Calling AM owners AM advice?
I am looking at a new bike for next year and as a turner owner I am thinking about hanging on for the new RFX, if it will ever come...... however amongst the other "all mountain" type frames out there I am really liking the AM and reckon it could be perfect for what I am after.
The new RFX is going to be rated for 180mm forks and although the AM isn't rated for this I could get a custom frame. I like the idea of running a bike with a slight change in components and two different forks,180mm for heavy duty trips to the alps or occasional UK DH and a 140/150mm travel fork for regular trail/all mountain use. The advantage the Nicolai has as far as I see it over the most of it's rivals is the ability to adjust the rear travel to match a change of fork which makes it a very versatile bike.
I have looked at the AFR as well but it definitely looks like overkill for my type of riding so the question's to all you AM owners are;
Does anyone have experience of swapping forks on an AM across a range of travel and does it feel balanced with the different rear travel settings?
Does this sound like a daft idea or has anyone else considered or done this with their AM?
Any comments appreciated,
is the fr discontinued as it sounds like what you are after?
There is an orange ano Helius AM on here, I think on the build database, that has been built using the downtube from an AFR and is thus warrantied for 180mm forks.
IanPinder is also using 180mm Fox 36s on his AM, although he hasn't had any mods made to maintain the warranty.
I've run my AM with both 150mm Fox 32s and RS Lyriks based on the riding I was doing. Swapping out the forks was no big deal really, you just need a spare crown race. It's a great way of getting as close to a do it all bike without too much compromise as possible.
They keep the jigs, so am pretty sure Nicolai wouldn't have an issue knocking one up. Has been done before.
Originally Posted by qbert2000
Oh yes – armchair bikeing… almost as much fun as riding.
I would be wary of trying to do too many things with one frame. Yes, the rear travel on an AM can be changed but it does not change the geometry. If you bung a 180mm fork on any frame optimized for 140/150 then it will jack the front up, slacken all the angles and raise the bottom bracket – the first two of these are okay for DH looning but the high bottom bracket is a curse (AM bottom bracket already borderline too high and seat angle too slack with a 160mm fork in my opinion/experience – headangle perfect though). You could custom order a frame for 180mm with DH angles but what would then happen when you slam on a shorter fork??? Give the travel adjust a miss.
I don’t think any of this is a Nicolai Helius AM thing – I simply don’t think it is possible to have one bike which with a few tweaks will magically transform from all mountain to dedicated Doonhall – unless those Bionicon things really live up to all their promises…
It’s taken me nearly three months to settle on how my AM should be set up for the one kind of riding I do never mind dicking with travel adjustments etc… but I think I do need a new rear shock or at least a service as it’s making odd noises, blowing through it’s travel causing pedal strikes and spitting oil out when I check the air pressure.
A well set up AM like mine with 160mm forks will easy handle almost any DH type stuff you could want to do short of world cup stupidity – Having had a stock AM for a few months now I would like a few tweaks though. With 160mm forks the seat angle is a little slack, the bottom bracket a touch high and the headtube angle perfect – I would tweak the geometry a little more to suit the 160/170mm forks… actually… maybe I would optimise for 180mm??? But I’m lucky and my general riding is mountains… I don’t do flatlands with my AM.
Compared to my more DH orientated Nucleon with 180mm Travis forks my lithe little AM is giving away very little on the Doonhalls… it’s only the stupid speed stuff it loses a little composure on and I’m happy with that… I know which of the two is now the keeper… anyone want to buy a 6 year old Nucleon? Only one *cough* carefull *cough* owner.
Edit - thinking a bit more... not sure I would bother with the 180mm upgrade. I went down the arms race route with the Nucleon 6 years ago and I ended up riding an overbuilt tank that was compromised towards the DH side of things and hence a pain on the rest of the ride. Less is sometimes more if you catch my drift.
Maybe going for a burly 160mm fork (Bos) and a light 150mm fork (Rev or 32) and a choice of coil or air for the back would be the ideal solution? Minimal geometry tweaks but probably a substantial quality leap to the suspension action and stiffness for the DH days?
Last edited by thepimpmessiah; 08-24-2010 at 02:46 AM.
have a read of the article in the new issue of dirt, you dont need masses of travel when you have the travel you've got running right. A well set up 160 bike works better than a standard 180. In summary save your custom geometry money and use it on a CCDB shock and BOS forks
Cheers for your thoughts guys,
I have always liked the idea of running one bike in a variation of set ups depending on the type of riding but accept there are always going to be compromises if you try to do this.
I think the argument of quality of travel over quantity is definitely a good point and I reckon getting a well balanced bike with good quality suspension could win out over my thoughts about messing with different travel set ups.
Anyway, I reckon a demo on an AM is on the cards in the next couple of months.
The Nicolai peeps would whip you up a an FR easy peasy....
I am running a 170mm Lyric on my FR, if I was to replace the FR and go with an AM, I would concentrate on 170mm not 180mm... As has been mentioned, 160 - 170mm of dialed fork and dialed rear end will out do 180mm.... uni, wouldnt under estimate the AM, your demo will spell it all out....... Best of luck either way.....
The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"