Nicolai Launch Bike Park Approved Saturn 14 ST

Dec 19, 2019
by Dan Roberts  
Nicolai Saturn 14 ST

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 Details
Wheel Size: 29", 27.5" or mixed
Travel: 130mm or 138mm
Sizes: S - XXL
Price: Frame only €2,499, full bike from €6,499
Custom geometry available
Complete color & component customisation
5 Year Warranty, 10 year spare parts guarantee
More 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.





Nicolai Saturn 14 ST

Frame Details

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.

Nicolai Saturn 14 ST
Nicolai Saturn 14 ST
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.

Nicolai Saturn 14 ST
Nicolai Saturn 14 ST
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.




Nicolai Saturn 14 ST Geometry 29
29" geometry

Nicolai Saturn 14 ST Geometry 27.5
27.5" geometry


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.

Nicolai Saturn 14 ST Geometry Hybrid
Geometry and frame information for the frame in hybrid (29" front and 27.5" rear) setup

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.


Nicolai Saturn 14 ST


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.


Nicolai Saturn 14 ST


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 .


93 Comments

  • 41 3
 Road
CX
Gravel
All road
Endurance
Drop bar mountain
XC (don’t confuse with CX)
Up country
Down country
Trail
Super trail
Enduro
Superduro
Freeride single crown
Freeride double crown
DH
Rampage
  • 28 0
 All mountain ain't dead
  • 6 0
 @chyu: good call.

Supertrail
All mountain
Enduro
...
Freeride (double crown)
Dh
Fest
Rampage
  • 2 0
 List goes on and on, thought I will have a few, scratch that!!!
  • 1 0
 Slopestyle Dirt Jump
  • 7 1
 Beach cruisin' Commuter Hipster Basket Wagon Chicano Lowrider
  • 4 0
 I’m okay with this many categories. Because N+20.
  • 1 0
 Start with BMX then Fixie
  • 1 0
 Track and Monstercross is missing ????
  • 4 0
 Hey Pinkbike can we get all of these categories covered in next year's field test. Thanks in advance!
  • 1 4
 someone could say, this is all confusing, but that is unfair. Hype Machine focuses on one trend at a time Big Grin
  • 4 7
 I think Super trail, Down Country and all this short travel period is nothing more but second coming of Anti-tech that RC described in his great article yesterday. It’s for people who openly say they are not into Enduro or XC racing, they just want to have fun on the bike. I don’t know what is stopping them from having it on 140-160 bike but whatever. I bet Norco Optic is a fun bike, just a bit too little to be the one and only bike. I’d call all “VHS” though... Volountary Handicap Signalling and it kind of reflects the demography of VHS generation...
  • 1 0
 You forgot Up- and downduro
  • 6 0
 Klunker
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Because if you're not having fun, can't nail that corner, clean that climb or do that drop...it's 118% your bike's fault, 130% of the time...and this latest *insert bike name* from *insert bike manufacturer* could be the solution to all your riding woes.
  • 2 0
 Trials!
  • 1 0
 4x and duel slalom
  • 1 0
 Nocturnal badger frightening.
  • 2 3
 @terribleone1982: yes, why won't we try 100mm rear travel and 155mm front... WAIT! Actually industry, why don't we have fork travel in 5mm increments!

@BenPea - I am not sure what you mean but I am morbidly curious.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: they're solid little buggers, one ran into my front wheel a few months ago (I had stopped at the time).
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: those chaps laugh at carbon rims
  • 1 0
 Bike Polo
  • 24 1
 Wait, Nicolai makes a 30lb bike with a 65 degree head angle with a warranty that's voided if you go in a bike park? That's kinda ridiculous.
  • 4 0
 and its metal.
  • 1 0
 That was my reaction. I rode my old yeti 575 at Northstar. Albeit slowly.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-sf:

