Bike Check: Jack Reading's Prototype Nicolai DH 29er

Aug 24, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  


Jack Reading is finishing up the World Cup season on a new bike, a prototype Nicolai 29er with similar geometry to the 27.5" G19 that he was on previously. The aluminum-framed bike has 180mm of travel, 10mm less than the G19. That reduced travel, along with the position and angle of the seat tube, were necessary to make sure those big wheels didn't contact the frame during bottom out. The overall length is a little longer than what Jack is used to, but he said, "With how fast and straight most of the World Cup tracks are, you know, a big long bike is fast. It's going to be interesting to see. We may make a prototype that's slightly smaller, but until I've ridden it, we don't know."

When Pinkbike photographer Ross Bell caught up with Jack he didn't have many setting to disclose - he was planning on doing back-to-back runs on his 27.5" and 29" bikes, and then working on his setup after that. The La Bresse track is short, but with plenty of variety - it should serve as a good testing ground.

Jack Reading Nicolai 29er Proto
The prototype has 180mm of rear travel.

Jack Reading Nicolai 29er Proto
It's all about the color-coordination - blue Hope Tech 3 brake levers and blue Gusset lock on grips.

Jack Reading Nicolai 29er Proto
Jack Reading Nicolai 29er Proto
Blue and silver from front to back.

Jack Reading Nicolai 29er Proto
Hope's aluminum crankset with a Works Components chainring and MRP G4 chainguide.

Jack Reading Nicolai 29er Proto
Ready to race.







