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  1. #1
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    NICOLAI BIKES (A question of time...)

    Hello everyone

    I write these words because I am very worried with the attention of nicolai at his customers and distributors. In december 09, im bought a Nicolai Helius AFR with some different configurations of colors (sky blue glossy, stickers in gold, bolts in gold and the rear part of the frame in anonized titanium), its very similar to the helius afr team 2010 ( same colors and configuration except the letters (sticker parts) thats looks tipical as nicolai design.

    Well, today is march 29 and nicolai dont tell my distributor if the frame has been live the house... how is it posible?? how is it posible that a great brand seems nicolai delivered my frame for 4 moths??? whats the problem?? muy distributor has been talking with vincent and both (my distributor and me) we have the sensation that we are liying because they told us about (24 wednesday) the frame was going out to spain and at the moment we havent got any mail of UPS (the transport company)...

    im a fan of nicolai but i dont understand this attitude....

    im from spain, my distributor is DISTRITO BIKER..

    Im expecting for a solution ( im only want my frame), the summer is coming... and i dont know what i do... ( i dont have another bike...)

    pd: sorry for my english
    Last edited by AdrianoMTB; 03-29-2010 at 02:36 PM.

  2. #2
    "Its All Good"
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    Hola Adriano

    Trying to get a handle on the issue here.

    Have Nicolai told your Spanish distributor an expected delivery date?

    I read the post again, so in December 2009, you placed an order for an AFR, At present I guess it is some 12 weeks from your order date. I dont think this is out of the ordinary for a Nicolai frame.

    What week did they tell you that you should expect the frame?

    Please let us know a few more details.

    Have you tried to call Vincent / Karl direct on the phone? I am pretty confident that Vincent would not be lying at all. Give him a call as I said above, he is really helpful.

    Please let us know how you get on.. Once your frame arrives, it will be well worth the wait... If it is any help, I waited 7 months for my Nucleon TFR.
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  3. #3
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    Adriano,

    Waiting is part of the Nicolai experience! I guess it is the price of success balanced with the fact that you are ultimately going to receive an awesome bike that has been lovingly crafted to your exact specifications.

    Don't worry I waited 4 months for my Helius AM and when I ordered the estimate was 3 months. But in the end it was more than worth wait. I promise you won't be disappointed.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whafe
    Hola Adriano

    Trying to get a handle on the issue here.

    Have Nicolai told your Spanish distributor an expected delivery date?

    I read the post again, so in December 2009, you placed an order for an AFR, At present I guess it is some 12 weeks from your order date. I dont think this is out of the ordinary for a Nicolai frame.

    What week did they tell you that you should expect the frame?

    Please let us know a few more details.

    Have you tried to call Vincent / Karl direct on the phone? I am pretty confident that Vincent would not be lying at all. Give him a call as I said above, he is really helpful.

    Please let us know how you get on.. Once your frame arrives, it will be well worth the wait... If it is any help, I waited 7 months for my Nucleon TFR.
    Hello whafe!!!

    First of all, thanks for your attention in this forum.

    Im have a fluent comunication with my distributor and the says me that the frame will arrive Spain (valencia) on finally february (my distributor said me that the frame it takes to build aprox 1 week and five days aprox but its very important the dates that nicolai sets to build his frames ( you know that this building setups is according to weeks , week1 --> argon,helius and helius cc, // week 2 --> lambda and ion st FOR EXAMPLE...)

    Its maybe possible that 12 weeks were not a limit date but my distritbutor didnt tell this...obviously I speak according to the dates that my dealer is giving me, this is the reason of this post, my distributor include are very surprise for the time of the delivered frame... (it takes normally 2 1/2 moths, max. 3 1/2 told my distr.)

    In any case, my distributor have the emails of the conversation with vincent and he told us a few weeks ago ( aprox. 3) that they were wrong in the pipe ( my pipe is 1/1.5) with my frame and there is probably the cause of this problem, i dont know if its normal or not ( my Distr. tell me Not normal) but this is the real case, todays im not have my helius AFR

    im not telephoned vincent yet but im guess not neccesary if nicolai owners read this thread.

    I only need a date of shippment, not more... but its must be some complicated viewing this case.

    Im hope everything goes well but its really important that nicolai care for theirs distributors and costumers, its a "little" company with a good reputation and its would be a same that this case was repeated more times...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazzam
    Adriano,

    Waiting is part of the Nicolai experience! I guess it is the price of success balanced with the fact that you are ultimately going to receive an awesome bike that has been lovingly crafted to your exact specifications.

    Don't worry I waited 4 months for my Helius AM and when I ordered the estimate was 3 months. But in the end it was more than worth wait. I promise you won't be disappointed.

    Dazzam!

