Answer, Knolly, Nicolai - Eurobike 2014

Aug 29, 2014
by Mike Levy  
Answer

The Rove pedal gets more traction and loses weight.


Answer's Updated Rove Pedal

Answer has made some changes to their popular Rove pedal in order to bring the weight down a bit while also upping traction, two points that their crew of testers in British Columbia came up with after much use. The latter concern has been addressed by new steel pins that sport a more aggressive shape to bite harder into the soles of shoes, although the fresh pins weren't quite ready in time for the show. The number of pins and their location hasn't changed, though, as Answer said that the layout has shown to be quite effective. Extra machining has also been performed on the pedal bodies in order to open up the slots on each side, two places that can see more material removed due to being mostly out of harms way.

Answer

Short and well done, Answer's new AME stem sports some smart details.


Answer All-Mountain Enduro Stem

It looks like Answer has covered all the bases with the name of their new stem, and there should be no confusion as to what its intentions are. Weight sits at just 103 grams for the shortest 31mm length, and MSRP is a reasonable $80 USD. There are six different lengths available: 31, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80mm, with the shortest option being as short as a stem can be without the backside of the handlebar's clamping area coming into contact with the fork's steerer tube. It also sports some nice details like opposing steerer tube clamp bolts that play nice with carbon fiber steerer tubes, and quality machining in places like the twin face plates that see them perfectly match the business end of the stem's handlebar clamp. It even comes with a nicely integrated top cap that sits flush with the top of the stem.


Colnago Uses Manitou's Updated Hex Lock QR15 Axle

We didn't get on so well with Manitou's 15mm thru-axle system when we reviewed their new Mattoc fork earlier this year - it's fast as hell when you do it right, but doing it right can be tricky - but it's getting an update for 2015 that's aimed at solving that issue. Our complaint came down to having it clocked correctly before sliding it in so that the T-shaped locking extension at the business end keyed into place correctly, and Manitou has now remedied that by machining a flat section along the length of the axle so that it sports a D shape that ensures it goes in properly no matter how much you try to mess it up. The T-shaped locking end also gets changed to a much sturdier looking design with chamfered edges that should also help make things easier. Here's how it works: flip the Hex Lock lever open, give it a twist and the axle pulls out of the fork. To install the axle, slide it in, twist the quick release lever one quarter turn to lock the T-shaped end in place, and then close the QR lever. The lever always indexes in the same spot, and a knurled dial inboard of it adjusts the closing force of the mechanism. It's great to see Manitou responding to feedback to one of our few criticisms, and you can expect to see the evolved axle design on the Mattoc and other Manitou forks in the near future.

Answer

Answer

Manitou updates their Hex Lock QR15 axle, and Colnago puts it into use on their carbon fiber road bike.


The updated design is also being cross-pollinated into the road world on Colnago's high-end, disc brake equipped race bike. Scratching your head? Disc brakes are becoming more common on road bikes and it's looking like the pro peloton will be full of them within the next few years, but combining them with the spindly quick releases usually employed on the bikes is only asking for disaster. At the same time, the racers and mechanics have to be able to get a wheel off the bike as quick as possible, so they don't want to be farting about with slow to use thru-axles. Enter Manitou's Hex Lock QR15 axle that is, so long as you get the process down pat, the quickest thru-axle system out there, especially now that Manitou has made the updates talked about above.




Knolly Endorphin

Knolly's much loved Endorphin now rolls on 27.5'' wheels.


Knolly's 27.5'' Wheeled Endorphin

Knolly's decision to take the Endorphin from 26'' wheels to 27.5'' wheels shouldn't come as a surprise given that's the way that everything is going, but I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't just a little bit sad to see them change the bike. You see, I really, really liked last year's Endorphin, and I said as much when I reviewed it back in August of 2013, so to see them make the jump to 'tweener wheels is a little bittersweet. That said, the bike was already an immensely formidable machine on technical climbs (best in class, actually), and the truth is that those abilities have likely been improved upon by the better approach angle of the 27.5'' hoops - I guess I'll have to review the new bike to find out, right? Wheel size isn't the only story here, though, as there have also been the expected changes to geometry and travel. The latter is bumped down to 130mm from the old bike's 140mm, while the rear end gets extended by just a few millimeters, and the frame is also updated with an internal cable routing option should you decide to go for the clean look. Claimed weight for a bare frame and shock sits at 6.5lb, and the new Endorphin will be available early in 2015.




