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German custom builder Nicolai now has a U.S. distributor

Published June 4, 2014
The Nicolai ION-20 with Effigear gear box and Gates Carbon Drive.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (BRAIN) — The high-end German mountain bike brand Nicolai is now being distributed in the U.S. by Nicolai USA, based in Arizona.

Nicolai offers stock and custom frames and bikes, including several models using gear box transmissions paired with Gates Carbon Drive belt-drive systems. Frameset retail prices range from $2,000 to $6,000, said Darin Brin of Nicolai USA, the new exclusive North American distributor for the brand. Brin said the brand has opened about 20 U.S. dealers since opening the distributorship in March. Brin also is the North American distributor of Stealth electric bikes.

Kalle Nicolai has been building frames since the 1980s, and built bikes for AMP Research and Mongoose-sponsored racers in the 1990s. The brand sponsors several top gravity athletes in Germany.

Nicolai offers about 23 models. All the frames are made in Germany at Kalle Nicolai's "farm" factory (the factory is featured in a new Red Bull video). The factory does everything from CNC-machining to powder coating and anodizing, allowing full customization of bike geometry, features and finishes.

"Somebody can come to us with a specific geometry they need and we can build it with custom paint and custom anodization. We offer something the big brands can't," Brin said.

Nicolai is particularly well known for its gear box bikes, which use frame-mounted internal transmissions from Pinion and Effigear. Paired with the Gates belt drive, the system promises minimal maintenance, a wide gear range and smooth shifting under power or coasting.

Besides the gravity race bikes for which Nicolai is probably best known, the brand offers a fat bike, a city bike, a hardtail cross-country mountain bike and a road frame.  

More information: nicolai-usa.com.

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