Nicolai is better known for its MTB and fat tire rigs, but their Argon CX bike has always been a great commuter option. Now, with the addition of a Pinion gearbox and Gates Carbon Drive the complete low-maintenance package is hard to ignore. The bike is more than capable of handling long miles and light trail riding, but it’s primarily aimed at commuters wanting an all-season worry-free bike.
Both 12 and 18-speed Pinion gearboxes are available. Either gearbox comes standard with a Gates Carbon Drive rather than a chain, for a hassle-free drivetrain.
The aluminum frame comes with a dynamo front hub and light. Shifting the gearbox is as simple as twisting the handlebar-mounted grip shifter.
The rear dropouts use a design called RADO (Rear Aligning DropOut), the system adjusts camber and toe for precise belt tension.
If you dig into the photos below you’ll notice some pretty interesting design elements in the frame build, the bulky sections are called HWT. According to Nicolai:
“HWT stands for Hollow Weld Technology. Big and voluminous parts like the yokes of chainstays and seatstays or parts of the bottom bracket are normally very heavy. That’s why we manufacture them in two phases, machine the inside and weld them together. The result is hollow parts. This process is extremely difficult and takes a great deal of time; needless to say it’s also cost intensive. But the result justifies the hassle: the parts are very lightweight, incredibly stiff and extraordinarily durable.”
Five stock sizes are available and there’s an option for a tailor-made custom frame. Custom colors are also available.
The Nicolai Argon CX Pinion is made in Germany, and comes with a five year warranty. The frameset including Pinion and Gates systems is available for €3.349 ($3,794), with the complete bike starting at €5.499 ($6229).