- Nicolai Argon AM – colours, Bos Forks, rotor cranks and experience
Forgot to say- fork wise the only thing stopping me boosting my ego and presuming i’m gnarly enough to need a 160mm fork is a concern it would end up too slack/a pig to climb. (currently from rigid!) However I dont want to have to buy anything for this bike other than tyres for 5years minimum & getting it cut to 150mm is a. Expensive b. Problematic when it comes to ordering spares etc.
Thank you all in advance, I wish you all many awesome rides where attractive members of your sexual orientation notice your gnarly efforts and award you appriopriately!Posted 4 years ago
Hello all, while christmas is a long way off – scheming has started early 😀
I’m interested the the STW massive’s opinion of the following four conundrums:
1. Purple or Green Ano frame? It’s going to be delabelled for thefty/not a walking billboard reasons and then have some custom decals put on. The plus of purple – all the other lurvely green ano stuff (plus goodridge cables!) The plu about green, tis my favourite colour and will look ace- concerned about getting purple ano stuff (lack of availability).
2. The forks are pretty much decided, Bos Devilles. Choices are 140mm vs 160mm, it will be ridden year round in ye peaks, and be doing your average bout of enduro (megavalanche) & DH hardtail category races as well as a year in the alps. I am ofc open to wise words concerning other options- fit/forgetness is a must, climbi.g ability out of the saddle (the bike being ss) and stiffness the other importants!
3. Anyone have one? How do you find it, whats your setup etc? 😀
4. Rotor 3D and 3DF. 3D is good because I can run a green chris king bb, 3DF is good because the bigger axle and forged’ness’ make it a stiffer crank (for ss-ing up a mountain=a boon) however i’d have to use their bb’s..Posted 4 years ago
I have a bad case of New Toy Syndrome. It’s a great bike and an addictive ride. I chose raw to see the engineering
The frame is long and low, with a pretty slack head angle. The power transfer is immediate through the extremely stiff rear end. ‘Precise’ is a good one-word description of this bike. Even so, with a 2.35+ tyre, it does not particularly beat me up any more than any other hardtail I have owned over long day rides.
The bike is stable at speed – it feels like a full suspension frame, until you hit a rock. The angles help it descend whatever with confidence. I run the chainstays as short as possible so it is agile at low speed and easy to pop up the front end. Any downsides? Not so far – it does exactly what it should.Posted 4 years ago
Max- drool, that’s gorgeous! How do you find out of the saddle climbing/the slack head angle? Coming from rigid (running 2.2’s) all the squish will be luxury 😀 I’m getting all excited now
LoCo – good to know, but fret not I had no intention of doing so. Out of curiosity what’s been going wrong?Posted 4 years ago
True, it’s got to last me 10-15 years minimum as an only bike and then be kept as a family heirloom xD
Max- ah thats such great news! I’m a bit of a masochist in that sense, the climbs are all part of the fun! Although your running it 150mm.. I reckon 10mm shouldnt have an adverse effect. If your ever in the peaks, drop a line and i’ll race you!Posted 4 years agogeetee1972Member
Purple or Green Ano frame?
That’s the beauty of Nic’s you can have whatever colour you want (well almost) and everyone is different.
I would have had metallic British Racing Green as I’ve had that before and it was sublime and very class, but the company that makes that colour no longer makes that colour (I did say ‘almost’ any colour you want 😀 ) so I settled for anodized dark green:
Ano stays looking better for longer but it’s harder to keep it looking really good. The process they use seems to give a slightly different finish to other anodized frames I’ve had, which have more sparkle and lustre to the finish. Nicolai’s anodizing results in a duller finish that looks lovely, but has a habit of marking easily. It’s hard to describe, but if you get it muddy and then wash it, no matter how thoroughly you’ve washed it, when it dries it can still look streaked or dusty. Spraying GT85 on it or rubbing in some oil brings the original finish back though.
I have to say, you need to be a particularly die hard Nicolai fan to go with a hard tail, especially a bullet proof one. I rode the Argon FR a few times and actually got as far as ordering one, but then never paid the deposit and the order wasn’t put in. They are pretty pricey for what they offer in terms of value and ride utility even if they are actually a bargain when you evaluate the cost to buy against the cost to make. They barely make a profit on their hardtails believe it or not, or so I’ve been told by a reliable source.
Nevertheless, they are lovely creations and should last a lifetime. The custom features are also not something you can get elsewhere:
Posted 4 years ago
Wow geetee you sure know how to make a man jealous, that’s an incredible build! And it’s definitely sold me on the green ano 😛 out of curiosity how much extra were you charged for the name? And how do you like the Bos Devilles?