    Thats a great comment!! finally i will end up thinking that waiting for a nicolai its part of the Nicolai experience ... Anyway, its make me better know the time of delivered for your frames (so i do realize that my case its not rare... )

    Thanks for your support

  6. #6
    Live to ride another day.
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    Adriano, if its any consolation i too was told that my bike (AFR) was scheduled for february. I've waited around the same time as youself, but after going through the forum its pretty normal to wait a while, as long as it comes as spec'd, the wait doesn't bother me too much. I've been told by my distrubutor that Nicolai had a late shipment of aluminium, so i can imagine that they are trying to get through their backlog. Hope that yours comes soon, and post her up with pictures!

  7. #7
    JT
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    12 months for my Helius AM Tailor, 5 months for my Nonius CC, 9 months for my FMXTB, and its been 8 months and i have yet to recieve my Argon Road. So don't feel so bad.. It IS part of the experience..haha!

  8. #8
    Live to ride another day.
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    JT, where do you live.... the north pole?

  9. #9
    JT
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    haha! Nope.. Singapore.. same as Attitudebikes.. My advice is choose the Tailor made option only if you are willing to wait..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails NICOLAI BIKES (A question of time...)-25518_10150137374945154_902460153_11906215_651348_n.jpg  


  10. #10
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    I'd be happy to wait the 12months for that, stunning

  11. #11
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    Adriano

    there's no fixed dates with Nicolai. You should take any dates as estimates. Some come sooner, some later. Don't worry about it. It'll come eventually and you'll love it
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

    flash bikes for flash gits

  12. #12
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    my frame its seems that this but the stickers are the nicolai normally bikes...( but in gold too)

    the only diference is the decals kit, the other parts of the frame are exactly that this version...

    pd: its building with an elka stage 5
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails NICOLAI BIKES (A question of time...)-wg0s3157.jpg  

    NICOLAI BIKES (A question of time...)-wg0s3166.jpg  


  13. #13
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    did you contact Vincent?? if not, try sending him an email vinc@nicolai.net; when you send him an email, attach the order number, so that he knows which order/frame yo mean.
    Vincent generally answers within a few days
    good luck

  14. #14
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    I have to experienced the long wait for a Nicolai. Ordered a custom frame in October/November. It arrived in Februari but with a welding mistake (wrong headtube).

    Sent back and had to wait another 5 weeks for the frame......communication was a problem also for my distributor.

    The good news however: when Karl & Vincent did reply, they were helpfull and friendly and the best news: bike is ready for pickup tomorrow

    Although the wait and the lack of communication/customer attention is a pain, I think one should realise that a Nicolai (especially custom builds) aren't stock 'of the rack' frames and as said the waiting is part of the experience (easy for me to say as I am going to pick up my Nico tomorrow .

  15. #15
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    Waiting sucks and no, you can not trust Vincent when it comes to estimating delivery. I think he promised me that i would have it next week for 4 or 5 consecutive weeks.

  16. #16
    "El Whatever"
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    La espera desespera, no? Ya pase por ahi.

    12wks is more or less normal for a Nicolai... adding custom options adds to the price and wait. I waited around 12wks too for a totally standard frame.

    Don't despair my friend... good things come to those who wait. Also, unfortunately it's not rare for bike companies to overpromise and underdeliver. I'm not saying it's correct, but it seems more the rule and not the exception.
    Check my Site

  17. #17
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    Yep, has already been said but can also confim to you that the kind of wait you've got is perfectly normal. Have three frames and another on order, and doesn't put me off.

    Things do take time and sometimes mistakes happen but these guys are straight up and produce great bikes. Talk with them direct and you won't have a problem.

  18. #18
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    I ordered my frame in Jan, I'm not expecting it till may...... though it is part of the fun

  19. #19
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    crikey... thats somewhat off putting

  20. #20
    Distributor
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    End customers should really deal with their distributor - contacting Nicolai directly tends to complicated things further and lead to mistakes in orders.

    It's a small company and sometimes delivery dates change. A batch of AFRs was originally scheduled for Week 8 or so but then delayed to week 12 when they reordered production. A late delivery of aluminium has further delayed these frames to around week 14.

    Since all frames are built to order different options don't add to the delivery time although powdercoated frames usually ship quicker as the anodizing is done by an outside company.

    Good things come to those who wait is the maxim we try to live by..... :-)
    Simon Still
    Momentum Distribution
    www.nicolai-uk.com

  21. #21
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    Simon - it's a good job that they are worth the wait but ultimately Nicolai are going to have to do something about improving their production line or they will jeopardise their existence. It's a bit like the Morgan car company was in the 1980s (remember that bounder Sir John Harvey Jones, captain of industry, in his TV programme Troubleshooter?), and still is to a great extent.

