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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 January 2021

Egyptian brothers to take on cycling world with Dh60,000 bike as Ventum launches in Dubai

Lance Armstrong rode the Nour brothers' two-wheeler when he hit the Al Qudra track in October

Two Egyptian brothers have set out to challenge the world's top road bike makers with their super-fast two-wheelers.

Omar and Diaa Nour could capitalise on a pandemic cycling boom as riders in many countries get on their bikes for fitness and to explore amid the pandemic.

Six years on from Ventum's launch in the United States, the racing machines are finally available in Dubai.

“We want to be the Tesla of the cycling world - with a white glove service at your house at the same price as our competition,” said co-founder Omar Nour, a Dubai-based former professional triathlete.

“There is a big push for cycling everywhere in the world now because of Covid, but especially in Dubai.

I live in the mountains of Utah and go cycling in California, but I have never seen a dedicated cycling infrastructure as there is in the UAE

Diaa Nour, Ventum

“It has been one of the only ways to train safely during the pandemic.”

Ventum was founded in 2014 and is based in Heber City, Utah.

The company creates high-performance racing bicycles that it claims uses technology from fighter jets and Formula One. The carbon fibre frames are laid in China then sent to Utah for assembly but the company hopes to eventually produce the bikes in the UAE.

By removing the downtube and seatstays the bikes have less drag and are generally heavier, allowing for more momentum, the company says.

The machines do not come cheap.

Priced at Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 and with customisable paint-jobs, the Ventum One out-prices some of the high-end Pinarello, Cervelo and Colnago models that dominate competitions such as the Tour de France.

The cheaper Ventum NS1 starts at Dh13,600 but can top Dh50,000 for special edition models. They can only be bought directly from the Ventum website.

But the brothers insist the home delivery, demo rides and after care their company provides offers a unique service for cyclists.

Ventum claims that when its One model was tested in a wind tunnel, it had 24 per cent less drag than the closest competitor.

Although they do not comply with strict governing body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rules, they are eligible for multi-sport events like triathlons.

A resin compound is used for the carbon fibre that expands under heat to make the frame incredibly strong.

“We asked for the fastest shape possible and that is what the design is,” said Omar, 41.

“I retired from professional racing five years ago and I have barely ridden a bike since.

“I could not believe the difference when I tried this bike for the first time - riding it feels like cheating.”

DUBAI UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 24 NOVEMBER 2020. Omar Nour of Ventum bicycles, at the Al Qudra track, a region-made super fast bicycles. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Nick Webster. Section: National.
Omar Nour unloads his Ventum bicycle at Al Qudra cycling track in Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National

After his athletic retirement, Omar Nour turned his attention to an ambitious bid to row the Atlantic Ocean with compatriot Omar Samra as team O2.

Their bid failed after their boat capsized in shark-infested waters after nine days.

They were later rescued.

Since then, Omar joined his brother Diaa in trying to build the fastest road bikes on the planet.

“I was shocked how well known the brand was in the region, we are originally from Egypt, so that may have helped,” said older brother Diaa, who is company chief executive.

“We are the only bike manufacturers that came out of this region as far as I’m aware.

“That gives me a certain amount of pride. This is my passion that grew out of control. It required all my focus and dedication."

The company’s bikes are ridden by former pro-cyclists including Lance Armstrong and Christian Vande Velde.

Armstrong shipped his bike across to the UAE on a recent visit to try out the desert roads of Dubai. He was joined by 100 other cyclists from across Dubai for a 50-kilometre ride along Al Qudra Cycling Track.

It followed a plan set out by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, to transform the car-dominated roads into a bicycle-friendly city.

“Lance Armstrong has been riding our bikes for more than two years now,” said Diaa, who lives in Utah.

“He flew his own Ventum bike in from Aspen to cycle here in Dubai and we don’t pay him to do anything so it is quite an endorsement.

“I was amazed by the cycling community here in Dubai.

“We knew it was the right time to launch, but didn’t realise how phenomenal it is.

“I live in the mountains of Utah and go cycling in California, but I have never seen a dedicated cycling infrastructure as there is in the UAE.”

Updated: November 28, 2020 09:18 PM

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