Nicolai

Chris Porter's custom Nicolai features a massively long top tube combined with a short stem. This isn't your average mid-travel bike.



Chris Porter's Insane Custom Nicolai

If there's one bike at the show that I'd happily trade my dog for a single ride on, it'd be Mojo man Chris Porter's wild Nicolai. If it looks a little familiar, it's because it's loosely based on the German company's 160mm travel Ion 16, but it's pretty obvious that his machine's geometry is far from normal. How far out there is it? With a 690mm top tube length, 1,323mm long wheelbase, and two head angle options to have it sit at either 63.1 or 62.6 degrees, I'd say that it's pretty far removed from what we'd call normal for a mid-travel bike, especially given that Chris stands just over six feet tall. And given that he's the man behind Mojo Suspension, the UK location for FOX servicing and tuning, we're betting that his Float X shock and 36 fork also sport some non-stock bits inside of them.

Nicolai

Chris doesn't guess about things, does he? A digital timing device from the moto world ensures that he knows exactly how the changes he's making to his bike translate to on the trail.



View entire Eurobike 2014 Product Gallery Here


98 Comments

  • + 94
 What, no comments? I scrolled to the bottom to find out what I think of the above stuff but no-ones here. I'll come back in a bit!
  • + 2
 that nicolai front angle looks suspicious...
  • + 78
 Man that Nicolai is ugly!
  • + 3
 I know everyone here really loves the 'It looks like a XXXXXX' comments, so in my opinion it really looks like the old 90's GT RTS bikes. But longer. Waaaaaaay longer. And undoubtedly better.
  • + 15
 I love nicolai, they offer something different at least. The more I look at this bike the more i like it
  • + 8
 Forward Geometry
  • + 9
 Nicolai don't do ugly, they do factory as fuck! Would love to have a ride, although I'd be way too short for that top tube, but riding a mid travel bike with that sort of head angle would be so much fun.
  • + 0
 It is good that they try something different, but it still looks queer! and forward geometry is something patented by mondraker, not nicolai; the stem he is running is the mondraker one.
  • - 3
 Ugly for sure. They're the german Orange. Hanging onto stubbornly to the past!
  • + 26
 So for a little extra on top of the already high price for Nicholai's they say, on their website, they can adjust the geometry to suit your needs. So when I win Lotto I can get that Forward geometry, slammed chainstay, 12 inch bb, super low standover, 60 degree HA, Gearbox, 24inch, electric Fatbike that leaves behind it a wake of vomiting onlookers.
  • + 2
 basically...that or you can buy 4 or 5 bikes, and choose which one suits your style better...
  • + 1
 @stefanfresh Is this Nicolai really ugly, or maybe you are not so smart? I (at 186 cm) fill best with 630 top tube + 80 mm stem, and I would really like to try the same 710 mm composed of long top tube and super short stem. It must be at least different and funny.
  • + 5
 i wonder how it handles on a trail. My logic says, that there is a limit to the reasonable length of wheelbase, that maintains acceptable maneuverability without altering the wheel-size. Now, if those are standard 26* wheels, I figure this reasonable wheelbase is exceeded? Is there an engineer here, who can weigh in?
  • - 12
flag jozhua130 (Aug 29, 2014 at 6:07) (Below Threshold)
 I freakin hate teh nicolai logo, if it just say nicolai in the most simplest of font that would be awesome. also long tt is just long
  • - 2
 I feel like there is some greasy, long pointy nosed man designing these bikes with an evil smile '
  • + 3
 It's so long it can't fit in the photo!! Looks so nice though
  • + 2
 Surely single crown forks shouldnt be at that kind angle ? Head tube may take the stress but I dont think.steerers and stanctions will take it so well
  • + 1
 Nah I reckon a tapered 1.5 should be fine, it's not as if he's hucking to flat so it should be fine. Sooo slack though makes some dh bikes look like Xc
  • + 3
 Ugliest rat bastard piece of shit over the top bike ive ever seen. The owner of Mojo has spunked a load of dosh on a pig. Must handle horribly, the head angle is ludicrous.
  • - 8
flag stefanfresh (Aug 29, 2014 at 10:44) (Below Threshold)
 @milkdorp.First of all, this Nicolai is really ugly. Second of all, the question is, are you a morron or are you an a*shole, and the answer is neither, u are german, so I take that you were trying to be funny but for language limitations it didn´t seem that way. And finally I don´t know what it is u "fill" at 186cm,which is not like u are freakin BFG, but it certainly is not brains, the only different and funny thing here is you!
  • + 0
 That bike looks sick! First bike over the 1300mm wheelbase! If I ever got a 160mm travel bike I'd have similar geometry (same headangle) though with a shorter toptube seeing as I'm 180cm.
  • + 3
 Chris Porter is no idiot. His thinking is way outside the norm but he seems to know what he's talking about!
www.bikeradar.com/blog/article/interview-chris-porter-on-his-custom-nicolai-ion-16-41053
  • + 3
 a bike that slack will not go up a hill. why didn't he just ask them to make a full on slack as fuck, get over anything DH bike
  • + 0
 Yep, the Nicolai is FURCKING UGLY!
  • + 2
 @symanoy - Thanks for linking that. I'm still not fond of the way that bike looks - I guess I'm not Bauhaus material - but after reading what Chris Porter said about bike fit and geo I'd definitely try it! (I'm not sure I agree with him about longer chainstays, but he definitely made me question and think about they way I normally view things.)
  • + 2
 @jordanneedsafork having ridden with Chris I can tell you it does go up hill. Not as well as a WC XC bike maybe but you can climb it.

