Well, I've gone and ordered another one...Nicolai that is. New Argon TB 29, fixed dropout version.

I want a do it all bike for bike packing/touring, Winter gloop thrashing, riding with my kids on gentler stuff and road stuff if I fancy it, the odd endurance race but also something different to the Ion every now and then
Plan is to build it up with either my Fox34's or a new Pike, but also to have a Kinesis 120mm carbon rigid in the background. Not sure yet about the drivetrain, can't decide whether Shimano and 2x10 or X01. Maybe the latter with a grip shift for a simple cockpit and retain the option of 2x11 at the front but run it mostly 1x11.

It'll have the usual dropper, I'll run an Easton 35 bar/stem because I love it.

Wheels will probably be a set of Hope/crests for road/pub duty with touring tyres and then use my Hope/King/Enve combination for offroad duties to maximise use and make me feel like I'm getting value for money!

And the all important colour....Well Vincent hit me with a "Go factory Raw or Go home" quote and it was in the back of my mind, I like it and its practical. So Raw with Blue/white /yellow team decals..

For this bike ai would have been happy to go cheaper, I had been talking to the guys at Nicolai about this model whilst we were discussing the Ion15 and I reckon they've nailed the geometry and features. I wanted 142x12 axle, 120-140+ fork capability, fairly slack for both enthusiastic riding but also weight carrying when bike packing, ability to run a guide, dropper, longish TT etc. there are very very few, if any, HTs out there that tick all of those boxes. I'd have liked 5-10mm on the TT ideally to enable me more flex to steepen up the ST using the saddle with a big fork but its being very picky and this time 5mm wasn't enough for me to go custom since everything else is just right.

Hopefully a Feb. delivery date...

If there are any others out there already, post em up :-)