The first shots of the NICOLAI ION G16-EBOXX have been dropped! With a fully integrated battery, striking frame design and pretty unique geometry, this bike is screaming ‘revolution’. And we’ve got an exclusive on the details!

NICOLAI’s latest drop, the NICOLAI ION G16-EBOXX is definitely a showstopper. Here’s an exclusive run-through of this latest E-MTB.
NICOLAI’s latest drop, the NICOLAI ION G16-EBOXX is definitely a showstopper. Here’s an exclusive run-through of this latest E-MTB.

NICOLAI are no stranger to the world of E-MTBs. Way back in 2010, this mid-sized company set up by Kalle Nicolai created their first E-MTB prototype with their own motor. In 2011 it was joined by their first series bike, the EBOXX 1. Since then they’ve ticked off scores of projects for brands like Grace and HNF Heisenberg. At EUROBIKE 2013 they launched the EBOXX 2, but it sadly never made it to production. Now it’s the turn of the third-generation, the NICOLAI EBOXX 3, that heralds a new era for the brand. They’re simultaneously dropping four models: ION G13-EBOXX, ION G16-EBOXX, ION G19-EBOXX and the ION 16-Classic-EBOXX. Alongside a host of exciting details, all the models feature a powerful Bosch Performance CX motor with a fully integrated battery that’s both removable and chargeable while still on the bike.

Stood next to its predecessor...
Stood next to its predecessor…
 ...the latest iteration looks bang up-to-date.
…the latest iteration looks bang up-to-date.

PACECAST – a brand new generation of NICOLAI aluminium frames

Known for their fine engineering skills, Germany’s NICOLAI, who are based in Lübbrechtsen, have acquired a widespread fanbase that appreciate their first-rate welding and frame building. They rely on a method known as PACECAST, which is essentially takes frame building to the next level, seeing complex cast components welded with tubing or hydro-formed parts. The result is visible in the complete integration of the battery into the striking-looking downtube. As a method it’s fairly similar to Space Frame, which Audi use for their top-end A8 models. According to NICOLAI, this construction method enables them to create frame designs that simply wouldn’t have been possible with carbon.

The battery sits wholly inside the one-part downtube – but it can still be removed and charged while on or off the bike.
The battery sits wholly inside the one-part downtube – but it can still be removed and charged while on or off the bike.
Another benefit to the PACECAST construction is its ability to produce innovative aluminium frames.
Another benefit to the PACECAST construction is its ability to produce innovative aluminium frames.

GEOLUTION – the revolutionary NICOLAI geometry concept for E-MTBs

NICOLAI have also created a geometry concept that they’ve dubbed GEOLUTION, which is reputed to combine improved climbing capacity with increased comfort and even better handling on descents. In pursuit of the ultimate weight distribution for climbs, the EBOXX 3 models with their GEOLUTION geometry feature a notably steep 77º seat angle and long 470 mm chainstays. To keep the bike stable on descents, they’ve gone for a slack 63.5º head angle, short 45 mm stem and long frame (662 mm top tube in a size L). If you prefer to keep to convention, then NICOLAI have reserved classic geometry for the ION-16-Classic-EBOXX.

Smart details make the difference

Now chainguides, bottle cages and smartphone mounts don’t sound like ground-breaking innovations, but take a look at the rate of their occurrences on E-MTBs – and you’ll agree they’re pretty rare. But these are the small touches that make a significant impact on the fun you’ll have with the bike; no one likes a clattering chain, and isn’t that space in your backpack better used for a spare battery? Exactly. And that’s what makes it so satisfying to see that NICOLAI have adopted all of these features onto the EBOXX-3’s frame.

NICOLAI have designed their own efficient chainguide to put an end to unwanted clattering and chain drop.
NICOLAI have designed their own efficient chainguide to put an end to unwanted clattering and chain drop.
With space on the toptube for a smartphone mount, the series model will also be able to keep your phone charged directly.
With space on the toptube for a smartphone mount, the series model will also be able to keep your phone charged directly.

The NICOLAI EBOXX models

NICOLAI are dropping four EBOXX models: the ION G13-EBOXX, the ION G16-EBOXX, the ION G19-EBOXX and the ION 16-Classic-EBOXX. With G19-EBOXX as the exception, all of the bikes will be available in three build specs. Prices start from € 5,399.

The NICOLAI ION G16-EBOXX in detail

The bike for anyone that likes to get loose on descents. Flaunting 160 mm of travel, 27.5+ wheels and GEOLUTION geometry, this is bound for challenging trail rides, mountain epics and bike park days. But don’t brush it aside; it’ll also make a mean commuter bike.

