Nicolai

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  • Nicolai
  • Unless I find last night’s winning lottery ticket I ain’t getting one anytime soon but damn they’re good to look at.
    So it would be really nice if those of you fortunate to have one could post some pictures of them…

    Premier Icon shredder
    Subscriber

    2011 Helius CC
    Currently undergoing a bit of a build kit update.So other than frame and fork not a lot of the build kit pictured remains.

    d45yth
    Member

    Have a look on the MTBR Nicolai forum…then it’ll be like being in a sweetshop!

    patriotpro
    Member

    Would love a go on the black one, it looks like a proper monster. It’s looked built up with a descending bias, what’s it like to ride?

    Premier Icon Bregante
    Subscriber

    Crappy iPhone pic: 2010 Helius CC


    Untitled by redmancunian69, on Flickr

    The new Helius TB 130mm bike looks good.

    Cheers folks. They just look ‘right’….off to MTBR

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Not mine – a mates.

    IMG_3275 by ScotRoutes, on Flickr

    ‘Urban camo’…..does he a UN-blue helmet as well?

    Just re-read the piece in Privateer about them.

    Please note – I took advantage of their 8 issues for £16 offer. If I could afford to pay full price I’d have my own f***ing Nicolai 😉

    boltonjon
    Member

    My mate runs one – awesome machine. Built like an old Panzer tank, but climbs well and descends like a lunatic

    Very nice bikes – i keep accidently looking at their web page – in particular the gearbox version

    I’d also say that they are a great 2nd hand buy due to the transferable warranty

    Get it done!

    Premier Icon Bregante
    Subscriber

    I’d also say that they are a great 2nd hand buy due to the transferable warranty

    This.

    I bought mine off Mildred on here with over 4 years of the 5 year transferrable warranty left. Recently there have been a few 2 and 3 yr old frames on here around the £500-£600 mark. Bargains IMO.

    Premier Icon Mugboo
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    That’s it, I’m off to check my ticket..

    nicolaisam
    Member

    My Ac

    Has the red gearbox back in it now

    spanishfly
    Member

    BG, “Messiah” please what rear mech are you using with the Hammer’ ?

    Cheers

    Premier Icon ahsat
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    Nicolai Helius CC by ahsatb, on Flickr

    Bit updated now with replacement forks etc, but overall look is the same! Must rephoto is at somepoint.

    Its brilliant! Built like a tank and descends like a beast!


    Chopwell by ahsatb, on Flickr

    messiah
    Member

    spanishfly – BG, “Messiah” please what rear mech are you using with the Hammer’ ?

    Short cage 9spd Saint. Works brilliantly with the Hammerschmidt… although I guess it’s a bit weird having a SRAM front shifter and a Shimano rear; although it works great so who cares if it’s a bit weird.

    My AM in a more mile munching build.

    geetee1972
    Member

    Aha, my favourite kind of thread 😀 Mine is a full custom frame, tailored to my own sizing and geometry.

    Nicolais are definitely not inexpensive, but neither would I say are they particularly pricey. You’ll be looking at £2k for a frame and shock, which is easily comparable to anything from the US boutique brands.

    Factor in the build quality and that they are hand made in house by top class engineers (rather than fabricated in Taiwan – no bad thing but then it begs the question what is the premium you’re paying for Yeti, SC etc for? Plus let’s face it Intense may be hand made in the US but their frame alignment is rubbish) and they start to look good value – remember value is not about price, it’s about benefits versus costs.

    Second hand Nic’s are the steal of the century. For some reason, they just don’t hold their value despite the build quality, reliability and transferable warranty. I think it’s because if you want a Nicolai, you want the opportunity to customise it to your own specs and you’re not always too bothered about saving the money.

    Premier Icon tomaso
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    Messiah wins the sexiest Nicolai competition!

    Not being very clued up which model is that? I’m guessing with the chunly Bombers its not a CC?

    geetee1972
    Member

    It’s a Helius AM and clearly I win the award not Messiah 😀 <readies himself to flounce out of the forum>

    The AM is still available but it’s looking like it will be superceded by the Ion 16. Personally I would still prefer the versatility of the AM; you can chose the travel options and in the 155mm mode rather than the 171mm setting, the bike does pedal significantly better and is a better UK bike for most of what it would be asked to do.

    The higher setting is perfect for the Alps and UK DH courses though.

    messiah
    Member

    Thanks Tomaso… but I prefer Geetee’s; I’d like a little tweak to the geometry of mine (a very little tweak really and hence probably not worth doing), and just look at those ENVE wheels!!! 😯 .

    Mine is indeed a three year old Helius AM. It’s had quite a lot of changes over the three years as when I bought it I was a bit tight for cash so it had a very second hand bargain hunting build (it was still awesome and was/is the best bike I have ever had). Over the last three years I’ve tried quite a few different builds on it as I’m a faffer and each build had an event or something requiring the changes, so it’s been pimped and improved to where it is now… it’s currently looking a little different again… 🙄

    I’ll post a photo tonight if I get a chance.

    One thing about second hand Nicolai’s is knowing how old they are and hence what the geometry is. Some of the second hand frames look in great condition but are much older than they look so the geometry might be a bit odd with modern forks.

    What I like about Nicolai’s is that I’ve not broken one in the eight years I’ve been an owner (I’ve had three)… if I like a frame and ride it hard they tend not to last a year. I sometimes look at other manufacturers but I suspect my next big bike will another Nicolai. I’d love an Argon AM hardtail but as a second bike I’ll buy (and probably break 🙄 ) other cheaper options.