I took an 04 575 to sugarbush back in 13, wish I could say it survived
  • 4 0
 Despite the numbers, the Saturn (non-ST) is their trailbike. A lot of companies don't cover bikepark use for their trailbikes if you look at the warranty fineprint.
  • 3 1
 @Ttimer: what other companies? I've never heard of that before, and I'm not even sure how that would be enforceable given that the definition of bike park is pretty damn vague.
  • 5 0
 @toast2266: Bike parks tend to have the smoothest trails anywhere. Just check out Yoann Barelli on his road bike!
  • 2 1
 There’s something deeply weird going on with Nicolai’s engineering and design philosophy. I really want one of these; it’s to replace an ageing Liteville. But that frame weighs 2.4kg, has more travel, and has no restrictions. This one in its trail guise is already 3kg, and now they’ve decided that if you want a warranty that just lets you ride your bike wherever, you actually need a 3.3kg frame? That’s a kilo more metal! My local stuff is at least as rough a intermediate bike park trails. Having second thoughts.
  • 2 0
 They also list maximum stanchion diameter for the trail version at 34mm but complete builds can be configured with Pikes. Which are 35. And are entirely suited to trail bikes. Need a bit more of that attention to detail.
  • 1 0
 @dominic54: I would be interested to see what is the reasoning behind the exclusion of forks with stanchions over 34mm in diameter. I always thought it was about axle to crown and dual or single crown. Nicolai isn't one for nonsense so I'm curious to see what's the reasoning behind this. And what their take on these linkage forks would be (German-A etc).
  • 2 0
 @dominic54: Just a thought, as nice as the Liteville are, and while I'm not saying that they're cheap either, they're made in Taiwan AFAIK, so as far as warranty is concerned, a frame failure & warranty may be much more costly for Nicolai (production cost, messed up schedule) than it is for Liteville, so maybe Nicolai has to be on the safer side. (I don't know how warranty works business wise, if you order 2000 frames maybe you plan for a theoretical failure %, say 5%, so you order 2100 instead of 2000 to have a bunch of warranty frames available, which of course can't be the case when you're building on order).

Also I don't know if the techsheet has changed, but the Saturn 14 lists maximal stanchion diameter as 35mm/130-140mm travel, while the Saturn 14 ST lists maximal stanchion diameter as 36mm/140-160mm travel.
There seems to be a couple of mistakes in the techsheet though (effective & real seattube angle seem to be inverted for instance).
  • 1 0
 @Will-narayan: yeah, they’ve updated the tech sheet. But it also seems to differ depending on whether you’re reading the 27 or 29 version... ????
  • 1 0
 @Will-narayan: I’ve often wondered about warranty breakage/cover rates. I don’t think it’s that, though; just some slightly conservative engineering allowances. Either way I’ll still probably be buying one when I can talk myself into it!
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I have a feeling that it’s to do with t he type of riding that different forks are likely to see; but that’s a bit of a blind tool...
  • 1 0
 @dominic54: Yeah, possibly. I just wouldn't expect such shallow reasoning from a company like Nicolai. If they don't want to see their frame subjected to certain riding styles then define that as such. The original Z1 wasn't for mellow XC riding. And a dirtjump fork with 32mm stanchions is likely to be subjected to harsher landings than a "park" fork will ever see.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: That's what I thought too. It's all very odd!
  • 19 2
 SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL SUPER TRAIL
  • 10 1
 IF DOWNCOUNTRY IS GOING TO BE A THING I DEMAND THERE ALSO BE SUPERTRAIL!
  • 7 0
 WHAT ARE WE YELLING ABOUT?!
  • 6 0
 @LRod1018: BEARS!!!
  • 4 2
 MY HANDS HURT SO BAD THINKING ABOUT RIDING THIS BIKE IN A BIKE PARK
  • 6 0
 LOUD NOISES
  • 7 0
 I LOVE LAMP
  • 4 3
 MY HOVERCRAFT IS FULL OF EELS!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: YOU MEAN MATCHES ?
  • 19 0
 F*ck me, I'd let it eat crackers in bed
  • 12 6
 The individual parts are all beautiful. The machined rocker, beautiful welds, and stunning raw aluminum. All together though, its kind of an ugly bike...
  • 2 0
 I like seeing highly engineered aluminum bikes still going strong! I might have to get my cup of tea to pour back over the details, but was the weight not listed? Seems like with so much emphasis on shaving weight through special processes and design, they would be proud of the frame weight. Anyway, the Ronny Racing bike looks like ChristmasSmile
  • 5 4
 Heck - I love nerdy detail stuff like this! Yeah Nicolai!

