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  1. #1
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    Difference between Helius FR and AM.

    Looking at possibly purchasing a large 09 Helius AM used. What is the difference between the frames? His pic of the frame has 4 holes on the upper shock mount vs. 3 on the AM's I've seen in here? Also, he says it's a large but says the toptube measures only 23 inches? I'm 6-3 and would like a 24" toptube. Whadya think? I ride hard and break all my frames. Hoping a Nicolai may hold up to my abuse. It's the blue camo color.

  2. #2
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    My experience is with an 09 FR and an 11AM frame in comparison. On the paper both frames are quite identical, with slight change in in head angle. The AM is just having a more modern feel to it. It feels longer and and lower, though the difference is not huge. About toptube length I don't know, but you might have a look into the tech sheets that are postet on Nicolai's website.

    If you are into breaking frames, the FR should be more on your side. It does still have all the tank like overbuilt features as the huge chainstays and gussets. For me the FR was way too overbuilt.

  3. #3
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    23" is not a large frame and at 6'3" it will be too small for you set up with a 50mm stem or even a 70mm stem with say 750mm bars.

    I had a med AM with 22.75" TT and had to run it with layback post and saddle all the way back which affected handling.

    You definitely need a large with the 605mm/610mm/24" TT

    As for FR or AM, I agree with the other post. The FR is very sturdy but does feel higher than the AM, that can be managed with the front shock mount and shock bushes etc. An AM should be plenty strong enough though I would say. Just make sure its a large.

    Get in touch with Dipper at Gravity sports he has the ear to s/h frames.
    Aka chainline...

  4. #4
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    Hang on a sec. If he's measured the actual TT length, ie. measurement C, then 23" is probably a Large, and should fit you OK. Get him to measure the effective TT, ie. measurement B (level with ground, centre-to-centre).

    If his 23" measurement is for the effective TT, then yes, it's too small for you.



  5. #5
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    Hi ya LargeExtraCheese..... A large frame will be fine am sure, we are about the same height....

    I am not sure the Helius AM would be able to handle the Garbanzo DH trail balls out dude..... But it is said to be as strong as the FR, I have not heard of any breaking etc. I thrashed my FR for a few years, never missed a beat.... So with that in mind, feel the AM would be cool and the gang...

    Is it running a 12mm rear axel, what size head tube?

    See you in Whizzer in September?
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  6. #6
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    Franz is right. I 'assumed' the 23" measurement was the effective TT.

    For that sort of use you might want to slacken off the HA too. You can get up to 1.3deg with an. 1.1/8" HT on an AM with a custom headset from Ofanaim.net .
    Aka chainline...

  7. #7
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    There are two more differences between FR and my09 AM frames still - there are needle bearings and steel axles used in all pivots of FR and in 2009 there were already bushings and coated alu-axles in AM. There were (at least theorethical...) option to use longer shock sized with FR, because front shockmount was adjustable - know few guys used 215mm e2e -shocks in their FRs. 2009 AM was limited to 200mm shocks.

    edit: there are 2009 AMs with different rocker links, those ones I`ve seen irl have 4 holes in rocker and all those are usable with shocks max stoke 57mm. But I`ve seen pics of rocker-links with blind top-hole. Cannot anymore recall that logics...

  8. #8
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    It's possible to use a 216mm shock on an AM with the -15mm front mount, and also the 63mm stroke with the correct levers.
    Aka chainline...

  9. #9
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    Hey Whafe! I was hoping you'd respond.

    Yeah he measured it wrong. It is the large. Turns out it's a Helius ST 09. Would this bike work well for a hardcore trail/ fr/jump bike with a 180 singlecrown and dual ring? Whafe, not sure how much whistler I'll get this year but EB's big 4-0 is coming soon so it's in the cards.

  10. #10
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    In fact Nicolai discontinued the ST because simply no one could break it. It was too overbuilt for this age of bikes. It rides well with a 180 fork and dual ring, just it is one heavy bike for touring.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Largextracheese View Post
    Yeah he measured it wrong. It is the large. Turns out it's a Helius ST 09. Would this bike work well for a hardcore trail/ fr/jump bike with a 180 singlecrown and dual ring? Whafe, not sure how much whistler I'll get this year but EB's big 4-0 is coming soon so it's in the cards.
    A Large Helius ST would be awesome for a thrash bike at Whistler, seriously tough frame. Would take all the abuse you could dish out...

    EB is keen for Whizzer, a whole lot of us is turning the BIG 4 - 0 this year. Hence the 12 Kiwis heading to Whistler in September, yeah ha....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  12. #12
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    Hmm? I don't really want it for Whistler. I want it for my do anything pedal bike. Too heavy to pedal uphill and huck on the way down? I Was looking at an Uzzi as well. Seems like the frame weights aren't too different?

  13. #13
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    for a do anything pedal bike i would go for the helius am.

  14. #14
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    The ST is just not the youngest design anymore. It comes fro ma time when people were riding the Banshee Scream and dropping to flat was the thing to do. So, it is made to take abuse, a lot of it.

    Ride up and shred down: the AM has plenty for that in a more modern package. It can be ordered in beefed up versions with stronger tubes, too. For me the regular tubeset is very strong already. Nicolai call it the AM because it is made for the whole mountain. Should be as strong as the Uzzi at least.

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