    As Geetee says the AM is extremely versatile, full on doonhalling with stormtroopers one day and climbing munro’s the next. Brilliant bit of kit.

    Premier Icon tomaso
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    GeeTee its very nice and all but its not a Black Bike with Bombers!

    Anywhere handy to gen up on the evolving frame geometry of Nicolai AMs?

    geetee1972
    Member

    Tomaso, it’s cool – I know black is often the preferred choice!

    There is quite a useful description of the updates to Nicolai frames here.

    What are you looking for in terms of use?

    messiah
    Member

    not a Black Bike with Bombers!

    Fair enough… but your not going to like my newest version of the AM then :mrgreen:

    Tech Sheets and Tech Sheets Archive at Nicolai.net has plenty of info LINKY or ask about specific versions on the MTBR Nicolai forum where some very knowledgeable people hang out.

    Early AM’s had a 200*57 rear shock and last three years have 215*63. There are other changes around head angle and bottom bracket height and there are custom versions and other changes available so it’s helpfull to know details of what frame your looking at.

    Premier Icon tomaso
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    Just dreaming of a perfect Lakes bike :mrgreen: to haul up mountain passes and back down.

    messiah
    Member

    A bit like this then…

    Top of a Munro in the Grampian Highlands 😀

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    All-black Nicolais are about as good as it gets for sussers. Geetee’s is looking particularly sorted too. If I ever get another susser, it’ll be German, matt black and proper bad-ass. With Conti Rammstein project tyres. Damn cool bike company..

    wattsymtb
    Member

    I’ve had 2 and really want another.

    Maybe one I can pedal next time.

    The little one was so much fun.

    A bit like this then…

    Top of a Munro in the Grampian Highlands

    I’m guessing that’s Broad Cairn with Loch Muick in the background?

    messiah
    Member

    I’m guessing that’s Broad Cairn with Loch Muick in the background?

    😉

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Must admit I’m just not getting the love for these bikes. By all accounts the build quality is excellent and I guess (from all the fans) that they must be great to ride. But aesthetically I’m just not getting it. Mind you, I think a Five looks good, so what do I know.

    Great to read that those who have them love then and clearly have fun on them though.

    Yetiman
    Member

    Another Munro shot – Sgor Gaoith with my Helius FR (now split ready for sale sadly)

    wattsymtb
    Member

    All of my friends thought both of mine had looks only a mother could love. I now have an Orange Alpine and although I love the way it rides I just don’t get that same feeling looking at it.

    I can feel that I am in the initial stages of convincing myself I need another one. What is the difference between all of the helius range? I’m assuming:
    CC-Cross Country
    AM- All Mountain
    FR- FreeRide

    Are there any others and what are the actual differences?

    Premier Icon Bregante
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    AC, All Country? (dunno but it’s “more” than the now discontinued CC and less than AM)

    Hopefully this is not too much of a highjack but I’m thinking new bike time in the next couple of months. Currently have a 6 YO SC Blur LT2 which has been brilliant, so the default is a new SC in carbon to save weight, but I really like the Nicolai after seeing Messiah’s a couple of years ago.

    One comment from an LBS owner I respect said that he had tried a Nicolai and it had poor small bump compliance because of the stiction in the all-bushing suspension. That comment posted on MTBR didn’t really get a satisfactory response except from Messiah which was that it’s possibly a bit stickier. So UK Nicolai owner’s views on this observation?

    If that’s not an issue then its going to be a question of SC to save a reasonable amount of weight or Nicolai for robustness?

    geetee1972
    Member

    It’s an interesting point and maybe true but if it is its not a hindrance to speed or grip. It works extremely well over rough ground and it has great feedback and feel, being very neutral in its character. That means you really know what’s going on under the wheels and there are no odd suspension characteristics to throw you off. Compared to say an SC Nomad, which has quite a distinct ‘feel’ to the way the suspension works.

    messiah
    Member

    Captain; as I think I said when this came up before there is more stiction to the bushing pivots than there is in bearings. I can feel it in the Nicolai bushings in the workstand compared to the Intense I had before which was bearings… but I can’t feel it when 13 stone of idiot is throwing it down a mountain track. Bearings or bushings designed correctly (and looked after) will do the job and last a reasonable period… I’d go by the track record of the company rather than what system… I wouldn’t go choosing one bike over another on such a detail (unless a company was trying something bizzare like chocolate lubricated bushings or marshmallow bearing surfaces 😕 ).

    messiah, I think the point is that if you guys who actually ride Nicolai’s think that the stiction and that small bump compliance is fine in real life then that’s good enough for me. Was trying to get as wide a view as possible as we all have slightly rose tinted glasses on stuff that we ride. 🙂

    It was never going to be the case of buying a bike on that basis alone, more a case that it would have been a biggish negative to put on the balance sheet.

    Anyone else any thoughts on this before I head back to the Nicolai colour configurator?

    messiah
    Member

    Anodised Nicolai frames all the way… hence all the Black Ano Nicolai’s you see. Boring it may be… but it’s a tough finish which is lighter and more hard wearing than paint… and every gram is a prisoner of gravity 😆

    wattsymtb
    Member

    I never noticed either of mine having more stiction than any other bike I have owned or ridden.

    Get back on the colour charts.

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 71 total)

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