Test Nicolai Argon GX: The frame, manufactured entirely in Germany, is technically and optically unique and is available for everything from cyclocross races to bikepacking tours. Powerful and handy, the angular gravel bike ensures riding fun on any terrain.
A frame from Nicolai is simply unmistakable. The bikes from the Lower Saxony company, which enjoys a legendary reputation among mountain bikers, are pure function; nothing is concealed, hidden or blurred. The distinctive weld seams that connect tubes and milled parts are a typical identifying feature of the frames, which are manufactured entirely in Germany - from the manufacture of the individual components to frame production and coating.
Nicolai Argon GX: Striking frame with milled connecting parts
The Nicolai Argon GX already stands out on the front frame triangle with distinctive, welded cable entrances, which, however, are no longer available on frames ordered from now on - the new model generation has cables routed through the headset cap. The rear triangle is uniquely designed. With Nicolai you have to move away from the idea that tubes are connected to one another: the chain and seat stays, each with a square cross-section, are quite short; The connection to the main frame is provided by angular, elaborately shaped milled parts, and the dropouts are made of multi-machined aluminum plates.
Plenty of room for wide 650B tires
The connectors are shaped to accommodate up to 45mm wide 28-inch tires as well as 50mm wide 650B tires; They serve as a mounting base for mudguards and carriers, with adapters for different systems available. The test bike is equipped with a “Columbus Futura Cross” fork, which is tailored to more sporty use and has a flip-flop dropout that allows the caster to be changed by 5 mm. With a standard carbon fork the bike costs almost 300 euros less.
Nicolai Argon GX – Can also be used as “MTB light”.
“GX” stands for gravel cyclocross, and there is also a bit of mountain bike in the Nicolai Argon GX. This is noticeable not least because the bike can also be ridden with straight handlebars; In this case, the manufacturer recommends choosing the frame one size larger. The geometry accommodates suspension forks with a travel of up to 40 mm - so the Argon can also be set up as a short-stroke hardtail.
When it comes to driving characteristics, the bike is of course designed to be very sporty - the seat and steering geometry are almost identical to proven cyclocross racers and ensure an aggressive position from which you can put a lot of pressure on the pedal, as well as a lot of agility Handiness. The seating position on the test bike is defused by the short, upward-oriented stem, which also illustrates the Argon's great versatility from bikepacking to racing.
Cross geometry, defused by a short stem
With a slightly more upright sitting position and a short stem, the Nicolai is perfect for trail-oriented gravel riding, although this would be even better with the optionally available 650B wheels. Even a dropper post can be retrofitted to the lively bike. This frame bridges the gap between MTB and dropbar bike better than almost any other Graveller.
With Shimano GRX 600 and 32-spoke wheelset, the Argon GX is reliable and solid, although the latter weighs surprisingly little. At exactly ten kilos including pedals, the extremely stiff, high-propulsion bike is no lightweight, but it doesn't slow down in the slightest. In any case, the assembly can only be understood as an example. At a very fair price starting at 1.599 euros, Nicolai offers the frame (without fork and headset), which can be painted in many colors and even hard-anodized, and custom-made production is also possible. So every Nicolai Argon CX is not only very versatile, but also individual and distinctive.