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Bike Check & Shop Tour: Lal Bikes' Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Test Sled

May 23, 2023
by Brian Park  

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
BIKE CHECK
Lal Bikes'
Nicolai Nucleon
16 Supre
Words & Photos by Brian Park
The first Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre in North America.

A few weeks back I stopped in at Lal Bikes' new headquarters on the Sunshine Coast, BC, to catch up with Cedric Eveleigh and shoot photos of this, the only Nicolai Nucleon 16 in North America (so far). Cedric recently went to Germany to drop off drivetrain parts and pick up this pre-production frame Nucleon 16 frame to serve as a test sled. Since then, a few final tweaks have been made, such as adding a port in the dropout for routing the derailleur housing, and Nicolai is building production frames right now.

Lal Bikes' Supre Drive, developed by Cedric, made a huge splash when it was announced in late 2021. The drivetrain system separates the gear-selection and chain-tensioning components, keeping the derailleur out of harm's way and protecting it from rocks, sticks, or in my case, poor line choice. It is designed for high-pivot bike frames and requires the frame to be built specifically to accommodate the drivetrain's requirements, so despite how promising the design is, it's got a difficult path to mass adoption.

A year and a half later though, it's almost available for purchase. Germany's Nicolai Bicycles, known for their love of unconventional drivetrains, is the first company to bring a Supre-equipped bike to the market with the Nucleon 16 Supre. Read Seb Stott's coverage of the Nucleon for a deep dive into its geometry and kinematics.
Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
Alex (left) joined Cedric (right) at Lal in early 2023.

Cedric Eveleigh
Age: 28
Hometown: Chelsea, Quebec, Canada
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 74 kg
Instagram: @cedriceveleigh

Alex Ham
Age: 29
Hometown: Stellenbosch, South Africa
Height: 186 cm
Weight: 72 kg
Instagram: @alex_ham_

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
Nicolai used this bike as the guinea pig for a new green/purple paint and it looks amazing. Apologies for not being able to fully capture it in photos.

2002 Nicola Nucleon ST
Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
The 2002 Nicolai Nucleon ST (left) and the 2023 Nicolai Nucleon 16 (right). Back during Nicolai's "wild monster bikes" phase they had a bike called the Nucleon with a gearbox and high pivot suspension. Nice to see it resurrected and evolved.

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
Simpler than it looks.

bigquotesThe pedal kickback is actually lower than many non-high-pivot bikes, even though the anti-squat is really high. Basically, it achieves a level of pedalling efficiency that suspension engineers wish they could achieve, but can't when their design doesn't have an idler pulley. The Kavenz guys also figured this out that it's nice to have really high anti squat and you can do that with an idler without creating excessive pedal kickback.

It's got nice suspension progression for handling big hits, the suspension stays supple when braking (compared to other single pivot bikes), and the weight is nicely centralized. It's very quiet in terms of chain slap and it pedals very well, both in terms of not bobbing and in terms of drivetrain efficiency. Overall, it's a fun, versatile bike that can be pedalled and still go fast on the downs.
Cedric Eveleigh, Lal Bikes

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
Made by Nicolai in Germany.

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
This suspension system is single pivot with the shock driven by a linkage at the bottom. The upper shock mount is fixed.
Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Details

Frame: Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre, 170mm travel, mullet mode
Fork: RockShox Zeb Ultimate, 170mm travel
Shock: Fox Float X Factory, 165x60mm
Derailleur: Lal Supre
Chain tensioner: Lal Supre
Idler pulley: Lal Supre
Cassette: Shimano XT, 12-speed, 10-51t
Chain: Shimano, half XT and half XTR (comparing their durability)
Shifter: Shimano XTR, 12-speed
Shift housing: Jagwire LEX-SL
Shift cable: Jagwire Ultra-Slick
Cranks: Raceface Era, 165mm (but we will try 160mm shortly)
Chainring: NS Billet Cinch HG12, 30t
Bottom bracket: Wheels Manufacturing T47, 30mm
Pedals: Time Speciale 12
Headset: Acros, integrated cable routing
Dropper post and remote: OneUp V2
Seat: ISM PM 2.0
Seatpost collar: frame-integrated
Hubs: Onyx Vesper, centerlock, superboost rear
Spokes: Sapim Race
Nipples: Sapim Polyax Aluminum
Rims: We Are One Triad Convergence, 32h, 29 front, 27.5 rear
Front tire: Schwalbe Magic Mary, Super Trail, Soft, 62-622 (29x2.40in)
Rear tire: Schwalbe Hans Dampf, Super Trail, Soft, 60-584 (27.5x2.35in)
Tire inserts: Cushcore Pro
Handlebar and stem: We Are One Da Package
Grips: Wolf Tooth Karv
Fender: Mudhugger Shorty Evo
Bash guard: frame-integrated + OneUp Bash Plate
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
Rotors: SRAM HS2, centerlock, 220mm front and rear
Weight: 17.7 kg / 39 lb (without pedals and with Cushcore Pro front and rear)

