Fans of the gearbox drivetrain will be thrilled to note Nicolai's latest product release, which is a Pinion enabled version of its Saturn 14 trail bike range.

There are very few aluminium frame builders to rival the industrial design appeal, of Germany’s Nicolai.

Gorgeous welds, daring geometry and a commitment to Pinion’s gearbox system have created a very loyal following for Nicolai. The brand released its Saturn 14 a bit more than a year ago and has now added updated versions of the configurable trail bike.

Nicolai’s latest reveal delivers two new versions of the Saturn 14, both featuring the most current development of Pinion’s 1.12 specification gearbox. There is a standard Saturn 14 and the slightly burlier ‘ST’ version, with its reinforced construction.

Any wheel size you like

True to its boutique frame brand values, these new Saturn 14s have impressive adaptability. All possible combinations of the 27.5” and 29” wheel sizes are possible, with rear suspension travel varying between 130- and 138mm, to accommodate the geometry implications of whichever wheel size configuring you settle on.

Nicolai’s mutator adjustment chips facilitate easy wheel size swaps and the overall attention to frame design detailing is tremendous. Like Nicolai’s other bikes, these latest Saturns are built from 7020-T6 grade aluminium, which is superior to the 6061 specification alloy most widely used in mountain bike frame construction.

As a guide to the Saturn 14 GPI’s geometry, it offers a 65.5° head angle when paired with a 140mm fork and a massive 500mm worth of reach, in a size L. Nicolai democratized the Pinion gearbox experience with its latest product evolution, by offer no less than

All the gears

The Saturn 14 GPI’s most distinguishing feature is, of course, its Pinion 1.12 drivetrain. Nicolai’s custom integration of this gearbox alternative to the conventional rear derailleur adds significantly to the bike’s weight but promises reduced unsprung mass and better rear suspension kinematics.

Using the Gates carbon belt drive, Nicolai’s Saturn 14 GPI should offer an exceptionally low maintenance burden and unaffected shift quality, when riding in the worst of winter conditions, through muddy terrain.

To keep the Gates belt drive running true and prevent it malfunctioning during extreme suspension travel, Nicolai has added a tension wheel at the rear dropout and pulley belt guide as part of the bashguard assembly.

Nicolai classifies its new Saturn 14 GPI frame at 7360g, which includes the Gates belt drive, crankset and all associated pulleys. The stronger Saturn 14 ST GPI adds 300g to that mass number, with its larger gussets and slightly thicker tube sections.

Pricing is set at €4249 for the drivetrain equipped frameset, with complete builds starting at €6499.