Shortly after moving home, Steven discovered the true hardship of owning – let alone driving – a car in London. He toyed with the prospect of selling his car altogether, and with some passive encouragement from his better half, he did just that. What his better half did not anticipate, however, was that Steven would be soon replacing the fuel-guzzling machine in the driveway with a custom built, bespoke carbon bike. He had spent some time window shopping through the pages of cycling literature until one fateful day when he stumbled across a FiftyOne article in a copy of Cyclist Magazine. It wasn’t the first custom bike builder he had heard of. Far from it. “I liked how it’s made in Dublin and that the focus isn’t solely on the aesthetics, but the performance too.”
Once decided, Steven’s brief was simple: he wanted something that would both outperform his wildest expectations and would stand out. Something he would never see out on the road or in the window of a store. He wanted a bike that was unique and personal and suited his riding style within a millimetre of perfection.
Steven isn’t overly concerned with ultimate performance or the marginal gains. Racing isn’t a goal and for him, cycling is about conquering his own objectives and riding the bike for his own gain. He wanted something that was light and aero, for sure, but he wanted something that would suit his needs. With six hundred miles already clocked up aboard Nil Desperandum, Steven talks about the astonishing nimbleness he has felt when tackling climbs, the sure footedness and natural confidence he now has leaning into descents and importantly – as any London cyclist will tell you – the speed at which he can accelerate away from traffic lights.
Never Despair. That is what us laymen understand the latin Nil Desperandum to be. But even for the latin interpreters, this motto has evolved beyond that of “never despair.” With its eye-catching orange outline and homage-paying naked carbon fibres, Nil Desperandum stands no longer alone as simply a saying, but as a legacy to freedom and courage.