More info: lalbikes.com and nicolai-bicycles.com

Cedric stressed that many of the parts, like a Zeb Ultimate and Raceface Era cranks were chosen simply because he feels they're great parts, but others had more specific purposes on the build. They want this bike to be easily tested by others so they opted for an air shock, as well as the easily-reversible SRAM brake levers. The lightweight Schwalbe SuperTrail casings were chosen for quicker rolling, but paired with Cushcores for durability and ride feel. They paired Made-in-Canada We Are One rims with Onyx hubs, partly because of the low vibration sprag clutch in the hub. The quiet hub really highlights how quiet the Supre Drive system is, and was apparently useful for testing things like different seatstay protectors. The hub is quite heavy though, so they're curious to try the new Tairin silent hubs as well.

A note on the weight: the frame has no published weight, so you know it isn't light. BUT, the 39lb figure probably isn't representative of this bike's trail weight either. Using lighter but still sensible components it shouldn't be too hard to lose ~900g (2lb) off this thing, getting it slightly more reasonable. Nicolai also previously stated that the production version of this frame would be losing some weight.

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
Lal makes big claims about their system being incredibly strong, and providing the ground clearance of a gearbox bike with less drag and weight.

bigquotesI first showed the Supre Drive in November 2021 with a frame that I built and with an 11-speed version. I have since developed a 12-speed version (10-51t) on a hardtail bike that Mike Levy test rode at Crankworx Whistler 2022.

With the help of Alex Ham, who joined me at the beginning of 2023, we made improvements to the drivetrain, including a refined hydraulic damper in the chain tensioner (analogous to the sliding friction clutch in derailleurs, but better), and a derailleur with composite parts that we 3D print on the Sunshine Coast and aluminum links that NS Billet machines in Whistler. We're proud to make the Supre Drive in Canada. We're currently working on a production batch of Supre Drive parts, and we're excited for more people to start riding the Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre.
Cedric Eveleigh, Lal Bikes

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
The unassuming Supre "derailleur" tucked up into the frame, made by Lal on the Sunshine Coast.
Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
They're testing out a water bottle mounting plate that's gone through some improvements since this. I'll probably never get on board with the Chris-Porter-inspired idea that frames shouldn't have bottle cage mounts.

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
I'm assuming Nicolai did this just to liven up the comment section.
Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
The ISM PM 2.0... works for him.

bigquotesAbout the seat, since you probably asked: the way I see it our pipes down there run along the middle, and it's best not to squish them. This seat puts pressure on bones even when I'm leaning forward on steep uphills. I ride without a chamois and wouldn't do that with a regular seat. ISM does a lot of triathlon stuff, but this is their mountain bike model, the PM 2.0.

Some people say I need this seat for the big balls it takes to challenge the industry, but it can be done with normal sized balls when there's awesome support in the community like we've been getting from people who want a better drivetrain.
Cedric Eveleigh, Lal Bikes


Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
The aluminum derailleur links are machined by NS Billet in Whistler.

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
The dropouts can be swapped out for a different rear-center.
Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
More Made-in-Canada stuff with We Are One's Triad Convergence rims.





Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
In April 2022, Cedric moved to the Sunshine Coast and set up a space for Lal HQ.

