A new Italian manufacturer entered the urban e-bike industry in 2021. For a week, we commuted in the Nokoforza from Noko to the office.
Pinarello, Colnago, or Bianchi. Italy is home to many well-known bicycle manufacturers. This fits in perfectly with riding tradition. Italian bicycle manufacturers have produced frames that have been used in a number of Tour de France triumphs. Will Noko arrive?
A German market for urban e-bikes with a sporty DNA has been in the works for a year thanks to Italian company Noko. The fabrication of the thin aluminum frames begins with development and design and continues on-site in Italy.
When choosing components for the Nokoforza, it is obvious that the Italians rely on well-known cycling brands like FSA, Vision, or Prologo. When it comes to the best weight reduction, a back hub motor, single speed, or one gear, and belts rather than chains stand for uncompromising (Noko = no compromise).
|Transmission||VEER Split Belt Drive, carbon fiber tech|
|Wheels||Vision Team 30 DB – in aluminum|
|Motor||FSA HM 1.0 250 W - Brushless DC|
|Autonomy with the Range Extender||180-200 km|
|Total weight||14.2 kg - size M|
|Front Cog||45 T eq. - in aluminum|
|Braking system||Hydraulic disc brakes|
|Battery||36 V 250 Wh + 250 Wh|
|Lights||Front and rear rechargeable LED USB|
|Maximum speed with assistance||25 Km/h|
Video Review of Nokoforza
Nokoforza: Design and Build Quality
The bike is 14.2 kilos lighter without accessories and weighs just over 16 kilograms with aluminum splash guards, a baggage rack, and side stands. An acceptable price for cellar clothing used every day. The laptop, power supply unit, and lunch may be conveniently stored in panniers on the SKS baggage rack, which is rated for a weight of up to 120 kg.
You can carry an additional 15 pounds while returning home, in addition to your regular shopping so that the week can begin.
By the way, the frames are produced in the respective home nations of both manufacturers. Noko makes use of a factory in Sicily’s Catania. There, two separate frames leave the assembly line. In the end, they are used to create three separate bikes. All have been given the all-clear for a 120 kilogram maximum weight. The Nokoforza embodies the ideal urban ebike, including a single-speed, vintage diamond frame, and belt rather than a chain. The Nokotempo fits the same description. Everything is based on a trapezoidal frame with a lower step-through only in this instance. The Nokovulcano, on the other hand, wants to take you on a natural excursion. Similar to the Nokoforza, it has a frame. It does, however, have racing handlebars, a 1 x 11 drive derailleur, and somewhat lugged tires.
To be able to go at the correct speed for an early-morning workout from the first meter, the seating posture is purposefully spread out in a sporting manner.
Another thing that stands out right away is that the FSA HM 1.0 rear motor needs to be “fed” with a significant amount of its own work before it can transfer its strong assistance to the driving axle. With a total weight of just under four kilos and a maximum torque of 43 Newton meters, the Nokoforza emphasizes its sporting nature.
Raicam is Noko’s new well-known partner, and he is rumored to have a knack for speed. Maybe you’ve heard of them already. They represent a blank canvas for us as a producer of bicycle brakes. Raicam supplies hydraulic disc brakes for Noko bikes, that much is certain. On paper, they appear to be ideal for the job because they have two braking pistons and 160-millimeter brake discs.
When you progress from the data sheet to the carbon belt, things start to become a little exotic. It does not originate from Gates for once. The Californian business Veer is the manufacturer of the Carbon Split Belt. This belt’s unique quality is its ability to be opened during installation and then closed with 20 rivets. Because of this, Noko frames don’t have a frame lock or anything similar that needs to be unlocked in order to mount the belt.
The Veer conversion kit is an alternative if any of you wish to go from a chain to a belt for your own bike build. After all, changing the bike frame doesn’t require splitting it in half.
Nokoforza: Motor and Driving
The battery, which is discrete and permanently mounted in the down tube, has a capacity of up to 250 watt hours and can, at the user’s discretion, be increased to 500 watt hours by adding another battery to the bottle holder.
We are ecstatic by the even support and subsequent smooth running of the HM 1.0 even after the first few kilometers. A built-in torque sensor guarantees minimal power usage by carefully tailoring the assistance to your unique cycling technique. We frequently go faster than the 25 km/h limit, at which point we love the subtle decoupling and the unnoticeable pedaling resistance.
For speeds under 25 km/h, there are a total of five support levels that may be chosen from and are coloredly represented on the control button in the top tube. When activated, the button alternately flashes two lights: one shows the help level that has been chosen, and the other shows the battery charge.
Astonishing: Levels 1 and 2 are entirely adequate on this level. From level 3 forward, a very high cadence is necessary because single-speed bikes have a fixed 100 percent gear ratio. The Nokoforza masters simple climbs with a nice pull and zips up the bridge ramps on our commuter route even with fully loaded panniers because of the incredibly strong levels 4 and 5.
A reasonably wide handlebar that is only slightly bent inwards allows for easy control of the nimble riding qualities preferred by the aluminum rigid fork. Particularly while performing quick steering movements in the smallest of places, the Nokoforza presents a confident image. With their aerodynamics and refined rolling behavior, the aluminum (or carbon) Vision wheels deliver a racing-like experience into everyday life and aid in their high acceleration capabilities.
So let’s enter the world of racing with cornerstone number three, potentially with or without “cycle” in front. First, we run into FSA once more. It only says “Vision” this time. The Tien Hsin Industries group owns both brands. We’re discussing the wheels. There are two Vision sets available, one made of carbon and the other of aluminum. If you choose the latter, the purchase price will instantly increase by 1,000 euros. On that, however, later.
The FSA logo can be seen on common components including the seatpost, handlebars, stem, and others. Noko wants to emphasize that the company chose to work closely with the Taiwanese manufacturer on purpose. They seek to infuse daily life with a sense of urgency. These words are frequently used by marketing divisions. Don’t make too many assumptions about it. Components from FSA’s product line are just as commonplace as those from its rivals.
Nokoforza: Battery and Range
37 millimeter wide, perfectly calibrated CST tires produce the balanced mixture for riding on asphalt and gravel. On the Nokoforza that we examined, the hydraulic disc brakes have two pistons, a 160 millimeter diameter, and are a combination of Shimano and Ashima (brake disc). During our test week, there was nothing concerning the security in this area either.
Italians rely on the Californian company Veer when it comes to belt drives rather than the industry leader Gates. No variations in the driving experience could be found. The loss of friction is similar. However, the Veer carbon strap is opened during construction and then shut again using 20 rivets.
120 kilometers have been completed before the conclusion of our workweek, and even before the final journey to the office, it was evident that the Nokoforza satisfies all requirements for urban e-bikes.
A small frame, a sporty seat, and a rear motor that is especially supportive: The Italians have created a successful kit that is completed with top-notch cycling-related parts.
Regular dining information for cyclists With the FSA HM 1.o rear engine fitted in the Nokoforza, the Giro-E 2021 victor crossed the finish line in Milan.
The unquestionable benefit of Noko is its personalized philosophy. There are no built-to-order models. Instead, you can use the configurator to customize the equipment for your bike online. This was covered in the section on the wheels. The only other options are selecting one of three frame colors and a frame size. Mudguards, a rear carrier, and a side stand can all be added if desired to the bike. This, however, carries a fee.
Prices for the Nokotempo and Nokoforza begin at 3,990 euros. Nokovulcano, a gravel variant, has a starting price of 4,350 euros. The bikes are currently available for preorder on the manufacturer’s website. The first bikes will likely start arriving in February 2022.