Video: NICOLAI - The ION 18 Process

Dec 5, 2012
by Tyler Maine  
Views: 27,155    Faves: 244    Comments: 6


www.nicolai.net


106 Comments

  • + 46
 All i can say is, German quality
  • + 6
 Krupp steel ;DD
  • + 8
 And as Jeremy Clarkson would say ''cooler thvee veeks''
  • + 1
 sicher,,sicher
  • + 5
 Zee German's!!!
  • + 2
 Undoubted quality, but it doesn't look too pretty. I think "Industrial" is the word.
  • + 4
 would you like some trail with your rock?
  • + 9
 Engineering porn
  • - 4
flag Sidor666 (Dec 6, 2012 at 5:42) (Below Threshold)
 I hope that they spent at least the same amount of time on designing as on building it. Too bad they didn't ask if it's pretty...
  • + 2
 Yeah what's that trail??? Big Grin Looks awesome!
  • + 23
 Really like these type of videos, think its cool to see how its all done. And that trail at the end looked so good!
  • + 6
 That trail was immense !

Looks like a dried up stream bed ? Now on the hunt for dried out streams !
  • + 6
 don't think theres any dried up streams in the UK right now.... sure as hell aren't any on the shore with our rain
  • + 13
 Yep the only dry thing in the UK right now is our humor ...
  • + 3
 And my penis
  • + 1
 You go out in Swindon on the piss and have a dry penis ? Find more drunk girls.
  • + 0
 Pinkrooms... find the vulnerable girls
  • + 11
 The true way to build something- to create it with your own hands, the german way to build a bike- to create it with simple methods and tools, and create with your hands. Bow to NICOLAI. I think that this way of bulding frames and bikes represents the passion of mountain biking !
  • + 8
 I wonder how good it feels to build a bike from scratch, see it through the creation process, paint, stickers, welding etc, then go ride the same bike.... I love this video!
  • + 6
 I have a Nicolai! Better than a Nicolai, only 2 Nicolais!! Never stop building them in aluminuim and in Germany!! Never had carbon, never will!
  • + 4
 Awesome video! Great to see some hand built love going into those sweet bikes ! Keep up the great work and inspiring designs !! That eroded stream bed trail.....looked like a lot of fun !
  • + 6
 No porn on the factory walls? Is what it is thoSmile Frikkin sweet!
  • + 2
 Incredible attention to detail is why you pay through the nose for a Nicolai... But, and I know I'm going to get negs for this.. It looks crap! The standover is huge with that straight top tube, the design is very reminiscent of what you would see in the early noughties, or late 90's. Probably rides nice, but looks are so high on most peoples agenda's, and that isn't much of a looker..
  • + 3
 depends on your tastes. lots of bikes have straight top tubes and the don't affect anything. function over form. they're definitely not for everyone, but i like the industrial look. i don't like the weight, though.
  • + 1
 I'm with you, I don't dig the coloring, but I bet this would look so sick just raw
  • + 1
 WA WA WEE WA. So so nice. I love these 'how its made' videos. As an ex fabrication engineer, I just made a huge mess on my keyboard. We need more of these videos for components etc, they really let you know what you are sitting on or using when riding which for me sort of increases the trust I have in my equipment.... To end it with that trail is like smoking a cig after sex. Perfect. More please. I'm ready for round 2!!!
  • + 3
 I've had two Nic's, a BMXTB and a Helius ST.....the welds on a Nicolai are truly the industry standard, awesome bikes! Cool video and good to see them get some coverage.
  • + 3
 The first time a laid my eyes on a Nicolai was 13 years ago when a friend of mine's brother build one, i thought it was the sexiest machine ever. Still do...
  • + 1
 I have considered it, but the market is super saturated and its very hard to start a new brand and make any profit these days; I have seen first hand the huge stress my good buddy Keith @ Banshee Bikes has gone through in the past few years and Banshee is an established brand with their own manufacturer in place

actually got 99% close to undertaking another opportunity about Bombproof folded, until I realised I could not trust the investor 100% (even though I saw the money) and pulled out. We were talking about creating a moto inspired, gearbox bike brand called "Manic" with our own shop network offering finance deals, service packages, etc.

