Belgium has always been at the forefront of excellent cycling, and Nicolas Noble is a custom frame builder who is obviously channeling that same energy. His work, predominantly high-end road bikes and racers, are always magnificently finished.
This one is no exception. It’s one of his most recent, a subtle road weapon, blazingly fast in the right hands — or under the right legs. It was built for Edward, one of the partners of Mur, a cycling-themed café in the Flèche Wallonne town of Huy.
Edward’s business partner, Bernard, came across Nicolas’ workshop in Habay-La-Neuve and put Edward onto him. Edward began following his work and finally met in person at the Belgian Vélofollies bike expo.
As you’d expect, Edward knows a thing or two about road riding, and how the bunch reacts to an acceleration or climb on the daily rides that depart from his café. This bike was to replace a Scott Foil 10, and Edward wanted something equally proficient.
Nicolas built the frame with Columbus HSS tubing and stainless steel dropouts from Paragon Machine Works. It’s Di2 ready and wears a Columbus Futura disk in the front. The candy flake Bordeaux and navy hues change effervescently in the light.
Edward had this to say about his new Noble: “Well, the frame looks how I wanted it to look and rides how I wanted it to ride, so that’s what I like about it. Also, riding on steel is a really good feeling.
“I dislike the disposable society that we seem to be finding ourselves in (generally) and I think cycling is becoming part of that with carbon frames being dumped out every 12 months. I wanted a bike that I can ride for years…”
It’s one of the cleanest silhouettes we’ve recently seen and most definitely a modern classic. No doubt it will bestow upon Edward many years of pleasurable riding through his legendary Belgian landscape.
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Massive thanks to Gilles Labarbe for the beautiful photography.