Nicolai mountain bikes are prized in Europe for their long geometries and use of gearboxes and belt drives. Now these rugged made-in-Germany bikes are also available in the United States through Cycle Monkey.
The Ion G16 GPI exemplifies Nicolai’s philosophy on full-suspension mountain biking. Its geometry is long and slack for fast and steep descents over rocks and roots–a style Nicolai calls “Geolution.” The aluminum frame, handmade in Lübbrechtsen, Germany, shows the raw beauty of the welds. But it’s the advanced drivetrain of a Pinion gearbox and Gates Carbon Drive that differentiates this enduro rig from most other full-suspension bikes. A bash guard on the underside of the front sprocket protects the belt from rocks, and a tensioner wheel keeps the belt taut as the rear suspension moves. Until now, US mountain bikers had difficulty buying these Nicolai rocket sleds. No more.
Cycle Monkey, based in California, will offer 20 frame and drivetrain combinations featuring Pinion and Gates. Cycle Monkey will sell consumer-direct and through select dealers. Buyers can choose from various colors and components. Cycle Monkey is the U.S. service center for Rohloff and is owned by Neil Flock, a longtime advocate for belt drives, gearboxes and internal shifting. “We’re essentially the go-to for Rohloff in the U.S., and by extension we are the high-end internal drivetrain resource in the country,” Flock tells Bicycle Retailer.
The partnership between Nicolai and Cycle Monkey also makes available in the US one of the most rugged full-suspension Bosch-powered eBikes on the market: the Ion G16 EBoxx E14. The bike, which uses Rohloff’s 14-speed electronic shifting system, grabbed attention at Eurobike and Interbike. For mountain bikers, it all represents another step forward in the evolution, and Geolution, of low-maintenance riding. cyclemonkey.com