62 Comments

  • 99 3
 That is what a mountain bike ought to look like
  • 31 0
 @gtill9000 one word CRAFTSMANSHIP!
  • 3 0
 @rockchomper: My Geometron can perform. Descends like a DH bike and pedals like a trail bike. Pick two.
  • 12 0
 Beautiful bike. Aluminium welds and high rise bars - who really needs a carbon frame anyway?
  • 3 0
 Liking g the industrial mega welds look. Would love to take that for a rip or 20.
  • 3 0
 Those welds are are are massive! xoxo
  • 31 0
 Fahq-me!....Thats one helluva good looking ride
  • 26 7
 *First comment, time to shine*.... Wow great bike, that really blue me away!
  • 12 1
 My emotions still feel raw.
  • 5 0
 If Jack is Reading this, I Hope he has a clean smooth race run.
  • 14 0
 Absolute 100% Aluminum Porn
  • 8 0
 Looks great. Love Nicolai’s craftsmanship
  • 5 0
 Beautifully crafted and engineered metal bits everywhere. Breath of fresh (old school) air.
  • 4 0
 I wish I could be bothered to copy paste every time CP has said 29ers don’t work.
  • 2 0
 They do...just up front.
  • 5 0
 Best looking bike on the field.
  • 4 0
 Looks better proportioned than the 27.5 version
  • 2 0
 How come nicolais used to look like they were from 50 years in the future now they look like they are from the 90s? I miss those crazy designs.
  • 2 0
 if you want a perfect crafted aluminium frame,
nicolai is not the worst choice ;-)
.....love my nicolai ion 18/pinion!
www.pinkbike.com/photo/16188105
  • 3 0
 this isnt the bike I need but it is the bike I want more than anything.
  • 1 0
 I HOPE he has a new rim fitted on the rear before his race run tomorrow! (spot letter 'e' on top hope logo, big dent)
  • 2 0
 The welding bro, so nice... so nice
  • 2 0
 jeeeezus my eyes just exploded
  • 2 0
 Would like to see Works Components make a Hope Direct Mount N/W chainring
  • 2 0
 Those brake cables make me wet...
  • 1 0
 I need soo badly one more nicolai, just waiting when i'm done with my vpp "made in china boutique"
  • 1 0
 Well crafted Al frame complimented by the immaculate Hope kit. Beautiful and I'll bet the looks match the performance.
  • 1 0
 nicolai ruleeez,
perfect crafted aluminium frames.....love my nicolai 18/pinion!
  • 2 1
 I thought that was a Banshee Darkside when I glanced at the thumbnail.
  • 1 0
 Different linakage, but pretty damn similar
  • 2 0
 Looks awesome!
  • 3 2
 Wandering why pinions not being used fir DH yet if they improve so much ..
  • 4 0
 @PauRexs : They pop in out out of world cup races. I believe this year there is one elite men and one junior men riding one. From the Dorval AM team. Just for further input, just because they may not be perfectly refined for world cup racing yet doesn't mean they aren't better for the average rider. Personally I am sick of having rides ruined by a broken derailleur. Even the pros admit the suspension works way better with a gearbox, there are just some tweaks that need to be worked out before it will be common in world cups. Remember the dropper post was mocked about 15-20 years ago and now look at it! It got refined and now almost every bike comes with them!
  • 2 1
 @rockchomper: except that gearboxes have been around for longer than that and have seen very little improvement.
  • 2 0
 @mollow: I think that is because until now we haven't had the materials and technology to make gearboxes light and reliable. I have a feeling we will see a huge jump in the progression of gearbox bikes in the next 5 years.
  • 2 1
 @rockchomper: that's what people have been saying forever. Everybody knows an electronic shifting would make shifting under load possible and yet nobody makes it happen...
  • 2 0
 @rockchomper: how long have we been hearing that exact statement now? I remember people saying this in 2011 when zerodes were around a bit.
  • 1 0
 @mollow: I agree talk is cheap but you must admit we have already seen huge leaps in gearbox technology just in the last two years. So it most definatley is being advanced/refined. My problem isn't how to shift the derailleur but its the derailleur itself. It is a week point and even an expensive electric one can be easily ripped off the bike in a rockgarden or crash. @humoroususername
  • 4 0
 Bring back the Zerode G1/G2
  • 1 0
 @rockchomper: yes was saying just for this mass weight forces distribution that affects suspension and handeling. I do not expect to see them on big sponsored teams yet... But small structures and the ones like Nicolay that always tries to go one step further... it quite surprises me...
  • 2 0
 @mollow: "Everybody knows an electronic shifting would make shifting under load possible" can you explain why ? I thought it had more to do with the engaging pawls needing a break to go from one gear to the other, than whatever an electronic shifting could do better than a human.
  • 1 0
 @PauRexs: hopefully we will see more in the future or at least something that gets rid of that pesky derailleur!
  • 1 0
 @rockchomper: I had a look earlier this season; appeared many Dorval AM racers were on the Commencal frame this year. Benoit C. was riding an Effigear Nicolai G19 last season I believe
  • 1 0
 @gonecoastal: Dang! fact checked! okay my bad...gearbox for Dorval was last year!
  • 1 0
 @gonecoastal: I believe it was at Lenzerheide where his gearbox shat the bed out of the start gate.
  • 1 0
 @AlanMck: haha. Yeah Warner and Claudio weren’t sure what happened until about halfway thru his run. They thought he had ???? another broken chain. ????

AM Dorval must like their single pivots.
  • 1 0
 @gonecoastal: they really must, they were on Saracens for the first half of this season.
  • 1 1
 Super sex, but the rear end doesnt look super stiff ?
Any thoughts on this ?
  • 1 0
 I have a geometron, the back isn't super stiff, the slight flex helps with traction but it doesn't feel soft, pure stiffness isn't always the best way!
  • 1 0
 God that carbon looks like shit
  • 1 0
 What's that saddle? It looks tiny. Would like to learn more...
  • 1 0
 Same travel as a modern trail bike. But hey 29er so....
  • 1 0
 Sweet mother...I want one soo bad !
  • 1 0
 beauty
  • 1 0
 Gorgeous!
  • 3 3
 so much better looking than that Italian piece of shit from the other day.
  • 1 0
 if you like to see something really disgusting chek KUVALDA bikes
  • 1 0
 SICK BIKE
  • 1 0
 Work of art.
  • 1 0
 Savage bike.
  • 1 0
 MENUDO CEPO
  • 1 0
 pure aluminum bike porn

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