NICOLAI ION G16 EBOXX-Baseline

Fork: RockShox Yari RC 160 mm
Rear shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3
Motor: Bosch Performance CX
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500 Wh
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM GX
Seatpost: DESCENDANT 400 mm
Stem: Hope AM 45 mm
Bars: Renthal Fatbar 780 mm
Wheels: Hope Hoops Tech 35W Pro 4
Tires: WTB Trailblazer 2.8/WTB Trail Boss 3.0
Price: € 5,399

NICOLAI ION G16-EBOXX-Techline

Fork: RockShox PIKE RCT3 160 mm
Rear shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RCT3
Motor: Bosch Performance CX
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500 Wh
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM GX
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem: Hope AM 45 mm
Bars: Renthal Fatbar 780 mm
Wheels: Hope Hoops Tech 35W Pro 4
Tires: WTB Trailblazer 2.8/WTB Trail Boss 3.0
Price: € 5,999

NICOLAI ION G16-EBOXX-Techline FOX

Fork: FOX 36 FLOAT Factory 160 mm
Rear shock: FOX FLOAT X2 Factory
Motor: Bosch Performance CX
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500 Wh
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM GX
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem: Hope AM 45 mm
Bars: Renthal Fatbar 780 mm
Wheels: Hope Hoops Tech 35W Pro 4
Tires: WTB Trailblazer 2.8/WTB Trail Boss 3.0
Price: € 6,499

NICOLA E-BOXX G16 2017 geometry

Size S M L XL XXL
top tube length 621 mm 643 mm 662 mm 681 mm 705 mm
seat tube length 420 mm 450 mm 470 mm 500 mm 520 mm
head tube length 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm 150 mm 170 mm
head angle 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5°
seat tube angle 77° 77° 77° 77° 77°
bottom bracket drop +6 mm +6 mm +6 mm +6 mm +6 mm
chain stay length 457–470 mm 457–470 mm 457–470 mm 457–470 mm 457–470 mm

The NICOLAI ION G13-EBOXX in detail

For those looking to embark on multi-day rides, love grinding your way up climbs and choose to de-stress with post-work laps on your flowing home trails, then the new ION G13 should make you happy. The bike comes with 130 mm front travel and big 29″ wheels. Thanks to the GEOLUTION geometry, there’s a super comfy, central riding position.

NICOLAI ION G13-EBOXX Baseline

Fork: RockShox Yari RC 140 mm
Rear shock: RockShox Monarch RT
Motor: Bosch Performance CX
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500 Wh
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM GX
Seatpost: DESCENDANT 400 mm
Stem: Hope AM 45 mm
Bars: Renthal Fatbar 780 mm
Wheels: Hope Hoops Tech Enduro 29”
Tires: Continental Mountain King 2 ProTection
Price: € 5,399

NICOLAI ION G13-EBOXX Techline

Forks RockShox PIKE RCT3 29 140 mm
Rear Shock: RockShox Monarch RT3
Motor: Bosch Performance CX
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500 Wh
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM GX
Seatpost: DESCENDANT 400 mm
Stem: Hope AM 45 mm
Bars: Renthal Fatbar 780 mm
Wheels: Hope Hoops Tech Enduro 29”
Tires: Continental Mountain King 2 ProTection
Price: € 5,899

NICOLAI ION G13-EBOXX FOX

Fork: FOX 34 FLOAT Factory 140 mm
Rear shock: FOX FLOAT DPS
Motor: Bosch Performance CX
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500 Wh
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM GX
Seatpost: DESCENDANT 400 mm
Stem: Hope AM 45 mm
Bars: Renthal Fatbar 780 mm
Wheels: Hope Hoops Tech Enduro 29”
Tires: Continental Mountain King 2 ProTection
Price: € 6,399

NICOLAI E-BOXX G13 2017 geometry

Size S M L XL XXL
top tube length 610 mm 642 mm 664 mm 689 mm 714 mm
seat tube length 420 mm 450 mm 470 mm 500 mm 520 mm
head tube length 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm 150 mm 170 mm
head angle 65.2° 65.2° 65.2° 65.2° 65.2°
seat tube angle 76.7° 76.7° 76.7° 76.7° 76.7°
bottom bracket drop +6 mm +6 mm +6 mm +6 mm +6 mm
chain stay length 472–485 mm 472–485 mm 472–485 mm 472–485 mm 472–485 mm

The NICOLAI ION G19-EBOXX in detail

“Bound by tradition” is the slogan for the ION G19-EBOXX. Coming from a brand with a lengthy history in downhill, it’s no surprise that NICOLAI have also crafted an e-version of their ION G19. It’s a bike for anyone unwilling to compromise on descents, and won’t rely on lifts in the bike parks.

