One of the highlights of Eurobike (for us, anyway) is getting to meet the folks behind brands like Nicolai who, as they say, is big in Europe. They’re a little lesser known stateside, but that may soon change. Founder Kalle Nicolai told us they’ve just set up distribution in the U.S.
Another big change for the brand is that they’re now selling complete bikes, too, not just framesets. They’ll only offer one build per frame, spec’d the way Nicolai and his team thinks that particular model should be set up. Nicolai says there’ll be a lot of SRAM 1×11, Hope hubs and brakes, and Rockshox suspension.
If those are the big changes for the company, smaller changes come on the Helius AC, their best seller that switched from 29er to 650b wheels in 2012. It’s a 140mm travel enduro/all-mountain bike that, like the rest of their range, is all aluminum. For 2015, it upgrades to Endura bearings to all pivots. The top tube grows a a few millimeters, and now they spec it who shorter stems. Those changes, plus a slightly lower and slacker (66.5°) head tube and lower BB, makes it a more modern enduro bike…
Upper and lower gussets and big, fat welds reinforce the tapered head tube.
CNC’d parts make up just about anything that isn’t a round tube or squared stay, all of which are machined in their converted farmhouse machine shop in a small town in Germany’s countryside. The frames are all made there, too. Check out this story from Red Bull for a peek inside the factory.
A bolt-on chain guard hides and protects the rear shift cable housing.
Base price for a frame is €1,999, with options and paint selection driving it up from there.
Nicolai also makes a number of frames that integrate things like Bosch e-bike motors and batteries, internal drivetrain gear boxes and more.