It helps that it is very, very light too.
  • + 1
 really damn! yeah being light would help
  • + 3
 Symanoy that was a good read. The bike looks better next to him. It looks smaller. Interesting views on geometry, thick thin chainrings and clutch derailleurs.
  • + 35
 Long bike is long
  • + 21
 They forgot the second sit on the Nicolai's tandem
  • + 19
 I wish Nutella would release a bucket sized portion. Those jars are just too small.
  • + 16
 Like a 29" jar?
  • + 4
 You can buy Nutella in 5 kg buckets
  • + 5
 You can actually buy a 5Kg (11lb) jar of Nutella, good luck consuming it before the BB dateSmile Smile

www.amazon.com/Ferrero-Nutella-Made-Italy-Giant/dp/B003NL9MPW

[IMG]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vxB_wpUM4FY/TkVb32qZqsI/AAAAAAAABN0/X1931a51h5Y/s1600/giant%2Bnutella%2Bjar.jpg[/IMG]
  • + 7
 If the Podium changes to 27.5 then I will cry.
  • + 4
 Guess what....Get your kleenex out.

Thanks trendy bike buyers, for only buying 27.5" wheels because the market told you to!!!! A small company like Knolly can't afford to stubbornly be the only one selling 26ers and they can't afford to have two wheel sizes of each bike in their lineup ready to sell. Kind of like Yeti's SB66c - best bike no one would buy. All WC Dhers are selecting 'tweener wheels over 26ers, so why wouldn't Knolly produce a bike to play along? Regardless of wheel size, I sure would like to see a top-level pro or three on a Podium - on the podium. I know they can't afford to field a WC race team, but it would be fun to see.
  • + 3
 Right. I took a 6-year hiatus from mountain biking and come back to this 27.5 fiasco. I honestly didn't believe it at first. Clearly seems like a marketing stint - a perfect excuse to sell more product. Back in '08 29ers were a niche product; understandably. And now the 26er will soon be extinct?!
  • + 5
 Glass half full -- time to find a 26 Podium or Endorphin frame on the cheap. By the time you destroy it, 26 will be back in fashion.
  • + 6
 It will, despite all the pinkbike whiners tears. Ya know why? Because the people who are actually spending money and buying new bikes are buying 650b. Call it trendy, call it marketing, call it what you will, but bike companies have to make money, and right now the money is in 650b. There's nothing wrong with riding 26ers, but you have to accept that if you're not buying a new bike, or new bikes, you don't get to determine what the market does.
  • + 3
 27.5 being successful is just proof there are a lot of morons with money
  • + 2
 I would also cry if the chilcotin went 650. I'm hoping that since they have shore roots and their sponsored riders are free riders that they will at least keep a 26 option.
  • + 1
 Or it's proof that there just aren't any 26 options for people who need new bikes with warranties.
  • + 5
 People buying 27.5 doesn't mean that's the market's choice; when you have no option for a 26, then I'd argue we're being "forced" into one direction...

1.5 inches. REALLY?!
  • + 3
 YOU HAD THE CHOICE LAST YEAR, AND DIDN'T USE IT!!!!!! STOP THE BITCHING ALREADY!!!!!!
  • + 6