Alex and Cedric were kind enough to show me around their shop. They've got a bunch of 3D printers working away, CNC machines, a lathe, a bike mechanic's area, a design area with workstations, and a well organized assembly area. It's a far cry from the fancy offices and prototype shops of some brands, but it's functional and everything they need to turn ideas into reality.

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
A Harrison lathe, made in 1964. Cedric's added a digital readout.
Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
The base and knuckle parts of the Supre Drive are printed from carbon-filled nylon. Getting the part off the support structure used to be a wrestling match, but now a different material is printed at the interface between the support and the part, so that the part comes off easily.

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
A growing Bambu farm.
Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
Good boy Dante looking (momentarily) elegant.

Lal Bikes Supre Drive
There are a few workstations in the loft. Cedric has the well-deserved 2021 Pinkbike Innovation of the Year award on his desk.

Lal Bikes Supre Drive
Lal Bikes Supre Drive
Hung up near the mechanic's area is the first bike frame Cedric ever built, with the first prototype Supre Drive on it. This gives an idea of the chainline of a downhill version of the Supre Drive. He currently doesn't have the bandwidth for a DH version but would be open to licensing the tech if others want to give it a shot.

Lal Bikes - Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre Drive
Lal HQ is moments away from some great trails.

They've got a huge hill to climb, but I'm a big fan of what Lal is trying to do and looking forward to seeing their progress. And yes, before you ask, we have a long-term test Nucleon in the works.

Thoughts? Is their system viable for mass adoption? Are the frame-side requirements too big a hurdle? Is the Nucleon's 39lb weight too much to swallow? Is a private military contractor's Predator drone on the way to the Sunshine Coast as we speak?

Author Info:
brianpark avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2010
218 articles

162 Comments
  • 140 8
 What did you do Nicolai?
I thought you made sensible bikes and therefore no shitty headset cable routing
  • 24 1
 Shocked to see this Frown
  • 43 9
 First time I hear someone calling Nicolai bikes "sensible".
  • 11 3
 Their mentality changed, they think they’re specialized now
  • 48 1
 It was said that they would destroy the headset routing crew, not join them! Bring balance to the force... not leave it in darkness!
  • 16 1
 @nozes: really? I mean they are expensive, but these frames are built so well, they outlast pretty much every other bike. If I could afford one, I'd totally buy a G1
  • 13 1
 nicolai has been corrupted
  • 24 2
 This.
Such smart innovations drivetrain wise, build wise (longevity) just to f*ck it up with cables through the headset. Does the Nicolai crowd really like this?

Say No to cable tourism!
  • 5 1
 Nooooooo!!!!!!!
  • 12 2
 Cable Tourism trash
  • 2 1
 @nozes: Have you asked those who rides them for ages?
  • 16 1
 Really strange that nicolai jumped on this train, especially it does not make any sense on an alu frame.
I could image that it is possible to order a "normal" cable routing, because you can also order full custom geo etc.

Edit:
Look at www.nicolai-bicycles.com/Nucleon-16-Landing

Headset routing was probably a pre production frame
  • 12 18
flag tomfoolerybackground (May 23, 2023 at 10:09) (Below Threshold)
 Counterpoint: if a respected brand with a forward thinking reputation does it, maybe it’s not as earth shatteringly bad as everyone makes it out to be?
  • 42 22
 Guy that works on Scotts here. There's so many worse bikes to work on compared to the Spark. Any brand not doing enclosed internal tubing, for example, is more annoying to deal with. Santa Cruz Blur, for example, is more annoying to route than a headset Scott.

I never heard anyone complain about how annoying it was to remove the shock on a few previous model year Rocky Mountains. Stop parroting opinions, actually work on this stuff and see how it it; it's very easy.

