Construction and Features
Nicolai's Saturn 14 is the European brand's latest incarnation of the aggressive trail bike. For this bike, Nicolai have combined what they learned with their G13 Geolution chassis with their Saturn 11 to make what they call "an addictively fun bike" that's ideal for a wide range of rides from short after work jaunts to all-day missions in the mountains.
It seems that a lot of care was taken in creating this new trail bike. Nicolai's Geolution geometry concept focuses on four different aspects to create their vision of the mountain bike. There's a longer reach, slacker head angle, longer wheelbase, and steeper seat tube angle than what we've long considered standard. The geometry on this bike is less extreme than that found on Nicolai's G1 enduro bike, but still progressive by most any account.
Saturn 14 Details
• Intended use: Trail
• Frame material: Aluminum
• Wheel size: 29" or 27.5+
• Rear wheel travel: 130/138mm
• Geolution Trail Geometry
• Tailormade custom geometry available
• 5-year warranty, 10-year spare parts availability
• Sizes: S-XXL
• Sizes: XS-XL
• Price: 2,499 EUR - Frame only; 6,499+ EUR - Complete
• Colors and components customizable
Nicolai's bikes are all currently based on their Geolution geometry concept. There are four key components to this concept, according to Nicolai. The longer reach means that all riders, even tall ones, can take advantage of shorter stems without feeling cramped in the cockpit of the bike. The slacker head angles reduce the risk of rolling over the bars. This also improves high-speed stability and wheel grip.
Longer wheelbases centralize the rider on the bike and give a more stable ride both climbing and descending and steeper seat tube angles make climbing easier by getting the rider more over the front of the bike and reducing the amount the front wheel wants to 'wander'.
All sizes of the bike have space for a full-size water bottle and there are ISCG mounts for chain retention systems or a bash guard. The cable routing for the bikes is fully external to aid in easy cable replacement or brake swaps. Also, to keep things as light as possible there are titanium bolts at the Horst Link connection and shock mounts. Custom colors and anodizing are also available for all bikes.
The Saturn 14 also utilizes a tension bar - an extra connection between the lower shock bolt and rocker link. This is to further reinforce the area between those two pivot points, an area of common frame breakage, and allow for lighter tubing and parts to be used in that area, further reducing weight.Geometry and Sizing
The Saturn 14 has an adjustable geometry and works with both 27.5" and 29' wheels. Nicolai's 'Mutator' chips, located on the seat stay and lower headset cups can be changed out to modify stack height and accommodate for the different wheels sizes. Nicolai have their standard factory geometry settings but the bikes, according to them, have near endless adjustability and they're willing to help riders figure that out if they don't know exactly what they want on their own.
With metric shock sizing, one shock length can offer two different stroke lengths for different travel options: A frame with 27.5" wheels can use either a 201 x 55mm or 210 x 50mm shock to provide 138mm or 130mm of rear wheel travel. If using 29" wheels, only the 201 x 50mm shock, producing 130mm of travel can be used due to tire clearance.
The Saturn 14 is available in five sizes, from Small to XXL. This should accommodate riders from 160-205cm, according to Nicolai. The accompanying reach measurements span 450-540mm - pretty stretched out, even by the most progressive of standards. If that doesn't work for you, Nicolai say they will work with riders to produce their own custom 'Tailor-Made' frame, for a surcharge.
Photos courtesy of Nicolai