Custom Nicolai Ion 16 BuildSpotted over on the forums is a dream build you’re just going to have to jump past the break to see in it’s full glory. We’ve ridden our share of dream bikes and brought you some pretty ridiculous readers rides and pro bike checks, but these two builds take it to a whole new level with their incredible attention to detail.


Custom Nicolai Ion 16 Buils

The Nicolai Ion 16 bikes that Kephren23 chose to bling out are handbuilt in Germany. The 160 mm travel frame is claimed to weigh just a touch north of 7 lbs without shock, but the beefy construction and slack 65/66 degree headtube angle bike is meant to reward riders on the descents.

While these  are the nicest looking pair of fraternal twins you’re guaranteed to see today, we’ll start off with the shiny bike first:

Custom Chrome Fox Fork Nicolai Ion 16

Nicolai Kephren23 Cockpit Setup

Custom Nicolai Ion 16 Chrome Fork and Cockpit

Kephren 23 Nicolai Ion Hope

Nicolai Kephren23 Frame Details

Kephren 23 Ion 16 Build

Kephren 23 custom engraved Nicolai Ion 16

Custom Raw Shimano XT Derailleur

The pictures pretty much speak for themselves. How can you replicate the build? Here’s how it was done:Custom Chrome Fox Fork Nicolai Ion 16 ProcessThe fork lowers, crowns, and brake mount were all polished to a gleaming finish. All the twidly bits ( compression, rebound, etc) where anodized gold.
Custom Chrome Renthal Lite HandlebarsFor us lazy mortals, Renthal handlebars are only available in ano gold. So Kephren23 took his favorite UK made bar and buffed it to a mirror finish.
Custom Polishied Shimano ShifterThe Shimano shifters also received the polished and bling treatment.
Custom Nicolai Shimano XTR ShifterThe green gremlin saw the XTR shifter body powder-coated white and paired with anodized green.
Custom Polished Cane Creek Double Barrel Air ProcessLeaving no piece untouched, the shock was also color coordinated.
Custom Raw XT Derailleur and Gold HardwareHeck, even the derailleur saw some love.
Custom Anodized Small Parts Nicolai CollectionThis is the total sum of random bits that were anodized in order to crank the bling factor to 11.

And now for the other twin:

Green Custom Nicolai Ion 16

Custom Hope Evo Tech Controls

Kephren 23 Custom Fox Fork

Kephren23 Fox Fork Custom

Kephren23 Green Nicolai Ion

Kephren Green Nicolai Ion Monarch Custom Shock

Kephren Green Ano Hope Brake Custom

Kephren23 Custom Derialleur Jockey Wheel

Kephren23 Custom Nicolai Ion TwinsHaving built up my fare share of bikes from the ground up, I can’t begin to imagine how long something as detailed as these two projects would have taken Kephren23 to assemble, but the effect is stunning.

Do you prefer the green or silver build? Let us know in the comments!


  1. That gold, green and white version is absolutely horrible, colours clashing all over the place. However, the silver and gold variant, stunning…

  2. The silver one reminds of something Liberace would ride if felt like doing the MTB thing, just needs a handle bar mounted candelabra and the Angry Single Speeders helmet.

  3. Seems like an awful waste of money to put all these nice ano parts on some of the ugliest frames ever made. Now if they had been on something like a Nomad Carbon or SB-66C then they could be amazing.

    Just my $0.02 though.

  4. That’s it- my next vtt will be either a Nicolai or a Liteville. Those two take the cake when it comes to Al full suspension, just awesome attention to detail.

  5. I have a 2013 ION16, sometimes not the most practical bike, but definitely the funniest bike I’ve ever owned. It takes a while to get one (made to order), but worth the wait. It descends and corners like a rocket…wicked fun!! Everyone should have one!


  6. Not to be an arse but only one of these bikes is an Ion 16 (Ion’s shock mounts terminate on the down tube). The green one is probably a Helius AC.

  7. I am all for making your ride look good, but this is a little beyond matching you grips and cable housing…how much time was spent doing this? Personally, I’d rather spend the time riding.

  8. Its an Honour, that my Bikes are postet here!
    The green one is an AC the silver one is an ION16!
    And the green one is a girls Bike.
    I dont like the easy way.

What do you think?