Nicolai Nucleon TFR- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Good job! Nicolai Nucleon TFR

    Have had the Nicolai for some months now. Having spent a full week riding it at Whistler and a day on the Shore. I now feel a little report should be given...

    All the hassles in how long the bike took to get to me etc is all in the past, doesnt bother me now... Hang, I am the one who becomes the victim so to speak. So onwards and upwards...

    My first very few rides were sort of XC / AM rides. I struggled for sure on the bike. The configeration and bike setup is not really conducive to this type of riding. It is not so much the weight, more so the stem length, cockpit etc. Bare in mind I didnt want the bike for XC / AM type stuff..

    It is hard to get used to the weight (39 pounds) when my usual MotoLite XC / AM ride is 28pounds. So I tried to keep a real open mind.... Also it takes a fair while for the Rolhoff hub to bed in etc. The top ratio of 7 keys is sweet, when in the lower ratio, it takes some getting used to, the sounds coming from the reduction box is really noticeable...

    I was waiting ever so patiently for the snow to clear and the lift assisted bike parks to open... Which was beginning of July. So on the opening weekend of Vallnord Bike Park I was into it. A little daunting to say the least, not speaking the local language and not knowing anyone... However, I got amongst it. Was awesome to be able to catch the lift up, then ride down and so on and so on....

    The terrain at Vallnord is something else, it is steep and real rocky and hugely technical. Totally hard on gear and tires etc....

    I kept going to Vallnord for all the weekends I was in Spain prior to going to Whistler, wanted to try and get fit...

    I loved the bike at Vallnord, main issue I felt was that the terrain is so rough, I felt I couldnt get the Totem Air perfect, was great on the big hits, but not great on the small bumps. I carried on and lived with it, which I often tend to do...

    So on 28th July, I headed to Canada to spend a week riding at Whistler and the shore. First up, had an amazing time, the place rocks, it gets into your vains. Fantastic place, one which all of us mtb die hards should go to..

    The Nicolai was at home here in Whistler, after one week, I am totally in love with this bike, even more than I was... Having the GBoxx is great, no rare mechanical sh!t to go wrong, and I saw a lot of bikes screwed up, this terrain is hard on bikes...

    The rare end on the TFR is stiff as can be, the HA is perfect for me, Not to to slack, but not to upright either, this bike shreads the tight areas, is fantastic on the switchbacks etc. It is not plush plush like a full on DH bike, bare in mind travel is 6.5 inches. More a hardcore FR bike than a DH sled...I feel I thrashed the bike for a week, whilst big jumps etc to trannies are not my best area of riding, the steeps, rocky tech areas are what I love best.... EBX and I did two real fast non stop runs down Goats Gully, this trail is rough as guts and twice as ugly. The TFR just eats it up. Very confidence inspiring for sure..

    The Totem was great at Whistler, the fork is perfect I felt, really stiff up front, I felt there is no where near the amount of small bump plushness that is need as is in Vallnord... So no complaints on the fork at all.... If I was to put on a dual crown fork, I would have to go with a Fox 40 or a RS Boxxer, the 888's would sit to high, so no go there. I will think on this before I go further.....

    I broke the grip shift cable, which was totally my own fault, we were heading down In Deep, then wanted to move over to another trail, so went down a steep, then straight up a bank, in which I dumped a bunch of gears and the cable snapped. Got down no problem at all, the GBoxx was in top gear anyway. The team at Evolution fixed this small issue no worries....

    The 823 rims held up great, packing the bike up I noticed one loose spoke on the rare wheel... All good, to be expected...

    The Magura Louise Carbon brakes were the bomb, no issues at all. Never oonce did I feel any fade, and they got a beating... Think I need new front disk pads, but this is wear and tear... So was stoked with the brakes...

    No issues at all with the carbon bars.....

    Overall am a happy camper, a week's riding in Whistler and doing all the top runs hard out will really show a bikes weeknesses I feel, this bike performed sensational.....

    I got to hang out with Err (Toni) up at Whsitler for 2 days. I was really stoked to be able to ride with Toni, seeing as though he helped me build and get the Nicolai. Toni had also never seen the bike. Was great to see him shread on his Helius too..(I see on Err's profile that he has his Medium Helius up for sale, this bike is sweet, great price too, it has the CCDB shock as well. I have said it many times before, but Toni is a top dude, and I can say this with more knowledge now having hung with him for a few days.... I say, if you want to chew the fat with a mtb die hard who will share your joy in getting a new bike or components, make contact with him....

    Err mentioned that Nicolai are coming out with a new DH frame at the up coming Interbike. This will interest me.. Those that know me, when I ordered the TFR, I had never ridden lift assisted terrain, hence not going for a full blown DH rig. Had I known what I know now I would have got a DH Nicolai frame with the GBoxx. So may look at this. I would get either a Nicolai DH frame or a Knolly V-Tach.....

