So I've been riding my Nicolai Ion 18 for just under 1 year and thought it might be a good time to do a quick write up on my general thoughts, opinions and experiences with this machine.
Here's a quick pic to show build:
The only difference since that picture was taken is new tires, now running Continentals f&r and a titanium spring.
I live in the pacific northwest, so most of the riding would be classified as aggressive trail and/or freeride. Every trail features lots of pedaling, even when we shuttle, with some extended climbs in the saddle.
I have yet to find a real weakness in this bike. Regardless of what is thrown at it, it's extremely capable and loves the rough stuff. It's fair to say that paired with the Hammerschmidt, the bike is absolutely silent—even when bashing through rock gardens. I truly think the Hammerschmidt is the ideal drivetrain set up for this bike, especially if you intend on using it as your one and only ride. The instantaneous shifting the Hammerschmidt affords makes all the difference in keeping up with your lighter equipped, trail specific friends.
So far, weight hasn't been an issue, even when faced with a long pedal. My build weighs in right around 35 lbs. I should also mention that I'm not in shape by any stretch of the imagination. My idea of a great ride is typically paired with lots of beers.
The bike is extremely quick, nimble and stiff, mainly thanks to the short real end, so handling in the tight twisty stuff is dream like. The suspension is predictable and playful…though this might not be the case without a lot of fuss if using an air shock.
So far so good. If you're looking for an all-around rig to conquer anything the mountain can offer, this is certainly a great choice. The overall construction and attention to detail simply cannot be beat. It's true Nicolai craftsmanship. By far my favorite bike in my long history of rides: V10, Bullet, Turner DHR, Intense Socom, Intense SS, Nicolai UFO, Nicolai Nucleon ST. I went looking for a one bike quiver and found it in the Ion 18.
Enough talk, some riding pics!
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Thread: Ion 18: Year One