Nicolai / Geometron G1 Review

Comparisons

Nicolai G16

The most obvious comparison for the G1 is the bike it replaced, and as I’ve mentioned throughout, the G1 feels a lot more like a refined, updated version of the G16 than it does an entirely new model. The suspension performance, handling, and fit are all fairly similar. That said, the G1 does feel better refined on a few of those points, especially the cockpit setup — the taller stack height and steeper seat tube angle make for a more comfortable pedaling position.

The biggest difference is definitely the options for wheel size that the G1 affords. While the G16 technically can be run as a 29er (the rear triangle has clearance for the big wheel), it doesn’t have the same geometry adjustability as the G1, and so stuffing big wheels into the G16 results in a quite high bottom bracket and some rather quirky handling characteristics. Go read the section above for a whole lot more on how the different wheel sizes feel on the G1, but in short, the full 29er configuration feels significantly more stable than the 27.5’’ setup on either bike, and the mullet setup splits the difference to some degree.

The G1 also pedals a little more efficiently than the G16, and the effective top tube is noticeably shorter, which probably is a good thing for most folks on such a long bike — it’s a bit less stretched out when seated, and a little easier to keep the front wheel planted on very steep climbs.

Norco Range

The Range is the only bike here that’s arguably more bike than the G1, and they go about their goal of being big, stable, Enduro bikes very differently. The Range is significantly more planted to the ground and a bit more composed when things get really rough, but it also pedals a whole lot less efficiently, is less lively, harder to pick up / pop off things, and is slightly harder to muscle around in really tight spots. The Range also favors a more upright cockpit setup and a bit more rearward weight bias, whereas the G1 wants the rider to be a bit more forward and weighting the front end aggressively.

Privateer 161

The 161 is probably the best comparison here (the G16 excepted) but there are still major differences. The G1 is quite a bit more stable, somewhat harder to maneuver in tight spots, has significantly better small-bump sensitivity, and doesn’t pedal quite as efficiently. The slightly more moderate seat tube angle on the G1 also makes it feel more natural when pedaling on flatter ground, though both are definitely biased quite a bit toward more winch-and-plummet type riding, rather than being all that fun or engaging at lower speeds and in more rolling terrain. If you’re intrigued by the G1 but want to go for something a little more moderate and quicker handling, the 161 is a very good call — both pedal well above average for this sort of bike, have fairly firm, supportive suspension, and are fairly similar in terms of the fit (comparing an S3 Privateer to the Medium G1) and type of body positioning that they encourage.

Cannondale Jekyll

The Jekyll is the next closest bike here — like the G1, it pedals better than average for its travel class, and is a fairly long, stable, Enduro bike that feels oriented toward being ridden fast and pushed hard rather than being easy-going and engaging at lower speeds. But the G1 is more stable and composed at speed, whereas the Jekyll is a bit quicker handling and a little more versatile in terms of feeling somewhat less out of place in tight, rolling terrain.

Guerrilla Gravity Gnarvana

The Gnarvana is significantly more plush and a little more planted than the G1, but the G1 pedals more efficiently and is significantly more stable at speed. Mostly, the G1 feels quite a bit more game-on than the Gnarvana, in terms of needing a more aggressive touch and more commitment to weighting the front end to come into its own, but is also more composed once you get it up to speed. The Gnarvana is still squarely a big hard-charging Enduro bike, but it’s a bit more versatile and less full-on than the G1. The Gnarvana also works best with a more neutral, centered body position, whereas the G1 favors a more forward-biased setup.

YT Capra

Similar story as the Gnarvana, but to a greater degree — the Capra is a very interesting blend of being fairly stable and feeling like a proper modern Enduro bike, while being notably easy-going for how stable and planted it is. The Capra is significantly more plush and planted than the G1, doesn’t pedal nearly as efficiently, and doesn’t take as much speed and aggression to start to work, but also isn’t as stable or composed at full throttle. The Capra works better than the G1 with more neutral body positioning (as opposed to needing to weight the front end fairly aggressively) and has a bigger sweet spot in that regard..

Santa Cruz Megatower

The new Megatower V2 gets a bit closer to the G1 in terms of stability than the Capra or Gnarvana, but it doesn’t close the gap all the way, and it’s significantly more plush and cushy feeling than the G1. The G1’s suspension is firmer and more supportive, and it pedals a bit more efficiently. Both are stable, speed-oriented Enduro bikes first and foremost, but the Megatower is a bit more forgiving and less game-on than the G1.

SCOR 4060 LT

Extremely different. Both bikes favor a relatively forward body position, but that’s about it. The SCOR is way more versatile and playful feeling and the G1 is far more stable, planted, and focused on going fast all the time at the expense of being more demanding and less forgiving if you’re not pushing it hard.

Rocky Mountain Altitude

Quite different. The Altitude is a bit more plush than the G1 and quite a bit quicker handling, but also way less stable and composed at speed. The Altitude is definitely more versatile in that it’s a lot easier to manage in tight spots and doesn’t need to be ridden as aggressively to come alive. The G1 also pedals a little more efficiently.

Santa Cruz Nomad

Super different. The Nomad is more versatile, much easier to throw around in the air, quicker handling, and quite a bit less stable. It’s also substantially more plush and forgiving if you’re not pushing it super hard. The more you’re interested in going fast all the time, the more sense the G1 makes; the Nomad is much more playful and freeride-oriented.