The cut-price whingers that hang around here like my grandpa's smell after a can of beans will call it marketing BS, but I, my fine friends, I will liken it to those that appreciate the finer things of life - Singer Porsches, Laphroaig 10 yo etc.

>
>
>
>

LOL
  • 8 4
 Can’t imagine that tension bar doing anything appreciable.
  • 3 1
 Yeah, WTF is a tension bar on an MTB for?!?
  • 3 0
 I get the purpose, but It’s kind of bothering me that the bar & screw aren’t seated and bottomed out.
  • 6 4
 Can't imagine you know anything about construction features
  • 4 0
 @aks21: tension
  • 10 0
 There's a spelling mistake - it's actually an 'Attention Bar' so when you're in the lift line and people are like 'hey what's that extra bar for - goal achieved.
  • 2 0
 @pinkbike-engineer I assume it's for a hard bottom out which should help the seat tube from being torn apart. I've seen a number of Ventana and Turner frames fail in that mode.
  • 3 0
 it's like the bike version of the strut tower braces on ricer cars. Just needs to be anodized red.
  • 3 0
 Username checks out...
  • 5 1
 How is Super Trail 138mm travel? That’s nothing...
  • 5 0
 Cos it’s super if you actually get down the trail
  • 2 0
 So....if I want to put a 160mm travel Manitou mezzer or the brand new yet to be revealed fox 38, also in a 160mm travel, I will void my warranty?
  • 2 0
 Do the frame only sales with Nicolai come with the shock pictured?? I only ask as there is no mention of the shock in any of the details
  • 4 1
 Kinda looks like an older Turner rfx
  • 2 1
 I like a little more head angle (64), more travel (atleast 160) and tire clearance (atleast a 2.5 come one guys) for my park bike, or really any bike.
But damn she's pretty
  • 2 0
 Modern turner burner. Wonder what fork length the geo is listed at?
  • 2 0
 Love the simplicity of the frames, clean, and most of all a blast to ride!
  • 3 5
 Why is Pinkbike as a seemingly successful website completely incompetent at being able to post a legible geometry chart? They either don’t care about the quality of their content or have morons in charge of putting together the articles, either way it’s insulting, I guess you get what you pay for.
  • 2 1
 I'm not totally sure how the content system works, but this was at least posted by someone affiliated with Nicolai as more of a press release than a PinkBike update. So, I would think it is on Dan Roberts not the pinkbike staff?
  • 3 0
 you need glasses
  • 1 0
 Click it and it gets bigger. Here's the URL to the GEO chart www.pinkbike.com/photo/18096052
  • 2 0
 What happened to their gearbox bikes?
  • 1 0
 With the amount of AL that was milled to make this bike, you could practically make 3/4 of another bike with the scrap.
  • 1 0
 Based on the reach numbers, I'd definitely have to size down. Looks like a sweet bike though.
  • 1 0
 Beauty. Always loved their frames , even the crazy ones when I was 20 years old , now I'm 40...
  • 1 0
 Always wanted a Nicolai, anyone in Canada ever order one.. how much does the $$ inflate after its landed.
  • 1 0
 I bough a G16 last year. The final price is whatever the current rate of euro to cad is the day you pay for it, plus shipping, which, iirc was 100euro. Also, european prices are generally listed with vat, and as canadians we do not have to pay vat which makes the bikes roughly 25% cheaper than list price. The only extra cost after you pay Nicolai is gst when it arrives in Canada. Simple.
  • 1 0
 @tfriesenftr: so like 3500$ Cad with shock ?
  • 1 0
 Ah just admiring the welds. Enjoying the look of the machine paths. This frame is beautiful!
  • 1 0
 I had to read the title 18 times to make sense of it
  • 1 0
 Niiiiiiiicolaaaaaaaaaaaaaai! Cough cough.
  • 1 0
 That Ronny edition is dreamy. Straight in my basket.
  • 1 0
 so its replacement for G13
  • 1 0
 Wait, the Ronny Special Ed is €500 less?
  • 1 0
 Welders porn
  • 1 0
 Looks lika a dejavu.
  • 1 1
 And i assume - no water bottle?
  • 2 0
 why so triggered??
its custom made.
not mass produced china boutique, in one option. You can order with or without bottle tabs.
  • 1 0
 No gearbox version?
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