But hey, this is just a dude who gets paid to work on this stuff. Surely the armchair mechanics are right on this one.
  • 15 1
 @sherbet: my guess is because many new bikes have headset routing, but most people arent working on a few specific rocky bikes. also, i will gladly remove a shock rather than rebleed brakes. also, standard headset parts are better than random proprietary bits
  • 2 1
 I would love to hear Nicolai themselves weigh-in on this discussion... can you make it happen Pinkbike?
  • 1 10
flag fuzzhead45 (May 23, 2023 at 11:10) (Below Threshold)
 @nsp234: So I am guessing that "cable tourism" is referring to the cables going through the headset, but why is everyone calling it "cable tourism" all of a sudden instead of headset routing?
  • 13 2
 @sherbet:
Armchair mechanics are right
  • 5 1
 @sherbet: I'm still a fanboy but ABC bushings were a dark time at RMB.
  • 10 4
 @fuzzhead45: it's originated from a mistake someone made on a comment, it was gold and we decided to keep it. a sort of new "looks like a session"
  • 6 2
 @fuzzhead45: someone commented “cable tourism” a few weeks ago and another guy commented “omg yes that’s so me!”, 7 upvotes later and here we are
  • 1 1
 @FloriLori: checks out
  • 11 3
 @sherbet: "Armchair mechanics", ah yes. No one of us has ever worked on a bike and everyone just sends it off for its 300 dollar service each year so we have no clue what working on a bike is like. Haha.
  • 13 1
 @sherbet: just because there are worse things doesn’t make it a good thing
  • 19 17
 @mior: I work on a looooooooot of bikes, that one is just an example to me. There's literally thousands of bikes currently on the market that are vastly worse to work on than this, I promise you. Nobody says boo about them as it isn't the current trending joke. You don't need to remove the brake hose for most headset work, just bearing replacements. I'd imagine you'd be getting a damn few years of swapping bearings prior to the hose becoming so short that it needs replacement. It just isn't a very realistic complaint.

@brianpark: Yeah I love me some Rocky. I'll stand by the fact I'm fine with owning a bike that may be a bit harder to work on if it is legitimately better. There's a lot more to a bike than routing style.

All in all. I actually own one of those Sparks and find it a breeze to work on. I love that the DT has a giant hole in it, as it allows me to easily and quickly access cables going through. The shock can get pulled off in a minute, I literally had one in my stand ten minutes ago to take the shock off.

Please, people, work on this stuff before having strong opinions on it. It's a weird hypocritical standard that we're pushing. You're all ignoring mechanical design issues daily, while shitting on something designed well. Come onnnnnn.
  • 2 1
 @nozes: it was a german
  • 10 2
 @sherbet: For a lot of people the complaint is more than the headset cable routing introduces holes above the bearing that are likely to let water in above the bearing, where water previously would not have been able to get in with traditional cable routing. Thus making it a more common situation that you need to replace the top bearing, which is then more difficult to replace when you do need to replace it.
  • 8 14
flag sherbet (May 23, 2023 at 14:35) (Below Threshold)
 @Paco77: This is a silly thing to think.

The bearing is covered, just like a normal bearing, and normal headsets are not even remotely water-tight. It will not corrode at an accelerated rate, and water permeation is not normally what causes headset wear, as they do have a retaining seal.
  • 13 3
 @sherbet: I imagine the fact that you work on these bikes on a daily basis is most of the reason you find cable tourism easy to deal with as it becomes second nature. For the average owner who might need to do it once per year in their garden shed with very basic tools it could turn what should be a very straight forward task into something quite daunting or an expensive trip to the bike shop. It would be more understandable if it brought some benefits but as far as I can see, it really doesn't. Personally for me if I was looking to buy a new bike and the one I liked had this "feature" it wouldn't be a deal breaker, but I can see why people really hate it.

Also, interesting you found the Santa Cruz Blur such a pain to route the cables, did it not have internal sleeves? My Nomad has internal sleeves and it was honestly the easiest cable routing I have ever done, even more so than fully external.
  • 14 2
 I too work on a lot of bikes... headset routing is annoying. Its not always terrible, but it's always annoying. However there are some designs that are truly terrible, with fiddly covers, hard to attach seats and grommets, and almost always some issues resulting from cable rub on the steering tube. Also, I've seen several bikes already, specifically road/Tri bikes where you have a sweaty MAMIL dripping on the top bearing all day that have deteriorated in short order.