Fork: FOX 40 FLOAT Factory 200 mm
Rear shock: FOX FLOAT X2
Motor: Bosch Performance CX
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500 Wh
Brakes: Hope Tech 3 E4
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 DH
Seatpost: Hope Carbon
Stem: Hope DM Stem
Bars: Renthal Fatbar 780 mm
Wheels: Hope Hoops Tech Enduro 27.5”
Tires: Continental Der Kaiser 2.4 Projekt ProTection Apex
Price: € 8,499

NICOLAI E-BOXX G19 2017 geometry

Size S M L XL
top tube length 607 mm 629 mm 649 mm 679 mm
seat tube length 415 mm 425 mm 445 mm 465 mm
head tube length 115 mm 125 mm 125 mm 125 mm
head angle 62.2° 62.2° 62.2° 62.2°
seat tube angle 75.2° 75.2° 75.2° 75.2°
bottom bracket drop +3 mm +3 mm +3 mm +3 mm
chain stay length 457–470 mm 457–470 mm 457–470 mm 457–470 mm

The NICOLAI ION 16-Classic-EBOXX in detail

If the GEOLUTION geometry strikes you as too extreme, then the ION 16-Classic-EBOXX is still a damn potent E-MTB that sports 160 mm of travel and wide plus-size tires that render it capable of any adventure.

NICOLAI ION 16-Classic-EBOXX Baseline

Fork: RockShox Yari RC 160 mm
Rear shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3
Motor: Bosch Performance CX
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500 Wh
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM GX
Seatpost: DESCENDANT 400 mm
Stem: Hope AM 45 mm
Bars: Renthal Fatbar 780 mm
Wheels: Hope Hoops Tech 35W Pro 4
Tires: WTB Trailblazer 2.8/WTB Trail Boss 3.0
Price: € 5,399

NICOLAI ION 16-Classic-EBOXX Techline

Fork: RockShox PIKE RCT3 160 mm
Rear shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RCT3
Motor: Bosch Performance CX
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500 Wh
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM GX
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem: Hope AM 45 mm
Bars: Renthal Fatbar 780 mm
Wheels: Hope Hoops Tech 35W Pro 4
Tires: WTB Trailblazer 2.8/WTB Trail Boss 3.0
Price: € 5,999

NICOLAI ION 16-Classic-EBOXX Techline FOX

Fork: FOX 36 FLOAT Factory 160 mm
Rear shock: FOX FLOAT X2 Factory
Motor: Bosch Performance CX
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500 Wh
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM GX
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem: Hope AM 45 mm
Bars: Renthal Fatbar 780 mm
Wheelset: Hope Hoops Tech 35W Pro 4
Tires: WTB Trailblazer 2.8/WTB Trail Boss 3.0
Price: € 6,499

NICOLAI ION 16-Classic-EBOXX 2017 geometry

Size S M L XL
top tube length 580 mm 600 mm 625 mm 645 mm
seat tube length 400 mm 440 mm 460 mm 490 mm
head tube length 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm 150 mm
head angle 66,5° 66,5° 66,5° 66,5°
seat tube angle 75° 75° 75° 75°
bottom bracket drop +6 mm +6 mm +6 mm +6 mm
chain stay length 457–470 mm 457–470 mm 457–470 mm 457–470 mm

The NICOLAI EBOXX 3 models & availability

The first few Nicolai EBOXX 3 models will be delivered in April 2017. You shouldn’t wait if you want one, as only 50 will be produced in 2017!

Our impressions of the all-new NICOLAI EBOXX bikes

Wow, what a comeback! NICOLAI have been busy, folks. In our eyes, the new EBOXX bikes mark a giant leap forward for this German brand who are proving that they can craft technically smart details onto distinguished-looking bikes! We’re keen to find out how this extreme geometry will translate onto the trains. On conventional mountain bikes we’ve already seen the GEOLUTION geometry met with approval, and the advantages in terms of climbing capability are irrefutable. But are the bikes still agile? We’ll find out shortly when we put the EBOXX on test.


All of the info on the new bikes can be found soon at nicolai-bicycles.com

PS: Readers' Survey 2017 - Give feedback, win awesome prizes: We're giving away prizes worth more than €20,000 among all participants of our reader's survey! Win E-MTBs from Focus, Moustache and Thömus and more! Click here to take part now!

Words: Christoph Bayer Photos: NICOLAI