THE SUPRE DRIVE IS HERE
The world's most reliable derailleur.
advantages of derailleur drivetrains + reliability of a gearbox
NICOLAI NUCLEON 16 SUPRE
The first production Supre bike
The Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre is a 170mm travel enduro bike designed to excel in the roughest of conditions. The frame is made by Nicolai in Germany, with designing, CNC machining, welding, and heat treating all done under one roof. The Nucleon has progressive suspension to handle big hits, low anti-rise for active suspension under braking, and high anti-squat for efficient pedalling, all combining to create a very fast and fun bike. The Nicolai Nucleon 16 Supre is available for order now.
THE SUPRE DRIVE
No more broken derailleurs thanks to the derailleur’s two mounting points, protected position in the frame, and its distance from the ground.
More efficient than a gearbox, and more efficient than other high pivot bikes due to the large pulleys and constant chain tension system that reduces drag. You can learn about our measurement of the Supre Drive’s efficiency here.
Suspension performance is improved by the Supre derailleur’s low unsprung weight (300g lighter than the Sram XO T-Type derailleur). When comparing the combination of the Supre derailleur and chain tensioner to conventional derailleurs, Supre is about 200g heavier than XT and the same weight as XO T-Type.
The chain tensioner has a hydraulic damper that outperforms any derailleur clutch on the market. It’s speed-sensitive, which provides excellent chain stability without hindering shifting. Additionally, there are no sliding surfaces to wear out, so no loss of damping over time.
How does it work?
Conventional derailleurs have two functions: they shift the chain across cassette sprockets and they tension the chain. These two functions are separated in the Supre Drive, with shifting remaining with the derailleur and chain tensioning moved to the middle of the bike. When shifting gears, a chain tensioner arm pivots around the bottom bracket axis to give and take chain slack. The derailleur has only one pulley and a lot of ground clearance.
We manufacture our drivetrain parts here in BC, Canada. We’re building a company that not only makes mountain bikes better but also cares about people and the environment. Manufacturing locally is the best way to achieve this. At the same time, it enables us to have a reliable supply chain, to provide long term support with replacement parts, and to innovate quickly with our in-house fabrication capabilities.
The Supre Drive is patented in the United States (US pat. 11,560,201) and patent pending internationally.
PINKBIKE 2021 INNOVATION OF THE YEAR
The Supre Drive won the Pinkbike 2021 Innovation of the Year award. There was some great competition, including Rockshox Flight Attendant. To win the innovation award up against this kind of competition was a huge honor.
There’s no derailleur hanger and no B-limit, making the derailleur easy to adjust. With the exception of the pulleys and pulley bearings that inevitably wear out, the Supre Drive is low maintenance.
The Supre Drive works with Shimano 12-speed chains, cassettes (10-51t), and shifters. Also, it’s compatible with off-the-shelf hubs, bottom brackets, chainrings, and cranks. Three specific requirements are a 52mm chainline, Super Boost rear hub, and T47 bottom bracket. The minimum chainring size is 30t, and the tensioner arm has clearance for up to 34t.
The chain tensioner system of the Supre Drive produces constant chain tension across all gears. In contrast, conventional derailleurs produce a big increase in chain tension in the low gears, which causes a pointless increase in drag. In the Supre Drive, the tensioner arm is connected by a cable to a cartridge in the down tube that contains a spring (and also the hydraulic damper). The constant chain tension is achieved by decreasing the leverage of the cable on the tensioner arm as the tensioner arm rotates back during shifts to lower gears. This decrease in leverage compensates for the increase in force from the spring to achieve constant chain tension. The result is improved shift quality and reduced drag in the low gears.
There is very little chain slap noise with the combination of the hydraulically damped chain tensioner and good stay protectors. Also, the large idler pulley makes for an unsually smooth and quiet high pivot drivetrain.
The Supre Drive creates a lot of chain wrap around the cassette sprockets and the chainring. This is beneficial for decreasing wear and preventing the chain from skipping forward under heavy load.
Some folks assume that increased chain wrap causes more drag, but this is not the case. The amount of chain wrap around a sprocket doesn’t affect the amount of drag. A major factor in determining the amount of drag is the pivoting angle of each chain link as it engages and disengages with sprockets. The pulleys in the Supre Drive are big and that decreases the pivoting angles of the chain links which in turn improves efficiency. For example, check out the “oversized pulley wheel system” for road bikes (this is for improving efficiency).
About the company
The Supre Drive is born out of a desire to solve a problem and make mountain bikes better. Everyone at Lal is driven by their love for the sport.
We manufacture the derailleur, chain tensioner, and idler pulley, and sell these to mountain bikers and to bike companies with Supre bikes. The Supre Drive is different enough that bike frames must be designed specifically for it. We’re happy to work with any bike company to help them design frames for the Supre Drive.
Lal Bikes is named after Pierre Lallement, who possibly invented the bicycle. Before him, all bikes were push bikes, and he added a pedal crank. We have a ton of respect for Pierre Lallement and all other inventors whose shoulders we stand on.
Supre means above in the Esperanto language. This refers to the Supre Drive being above other drivetrains, both physically and performance-wise.