The Argon GTB is our closest relation to the forefather of mountain bikes – the classic hardtail. No full suspension bike, no matter how sophisticated, can compete with a hardtail in terms of weight and efficiency, nothing accelerates more directly, gives more feedback and can be handled with less energy. With all of our love and respect for the classics, the Argon GTB stands as a modern bike being designed and manufactured according to the latest technical standards. Its Geolution geometry is the same as the Saturn 11, our full suspension Marathon Race bike. A steep seat angle allows long and steep climbs to be tackled ergonomically, efficiently and effortlessly while seated. An attacking riding position is achieved by the long reach and 30-50mm stems are used for optimal direct steering and maximum control – the days of long cross country stems are history. A slack 68° head angle, long wheelbase and 100-120mm fork travel provide fun on fast single trails and safety on descents. The geometry of the Argon is size-adaptive, for example, the chainstay length grows with the frame sizes.
At the rear wheel, there are two dropouts to choose from. For derailleurs, there are fixed dropouts according to the Boost standard with 148mm width and a 12mm thru-axle. Adjustable dropouts, sliding on both sides and guided along horizontal grooves allow the use of a ROHLOFF gear hub, of course, in conjunction with this we offer the GATES Carbon Drive belt drive.
Thanks to its multi-butted tube set and elaborately manufactured, topology-optimized Hollow Weld Yokes, the Argon GLF is NICOLAI’s lightest mountain bike with the highest strength-to-weight value. A high-end classic for purists.
We at Nicolai exclusively use the alloy 7020-T6 (AlZn4,5Mg1) for our frames. Compared to our competitors, who mostly use aluminium 6061-T6, this grade has much better strength values.
The tensile strength of 7020 compared to 6061 aluminium is about one third higher. The elasticity is about one fifth higher. These properties, coupled with high quality welding, result in a bicycle frame that is far superior to the average in terms of durability.
In comparison to carbon, aluminium is much more robust and tough, so that bottom contact, falls or stone impacts cannot harm the structure.
The manufacturing quality itself is not yet an added value for a customer. The following two added values “durability & precise driving characteristics”result from production quality. Only if the welds are welded deep into the root and have no notches, a bike frame can withstand the impacts from the ground for many years without breaking. Precise riding characteristics are achieved when the rear wheel is precisely straight to the front wheel and even a layman notices that an oblique bike rides strangely (but usually he thinks it’s because of his riding ability).
Over the last 20 years, we have continuously optimized our production in order to further increase production quality and, of course, to be able to implement ever more sophisticated designs. Of course you can also outsource a production, but then you have to plan a certain additional effort to check the processes at others. We do not do this, because we manufacture everything in-house. However, this trivial fact leads to the next reason:
Customer-specific adaptation options
Since we only manufacture a NICOLAI bike when we have received an order from a customer, it is easy for us to implement different wishes such as colour, train guidance or even a special geometry. The possibilities and limits can be evaluated in a personal discussion with our sales and technical team. Oh, and here’s another reason:
Personal contact continues even after purchasing a NICOLAI bike. There are customers with whom we have been friends for 20 years and if after a few years of hard work a bearing needs to be changed or a frame needs a new coating, you can simply call the guys from the service department. Since we also manufacture all small parts on our machines, we can also produce all spare parts for older models if required. In three words:
10 years spare parts availability
We do not follow any trends, but test everything ourselves and come to our own convictions and that for 20 years. We have a great deal of experience. In my opinion, it borders on insulting customers to announce a bike as a novelty in one year and to discontinue the same model as a discontinued model next year. A NICOLAI is timeless. Straight drawn round tubes paired with elaborate CNC milled parts and beautiful detail solutions result in a frame design that will please even after many years. I call it that:
Durability and value stability
The manufacture of products close to the customer is environmentally friendly. This applies to bread, milk, meat and any other product. And it applies above all to large objects. I do not want to transport bulky bicycle frames, which consist almost exclusively of air, in containers across the oceans. I just want to produce the things that are needed. For more and more customers this sustainability and the jobs here on site is a reason to choose a NICOLAI bike. Worn phrase:
But back to the bikes. Every NICOLAI frame is developed in Lübbrechtsen. The bike is designed, prototypes built and tested until we are satisfied. The feedback of our team riders, our customers and our own experience as bikers is incorporated. Our goal is always the same: To make best function, durability, reliability and the good better. And that’s the best reason:
The best bike