The New Nicolai Nucleon 16 Features a Wild, High Pivot Drivetrain

The Nicolai Nucleon 16 is a high-pivot, 160-180mm enduro 29er running a Supre Drivetrain. Nicolai is known for utilizing alternative drivetrains like the Pinion gearbox and Rohloff geared hubs in their bikes, and this latest Nucleon flavor should save weight while taking advantage of a derailleur-less(ish) high pivot system.

The Nucleon 16 frame features a 64° head tube angle and a steep, 78.3° seat tube angle. The 490mm reach on size medium is long which should make for a very stable descender.

Supre Drivetrain

The Supre Drivetrain Nicolai is using comes from Canadian company Lal Bikes, and is billed as “the world’s toughest derailleur.” As you can see from the photos, the derailleur is tucked between the seat and chain stays while the chain is routed to a high pivot placed between the shock’s upper and lower mounts. Lal Bikes claims the system is “more efficient than a gearbox, and more efficient than other high pivot bikes because of the large pulleys and a constant chain tension system that reduces drag.” The derailleur, attached to the frame in two places instead of just one like traditional derailleurs, weighs a bit more than others, but far less than a gear box.

The drivetrain is said to work with off-the-shelf cassettes, chains, and crank sets, and the Nucleon 16 will ship with a 12-speed cassette. The Supre Drivetrain requires Superboost rear spacing so it’s safe to assume the Nicolai Nucleon frame is Superboost too.

Pricing and availability

The Nicolai Nucleon 16 is available for pre-order now and the brand says bikes will begin shipping in December, 2022. Frames (without gears or shock) are priced at 3,099€ while complete bikes will start at €7,499.