I'd much rather just have the cables go in some pedestrian way, like through ports in the head tube. The cable tourism is just for looks, and presents such a tiny advantage and only in terms of aero. The aero advantage that is instantly negated by having someone who isn't built like Tom Pidcock in the saddle.
  • 13 8
 @sherbet: Where was this article about the entitled shop mechanics again? Glad I can wrench bikes myself and don't have to deal with ya lot. Headset bearings fail way more often than I would want to bleed my breaks.
  • 6 9
 @sweatyseagull: Blur indeed does not have internal sleeves. SC skipped on the Blur for weight savings. Makes perfect sense, and most of us would find complaining about it to be a little strange. It's how I view this issue.

@silvanoe: You'll have to explain how someone adding in relevant experience is entitlement, as I don't follow.
  • 8 3
 A lot of talk re:cable tourism...but how many of you guys have actually even touched a bike with headset routed cables? I haven't. So, I'm not really for or against it. It is annoying how the conversation takes over any sensible discussion in the comments.
  • 1 1
 @torro86: only on the squeeking canyons
  • 8 3
 @torro86: The whole idea about having developed brain is to be able to predict and avoid hazardous situations before they even happen ... Mother nature gave you this powerful tool, so use it!
  • 4 3
 @sherbet: You're advocating a system that requires you to cut the brake hoses and bleed your brake to change headset bearings (laughing crying face emoji no less than 5 times)
  • 4 6
 ridicoulous, who cares, how many times have you replaced your headsets ?
me ? zero times in 140 000 kilometers
  • 3 1
 the article is about a drivetrain
  • 1 1
 @martijn-s: Maybe in Netherlands
  • 3 3
 @bashhard: and ??? do we need to be mecanics now ? we spend our money the way we like, you sound like a grumpy jealous, and very dogmatic person, commenting on an article that is not, AT ALL about the headset !!
  • 1 1
 @sherbet: Have you noticed more drag (more/tighter housing bends), housing/cables wearing faster?
  • 5 1
 @martijn-s: You put 140 000 km into a single enduro bike? I doubt it.
I replace the headset around every two years. Riding in the winter mud surely takes its toll on bearings.

I don't understand why you have to personally attack me. Spend the money the way you like but stop being a dick just because others want user friendly solutions.
  • 1 1
 @emptybe-er: Yes, I have. You ideally want to use Jagwire's newer thinner bendier hosing for certain parts of the line.

To those sounding off. I'm not stating this is my favourite system, nor is it the best. I'm saying you ignore worse issues for 99% of things you encounter, as you don't know better or just don't work on that part of the bike. Meanwhile, this rotten mush of a horse is still getting beaten on every article that's even somewhat adjacent to the topic. This is way too much energy for what amounts to essentially a non-issue, especially as you don't need to buy a bike with this system. Can we please start laying it to rest?
  • 1 0
 @martijn-s: I've done 3 this week.
  • 2 0
 @sherbet: Skipping on a feature for weight savings, and adding a feature that makes your bike harder to work on for no real benefit are two entirely different things.
  • 83 0
 Can someone step on the derailleur so we know how sturdy it is?
  • 94 1
 Fanatik did a fun video recently where they smacked some derailleurs with a big pendulum. That pendulum would've swung underneath our derailleur. Maybe that'll help you understand the benefit of the Supre Drive.
  • 5 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: haha, I know, that and some other videos is what my comment is referring to. Stepping on the derailleur seems now to be the new gold standard for testing your drivetrain sturdiness.
I totally get what this design is trying to achieve and it seems pretty cool, especially since you were thinking out of the (gear)box. I probably will never own due to cost and seems a bit too complex for my liking, but since Nicolai is supporting it I believe it has a shot at carving its own space in the drivetrain market and that early adopters will have at least some peace of mind since Nicolai is know for good long term support.
  • 3 3
 @KrampaKiller: Total useless test. Apply the force to a 45° angle to the derailleur, which would be a more realistic test. Nevertheless I rather brake a hanger than a part of the frame.......
  • 2 0
 @FloriLori: if your Frame cannot take those forces, i wouldnt trust riding it... especially at such a huge load bearing place being the axle.
  • 1 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: I initially hated the idea of the Supre drivetrain but it’s growing on me. Do you have tests comparing chain resistance between a traditional drivetrain and yours?
  • 7 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: But then what is protecting the wheel from the huge pendulum!
  • 4 0
 @gnarlysipes: That's good to hear! We have indeed done that kind of testing: lalbikes.com/efficiency
  • 46 0
 Definitely doesn't look like a session.
  • 40 0
 "Some people say I need this seat for the big balls it takes to challenge the industry, but it can be done with normal sized balls"