 You can call people who buy 650b morons, you can say the market is forcing the choice, but the proof is in the numbers. Do you know how many SB66s, one of the most universally loved 26ers out there, were actually sold by Yeti last year through an LBS at something approaching normal retail? Here's a hint: you can count the number on your fingers. And yet the SB95 sold thousands, as did the SB75, and as is the SB5.

You want to change that? Go to your LBS and make the Process 167, Evil uprising, closeout enduro evo's (or whatever 26ers are still on the market) the best selling bikes around. If your wallet balks at that, then you are only confirming the industry's decision to switch.
  • + 1
 Well I just picked up a 26" endorphin frame and it's mint. Got a great deal on it and it climbs beautifully and is really fun to ride. I happen to also have a 650 Heckler and that bike is a blast too!
  • + 2
 Willie, not everyone can afford to buy a bike when they want to... I've wanted a podium and a chilcotin for a while but I'm still currently riding an 08 Ironhorse Sunday that I bought from a friend.
  • + 2
 Lots of people bought a Sony Betamax when they came out. The rationale that the purchasing of "newer technology" implies it's better is fundamentally at fault. Unfortunately in this instance, we all know there's no real clear advantage of the additional 1.5 inches, but also no fault (other than it being a marketing stint); so it will likely prevail, at our expense of course!
  • + 1
 NovemberBravo: If you are riding a 2008 bike, and can't afford a new one, why would you be upset that the standard has changed? You do realize that people who cannot afford new bikes are NOT who the manufacturers are marketing to, right?
  • + 1
 Im not neccesaraly (sp) upset that the standard has changed (im debating 650b for my next bike). I was more just commenting that not everyone had the chance last year.
  • + 2
 The people who can afford bikes are who the companies are selling to. I have been making this point for three years. Neg prop me for all I care. Economics is pretty simple, but a lot of people don't get it, or want to ignore it. Again, if you can't afford this years product, the manufacturers would be stupid to make a bike for you. Are you going to buy your 2014 bike at full price in 2016 when you choose to buy? It's absurd.
  • + 2
 It's a proven fact that the buying public, for the most part, are not too bright and buy what they are told to buy.
Unfortunatly power users that actually see through the BS are the minority & the market never favors them.
  • + 1
 If everyone was getting duped, how long before the system collapses? I guess one person thinks economics doesn't make sense based on the neg props.
  • + 1
 @loamydog: man you crazy!
  • + 0
 It is most definitely not 1.5" difference between 26" and 650B. Stop calling it 27.5
  • + 0
 26" wheels are only 26" when using 1.95 or 1.75 tires. It's 26" that's mis sized, stop calling 26" 26", because it isn't 26".
  • + 1
 @loamy: loamy loam
  • + 2
 Those Answer pedals look mighty familiar........ I could imagine the following scene at a design meeting:

Designer A "I need some inspiration for these new pedals, any ideas?"
Designer B "Sure, take a look at this, I hear the Nano is well received" (Throws HT components catalog in designer A's general direction).

