Alongside the Nicolai ION-G13 QLFLINE, all other bikes in this comparison look like children’s bikes. The enormous wheelbase and the industrial feel give it a very radical look. But if you think this extreme bike is only for pros, you’re wrong!

For an overview head to the main article: Everyday Heroes! – We review six of the hottest, grin-inducing trail bikes

NICOLAI ION-G13 QLFLINE | 140/130 mm (f/r) | 14.03 kg | € 5,949

Bikes from NICOLAI champion mechanical engineering in its purest form; anyone who likes machined parts and neat welds will love these bikes. All NICOLAI frames are entirely made in Germany. In times when almost everything comes from the Far East, this is a real highlight. No wonder that the quality seal “Made in Germany” is proudly displayed on the left chainstay. As if the detailed aluminum frame wasn’t conspicuous enough by itself, NICOLAI has been relying on the GEOLUTION geometry concept for some time – but more about that in second. The features of the Nicolai ION-G13 QLFLINE complete bike consist of a SRAM X1 1×11 drivetrain, FOX Factory suspension, and loads of stylish Hope components. Particularly striking are the equally industrial-looking Hope Tech 3 E4 brakes. The modulation of the Hopes is brilliant, and they are sturdy, but they do lack bite.


Just looking at it, it’s clear that the NICOLAI is not a bike like any other. While most bikes differ only by a few millimetres, the NICOLAI is centimetres apart. However, on the first few meters climbing up a trail, the bike doesn’t feel as extreme as the numbers might suggest. The steep seat tube angle puts the rider directly in the centre. One notices the long wheelbase and the slack head angle (64.5°) only on technical climbs. The seating position is relaxed, but the gear range is ambitious – the 1×11 drivetrain, coupled with large diameter wheels, requires strong legs.

  Long goes! The geometry of GEOLUTION not only benefits racers, but also less experienced riders who will benefit from increased riding stability!

As soon as you drop the saddle and point downhill, the long reach (510 mm size L) comes into its element. With your mass centrally located between the 29″ wheels, there is plenty of room to move. The NICOLAI is extremely composed without feeling like a bus. Super-tight turns and manuals demand a bit more emphasis, but in 98% of riding situations this bike just is rock-solid and confidence-inspiring. If you really get down to business, the rear triangle of the G13 unfortunately can’t quite keep up. The enormous composure and stability that the bike conveys quickly gets one into situations where the 130 mm travel at the rear simply isn’t enough. Due to the high rate of progression, the shock struggles to follow very fast, hard blows, causing the rear end to harden noticeably. Nevertheless, the bike remains manageable and on course.

Helmet Troy Lee A1 | Glasses Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0 | Jersey Mons Royale Redwood 3/4 Raglan T | Shorts ION SCRUB AMP | Backpack EVOC STAGE 12 l


Fork FOX 34 Factory 140 mm
Rear shock FOX DPS Factory 130 mm
Brakes Hope Tech 3 E4
Drivetrain SRAM X1
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem Hope AM 35 mm
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar Carbon 780 mm
Tires Continental Mountainking 2
Felgen/ WTB KOM I29/Hope Pro 4 Evo
Weight 14.03 kg
Price € 5,949

In love
The machined parts and welds are of high quality and set the bike apart. If you like a raw industrial look, you will love this bike!
Made in Germany!
Not only is the frame of the G13 developed in Germany, but the entire production also takes place in Lübbrechtsen.
The bolted chainstay protector might look nice, but the material has no damping properties, amplifying chain slaps instead.
Too progressive
The rear linkage of the G13 is so progressive that it can’t effectively use the travel the bike offers. In the case of fast, hard strikes, the rear suspension noticeably packs up.

Geometry of the NICOLAI ION-G13

Seat tube 420 mm 450 mm 470 mm 500 mm 520 mm
Top tube 610 mm 642 mm 664 mm 689 mm 714 mm
Head tube 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm 150 mm 170 mm
Head angle (high/low) 65.2/64.5° 65.2/64.5° 65.2/64.5° 65.2/64.5° 65.2/64.5°
Seat angle 76.7/76° 76.7/76° 76.7/76° 76.7/76° 76.7/76°
Chainstay 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm 451 mm 457 mm
BB drop (high/low) 22/30 mm 22/30 mm 22/30 mm 22/30 mm 22/30 mm
Wheelbase 1,237 mm 1,270 mm 1,296 mm 1,323 mm 1,363 mm
Reach 460 mm 490 mm 510 mm 530 mm 550 mm
Stack 601 mm 610 mm 619 mm 637 mm 658 mm


Love it or hate it? The NICOLAI G13 QLFLINE is polarising, both visually and functionally. But one thing is certain: if you’re looking for a bike with an industrial machined look that’s handmade in Germany and combines superb handling in the rough stuff with capable climbing, you will be pleased with the NICOLAI G13! If you’re after BMX-like handling and hydroforming, on the other hand, then this isn’t the bike for you.


– conveys a lot of confidence
– super-fast downhill
– cool look and neat workmanship


– rear suspension too progressive for a short-travel bike
– brakes lack bite
– tires offer little grip

Value for money

More info at:

The test fleet

For an overview head to the main article: Everyday Heroes! – We review six of the hottest, grin-inducing trail bikes

All bikes in test: Giant Trance Advanced 0 | Liteville 301 MK14 All Mountain | Scott Genius 700 Ultimate | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29

This article is from ENDURO issue #031

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