Nicolai Ion G16 Frame

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Nicolai G16

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Everything you've ever heard about this bike's geometry is true - it's just better at literally everything, but there's a lot more besides the numbers headlines.

The Bad:

3 small beefs. It's 1x specific (it looks like you can run a front mech, but you really can't) which slightly limits its range in steep hilly areas. There are no water bottle mounts. And the flip switch shock chip is kind of pointless, because running the lower travel option doesn't make it any more efficient, change the geometry or make it lighter (obviously) - it's just limiting.

Overall Review:

If you're considering buying a G16, it's pretty likely that you'll already have read the whole internet about these bikes. They're pretty radical and you don't just pick one up from your LBS.

It's not exactly an impulse decision.

Well if you haven't managed to ride one yet, the good news is that all the hype is real - and you really should consider testing one before you look at other options. The basic fact is that they're just faster than anything else - and by miles.

Riding a G16 is like listening to a really load and distorted music and being able to just turn down the volume. It just calms everything down and the faster and harder you go, the more noticeable "the calm effect" gets. It's definitely the stand out feature of the bike.

It also climbs really efficiently, which is

Overall Review:

If you're considering buying a G16, it's pretty likely that you'll already have read the whole internet about these bikes. They're pretty radical and you don't just pick one up from your LBS.

It's not exactly an impulse decision. 

Well if you haven't managed to ride one yet, the good news is that all the hype is real - and you really should consider testing one before you look at other options. The basic fact is that they're just faster than anything else - and by miles.

Riding a G16 is like listening to a really load and distorted music and being able to just turn down the volume. It just calms everything down and the faster and harder you go, the more noticeable "the calm effect" gets. It's definitely the stand out feature of the bike.

It also climbs really efficiently, which is surprising for a bike with 7" of travel - even out of the saddle pedal stamping doesn't really have a big effect on the suspension. It climbs well sat down too - much better than you might expect - another feature of the bike's enormous front centre. 

Ok so the up and down hill riding hype is true, but there is more to like. There are a ton of small, but nice details, not least of which is the beautiful skill that's gone into it. It's really a work of art. The welds are huge and 100% perfect and symmetrical. The ISCG 05 tabs and the rear brake threads are steel inserts and the BB is standard threaded 73mm. Cables and hoses are mostly external (apart from the stealth dropper post seat tube), although you can't just whip the rear brake on and off - it has to be passed under the rocker which means taking the hose off. The bearings are Enduro Max Angular and in my experience, seem to be lasting well in the wet Peak District.

The small details I don't like are listed above in "The Bad", but there is a bigger and more difficult downside to explain:

This G16 is the Audi RS6 of bikes. It's ridiculously fast and nicely built to boot. There's tons of traction and pretty much nothing can touch it in a street race. But, and here's the big downer - some days you just want a Lotus Elise. A small, dangerous and fun machine that isn't about numbers and a stop watch. Yeah the G16 can be a bit lacking in silliness and pointless excitement. It kinda takes itself a little too seriously sometimes. It's the class swat. 

I tried owning the G16 as my only bike as its 95% as fast as a DH bike on a DH, and 95% as efficient as a trail bike on a trail ride - but I ended up feeling nutrient deficient. Like I wasn't getting enough vitamin D. And the truth is, you can live without silliness for only so long. The G16 will make you faster, of that I am totally convinced, but eventually just leaves you a bit wanting for something silly and naughty, so make sure you also have a silly-fun hardtail in the garage for those days you just want to get daft. 

Specifications

Product Nicolai Ion G16 Frame
Riding Type Trail
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
S, M, L, XL, XXL View Geometry
Size S M L XL XXL
Top Tube Length 621mm 643mm 662mm 681mm 705mm
Head Tube Angle 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5°
Head Tube Length 110mm 120mm 130mm 150mm 170mm
Seat Tube Angle 77° 77° 77° 77° 77°
Seat Tube Length 420mm 450mm 470mm 500mm 520mm
Bottom Bracket Height -17mm drop -17mm drop -17mm drop -17mm drop -17mm drop
Chainstay Length 443mm 443mm 443mm 449mm 454mm
Wheelbase 1268mm 1289mm 1311mm 1342mm 1370mm
Standover 708mm 740mm 760mm 788mm 810mm
Reach 485mm 502mm 520mm 535mm 555mm
Stack 599mm 608mm 617mm 633mm 650mm
* Additional Info Geometry based on 155mm travel shock
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Aluminum
Frame Material Details Internal dropper post routing
Rear Travel
  • 155mm
  • 175mm
Rear Shock FOX Float X2 Comp-Lever, 155mm or FOX Float X2, 175mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered, ZS44/56
Bottom Bracket Threaded, 73mm
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 12mm x 148mm
Front Derailleur Size N/A, 1x only
Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm (S-L), 30.9mm (XL-XXL)
Max Tire Size 2.5"
ISCG Tabs ISCG05
Bottle Cage Mounts No
Colors Customizable
Warranty 5 years for manufacturing defects, transfers if frame is sold with original sales receipt
Weight 7 lb 11.5 oz (3,500 g)
Miscellaneous 2018 version
European price: from 2,599 EUR
Handmade in Germany
ET Key allows rider to switch between 170mm (222mm x 70mm) and 155mm (216mm x 63mm) shocks
160mm - 170mm fork recommended
Internal dropper post routing
Not 2x compatible
Each frame is delivered with an additional derailleur hanger
RADO exchangeable dropout for track and camber adjustment
Price N/A
More Info

Nicolai website

See website for detailed price and customization information

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