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Nicolai Ion 14 – The AttitudeBikes Build

April 8, 2012

We recently managed to build the last of the four Ion 14’s that arrived at the beginning of the year, and it is none other than AttitudeBikes’ very own 4X bike.

Do take note that the current build that is pictured here may be a little more ‘trail biased’ as this is the same set up that was used at last months KIP Jamboree 2012, but the main aim was to achieve a lightweight build that was stiff and tough.

As this was a replacement for our previous UFO DS, we thought it would be nice to pay a little homage to it by getting our Ion 14 in an Anodized Apple Green mainframe/chainstay, white seatstays, as well as an Anodized Apple Green rocker.

In the cockpit is a DMR Alloy Wing Bar bolted onto a 50mm Thomson stem…

…we’ve also been testing out the new Shimano Deore XT brakes. We were impressed by it’s stopping power even before they were fully bedded-in!

It was an obvious choice to run Atomlab’s Suprelite rims to keep the weight down (1.7kg for both front and rear wheelsets). They are laced to Atomlab Pimplite hubs, and wrapped in Continental Mountain King tyres, that are light and roll fast, but yet provide very decent grip.

Taking care of suspension duties is a RockShox SID fork that helps to keep the weight REALLY low in the front end…

… it is matched to an equally lightweight RockShox Monarch shock in the rear.

No 4X bike is complete without a chainguide, so we fitted the Ion 14 with a Carbocage 4X, that has been working perfectly I might add.

We were also running SRAM’s ever reliable XO groupset.

As mentioned earlier, the set up that you see here is a little more ‘trail biased’, hence the wider cassette ratios.

As compared to the UFO DS, the Ion 14’s suspension is more sensitive from the mid stroke on, and it is definitely more agile and nimble. But the UFO DS still has better acceleration out of corners (even though it weighs more), probably due to it’s single pivot design. We really can’t argue about which we prefer as both are just as fun (and fast) to ride.

But one thing that we can agree on though, is that the Ion 14 has got almost perfect pedaling efficiency in the trails (proven in the picture above after a 45km Jamboree Ride). It is so good that Nicolai will most probably be releasing an Ion 16, a 160mm All-Mountain frame that would bridge the gap between the Ion 14 (4X/Trail), and the Ion 18 (Lightweight DH).

– Ben

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