Nicolai's Saturn 14
has been around for over half a year now, and with the ever-growing popularity of short travel bikes with big intentions it has been hugely popular for the brand. So much so that customers and interested parties were wanting to take the bike out of its intended working zone and give it a damn good thrashing.
The Saturn 14 in its current guise is not warrantied for bike park use, nor for use with suspension forks over 34mm stanchions. Nicolai's original intentions were to focus carefully on the frame details and weight, and understandably they applied some limits to achieve their targets. But the interest to have the Saturn's inner capabilities realised still flooded in, and so Nicolai decided to react.
Saturn 14 ST DetailsWheel Size:
29", 27.5" or mixedTravel:
130mm or 138mmSizes:
S - XXLPrice:
Frame only €2,499, full bike from €6,499
Custom geometry available
Complete color & component customisation
5 Year Warranty, 10 year spare parts guaranteeMore info: Nicolai Saturn 14 ST
The Saturn 14 ST that emerged is a tougher version designed to stand up to the rigors of harder riding that the Saturn was hiding in its German blood. The Super Trail (hopefully not a new category of bikes, I'm looking at you, Levy) version is good to go with bigger forks, has beefed up frame details, and is given the Nicolai thumbs up to chuck it on a lift and send it in the bike park, if you want to.
Crafted in Germany allows Nicolai to control every detail and, given their German nature, they do just that. The frame comes with a 5 year warranty and Nicolai guarantee spare parts availability for 10 year on not just the Saturn range, but on all Nicolai products.
Constructed from 7020-T6 aluminum, for its more favourable properties than the normal 6061 grade, the Saturn 14 ST has a thicker down tube, seat tube and top tube and a beefier gusset around the head tube to see off the forces from longer and more stout forks. This allows the ST version to work with 36mm diameter forks up to 570mm fork length (e.g. a 160mm travel 29er Fox 36). The ST frame carries a bit more timber, 300g to be exact, but it's meticulously placed to be of best use.
Reinforced head tube junction and shock tension bar are neat details.
The tubes are tacked and TIG welded together in a specific sequence to reduce the amount of frame distortion. They even slow down the weld speed to produce larger flatter welds that are said to penetrate deeper into the material and create an improved fusion of the individual metallic parts.
The tension bar around the shock is carried over from the standard Saturn and connects the rocker pivot to the lower shock mount, where it provides a very efficient way to combat the bottom out forces that are trying to rip these two pivots apart. Adding the necessary reinforcement into the tube would result in more added weight than the tension bar solution and up the complexity of forming for the seat tube.
As mentioned, all details of the bike were scrutinized and even the link's shape was arrived at using topology optimization. The knowns like forces, directions, clearances, interfaces and material are inputted and the computer system goes about finding the best shape, or geometry, to best fill all the requirements. The link is then machined from a single piece of material to make sure all this computer work is transferred into the real-world part.
Topology optimized link shapes to best handle the forces with the least amount of material and double sealed pivots are yet more details of a bike built to be ridden.
All frame pivots use cartridge bearings that use not only the bearing seals but also o-rings in the hardware to ward off the elements and muck. British winter riders rejoice.
The dropouts have particular attention and careful machining to ensure the alignment of the rear wheel with respect to both the frame centre plane and also the front wheel.
There's a removable ISCG tab on the BB, external cable routing, space for a water bottle inside the front triangle and included chain stay protection. Wheel Size, Geometry & Sizing
Nicolai have given a name to the longer/slacker trend, which they have been a big part of pushing. Slacker head angles, longer reaches, longer wheelbases and steeper seat angles need little introduction and explanation but Nicolai is calling it their Geolution Trail concept. They believe it equates to more speed and more fun which is something everyone can understand, get behind and somewhat thank Nicolai for being a part of instilling this in all modern bikes.
The Saturn 14 ST is hugely adjustable. Like head-hurtingingly adjustable with all the options. Wheel size can be 29", 27.5" or a mix of the two. Fork travel can be between 140mm and 160mm. Shock stroke can be between 50mm and 55mm (depending on wheel size). Lower headset cups can be swapped out to change stack height and the frame features interchangeable hardware, dubbed Mutators, on the seat stay to swap out for different wheel sizes or geometry requirements.
Thankfully, Nicolai know what they're doing and will happily discuss the configurations and adjustments with you so that you can get the bike tailor set up to you and allow you to understand what to change based on what you want out of the bike. Some people don't like the idea of adjustability, and yes, it can become confusing. But it's such a powerful tool to adapt one bike to the multitude of people and terrain that it will be ridden on all over the world.
The Saturn 14 ST is available in sizes S to XXL spanning recommended rider heights of 164cm to 205cm. The geometry information available is vast, so I implore you to go take a look at with a cup of tea. Not many other brands are this forthcoming with their numbers.
On top of all this, and if you find the plethora of geometry options unsatisfying or have specific requirements, Nicolai will take the time to understand why you may need custom geometry and what it may be through their tailor made program. Options & Price
The Saturn 14 ST is available as frame only or as a full build with component picks from Hope, Fox, Intend, Magura, Tune, Continental, SRAM and Levelnine. Continuing the theme of unlimited customization, the colorways of the parts can be chosen as well unlimited pick of frame colour.
Frame only options start at €2,499 and complete builds start at €6.499, with upcharges for their Extra-Love custom colors and Tailormade custom geometry.Ronny Racing Special Edition
In honor of test riders and all-around wild men Ronny Racing, Nicolai is offering 10 frames in Ronny Racing design. A raw frame color is contrasted with green, red and orange parts and graphics. The special edition is available for €1,999 and comes with Ronny Racing jersey to complete the full look.
For more information and some of the most in-depth geometry tables for all the options then visit the Nicolai Saturn 14 ST homepage