Hardest thing I have ever had to walk away from!

since then? spent my time working in the financial sector and then the administrative sector, until getting back into the bike retail game managing bike shops and workshops, getting closer to working something up around a new business (service centre) in Central London...keep eyes open Wink
  • + 3
 Kalle´s Company built outstanding bikes and the quality is amazing...my 99Lambda is still alive and kicking! :rock:
  • + 1
 brilliant vid, I've always wondered about the steps that went into making a downhill frame! absolutely gorgeous craftsmanship on that frame, even if the color scheme and overall design are a bit industrial for my tastes...
  • + 1
 so I went to their website and built a frame, but because I am an American who is ignorant to the euro, the site priced it at 2.699,00... Am I right in assuming that is about $3500.00 U.S.?
  • + 4
 Yeaaaah. I think that's about right. the bike looks great, but, um, isn't that all carbon fiber santa cruz v10 with a great warranty also 3500 for the frame? Premium bike builders simply aren't going to get business with their frames priced so high!
  • + 14
 You get five years of warranty for the frame and you can still get spare parts after many many years... Beside you are getting a fully customized frame. You can choose nearly every colour that you want for every part of the frame. Not like the 1213176143810 V-10 or Demo in black or the same design. Choose your type of headtube, seat tube and so on. And you can speak to the company owner personally on the telephone if you have a problem Wink . This is what you pay for. If this is not worth your money, buy something else...
  • + 3
 I don't have a problem with companies charging what they do for their products...If the price isn't right, people wouldn't pay it. I was more concerned with my math... But, having said that-- I loved the customizing options they give you. It looks like you can add the internal geared hub if you wanted, umongst other cool custom choices. I view Nicolai like I view Bentley, Aston Martin, etc... I would love to have one, built just for me, if I was able to afford it. That is the price for being unique, rare and different.
  • + 3
 Agreed. You pay for the hand built craftsmanship. everything built with artisan craftsmanship is going to be expensive no matter what the product is.
  • + 1
 Minus ~20% of VAT. Mine Helius shipped was about the same in $ as the quoted price in Eur. Cheaper than popular plastic frames around here. Yeah, heavier, don't notice.
  • + 1
 this one i could buy it´s the first one that i looked and like the rest of their bikes not so much but the quality is very good if not one of the best in all industry of bike making
  • + 2
 I love both my Nicolais. Great to see the birth of a new bike. German guy needs subtitles, and the Germans have never been famous for good taste in dance music...
  • + 1
 Kraftwerk
  • + 2
 He basically explains how the Ion 18 compares to previous Ion models and to the bigger Ion 20. It is light and agile and can also be used for DH oriented enduro, when applying a single crown.

For a taste of good German dance music, try this: www.robert-johnson.de and www.kompakt.fm/labels/live_at_robert_johnson Check out Robag Wruhme, Kollektiv Turmstrasse and Dominik Eulberg.

Kraftwerk is soooo old and cheezy. I guess they are only famous abroad for being somewhat the Rammstein of electronic music. There are not many people in Germany who still listen to them.
  • + 1
 Yeah, Robert Johnson sounds better Smile
  • + 1
 My Nicolai Ion ST is a beauty, a real head turner and such a balanced and great handling bike. twice in the Dirt 100 what more can you say..
  • + 1
 I would love one so bad now! Looks like a lot off care and attention goes in, fantastic trail at the end, like an old river bed or something, awesome!
  • + 2
 Is that a dry river/stream bed theyre riding on at the end? Pretty cool idea if it is!
  • + 1
 Yeah looked awesome , chances of finding anything dry over here are pretty slim though:P
  • + 2
 Wow!! This is really nice! Germans are well known for quality components, items, bikes, etc. Nice video!
  • + 0
 No doubt, getting my Volkswagen serviced cost an arm and a leg


Windshield wipers - $100 EACH !
  • + 1
 Proud owner of a Nicolai here. I love the fact Nicolai designs and actually makes the bike. Support brands that actually make bikes!
  • + 1
 wow! Here in Czech rep. you can see their bikes...almost 10 years old and guys still riding it. This new looks similar to liteville, really nice. Thumbs up!
  • + 1
 i had a nicolai back in 97. it was one of the old mongoose team DH bikes. a trombone shock in the rear and a Judy DH up front. Magura Johnny Ts. that bike was awesome
  • + 2
 German + bmw m power ,audi rs ,Mercedes AMG and more not stop now on bikes German staff is good
  • + 2
 it is up to us as riders/consumers to support companies like this.
  • + 1
 Very cool to see how awesome things you can make out of few aluminium tubes.
  • + 2
 the trail they used for testing looks sooooo sweet!
  • + 2
 i totally understand what he is saying...
  • + 1
 that was a really great video. its awesome to see how a bike is built and how it is ridden in the same vid.
  • + 2
 i have this frame!!! it's a pleasure to ride in NICOLAI.
  • + 2
 WANT!! I love the 'no-fuss' shapes of Nicolai frames. Simple and effective
  • + 1
 What happened to the subtitles ?
  • + 1
 Anything hand mad is beautiful... especially bikes(motorcycle or MTB)!
  • + 1
 that is the freshest ride ive seen in a long time! looks amazing!
  • + 1
 Sweet. Would have been sweeter with one of their gearbox options.
  • + 1
 last 2 minut - great terrain !
  • + 1
 my best bike yet the ion 18..by far
  • + 1
 looks kinda like the santa cruz vp free
  • + 1
 Killer !! So inspiring to me Smile
  • + 1
 love these kind of videos!
  • + 1
 I like this Bike. Nice vid.
  • + 1
 More inside the manufacturing type videos please pinkbike, this is great!
  • + 1
 That looks like a sick place to ride
  • + 2
 Nice handmade! Love it!
  • + 1
 And that is where the price comes from.
  • + 1
 I got Ion 20, best bike ever Smile
  • + 1
 Building bikes must be one of the nicest jobs...
  • + 1
 "The Germans always make good shit." - Shamwow Guy
  • + 2
 engineering porn
  • + 1
 bet you it weighs a ton
  • + 1
 SONG SONG SONG ??? Smile
  • + 3
 the original on youtube only has this link as credits for the song:


www.lowcash-music.de


www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR8bqmOMitw
original youtube link
  • + 0
 its a remix of Tell Me by Lowcash. thats the best i can do at the moment...
  • + 1
 really a nice frame
  • + 1
 What a beautiful bike!
  • - 2
 Is it strange that they have 2 bending steps to get the frames straight and true? If you weld it straight and true in a jig shouldnt it be straight?
  • + 2
 some times they warp as they are welded or as the cool.
  • + 9
 Frames can warp in post welding T6 heat treating also. It's normal for aluminium to do that. Good to see it double checked though.
  • + 6
 Not necessarily, heating any metal will cause stresses in the metal and warping, if you held it really tight, it'd just spring out of shape after removing from the jig
  • + 5
 good to know and good to see that they check it...twice
  • + 0
 WOW, newsflash, that's how all frames are made.
  • + 0
 I half agree with you. Indeed, all frames, no matter how cheap, are hand made. This is why I think the "Hand Made Bike Show" name is stupid and misleading. But, not all frames are made with this much care and attention to detail!
  • + 7
 Nicolai have always been known for uncompromising quality in their design and manufacture

expensive, yes...

at times....looking somewhat 'dated' with their round tubing and gussets, compared to the curvy hydroformed, more fashionable frames being made in Taiwan factories (who admittedly make very good products for the big design/marketing companies like Specialized, Trek, etc.)

but Karl Nicolai has paid his dues as an apprentice of Horst Leitner (AMP Research, Ca, USA - a.k.a. Mr Horst Pivot, a.k.a. Mr. Specialized FSR = a man who changed mountain bike suspension design for ever)

and Nicolai manufacturers his own frames in his own plant in Germany (which is why they are more expensive), but the brand is legendary for the highest tolerances with many of their frames have an adjustment feature on the rear dropout to actually align the dropout pair within 1/10ths of mms

I've always had mad respect for Karl Nicolai because he is a shining example of how to do "domestic" manufacturing right, like Devinci in Quebec, Canada, and also showed me how domestic manufacturing can succeed

which is something I failed to do with my own FS frame manufacturing company "Bombproof Bikes" in the 1990s when a business partner convinced me to go 'off-shore' (we ended up in Australia) rather than the harder, but truer route of domestic on-shore manufacturing where you have full control
  • + 3
 Got any pics of your Bombproof bikes you can post up Mr.Bandit ? Would love to see them
  • + 2
 Bombproof D-1 using the 1st generation AMP rear suspension system

gp1.pinkbike.org/p4pb5488153/p4pb5488153.jpg

Bombproof D-2- using the 2nd generation AMP rear suspension system

gp1.pinkbike.org/p4pb5488180/p4pb5488180.jpg

Bombproof D-3 using my own version of the horst pivot with the new 4-bar development, Stratos Air-Shock with remote lockout, and our own dual crown Upside down fork with White Bros damper and coil spring, Sachs hydraulic disc brakes and Quartz groupset

gp1.pinkbike.org/p4pb7761934/p4pb7761934.jpg
  • + 1
 Thanks man interesting pics , you must of been buzzing about having your own bike company , shame it went to shit.
  • + 1
 thanks for the interest. it was certainly an interesting lesson. we tried pretty much everyone in the UK, but no one could make an aluminium-alloy mountain bike frame at the quality we needed. we got loads of samples from different vendors that were just not acceptable.

our vendor in Australia (CaTi bikesports) was making suspension and hardtail frames for a number of different USA and Australian brands. certainly seemed a legit operation, I even got to spend time in Cairns at the factory, but unfortunately they disappeared with everyone's money just before our first production run was due to ship out Frown


the lesson learned the hard way? I should have listened to my first business partner who was set on manufacturing in the North-East (Newcastle) despite their being more setup costs and initial risks.
  • + 1
 Sounds like a pretty stressful experience , ever considered giving it a go again now you have had these previous experiences ? And are older/wiser/know what direction you wanna go in ?
  • + 1
 amazing trail ¡¡¡¡¡
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