Quote of the year!
  • 1 0
 Legend!
  • 31 1
 All that and what people will remember is the cable-eating headset.
  • 15 7
 Ahem, cable tourism.
  • 30 3
 It's AWESOME.
  • 13 0
 Couldn't agree more. The aesthetic is radical, and while I'm loving it, I understand it might not be for everyone. More importantly the fact that they're bringing a new and innovative design to market should be applauded.

Am I the only one who's getting a Terminator 2 vibe from this bike? I mean that as a huge complement.
  • 21 1
 This makes way more sense to me. Simplify and protect the derailleur. The rear brake is protected within the swingarm too. Move the tensioner part of the derailleur off the swingarm and do double duty as a chainguide up front. Tuck everything away nicely. I would way rather go this route than a $900 derailleur with more batteries and servos.
  • 19 0
 Look, I haven't ridden the thing, and I won't pretend that I even have any idea how it would feel compared to a, "normal," full-sus. That being said- major props to Cedric and Lal. To go with an idea that looks this unconventional, put it on the internet, and respond to comments himself? Only hoping all the best for the company.
  • 13 1
 All the industry coolaid I've been fed over the years makes me skeptical about the lateral stiffness near the back wheel, but this is super cool and I'd certainly give it a try.
  • 63 0
 Anyone's welcome to swing by our shop and take a Nucleon for a spin on trails.
  • 3 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: cool, I'll swing by sometime this summer.
  • 3 44
flag nickfranko (May 23, 2023 at 9:32) (Below Threshold)
 @cedric-eveleigh: We'll swing by when you get rid of the stupid Cable Tourism
  • 15 0
 @nickfranko: just to be clear, Cedric (Lal Bikes) did the drivetrain, and Nicolai Bikes did the bike itself. Cedric's got nothing to do with their cable routing choices.
  • 2 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: my wife and I are coming to Whistler in July and might just do that.
  • 13 0
 Makes sense that a guy from Chelsea, QC, and I am assuming rode at Camp Fortune, would be interested in that kind of derailleur!
  • 7 0
 touchdown ! Camp Fortune takes no prisoner.
  • 15 0
 Correct assumption. I grew up riding Fortune gnar. Smile
  • 1 0
 If its not the Rocky Gnar that'll wreck your drive train, its the ham fisted lifties that'll mangle your bike... Though its my closest lift service park so one makes due when they dont wanna drive to Bromont or Horseshoe.
  • 1 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: haha, Smell My Finger.
  • 16 4
 Kill it with fire. Cable toursim.
  • 10 0
 The Pinkbike Commentariat's favorite and most hated feature on one bike.
  • 8 2
 40lb weight - check
3lb of chain - check
3 pulleys - check
6 pivots - check
HS cable routing - check
BIG BALLS saddle - check
a labyrinth of welds - check
........
Nikolai, where is the Rockled suspension fork ?
  • 5 0
 Those Bridgeport mills last forever. I learned to machine on a full analog but otherwise similar looking one approximately 1 billion years ago
  • 1 0
 Bridgeports are legendary!!!!! I did my apprenticeship on them and more modern versions of the Harrison lathes as well. Just good accurate and solid pieces of kit.
  • 4 0
 Props to cedric for getting this to where it is.

If you are one of those people that don't break dérailleurs (famous last words) is there a reason you'd want this system? It's a lot of chain.
  • 3 0
 Rad looking bike -- would love to check this out in person. On an unrelated note, @brianpark, any news on World Cup DH Fantasy this year? Is it definitively off the table, or should we still hold out hope?
  • 4 0
 I love looking at this but want nothing to do with it, hahah. I'd ride a hardtail all the time if it didn't hurt. Nicolai's alu work is so cool.
  • 3 1
 It sure is pretty, but between the added weight, complexity, and production costs, I'd be hard pressed to choose this design over a gear box. I'd also be very surprised if an idler and tensioner are less friction inducing than a derailleur ... Some cool stuff from Cedric for sure, and it would certainly be an option over a standard derailleur system, if gearboxes didn't exist.
  • 6 3
 No electric shifting? Dealbreaker. I need as many batteries and electrical components as possible on a "human" powered machine or its a no-go.
  • 2 0
 I owned the Nucleon ST and raced it up and down the east coast. It was a beast of a bike—and rarely made any sound. That being said, it was a total pig of a bike that weighed more than Gilbert Grape's mother.

