When Cedric Eveleigh launched LAL Bikes and his Supre Drive concept last year, he mentioned that he was working with a bike company to develop a production model that features the Supre Drive. Nicolai was not that company, but they’re still the first ones to drop a Supre Drive bike, the all-new Nucleon 16.
We spoke with Cedric about the Supre Drive back in Ep.94 of Bikes & Big Ideas, which you should definitely check out for the full backstory, but to quickly recap: the Supre Drive is essentially a reinvention of the derailleur drivetrain, which splits the two functions of a rear derailleur — shifting gears and maintaining chain tension — into separate pieces, with the goal of improving reliability and suspension performance.
The Supre Drive uses a standard Shimano 12-speed cassette, shifter, and chain, but uses a proprietary derailleur with a single pulley which is tucked inside the swingarm of the frame out of harm’s way, and handles gear shifting duties exclusively. A second pulley wraps around the back side of the chainring and moves on a spring-loaded arm to handle chain tension. The layout requires a frame that’s designed around the Supre Drive system and necessitates a high-pivot layout to accommodate the tensioner arm. The Nucleon 16 is the first production model to break cover.