VanCan’s Newest Build

Plus Q&A With Nic Zilinski

2022 Knolly Chilcotin

The Knolly Chilcotin is designed to ride the North Shore – where I spend
most of my time riding! It’s a big travel bike that climbs well and can handle a lot of abuse. I’m not sure what type of rider I am exactly, but I do love bike parks and shuttling and every now and then I’ll try and send it.

Front Fork + Rotor

Fork: Zeb Ultimate, 170mm

Rear Shock

Rear Shock: Rockshox Superdulex Ultimate with MegNeg

Bars + Stem

Bars: Trail One Crocket Carbon Bar, 780mm
Stem: Trail One Rockvile Stem, 32mm

Saddle + Dropper

Saddle: SDG
Seatpost: One Up 210mm

Groupset

Derailleur, Cassette, Shifters: SRAM GX

Brakes + Grips

Brakes: Shimano XT
Grips: 
Chromag Squarewave

TR37

TR37 rims are super tough and have handled everything I’ve thrown at them. Specs: 32H, 29″ TR37s laced with Sapim Race spokes and alloy Sapim nipples.

Onyx Classic

I wanted to make my bike as quiet as possible for videos and so the Onyx Classic hubs were an obvious choice. Specs: 157×12 super boost rear, 110×15 boost front, 6-Bolt, SRAM XD.

Its Never Too Late To Start

Nic’s start to biking came through the world of BMX in his teenage years.  It wasn’t until he moved to Vancouver three years ago that he got hooked on mountain bikes. This passion led to creating the YouTube channel ‘Van Can’ which is focused on creating high quality relatable MTB content. When he’s not Youtubing, he’s studying as a graduate student in the Department of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University. His focus is on functional brain imaging through a technique known as Magnetoencephalography. So essentially, he works on the hardware of brain imaging machines. Is your mind blown yet? If you want to learn more check out his three-minute thesis explanation.

Q & A with Nic

What are you passionate about, outside of the cycling realm?
Engineering, physics, and math… but that’s probably because I don’t have any more time for new hobbies. I dabble in gaming every few months, Overwatch and Super Smash Bros have been my go-to.
What have been the challenges and successes with your YouTube channel?

Consistent creativity can get tricky, along with motivation. Running a YouTube channel is probably more work than people expect and editing 5 to 10 hours a week can be a bit exhausting. That being said, making something that people enjoy is very rewarding. I don’t fully understand why Van Can has seen the success it has, but it’s pretty surreal knowing hundreds of thousands of people are watching me every month.

What tunes do you play while working on your bike in the garage?
I enjoy most music, so I’ll usually get into whatever my friends suggest. Sometimes that’s Three Inches of Blood, sometimes it’s Biggie, and sometimes it’s JaJa Ding-Dong by Fire Saga.
Where is your favorite trail? Why?
That has got to be Dirt Merchant in the Whistler Bike Park. I’m ready for the hate-mail, but I like it more than A-Line. It’s got big jumps, big hips, big drops, but they’re all so well built you can really relax on the trail. That all comes together to make a super fun trail.

We could all do a bit more to help new-comers to the sport. It can be really intimidating to roll up to a trail network. I’ll still get nervous when I run into a fully kitted group even though I’m at a point where I can at least tag-along with most groups. I don’t have a solution for this and I’m probably guilty too with my blacked-out kit and fancy bike, but it’s worth thinking about so we don’t scare anyone away from the sport.”

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