I’ve heard similar comments about their anodising, but it doesn’t bother me (keeping the sheen) as it’s going to be covered in mud most of the time 😈 but good to hear it’s as durable a finish as they say.
I don’t quite get your comment on the hardtail though – do you mean it’s just very expensive? If so, I completely agree! The only way I’m justifying it over eg a transam or similar is: colour, nicolai, warranty, niche, and the most important belt-drive compatible! But yes, in return I expect to break before it breaks 😆Posted 4 years agocaptaindangerSubscriber
I don’t have the AM but have the FR and love it, yes it’s a lot of money for a hardtail, but full suspension bikes in that category are a lot of money for full suspension bikes!
In the right circumstances it’s as much fun as a full susser so cheaper in fun/£ ratio!Posted 4 years agogeetee1972Member
how much extra were you charged for the name
That was £90; at first I thought it would be naff but actually I quite like it. Probably that’s post rationalisation, but there you go!
And how do you like the Bos Devilles?
I like them enough to keep them even though I had a major issue with them. Turns out they were part of an original batch that had undersized steerers (straight 1 1/8th) and while this was a known problem, fixed under warranty, it didn’t come to light on mine until I changed frames, which meant the fork was out of warranty and I had to pay £150 for a new CSU. To be fair, Surf Sales really looked after me and only charged cost for the park and no labour to fit.
I had a Vengeance HLR as a temporary measure and that was also great, but the Bos is just that bit better and a lot lighter.
I don’t quite get your comment on the hardtail though – do you mean it’s just very expensive?
Sort of, it’s very expensive yes but then so was my Helius (oh and the wheels!) It’s more that at the price, you oculd also have a Ti frame, which I think would actually perform better than in that it would be a lot lighter, just as stiff but also considerably more comfortable.
That said, if your value criteria don’t include this but do include customisatin, belt drive options and warranty, then yes, a Nicolai hard tail is not going to feel expensive.
Value is the sum of the utility we derive from the thing minus the price of the thing. When you look at things this way, the price stops being relevant.
That looks like a Mean Green Leith Hill machine
It does get ridden on the Surrey Hills yes, but it also goes to the Alps, Peak, Wales and elsewhere.Posted 4 years ago
Nickc – interesting.. i was looking at them too 😀 Sadly no belt drive though.. how you liking it? And what was the decider?
Geetee – haha, i’d imagine so! I’m thinking in terms of theft security, you cant exactly file something like that away! Although in your case it means instant STW recognition out on the trails
Interesting, i was reading your write up over on Mtbr, my only questions would be – how efficient are they for out of the saddle climbing? (and hows the stiffness?)
I have thought about Ti, especially considering it’s repetitive strain properties over alu. If i’m entirely honest i could do without the customisation, but the warranty and belt drive are crucial.. sadly there are lots of 29ers that would fit the bill but no 26ers that i could find!Posted 4 years agojk1980Member
Maurizio – I’ve just got a Shan – and I couldn’t be happier with it. I don’t know how they’ve done it, but it feels like it absorbs a few bumps for you without the feeling that its going to twist and bend. I’ve owned a few hardtails (Chameleon, Soul and Cannondale) and the Shan would smoke them all on a downhill. It feels planted and stable, accelerates out of bends and the angles feel perfect – I couldn’t recommend it enough.Posted 4 years agoduirMember
Max- drool, that’s gorgeous! How do you find out of the saddle climbing/the slack head angle?
I can vouch for the head angle on Max’s Argon as I extensively test rode his new bike recently all round glen clova carpark and it it didn’t feel too steep at all. It also didn’t look too steep going up the several munro’s on the 6 hour mountain epic but then again that’s with Max powering it and he’s just not a normal human.
If your ever in the peaks, drop a line and i’ll race you!
if you ever want to see how to ride a Nicolai hardtail insanely fast up or down anything then Max is your boy.
Here is my Nicolai hardtail but I paid extra to have the rear of the bike modified for old gits with bad backs.Posted 4 years ago
Jk1980 – interesting, you are tempting me to the dark side of steel.. Please, no more good stuff! 😆
Duir – that’s very good to hear, ofc from the sounds of it that’s not a fair comparison if Max is such a force of nature. Nonetheless I’m very grateful and excited to see how fast he his 😛 also, don’t worry about the modified rear, I’ll only laugh at you once 😈Posted 4 years ago
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