A bicycle built to haul braai wood

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The NC-1 might be German built, but it is the ideal braai bike (Photo: Nicolai)
The NC-1 might be German built, but it is the ideal braai bike (Photo: Nicolai)
  • E-bike technology is empowering the cargo bicycle trend
  • This German cargo e-bike, can haul an impressive payload
  • And it uses the latest Bosch mid-drive motor system, to help you power along

Want to carbon offset your weekend braai routine? That might entail collecting braai wood with a bicycle instead of the bakkie.

Cargo bicycles are becoming a trend, with the latest range of pedal-assistance technologies making the idea of a 45kg bicycle less intimidating.

One of the neatest cargo bikes yet is from German brand, Nicolai. As a specialist mountain bike manufacturer, Nicolai is known for the excellence of its aluminium welding.

The company's craftspeople pooled all their technical skills to create the NC-1, a perfect bicycle for collecting all the braai wood you could need for a weekend.

braai bike
The NC-1 has a short-travel suspension fork, to deal with road bumps, when loaded (Photo: Nicolai)

It might be alloy, but it isn't light

Constructed from aluminium, the NC-1 has a front suspension fork to help keep it balanced and stable when loaded.

The fork is from SR Suntour and has relatively little suspension travel – only 70mm – but it makes a massive difference to this cargo bike's rideability.

Cargo bikes aren't light and the NC-1 weighs 45kg – unladen. That would ordinarily make it a nearly unfeasible burden to pedal, but Bosch has supplied Nicolai's product people with a solution.

The German engineering conglomerate has a new 85Nm CX Line mid-drive motor. It adds 340% to any pedal input from the rider and ensures that even a fully laden NC-1, can easily be pedalled home.

No chain here. The gears are shielded in its rear hub and the belt drive can't rust (Photo: Nicolai)

You can load it with a lot of wood

The Bosch mid-drive motor also has a security function allowing the NC-1 to be remoted locked via your Smartphone, preventing it from being pedalled away when parked.

Due to their weight, cargo bikes require a lot of pedal-assistance. A large 750Wh lithium-ion battery pack provides the energy source to help you along.

How much weight can it carry? A lot more than you'd think. Nicolai has certified the NC-1 to operate with a payload of 170kg, which is a lot of braai wood.

braai bike
E-bike power has made a bicycle like this, great for short distance cargo work (Photo: Nicolai)

Potent brakes for secure control

To keep the NC-1 safely under control, when fully loaded, Nicolai has fitted it with powerful mountain bike brakes.

These Magura MT5e four-piston brakes activate 203mm rotors, to confidently slow the NC-1 down, keeping the rider, cargo and other bike lane users safe. 

Integrated mudguards should keep your wood dry, too, even when riding home on moist tar after a rainstorm.

Price? German engineering and e-bike components don't come cheap and the NC-1 is priced at R130 000. 


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