by Wil Barrett
December 6, 2016
*UPDATE – We’ve just been in touch with Nicolai, an we’ve got more information available below along with a video from Nicolai*
If an e-bike was a Sexually Transmitted Disease, it would be chlamydia. Just when you think you’ve managed to eradicate it from your life, it just seems to just pop up again and again. And again.
Ok, so that might be a bit dramatic. After all, an e-MTB is just a bike, and we find it quite difficult to hate any type of bike. In fact, we’ve ridden some downright brilliant e-MTB’s lately, so we can profess to there being some significant advancements over the last 12 months that mean modern e-MTB’s are actually riding a lot more like a mountain bike, and not some kind of lurchy, oversized plough-machine.
German manufacturer Nicolai appears to be jumping onboard the latest electric pedal-assisted bandwagon, with a new EBOXX that has just been released. It’s got plenty of talking points as a new-school e-MTB, but it ain’t Nicoali’s first rodeo. If you’ll recall, we spotted Nicolai’s first production attempt at a full suspension e-bike back in 2014;
While it was a striking machine (for a number of reasons), that particular Ion EBOXX never made it into fully-fledged production. Nicolai has been busy since then however, and we’ve just found out that the company has announced a brand new Ion EBOXX 3 (version 3), with four different models ranging from a 130mm travel 29er to a 200mm travel downhill bike. Madness!
The first thing you’ll notice with the new Nicoali Ion EBOXX 3 is the highly formed cast downtube, which Nicoali calls ‘Pacecast’. This has been done to conceal the Bosch battery inside, and it means the front triangle is made from only three individual parts. Nicolai is a master in the art of alloy, and the new frame features a hybrid construction method that welds together hydroformed and butted tubing with cast components to produce a highly unique frame that looks like nothing else on the market. And given that most e-MTB’s look like a pregnant dog shitting in the woods, that’s a good thing.
Purportedly, the Ion EBOXX 3 is using the Bosch CX Performance drive system, which is the motor of choice for many other high end e-MTBs. From the sounds of things, the battery will be able to be charged while mounted on or off the bike, and there’s even an integrated smart phone mount on the top tube so you can send smug selfies to all of your…friends…
UPDATE: Nicolai has informed us that the bike will officially be released this coming Thursday, so we’ll have lots of detailed photos and information available then. In the meantime, the German company can confirm that the new Ion EBOXX features the Bosch CX motor, which has a top-speed of 25km/h before the motor taps out to leave you on pedal power alone. It appears that we’re still a while away from these hitting production, as Nicolai has confirmed that production models won’t be available until August 2017.