I miss it.
  • 2 0
 Innovation is cool and I applaud anyone willing to take on and pull off such challenges, but this looks like it belongs in a Michael Bay movie. That said, I hope it catches on and evolves to a more streamlined version.
  • 2 2
 Oh and that's a part of what I love about it. Super unique, effectively engineered, all around badass. I want this bike.
  • 4 0
 So I guess bike designers have now just abandoned bike weight as a design constraint then...
  • 4 0
 I love that a skinny is right outside the door.
  • 6 0
 I love that you could fail on a skinny on this bike without fear of tearing off your derailleur. That alone would help my confidence on skinnies by at least 69%
  • 7 3
 @VtVolk: I think we should sell a "make skinnies great again" hat.
  • 3 0
 The Supre Drive looks uncannily like the main body of a Shimano XT M772 9 speed rear derailleur.
  • 1 0
 Looks pretty awesome, great to see people thinking outside the box and providing alternatives.

However, with the various idlers it does make me wonder how it compares in terms of efficiency to a pinion gearbox?
  • 3 0
 Count them, there is the same amount of wheels as a high pivot and they are much larger too for less drag.
  • 13 14
 Perfect, a more complicated bike with more impossible to clean shit catchers. And finally, a driveline with 47 turning points. I do love to service pulley wheels. Oh, and just the upside down derailleur I’ve been searching for all these years. At least it has its cables run through the headset. I’ve been waiting for a bike that takes four hours to complete routine maintenance!
Sign me up for three of them.
  • 15 1
 Single speed beach cruisers are super easy to maintain. Sounds like one might be right up your alley!
  • 5 2
 I’m with you. The drivetrain is mildly interesting and the Nicolai looks very well made but the bike looks like a complicated mess. So much extra weight and moving parts. It would have to ride so much better than a simpler design for me to ever consider it.
  • 3 0
 Can you imagine cleaning this bike?
  • 2 0
 not going to lie it looks insane and i want one because its not an ordinary looking bike its different and that cool
  • 1 0
 I want one, but you can be sure I'll be sticking external cable clip things on it. Internal cables were invented for the sole purpose of making things a pain in the ass.
  • 1 0
 I think it’s beautiful. Obviously different layout but reminds me of that green ano and rock solid lower front triangle on the Turner DHR 2012ish. Another gorgeous frame.
  • 2 0
 The bike and the ideea look very good but Nicolai and headset cable routing = total disappointment.
  • 2 1
 Do you have to buy two chains and an extra quick link?
Sure is purdy, though.
  • 1 0
 I see two quick links in one of the pics
  • 4 0
 @MegaStoke: We have the chain set up as half XT and half XTR as a durability experiment, but it takes only a few links more than a full chain.
  • 1 0
 Article says it's just for testing chain wear with the system.
  • 5 4
 @cedric-eveleigh: "a few more" ?? C'mon, just tell us the number. Its got to be in excess of 140 links. I can count ~130 links visible in one of the photos, and that's not counting the links I can't see on the cassette. Since a typical 12sp 1X drivetrain uses 112 links, I'm guessing your definition of "few" is ~ 30?
  • 10 0
 @Inertiaman: I just walked over to our Nucleon and counted and it's 142 links.
  • 1 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: where do I follow to find out the results of your chain wear experiment?
  • 7 0
 @Inertiaman: You certainly have free time.
  • 1 0
 @MegaStoke: I'll share an update at some point on our Instagram (and Facebook).
  • 3 0
 Wow, didn't mean to start a shit show. I just meant it as a casual comment, as in, "that's a long chain", not as a critique.
  • 1 0
 @Inertiaman: You can ask for those extra links to any friend with regular setup hehehe. I always made key rings with those extra links,my nice love them.