There are a mind-boggling number of pedals on the market that resemble Nanos, not that that is a bad thing. Great pedals at a reasonable price Nanos, and Answer appear to have added more that "look like" the very same.
  • + 1
 probably because HT makes a lot of people's pedals. They're one of those infamous Taiwanese manufacturers that makes everything that you hear about.
  • + 1
 if someone is going to make a clone, copy something like HT AE01s that use THIN pins that actually keep your feet glued to the pedals without needing 5.10s.
  • + 1
 They're not clones, they are the original. Companies buy them and have their logo lazer etched on them. Its just like Novatec hubs, They make almost everyone else's hubs.
  • + 6
 Trade your dog?! WTF?!
  • + 3
 Explain to me how making a bike heavier at the wheels( by increasing from 26"-27.5) makes it climb better?

E13 proved just the opposite yesterday.
  • + 2
 Sigh, physics is too hard for some people.
  • + 2
 I guess the better roll over counter acts it.. plus that only applies on acceleration
  • + 4
 I thought that knolly looked awesome till I saw that nicolai! Wow! Love straight tubes!
  • + 7
 Love having my balls smashed into the frame. Love smashing my thighs with my frame when I lean my bike underneath me.
  • + 4
 Finally people will have something else to match their oddly coloured red Mattoc with..
  • + 0
 Check again people, you can get a custom, hand made by the best engineers/craftsmen in the business Nicolai frame in the finish of your choice for no more than the price of any other trendy made in Taiwan frame that everyone else has. Nicolai make engineering works of art for pure function. Their bikes will still be in one piece long after others have died.
  • + 3
 "quality machining in places like the twin face plates that see them perfectly match"
Me speak them good.
  • + 1
 Noel Buckley introduces the Knolly Endorphin 27.5 and 2015 lineup. youtu.be/yGVtkeySJuI?list=UU6vmyw3GQTiPnKEh1ne4JcQ
  • + 2
 Nice job answer for making a wide variety of stem lengths available. Their stuff always offers good bang for the buck.
  • + 2
 Why knolly so good? Need more reps in Australia
  • + 2
 If you go to the Knolly forum on MTBR you can get some great insight as to why they rock
  • + 1
 Speak to Mike at Endless Flow. He is an importer of knolly in Aus and very helpful. Had a few demo days of late to and they should out a smile on your face.
  • + 0
 "With a 690mm top tube length, 1,323mm long wheelbase, and two head angle options to have it sit at either 63.1 or 62.6 degrees..."...OMG!
  • + 1
 That Nicolai looks like a plowing machine. Designed for sitting through roots and rock gardens, not popping over them.
  • + 1
 Nicolai makes a long bike for a short rider based on how far up they have that saddle.
  • + 1
 not feeling the look of that nicolai but hey its got some tech kit on there! DAT KNOLLY DOE!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 The head angle of that Nicolai enduro bike is way too big
  • + 2
 that nicolai is as long as a truck with a trailer
  • + 2
 I think chris porter must ride a Harley in his spare time
  • + 2
 Yep that Nicolai is ugly, but what would I know I'm just a landscaper.
  • + 3
 Nature is the best landsacper
  • + 2
 Nicolai bikes are unbelievable handcrafted works of art. but that one....
  • + 1
 Nicolai ebike in the background? I bet that's fun.
  • + 1
 Nicolai built what ever you want, if you can Pay for it.
  • + 1
 What maxxis tires are those ? On the ENDURO yellow wheels . ?
  • + 1
 Ardent Race out back and High Roller up front.
  • + 1
 Thanks
  • + 1
 Thru axles on road bikes, whats becoming of this world. Frown
  • + 1
 Is that a kashima coated spacer on the Nicoli, that's factory..
  • + 1
 Looks like a tandem!
  • + 1
 gotta love knolly
  • + 1
 Because Knolly.
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