Just like the Unimog, Mercedes-Benz’ iconic 4WD utility truck, the XF3 Adventure from HNF Nicolai is truly made for rough trails, while showing style and sturdiness on any ground as Pedelec Adventures experienced during a 3,000 km field test.
HNF’s 3rd generation eMTB stands out by its distinctive design and innovative suspension frame engineered by Nicolai Bicycles. Handmade in Germany, the new frame houses a fully integrated dual battery. The bike is propelled by the proven trio of the Bosch Performance CX motor, Gates Carbon Drive belt and the electronic Rohloff Speed hub. Also part of the standard version is the Kiox on-board computer, a comfortable Ergon saddle and plus tyres.
Tested by Pedelec Adventures
Over the past year, the XF3 Adventure has been intensively tested in pre-series by Pedelec Adventures, a Berlin-based enterprise focused on content production and publication, product testing and promotion in the field of e-bikes. As part of the current project E-Traction – The Trip, HNF’s new top model has gone through a field test in the desert of Morocco and completed over 2,500 kilometers from Paris across the Pyrenees to Lisbon.
Susanne Brüsch, who runs Pedelec Adventures, shares her experiences in the field: “The XF3 Adventure maximized our radius of action in any environment”. The dual 1,125 Wh battery covered an average of 91 km per charge in Turbo mode. For cycling 2,525 km and climbing 44,524 vertical meters during the European leg, Brüsch needed 27.75 full battery charges. This equals a total energy consumption of 31.22 kWh or 12.4 Wh per km. The data refers to approximately 80 kg of rider’s weight including luggage, estimated 70% on paved roads and an s-pedelec setup.
“Even on difficult uphill passages the XF3 Adventure climbs with incredible ease despite its weight of 33 kg. The harmonious interaction of motor support and gears and the bike’s distinctive mountain bike geometry matter most,” Brüsch says. “The bike’s full-suspension with impressive 160mm travel smoothens even the bumpiest trail while the hair-tuned Magura MT5 disc brakes ensure a safe ride. The Supernova M99 Mini Plus front light with high beam brightly lights every forest path even in the darkest night.”
Brüsch further reports that riding curves and high speeds, “the bike has a firm grip on the road and there is only one thing that can disturb its smooth and sturdy run: Heavy loads on the factory-mounted luggage carrier cause the rear triangle to swing when the ground gets bumpy.” All in all, Brüsch concludes “riding the XF3 Adventure is a privilege. In the nature, with little luggage, it plays it’s talents to the full.”
Closer cooperation with IBDs
The privilege has a price tag: € 9,995 retail. It is distributed through HNF Nicolai directly and through an expanding dealer network. Recently, HNF has focused on working more closely with specialist retailers. This realignment in sales strategy went hand in hand with another major change when India’s largest bicycle producer Hero Cycles Ltd. acquired a strategic stake in HNF Nicolai a year ago. The new Indian-German joint venture aims at becoming a full-range supplier to the European e-bike market.