    Sorry that I dont write the real techy reviews, I like to ride a bike, I can then tell you of the bad points, I have found none. OH well just one minor one. I hate that the grip shift hand twister is wider than the bar grips, pisses me off big time.......I know a small thing....

    So thank you to Nicolai for building a hell of a perfect frame and to Toni for puttign up with me while we built and decided on components etc for this steed...

    A few pictures. The frame from the Nicolai website, the frame arriving in my hot hands, me sitting with the Nicolai up on Original Sin and a couple of other ride shots....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  2. #2
    Err
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    Great write up man, was super cool to sync up in Whizzler. That G-BOXX is the shiz. Perhaps we'll meet up there again next year.

  3. #3

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    Whafe: Great write up and I love the bike!

    Err: Do you work at Black Sheep I assume? But I thought you lived in UT and BS is in NC isn't it??

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    Great stuff bro.

    I love to hear about happy Nicolai owners.How about some more photo's.thanks.CF..

  5. #5
    Err
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowpug
    Err: Do you work at Black Sheep I assume? But I thought you lived in UT and BS is in NC isn't it??
    You are correct, I work for Black Sheep Cycles which is located in Charlotte, NC but I live in UT. I used to live in Charlotte where I was around the shop more and I still travel back to Charlotte a couple times during each year. Most of my customers come from across the internet so I work for the shop out of my home. It works out quite well as my business line is a cell and I check my email and mtbr quite often. For guys like Whafe it's all about communication and working very closely on the build, my cell and computer let me do that no matter where I am. It's a different business model than most but we think it allows for tremendous personalized customer focus. It has also allowed us to become fairly streamlined in working with smaller custom manufacturers which means no price gouging just because you want a special part that practically no one else has ever seen.

    Any way, enough sales pitch

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    Quote Originally Posted by Err
    You are correct, I work for Black Sheep Cycles which is located in Charlotte, NC but I live in UT. I used to live in Charlotte where I was around the shop more and I still travel back to Charlotte a couple times during each year. Most of my customers come from across the internet so I work for the shop out of my home. It works out quite well as my business line is a cell and I check my email and mtbr quite often. For guys like Whafe it's all about communication and working very closely on the build, my cell and computer let me do that no matter where I am. It's a different business model than most but we think it allows for tremendous personalized customer focus. It has also allowed us to become fairly streamlined in working with smaller custom manufacturers which means no price gouging just because you want a special part that practically no one else has ever seen.

    Any way, enough sales pitch
    Err

    Thx for explaining. Thats a pretty cool shop to let you work remotely from UT. Makes sense also. Nice to see that type of business mentality creeping into the bike industry.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRAZY FRED
    I love to hear about happy Nicolai owners.How about some more photo's.thanks.CF..
    Crazy Fred my man,,,, yes one happy Nicolai owner here, well will be more happy when the airline finds my focking bike....

    See more pics here. Whistler Pics

    Some more pics form you would be good also

    Snowpug, yep have to pipe up again. For me purchasing the Nicolai through Toni and BS, it was irrelevant where Toni was located, the world is flat now. I think it is a fantastic model, one that I have experienced working first hand. Its alll good...
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whafe
    Snowpug, yep have to pipe up again. For me purchasing the Nicolai through Toni and BS, it was irrelevant where Toni was located, the world is flat now. I think it is a fantastic model, one that I have experienced working first hand. Its alll good...
    Whafe,

    Sorry to hear about the bike...I hope it gets back to you very quickly!

    Yeah, I was going to get a new Canfield Lucky but my lbs never heard back from them so I guess they don't really need to sell too many bikes... Anyways, I would love to get a new Nicolai Helius ST in Camo, so maybe I should contact Err to see if he can help me out?

    btw Whafe...I think I saw a post around here before saying that you are from New Zealand, was that correct? I was born in Wales but spent my time growing up between Wales and Wellington. I started out playing rugby in the Wellington youth system and played for Cardiff RFC back in Wales, and my brother is a current Welsh pro rugby player also. I love Wales but my heart lies with the All Blacks of course I grew up playing with (and against) some names that would probably be very familiar to you.

    Beautiful country and wonderful people. NZ is my 2nd home to me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowpug
    Whafe, Sorry to hear about the bike...I hope it gets back to you very quickly!
    Yep me too, have heard nothing as yet, fingers, legs, arms and balls crossed....

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowpug
    Anyways, I would love to get a new Nicolai Helius ST in Camo, so maybe I should contact Err to see if he can help me out?
    Well Toni (Err) is your man on that front. If indeed you are using a medium frame, Toni has his frame for sale, it is the bomb price too, includes the CCDB shock, which I say is the shizzle..... Talk to him either way... The camo looks great though....