  • 2 1
 17.7kg without pedals. I love it! Pity about the cable tourism, won't buy a bike with it.
  • 1 3
 I'm amazed that in 2023 we still have to have a sprocket and a chain ... ok, there are G-boxx type integrated gearboxes, but can't we invent something truly innovative?
I seem to hear the commercials of cars ... the latest innovation in the car market ... and then there are always 4 wheels and a steering wheel.
  • 1 1
 So what, maybe get rid of the wheels? Would you prefer some kind of imperial walker-type chariot? How are we going to route the cables?
  • 5 4
 All that Fugly mess! I'd rather break a meach a month than ride/own/work on that! insertSheeeshemoji
  • 2 0
 Seems AWESOME - what's the weight of the frame alone? =]
  • 2 0
 38 lb Wink
  • 1 0
 @cool3: Unless you mean 3.8lbs - Just The Frame(as in Frame Only)... O.O #Jesus
  • 1 0
 Give me that 2002 with 2004 monster any time. Ok, ok, mostly because of the cable routing.
  • 1 0
 In true MTBer tradition, the VW Golf must be worth at most a quarter of the bike. At most.
  • 1 0
 I had a Nucleon ST. Thing was awesome but the shifting on that Rohloff hub wasn't great.
  • 2 0
 that "2002 Nicolai Nucleon ST" looks suspiciously like a transformer
  • 1 3
 I love the bike but Cedric is selling the suspension a bit hard. This setup doesn't have magical ability to make a bike both progressive and supple. The neutral breaking but also great active suspension? Also working against each other. High anti squat if it goes too high is not always amazing. I get the suspension works great but dont sell us magic
  • 7 0
 Seriously? I read that blurb and thought, "that's about the most realistic and non-salesman-y self-appraisal I've heard in a while". Compared to most other product launches you see on PB, he's pretty conservative about what he's selling.
  • 1 0
 Let's go Cedric and Alex! The bike is a thing of beauty when you see it in the flesh.
  • 5 4
 Ummm....Uh...I'll get back to ya.
  • 3 4
 Does it make sense to build a frame around a rear derailleur to protect it? I think that will not prevail. To me, gears seem the more sensible way.
  • 4 2
 Huh? There are still gears.
  • 1 0
 Those dropouts welds though..
  • 1 0
 Anyone knows what the size of the frame is in this article?
  • 2 1
 Medium but it's Nicolai so this is like most other brands' large.
  • 1 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: Thanks for the reply! Yeah, they are special in that regard ;D Also, why does the frame look slightly different than what is on the Nicolai website?
  • 3 0
 @Hetman64: Those photos on their website are outdated - they're of the first prototype which was built a year ago. The following photos from Nicolai are up-to-date: drive.google.com/drive/folders/11WObnr6hvDhfEzb6pFFY-WB7sJ0_ZmaK
  • 2 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: Sick, I will check them out!
  • 2 1
 That headset routing huh?
  • 2 1
 “How does Cedric sit down with balls that big?!”
  • 1 0
 so ah, where do the batteries go in that derailleur?
  • 1 0
 The complexity gives me headache!
  • 2 3
 OK, so here's the deal..after muddy rides,,um..Oh sorry, got to take this call.
  • 7 0
 It's on the to-do list to develop a rear fender, and that'll make the pivots and shock well isolated. The chain is far from the ground so it never drags in mud unlike the chains on conventional derailleurs.
  • 2 1
 so awesome!
  • 3 2
 Where is the motor?
  • 3 1
 might as well.. I mean, it's got every other un needed MTB gimmick all in one frame
  • 2 0
 @naptime: motors are not unnecessary for the obese
  • 1 0
 That saddle!
  • 1 1
 I like stuff like this , a lot.
  • 1 0
 looks sick!
  • 1 0
 Nice work boys!
  • 1 1
 Absolutely gorgeous, except for the "big balls" saddle...
  • 3 0
 Looks like a rolling Rube Goldberg machine
  • 1 0
 i want one so bad
  • 1 1
 no one will buy this ?
  • 2 4
 Pretty hot.
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