You can’t drink the Kool-Aid if you’re the one that’s offering it. Nicolai Bicycles has been a front runner in the ‘long, low and slack’ arms-race since it began with reach numbers and headtube angles that, jumping back a decade, would have been utter heresy. However, with most of the industry following the model that companies like Nicolai helped set, it seems as though that Kool-Aid must actually be pretty tasty. Further, Nicolai was one of the first companies to adopt gearboxes and belt-drive systems, even pulling off full-suspension, belt-driven frames with integrated tensioners—no minor engineering feat.
However, enjoying one of the German-built beauties on this side of the pond has been, sadly, exceptionally difficult. You’d be paying all the fees and navigating all the red tape on your own. That is, until today.
Cycle Monkey, a California-based distributor and service center specializing in internally geared bikes, just announced a partnership with Nicolai. Cycle Monkey will initially offer 20 frames and frame/drivetrain combos featuring Pinion gearboxes and Gates Carbon Drive belt systems, in addition to one complete bike. All of Nicolai’s frames are made in Germany, and each one is built-to-order. For a full list of the offerings, visit here.
Riders can either select from a standard size or opt for custom geometry numbers to suit their exact needs. In addition, since each bike is built-to-order, they’re available in a wide range of colors and finishes, even anodized. Cycle Monkey will also offer RockShox, Fox or Cane Creek suspension for its fully suspended frames. If selecting a bike with a gearbox, riders can choose from Pinion’s 9- or 12-speed offerings.