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowpug
    btw Whafe...I think I saw a post around here before saying that you are from New Zealand, was that correct? I was born in Wales but spent my time growing up between Wales and Wellington. I started out playing rugby in the Wellington youth system and played for Cardiff RFC back in Wales, and my brother is a current Welsh pro rugby player also. I love Wales but my heart lies with the All Blacks of course I grew up playing with (and against) some names that would probably be very familiar to you.

    Beautiful country and wonderful people. NZ is my 2nd home to me.
    Yes indeed am from New Zealand, am an expat at present located in Spain. So its very different to NZ, but I am enjoying it immensly here. I have a daughter in NZ, whom I miss HUGELY, so that is the downer re being here... Things are never perfect, so we have to make the best of things...

    Wales is a cool place, for me it is better than England for sure.....

    Will be an interesting world cup for sure. As long as the Poms and the Aussies get hammered all will be good.... Am sure I would know some of the names you played with growing up...........

    All good................................
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  10. #10
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    Call Canfield directly yourself

    You can't go wrong with either frame but I own two Canfields and cannot believe they would not call back. Those guys are customer service pros. Lance is currently out of the country though so call Chris directly at 801-548-2556 and he will be excited to talk to you, I promise.

    Not to say the Nicolai isn't a fantastic frame, I just want to make sure you give the Canfields a good chance if you really are interested. Those frames definitely deserve your interest.

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    See, what I wonder about with the GBoxx frames is the limited options for where to put the main pivot. I'd want a bike that can pedal and provide decent braking, so a high (in appearance) and slight rearward pivot makes me reserved. Perhaps a Nic will be in my future one day, but it will be the Helius FR, should my RFX ever take a dump and I can't get spares or get it rewelded.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    See, what I wonder about with the GBoxx frames is the limited options for where to put the main pivot. I'd want a bike that can pedal and provide decent braking, so a high (in appearance) and slight rearward pivot makes me reserved. Perhaps a Nic will be in my future one day, but it will be the Helius FR, should my RFX ever take a dump and I can't get spares or get it rewelded.
    JC, have to say, one highlight of this frame is just how well it does pedal, it is amazing to say the least. Virtually nil bob at all. Although the set up is not really designed for a pedalling bike.

    Braking wise I am stoked with it...

    Can you give some more details in regards to the issue of the pivot placement cause of the GBoxx... I can then possible give you some thoughts and feedback....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  13. #13
    Err
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowpug
    Whafe,

    Sorry to hear about the bike...I hope it gets back to you very quickly!

    Yeah, I was going to get a new Canfield Lucky but my lbs never heard back from them so I guess they don't really need to sell too many bikes... Anyways, I would love to get a new Nicolai Helius ST in Camo, so maybe I should contact Err to see if he can help me out?
    I can certainly help you with either a Canfield or a Nicolai. Chris Canfield has always been responsive to me, shouldn't be an issue getting in touch with him. Let me know if I can do anything.

  14. #14
    Err
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    See, what I wonder about with the GBoxx frames is the limited options for where to put the main pivot. I'd want a bike that can pedal and provide decent braking, so a high (in appearance) and slight rearward pivot makes me reserved. Perhaps a Nic will be in my future one day, but it will be the Helius FR, should my RFX ever take a dump and I can't get spares or get it rewelded.
    I know you're a very well versed fellow on sus but don't discount the impact of both removing chain growth and moving significant unsprung weight off the back wheel. I pedaled Whafe's build around a bit, couple of hard strokes to feel the suspension action, and watched him on it a good bit at Whistler. For a bike meant to point downhill, it pedals very nicely.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    You can't go wrong with either frame but I own two Canfields and cannot believe they would not call back. Those guys are customer service pros. Lance is currently out of the country though so call Chris directly at 801-548-2556 and he will be excited to talk to you, I promise.

    Not to say the Nicolai isn't a fantastic frame, I just want to make sure you give the Canfields a good chance if you really are interested. Those frames definitely deserve your interest.
    Thx aenema, maybe I will just call them myself. My lbs are pretty, well how should I put this, lets just say "laid back"...so maybe it was those guys that "broke" communications with Canfield...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whafe
    Will be an interesting world cup for sure. As long as the Poms and the Aussies get hammered all will be good....
    Ha! I can drink to that!!

    I don't expect much from Wales obviously, well I haven't expected much from them since the 80s to be honest since Welsh rugby is in the crapper, BUT I hope the All Blacks kick ass.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Err
    I can certainly help you with either a Canfield or a Nicolai. Let me know if I can do anything.
    Err,

    Thank you. Let me figure out what I want for sure and I will PM you privately when the time comes. I don't want to waste your time until I am concrete on a specific frame. I initially wanted a new Lucky but after seeing yours and Whafe's Nicolai's, the Helius ST in Camo sure sounds very nice.

    I will let you know. I appreciate it!

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