Nicolai has a loyal following amongst mountain bikers who value the German company’s exquisite aluminium fabrication skills.
For Nicolai, bonding an aluminium tube set is part function and part art, but the brand’s frame building capabilities extend beyond beautifully shaped welds, they are also proponents of the most advanced geometry trends.
The latest product evolution from Nicolai is an updated version of the Saturn 14. A stronger frameset has evolved this bike into the Saturn 14 ST, with the ST indicating Super Trail specification.
What Nicolai has done is reinforce its production Saturn 14, to be capable of running stouter forks in order to survive harsher riding abuse, more technical terrain and severe landings.
You would have to be an obsessive Nicolai brand fanatic to notice the tube specification differences, but the Saturn 14 ST has more material around its down, top and seat tubes. What is visible, are the head tube gussets, which are gorgeously welded.
Although the ST version has the same 130/138mm rear travel specification (depending on whether you run 29er or 27.5-inch wheels), it can run a 160mm fork up front. This is substantially more than the maximum recommended front suspension value of 130mm, which applies to the Saturn 14.
Illustrating the design intuition and custom fabrication abilities of Nicolai, is the Saturn 14 ST’s tension bar. A delightfully clever little structure which connects from the shock’s bottom eyelet to the rocker arm pivot, it prevents undue frame stress under severe impacts, when the rear suspension is at risk of bottoming-out.
What is the cost of this additional big terrain riding capability, added to Nicolai’s Saturn 14? The Nicolai Saturn 14 ST specification upgrade adds 300g of frame weight and prices at €2499 for a frame and shock, with complete builds starting at €6499. Which is exactly what you would pay for the standard Saturn 14.