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Nicolai Argon AM Pinion 650B – Green Menace II.

August 22, 2013

Nicolai’s Argon hardtail frames have been in their lineup for as long as we could remember. Over the years, it has evolved to meet the needs of riders from various cycling disciplines; from XC riders, to roadies, and even down to average commuter.

In 2011, Nicolai team riders Daniel Jahn and Frank ‘Schneidi’ Schneider helped with the development of the Argon FR. Thanks to their input, the Nicolai Argon AM was born, and Schneidi took the Masters Challenge win at the Megavalanche the following year, on a SINGLESPEED Gates Carbon Drive equipped Argon AM.

Well, only the bravest like Frank Schneider would bother riding a singlespeed hardtail in the Mega (we wouldn’t even want to ride one to commute for that matter); that is why for us normal folk, we spec ours with gears.

This anodised black Argon AM Pinion 650B with anodised green extra love bits was one of our most eagerly anticipated frames that arrived during the recent Nicolai shipment.

You might even find the colour scheme a little familiar as it belongs to the same owner as this Nucleon AM.

It also happens to be the first 650B bike that we built, so it really does have a special place in our hearts.

The Argon also features this newly designed headtube gusset, keeping the front end nice and stiff for those long travel forks…

… Like the all-new murdered-out 160mm RockShox Pike RCT3, one of the plushest forks out of the box!

These were the first pair of Atomlab Suprelite SL 650B’s that we built, lacing them to Chris King hubs (142 x 12mm in the rear) with Phil Wood spokes and Atomlab’s Torque nipples. Rubber side down were Schwalbe Racing Ralph’s.

The drivetrain is by far our favourite part of the Argon. The Gates Carbon belt driven Pinion gearbox makes maintenance a breeze as there are no chains to lube, and all 18 gears are protected in it’s sealed housing.

Besides having a longer lifespan than a regular chained setup, you can instantly feel power being transferred to the rear wheel during each stroke of the pedal. It’s simply lovely, and we wish all bikes could be belt driven!

The weight of the Pinion gearbox was also barely noticeable when we test rode the bike, it still felt really quick and agile!

Gear shifts were also lightning quick via Pinion’s own shifter.

With all that said, it only leaves us with one problem, saving up more money to get one for ourselves.

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Oh wait, but In addition to that, Nicolai just released the Argon FAT (For All Terrain) at the recent Nicolai Hausmesse 2013. I guess that now makes it two Argon’s on our ‘to buy’ list.

Argon AM Pinion 650B photos courtesy of Benjamin Teo/Oh Cheese Visuals for AttitudeBikes.

Argon FAT photo courtesy of Nicolai Bikes.

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