Nireeka debuts flagship Sierra & Nyx carbon-framed enduro ebikes
Nireeka has upped the ante with its most ambitious ebikes to date. The Sierra and Nyx are a pair of lightweight, competitively priced, full-suspension off-roaders featuring high-quality components and Nireeka's gorgeous custom carbon frames.
This Dubai-based company blasted out of the gates in 2018 with the Homie, a wild-looking carbon framed, hub-drive, dual-suspension ebike with an early bird price under US$1000. It followed up in 2020 with the Prime, a jaw-dropping mid-drive, hardtail fatbike starting at US$2,499 that has impressed us despite some compromises – check out our Nireeka Prime review.
Now, brothers Max and Younes Shojaie are stepping things up considerably with a new full-suspension flagship range aimed at serious trail riding. If the Homie is a comfy commuter and the Prime is a supermodel beach cruiser, the new Sierra and Nyx are the hardcore sports machines of the range, ready for the rough stuff.
Where many ebike companies are mainly assemblers using off-the-shelf Chinese frames, Nireeka creates and manufactures its own designs in carbon fiber – hence the unique flowing, twisting, angular design language Max Shojaie has been able to apply to the company's entire range.
The new bikes retain many of the shapes seen on the Prime and Homie, but the floating tail is gone, replaced by a seat tube that looks ready to deal with tougher impacts from above. It also brings the seat mount point low, enabling the use of a long dropper seat post for stand-up work in the rough stuff, and gives the Sierra and Nyx a lower standover height when you come forward off the seat.
Nireeka has stuck with China's Bafang for the motors, and this time it uses the lightweight, offroad-focused, torque-and-cadence sensing M600 model putting out a meaty 120 Nm of torque and either 500 or 250 Watts depending on whether you spec it to unlimited, USA or Euro regulations. EU versions are software-limited to 25 km/h (15.5 mph) but others will top out around 42 km/h (26 mph).
Where previously Nireeka has made base models highly configurable with a vast range of options, this time things are considerably simpler; the Sierra and Nyx models offer lower and higher spec levels on the same platform, and you can have them in any color you like as long as it's matt black. Both bikes get the same sexy carbon frame and swingarm, a 720 mm wide carbon fiber handlebar, Shimano XT BR-M8100 hydraulic brake calipers and Schwalbe's puncture-resistant Eddy Current tires, which are rated to take the weight of ebikes.
Interestingly the suspension is common to both models as well, and sourced from Rockshox. Both bikes get a 35 Silver TK air/coil fork designed specifically for use on heavier e-mountain bikes, offering 150 mm of travel and hand-adjustable damping. The shock is a Deluxe Select with 160 mm of travel. Again it's air-adjustable to suit your weight and riding style, and there's a rebound damping adjuster to play with too. While these aren't top-of-the-line Rockshox parts, it's proper brand name gear and a big step forward from the budget gear on the Homie.
"This will be our flagship model," Max Shojaie tells us over a call from Dubai. "Full suspension, mid drive – it’s the best bike we can make, the sports bike of the range. We’ve used the best possible components. And if you want to make a very good bike using the same design language as the rest of the Nireeka brand, it comes with a price."
In the case of the lower-spec Sierra, that price is US$3,999. It runs a 500 Wh Samsung battery, offering a range around 55 miles (88 km). It gets a solid aluminum seat post and Nireeka's spunky sport saddle. The gearset is a Shimano Diore 11-speed with ratios between 11-46T, the pedals are Nireeka's own custom designs and the rims are 27.5-inch Mavics.
The higher-spec Nyx, at US$4,999, gets a couple of tasteful flashes of red to distinguish it along the bottom of the battery box and the insides of the swingarm. Its battery is a larger 840 Wh unit, also from Samsung, and range is extended to around 80 miles (128 km). This one gets the Rockshox Reverb Stealth dropper seat post and its remote control – worth at least US$525 on its own.
The Nyx upgrades the gearset to Shimano's higher-grade XT gear and a 12-speed 10-51T sprocket. The brake discs – 203mm at the front and 180mm at the back – are likewise upgraded to XT-class models. The pedals are upgraded to Shimano's popular PD-M520 models: dual-sided clipless jiggers fitting shoes compatible with Shimano's SPD system and offering adjustable release tension. Wheels in this case are from DT Swiss, lightweight H1900 Spline rims that allow those Schwalbe tires to be run tubeless.
The decision to use a Bafang motor alongside Shimano running gear means that the new bikes won't have motor cutoff switches built into the brakes and gearshift systems. But Shojaie says Nireeka has been impressed with both the quality and the power of the Bafang drive systems it's used in previous bikes, and doesn't intend to switch away.
As for the gears and brakes, "It’s a tough decision to make," says Shojaie. "Either you can go with low quality brake levers with cutoff functions, or go without it and have high quality Shimano gear and no cutoffs. There are some aftermarket solutions, but we’re just not sure about them. If Shimano would make their components compatible, then we’d upgrade to those for sure.
"We have a device called the Nireeka Smart Display coming, which will replace the display on our ebikes and give them some extra smart functionality. There’s a gyroscope and accelerometer built into that, so it can detect if you’re braking and cut off the motor. Right now, that’s the only solution we can have."
In our Nireeka Prime review, these weren't deal-breaking issues – although they could affect the lifespan of your rear cassettes if you're not careful with your shifts when you're running on high power levels.
In terms of weight, the carbon frame does a great job of keeping these things reasonable. The Sierra weighs 21 kg (46.2 lb), and the lightweight rims and componentry on the Nyx actually make it lighter at 20.4 kg (44.9 lb) despite the extra battery weight it's carrying.
The Yamaha YDX-Moro e-mtb bikes probably make a good basis for comparison; with a similar 500W power output, dual suspension and 500 Wh batteries, they weigh in a decent bit heavier at 24.2 kg (53.3 lb). The basic and Pro models both sit about US$500 more expensive than the Nireeka Sierra and Nyx, respectively.
So while these new beasts are certainly the most expensive bikes Nireeka has put together, they're still very competitively priced for the class they're taking aim at, and those unique Shojaie carbon frame designs aren't just there to be pretty.