    Morgans are bought only by people who would happily loose a kidney or the greater part of their liver rather than compromise on having any other car than a Morgan. The waiting list is currently 12 months but it used to be twice that.

    So how does it play out? Nicolai continue to make amazing frames, their reputation grows and so does demand and so does the time to delivery. When you get to people being told it will be 6 months before they see their frame, they suddenly decide that actually they'd as soon have an XYZ tomorrow than wait half a year for a Nic - let's face it, there are a lot of very nice bikes out there that come close to Nicolai in what they offer.

    Plus you're pushing six months of sales for the retailer who then thinks twice about selling a Nic because they're going to have no end of hassle having to explain why it's still not there. You're already seeing Nic dealers selling Nics to people who come in to buy one; they don't sell them proactively to people who are undecided because of the hassle factor.

    The next logical move is to then put the prices up in order to better manage demand and ease the pressure on production, which has the effect of further alienating potential customers so you end up concentrating your audience even further to those die-hard Nic fans for whom nothing else will do.

    That's not necessarily a bad strategy, but you end up being a niche player, making high engineering, artisan frames in very low numbers. Nicolai is already unique in what it does I cant think of another company that makes everything in house to the same engineering tolerances as Nicolai does (OK Orange make them in house by hand but the quality isnt even in the same ball park), so its sort of already there, but the risk is that it cant maintain that position.

    Technology is moving on pretty rapidly and I can see a time in five years when aluminium frames will be regarded as terribly old fashioned. Everything is going to go carbon. You may still have a niche for alu like you do now for steel, but then, alu doesnt quite have the same feel as steel so I am not sure what benefits it would enjoy over carbon, once carbon is as robust as alu.

    I wonder why, rather than making every single frame to order, they dont just look at yearly demand for completely stock frames and then make 70% of that total on a batch process in advance and build some inventory. Obviously youd have them un painted and then allow the customer to specify what colour they want. You could have a shorter waiting time at the expense of customising anything but the colour, though it would be easy to still allow the choice of things like head tube, rear dropouts and ISCG.

  22. #22
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    I hear what you're saying. However, delivery times are not as bad as some people are making out. According to the production plan on the Nicolai site you can currently have a Helius in about 8 weeks (custom options, and even custom geo, do NOT normally add to production times). It's usually between 8 and 12 weeks and only occasionally slips beyond that.

    We've tried carrying unfinished stock and it doesn't really work - the number of sizes, models and options makes it impractical and ties up too much cash. Most of the custom features can only be added during production - you can't leave a frame without headtube or ISCG (though bolt on interchangeable dropouts might help). Given that the current production team is fully occupied how do you suggest they get the capacity to build 70% of stock in advance and what would you do with all that excess production capacity once the stock was built? It takes a long time to train a welder to Nicolai's standard and you have to commit to paying them full time.

    Delivery outside Europe is obviously going to be a problem as air shipping charges are so high and to sell at a reasonable price the distributor has to group frames together and ship by sea - that's why JT101's wait times are so long.
    Simon Still
    Momentum Distribution
    www.nicolai-uk.com

  23. #23
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    It is a very difficult situation. The first immediate factor they should address is accurate delivery dates. Not necessarily at the time of order but certainly a couple of weeks before despatch.

    When I ordered my frame I was quoted 6-8 weeks. At the start of the 9th week I was told it will be delivered any day, as it was in transit. The frame arrived at the end of week 13.

    I agree that the wait is worth it and the frustration is almost immediately forgotten, but it doesn't make the dealers/distubuters job any easier and it certainly doesn't do Nicolai's reputation any good on the forums.

    but please don't worry the wait WILL be worth it

  24. #24
    Castron BTT Crew
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    Hi everyone.
    It's been a long time! Now I am the proud owner of an Orange Alpine160, so that's the reason why I'm pretty out of the Nic subforum. My old HeliusFR is owned by one of my friends, because was too strong and quite small for me...

    I think that the important point here are not the looooong time to wait for the frames because when you buy such a home-made frame with high tech specifications, you are committed to this yes or yes. The important point is the accuracy in the shipping dates. And, beyond, they should have a "emergency margin" of two or three weeks just in case of mistakes with the headtubes or whatever. It is always better told to the customer that there will be more time to wait than the real time and make the happier when they receive the frame 2 weeks "earlier", right?
    Because if you are told to wait four months is your choice continue with the order or not, but the matter of the delays is completely inadmissible.

    Cheers everybody!
    Last edited by titopol; 03-31-2010 at 03:58 AM.

  25. #25
    steep fast and loose :)
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    titopol - how does the alpine compare - is it as noticeable stiff and does it track as well as the nicolai - i'd doubt it in comparison.
    your thoughts are sought.

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