Nicolai Bicycles started from humble beginnings in 1995 and has went on to carve a niche in the crowded best mountain bike market. Making all its bikes in Mehle, Germany, Nicolai has stuck to its industrial-engineering aesthetic and forged a reputation for pushing the boundaries and testing new technology which included being one of the first mountain bike brands to adopt long, slack, and low geometry.
A Nicolai is instantly recognizable with oversize alloy tubing, impeccably machined CNC frame sections, beautiful oversized fish scale welds, and often making use of innovative technology like gearboxes and unusual suspension. Most recently, the brand has been changing the industry's thinking on geometry, partnering with Geometron who have done more than anyone to push perceptions and understanding of the best mountain bike geometry. Nicolai also makes nearly all its products available in custom builds, with a wide range of finishes, colors, and builds.
The Nicolai range covers MTB, gravel, and even cargo bikes, but at Eurobike, it was mainly a range of e-MTBs that look ready to challenge in the best electric mountain bike market. The models come packed with innovative tech such as Pinion's latest MGU combined motor and gearbox and the Bosch Performance Line SX motor, as well as all the features you'd expect from a high-end German brand.
The best looking lightweight e-MTB?
There was plenty lightweight e-MTB on show at Eurobike including the Scott Dangerholm Lumen that weighed in at just 12.9kg, but the Nicolai Saturn Swift was certainly one of the most eye-catching at the show. Using the new Bosch Performance Line SX motor, the Saturn Swift (14 and 11) is a powered version of the brand's popular trail bike. Its combination of aggressive geo, bombproof alloy construction, and relatively low weight of just under 20kg, makes the Saturn look like a dream hard-hitting trail e-MTB.
The Saturn 14 Swift is a long, slack, and low trail bike with 150mm travel at the front and 130mm at the rear. It's clear to see that the brand's close relationship with Geometron has had an influence with a long reach of 480mm (in size M), a slack head angle of 64 degrees, and a tech climbing-friendly steep seat tube angle of 76.5 degrees.
The Saturn Swift 11 is a shorter travel machine for those who prefer longer distances or less punishing trails with 120mm front and 105mm rear travel with a more conservative geo with 455mm reach (in size M) combined with a shallower seat tube angle of 74.5 degrees.
Crazy drivetrain engineering as standard
The Nucleon has been in the range for a long time and is always a crowd-pleaser. From the outset, it's been the wildest bike platform, with earlier generations featuring the first gearboxes and hub gears fitted into the frame in outrageous designs. We featured a version in our Eurobike 22 coverage, and this year Nicolai had an updated model with the unusual Canadian Lal Supre drivetrain, which uses a series of idlers and a unique hidden derailleur to replace a traditional setup.
There was also a new UDH version, that uses a similar high-pivot linkage-driven single-pivot suspension platform but with a more familiar gear setup.
One bike for everything
The GT1 Eboxx 3x3 could be the ideal bike for those who like to cover all bases. It's an alloy e-Enduro bike powered by a Bosch CX motor which is where the similarities with other brands end. Like many of the range, there's a huge choice of specs and builds, as well as a myriad of setup options with adjustable travel, frame angles, and geo. It uses an innovative 3x3 hub gear with a Gates carbon belt drive, so all gears are contained within the rear hub, which should run smoothly for thousands of km. Nicolai even has a mudguard and rear rack-equipped commuter version available should you need a bike for alpine adventures on the weekend but want to ride to work on Mondays.
With gravel being on trend at the moment there was plenty on show at Eurobike. Nicolai had the Argon GX looking to hit the best gravel bike lists, and although it's been in the range for a while, like all Nicolai bikes, it offers some unique features. Its all-alloy construction is unlike anything else out there, with boxy square seat and chainstays joined to Easton butted main tubes with some intricately machined CNC yokes. It's fully customizable so you can pick your own geometry, mounting points, and colors. There's even a Pinion gearbox option available.
For more information, check out Nicolai-bicycles.com.