The Nicolai Argon GX is based on a lightweight, hand-welded aluminum frame. The geometry is typical Nicolai, sporting a comparatively long top tube, slack steering angle, and longer chainstays. These characteristics, in addition to with the balanced center of gravity of the Pinion gearbox, provide a smooth and stable ride, especially on unpaved roads. It is worth noting that Nicolai offers several build options for Pinion/Gates Carbon Drive equipped bikes. If you plan to use your Argon GX as a touring bike and carry a lot of gear on the bike or with a trailer, you can choose the P1.18 transmission for finely spaced gears and an optimal cadence. If you plan to use the bike as a daily commuter or dedicated gravel bike you can outfit the Argon GX as Martin did, with a lightweight Pinion C1.12 gearbox.
Martin’s thoughts on the bike: “A sporty gravel bike is cool, but when a bike like this can do so much more, it becomes really interesting. This is a bike that is just as suitable for a quick after-work lap as it is for extended tours with frame-bags or panniers, day trips, or overnighters. The Argon covers a wide range of riding possibilities. As someone who does not own a car and does pretty much everything by bike, I always put a lot of emphasis on the suitability of a bike for everyday riding. My free time is precious, so the combination of the Gates belt drive and the Pinion transmission is extremely practical, since virtually no maintenance is required.“
„Admittedly, as an old-school
mountain Biker I am a Nicolai fan!
Everything is 100% “Made in
Germany” and inherently
sustainable. The Argon GX Pi
is a versatile, well thought-out
and robust gravel bike. I had a
really good time on it!“
SHIFTING WITH THE DS2 ON DROPBARS
Martin’s bike came with drop handlebars, brake levers from TRP and the Pinion DS2 shifter. Nicolai offers drop or flat handlebar options for Pinion bikes through their custom program. If you decide to use a drop handlebar (like Martin), it must be divisible so that the Pinion shifter can be mounted as shown. The manufacturer Cinq offers an alternative with the Shift:R Road shifters.
“In all honesty, a twist shifter on drop handlebars isn’t the most elegant solution. I wasn’t totally happy with it. I admit there were even a few moments in the hills when tried to push on shifters that just weren’t there. I am so used to braking and shifting from the hoods, but these are brake-only while the Pinion twist-shifter is located on the flat section of the bars. Still, once you get used to the shifter position, it works quite well!“ – Martin Donat
“It quickly becomes clear that as versatile, easy to maintain and fun as Nicolai’s Argon GX is in “adventure mode”, it also proves itself particularly practical in everyday use. It is such a pleasure to be able to rely on such a care-free system. No derailleurs to go out of adjustment, no annoying chain that squeaks for the whole ride because you forgot to lube it. And – a small detail, but a huge plus – no more oily streaks on your pants because you forgot to put your sock over your good jeans before getting on your bike to run errands. It gets even more convenient when the bike is equipped with a dynamo hub and light, so you never have to charge batteries or worry about riding in the dark. On my bike there was only a front light, but it would be easy to add one in the rear. In the winter months, when it gets light late and dark early, this is something you’d never want to give up after trying it out.”
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