The Nicolai Saturn 16 is a new development for the German marque and is designed to sit between the Saturn 14 ST trail bike and the G1 burly-duro bike.
Could it be that the brand is finally relenting a bit and giving long travel fans the ability to have a bottle on their Nicolai at last?
Nicolai Press Release
The Saturn 16 is a lightweight enduro bike with excellent all-round characteristics, a maximum range of application, tuning and setup potential.
The Saturn 16 crowns the traditional NICOLAI Saturn series, whose common layout is the classic Horst-Link, four-bar rear triangle, with the vertically mounted shock. The Saturn 16 differentiates itself from the manufacturer‘s long and slack G-Series, as it’s not designed as a pure enduro racing machine, but can cover a much wider range of uses.
The Saturn 16 ranks similar to the G-Series in the 160mm rear suspension class suited to forks from 150 to 160mm. Instead of the radically slack Geolution geometry of the G-Series, the Saturn 16 is based on the more moderate, more universally applicable Geolution Trail concept. With a relatively long 519 mm reach and a steering angle of 64.5° (27.5” size L), the bike also has competition potential and suitable equipment for the toughest enduro trails. However, the geometry provides a tamer steering angle for more agile handling and greater maneuverability. Due to the 78.5° steep seat angle, you are placed in a central seating position offering good control and optimal load distribution between the front and rear wheel in all riding situations. The Geolution Trail formula can best be described in its application as follows: crisp climbs, high speed trails, technical challenges and hard-hitting downhill. The Saturn 16 meets all the requirements for the Enduro spectrum. However, it can just as easily be used as a long travel trail bike with all-day touring potential.
Nicolai Saturn 16 geometry
The Saturn 16 has so many options for setup and customization, perhaps more than any other NICOLAI model. It can be ridden with 27.5” or 29” wheels, or as a hybrid of the two (a ‘Mullet,’ business at the front and party in the back as the old adage goes!). NICOLAI equips the bike for this with an appropriate compression strut and seatstay Mutators: these form-fitted adapters of different lengths allow adjustment of the geometry of the rear triangle. However, the Mutators can also be used to change the geometry independently of frame and wheel sizes, for example, to fine- tune the bottom bracket height and steering angle.
The Saturn 16 offers freedom when it comes to choosing the damper and the suspension characteristics. Only the damper installation length of 230mm is fixed, after this, air or steel-coil sprung dampers with 60 or 65mm stroke can be used, with a resulting wheel travel of 148 or 158 mm respectively. To accommodate the different characteristics of these two types of shock in terms of progression curves, NICOLAI offers two different lower shock mounts for the Saturn 16. They are offset against the upper mount by either 14mm for a linear linkage for air shocks, or 21mm to create a slightly more progressive linkage for coil sprung shocks. However, these are only recommendations, the customers can always have the final say in tuning their perfect bike.
NICOLAI equips the Saturn 16 from the factory, as always, with an optimized and tested standard setting which is shown in the Mutator tuning table. This setup depends on wheel, frame and shock sizes. Further from the basic setup, the table shows the scope for tuning and geometry adjustments through all different Mutator dimensions and shock mounts.
The 7020 T6 aluminum frame of the Saturn 16 is built so strong and durable that there are no limits or restrictions on use, it has even received the coveted ‘Bike Park Approval.’ In order to not pay for this with additional weight, NICOLAI has used topology optimization in the design of all crucial components of the frame. A virtual simulation that makes it possible to optimally reinforce high- stress areas and save material in low-stress zones. Implemented on the factory‘s own modern 5-axis CNC machines, this has not only resulted in a durable, weight-optimized work tool, but also an absolute eye-catcher and a masterpiece of milling art.
By the way, the Saturn 16‘s customization options are by no means limited to setup and tuning. Like all NICOLAI models, the Saturn is available in a wide range of color, decor and finish variants. The „Extra Love“ palette of anodized colors allows choice of all milled frame parts such as bearing caps, rocker links and cable guides to be color-matched so that they harmonize, for example, with the anodized tone of HOPE brakes or a TUNE stem.
The Saturn 16 is available in six frame sizes from S to XXXL, covering a particularly wide range in linear, small increments. Meaning all riders between 1.55m and 2.10m will be able to choose a perfectly fitting frame. To achieve a consistent character and identical handling in all sizes, the chainstay length grows with the increasing frame size through appropriate Mutators. However, it can also be ridden at the riders’ request to deviate from the basic setup: a large frame with a shorter chainstay, for example. The frame and wheel sizes always have an influence on the available options and tuning possibilities, the Tech Sheet in the appendix provides detailed information on this. However, there is room for a bottle cage on the down tube of any frame.
The Saturn 16 is available as a frameset or complete bike. Customers can use the online configurator on the NICOLAI homepage to piece together their dream bike or frame, individually choosing from a wide range of options, finish and equipment.
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