Bikes

REVIEW: NERVE 600sl Recommended

by Mark Tearle

Price £2,999.00
Size 54
Colour Black
It is a price tag to make you wince a bit, but for a bicycle built to your own exacting needs and preferences this represents great value. Hell, I'd sell all of my furniture to own one if necessary.

As I stutter for suitable adjectives to describe the bike and how it rides I will say that you shouldn't be concerned with all of the black shown on the demo bike - fully custom means that you get a bike to fit you, your riding style, your build preference and any colour combination that your imagination and bank balance will allow. That said, stealth black isn't quite dead yet - despite all of the fluro that is currently on-trend. 

The overall impression of the bike at first glance is one of understated cool; even the decals are restrained and integrate nicely with the frame. All cabling is internal, and the frame is EPS/Di2 ready, which helps to continue the uninterrupted flow and smooth lines of the frame. The choice of componentry on the demo frame is exquisite and cannot be faulted.   

NB4

NB5

The stylised rounded tube shapes in the front triangle are brought into the 21stcentury with a fatter down tube joined to a tapered head tube and a beefy BB86 bottom bracket junction that gives the frame strength and a planted feel to the ride. Frame strength is additionally taken care of with the square tapered chain-stays, and comfort on the bike is offered by the pencil thin seat stays and 27.2mm seat post. 

The ride is comparable to the comfort of a high end steel bike, but with the lively, sparky feel of carbon - it's minimal weight no doubt a huge contributing factor. The bike almost floats over our shoddy Sussex roads, with very little road buzz distributed through the bike to the rider. Thankfully it still feels like riding a bike, you should always know and feel in your muscles that you have been on a bike ride, though hills and terrain usually tackled with a whimper are danced up, Fred Astaire like, with grace and panache. 

Up out of the saddle the front end gives a spritely playful gesture whilst the stiffness and strength of the bottom bracket propels you powerfully forwards - descending on the drops takes a bit of getting used to, but once the synapses have settled in and your brain begins to understand and your confidence picks up it becomes a joy to go with the bike on the descent. 

This bike is nothing but a real pleasure to ride. Bikes are meant to be ridden and this one compels you to get on and push your potential - given that the bike is thoroughbred, anything less would be doing it a disservice, and letting both yourself and your family down since you spent the next 3 years holiday budget on it; custom-built, made-to-measure frames do come at a premium. 

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NB7

The 600sl frame retails at £2999.00 for the frame, forks and headset - fair enough it is a price tag to make you wince a bit, but I would have to say that for a bicycle built to your own exacting needs and preferences this represents great value. For those with the spare cash, why wouldn't you? For anyone else, with a careful bit of saving or savvy financial wizardry this is an affordable aspirational purchase - hell, I'd sell all of my furniture to own one if necessary.

Frame -

  • 1k carbon fibre tubing 
  • BB86, 27.2mm seat post size, tapered head tube, 32mm band on front changer size 
  • EPS-Di2-mechanical gears ready 
  • Internal brake and gear cables 
  • Weight from 679 grams (medium) 
  • Columbus Grammy fork and compass headset 

Build -

  • Campagnolo Super Record 11sp full grupo 
  • Reynolds Attack carbon clincher wheelset 
  • 3T Erganova Carbon Team Stealth Bars 
  • 3T Team Stealth 120mm stem 
  • Prologo Nago Evo Nk 2014 saddle 
  • Prologo Skintouch bar tape 
  • NERVE Branded carbon seat post

For more information, visit http://www.nervebikes.com/

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