal was to work toward shedding the notion that aero and light were necessarily at odds with one another. And to be fair, the bike does make it into very light territory, with a sub 950g frame and a stock build that clocks in at 15lbs and change!
The bike uses fairly wide tubing, generally a requirement to get into ultralight territory. The head tube isn't the skinniest I've ever seen, and the down tube is almost wide enough to fair an entire water bottle. That's not a bad thing, per se. The mantra of 'narrow is aero' is generally true, but wide can still be aero with proper attention to detail and shaping. (Not to mention that wide tubes also CAN fair a water bottle better than narrow ones, when done properly.)
But the shapes look really good, and the cable management is FLAWLESS. Not a single cable on this disc-brake bike is visible, except for the very short runs where they exit the bike and enter the derailleurs and brakes. Everything up front is kept exceptionally clean. The frame has lots of clearance for wider tires. The bikes shown here were set up with 28c rubber, and you can see there's lots of room to go up. The official spec from Ventum is that it will take a 30c tire, but I'm pretty confident that it will hit 32 without breaking a sweat, and possible a smidge larger depending on the specific tire/rim combo.
The launch is definitely an expansion for Ventum, now reaching into territory they'd left alone in the past. I'm actually really interested to get my hands on this bike and see what it's like to build and ride. Chapeau, boys!
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