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  1. #1
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    New question here. Helius AC Rear Shock Advice Please!

    Hi All,
    Okay, I think I have found an AC to buy and have been offered various shock options but have also researched other options - now I am confused and really need some advice!

    Ok, the frame is a 2010 medium, standard geommetry, normal QR rear, standard Head Tube.

    I have been offered the following with the frame:
    DHX 5Air (2006 model) Stendec Tuned
    2011 CCDB with 450lb Spring

    I have looked at:
    2012 DHX 5Air Kashima Coarted(200x50) and (200x57)
    RP23 Kashima (200x50) and (200x57)
    RS Vivid Air (200x57)

    Am i right in thinking I need a 200x57 or do i need a 200x50 - this directly impacts on my choice.

    I have also seen many using RS Monarch but have no idea which one??

    What is the difference on the RS Vivid Air between the following:
    STR Tune - Mid Reb / High Comp and
    STR Tune - Mid Reb / Low Comp

    Any advice and answers would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Shiny73
    Nicolai Helius AC
    Nicolai Helius FR
    Niner Air 9 Carbon
    Trek 69er
    BMC SLC01

  2. #2
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    i believe it's a 200x57 required.

    rp23 or monarch rt3 would be perfect for trail riding tbh.

    tuned stendec dhx may be too "compressed".

    ccdb is overkill for the AC.

    hi compression means shock will feel more "stiff" and vice-versa.

  3. #3
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    Sound advice.

    Out of the shocks mentioned the RP23 kashima will be perfect, light and well controlled, med tune. You wont go wrong.

    2010 should also be 200x57 I believe as TLR says.

    BOS Vipr is also great but more expensive. I have both the RP23 and a VIpr on my Nicolai's
    Aka chainline...

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice TLR and Pilot,
    The seller has advised me that the rear pivot has 3 travel settings not 4 as the top slot is blanked off, does this mean as he has advised that the 200x50 is best.

    I am really struggling to find out on the Nicolai website.

    Any thoughts?

    cheers
    Nicolai Helius AC
    Nicolai Helius FR
    Niner Air 9 Carbon
    Trek 69er
    BMC SLC01

  5. #5
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    Even the 2011 still has 200x57. The hole (which one) location is not relevant to the shocks stroke.

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?...16&output=html

    Shock length and travel are in here.
    Aka chainline...

  6. #6
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    All depends on what type of rod do the frame have

    If you can use only 3 of the four positions, that means it has a rod type A. This type need a shock 200x51

    Top hole ----------------------- blocked
    2 hole from above-----------146mm
    3 hole from above-----------132mm
    4 hole from above-----------120mm

  7. #7
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    20lt is right - rocker link with only 3 holes (and 4th, top hole blocked) is model A, which was used from 2009 to 1st half of 2010. 200x51 shock size is recommended by Nicolai.

    Have not seen that A-model link IRL, but I´ll suppose that also shocks with 57mm stroke works ok - when top hole is disabled, the most obvious risk to get rear tyre rubbing to seat tube is probably eliminated. That is easy to test with air-shock - take pressure out from shock and check what happens when rear is fully compressed - if there`s still room between rear tyre and seat tube, then there are no other practical reasons why not to use 57mm shock, other than possible warranty issues.

    There are some older (2009) AC-frames, probably those first ones, using other rocker link than that A-model. Don`t know was it "early A" or what, but got my frame with that type of link - all 4 holes were open and when comparing it to link used in few months newer AM, they were identical. With that I used only 55/57mm stroke shocks mostly in top hole and never had problems with rubbing.

    Shock recommendation - I´ve used or tested all those shocks in AC (not 2006 DHX Air) and there is no easy answer what shock you should pick up. CCDB is not overkill, but if you`re light weighted and prefer faster and more active suspension feeling on rear, CCDB requires internal tuning - your demands are out of normal adjustment range of CCDB.

    RP23 with Kashima is good one and probably the easiest to adjust. Take normal sized air-can, with hv- can you have to decrease air volume sooner or later.

    Vivid Air is good too - definately take one with low compression tune - lower rebound and / or compression tunes means faster actions to both directions.

    Vip`r is good too, I would take that. With 01 hydraulics tune and 3 or 4 o-rings inside aircan.

  8. #8
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    Okay, so if i have a 'A' model rocker i need a 200x51 shock, but could run a 200x50 or a 200x57 and the concensus is that should be okay.

    I have been doing some research and have found a RS Monarch plus and an rp23 in the 200x51 flavour...so the RS sounds good value and quite tuneable and the rp23 fairly easy to set up right.

    Why do the 'A' rockers have the top hole blocked? seems weird...

    Any thoughts much appreciated.

    thanks
    Nicolai Helius AC
    Nicolai Helius FR
    Niner Air 9 Carbon
    Trek 69er
    BMC SLC01

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiny1973 View Post
    Okay, so if i have a 'A' model rocker i need a 200x51 shock, but could run a 200x50 or a 200x57 and the concensus is that should be okay.

    I have been doing some research and have found a RS Monarch plus and an rp23 in the 200x51 flavour...so the RS sounds good value and quite tuneable and the rp23 fairly easy to set up right.

    Why do the 'A' rockers have the top hole blocked? seems weird...

    Any thoughts much appreciated.

    thanks
    Here`s still my 2 €cents -
    Correct - 200x51 is recommended by Nicolai - if using longer stroke shock it may void the warranty if something happens. You can of course ask that directly from Nicolai - if they say that it`s ok, then no problem. And there´s so small difference in same shock model with 50/51mm stroke compared to 55/57mm, that you will not notice it.

    There`s no difference between Monarch Plus and RP23 when there`s question of tunability - both are easy ones also for initial set-up too. And both are good shocks.

    Top hole is blocked for obvious reasons - when using that with shock strokes longer than 50mm, there`s risk that rear tyre will rub seat tube when fully compressed. How valid this risk is, depends on many things - how big tyre is used, does suspension set-up allow bottoming at all etc.

  10. #10
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    Mine has a "B" link and i run a CCDB 200x57mm.
    It feels amazing,but i will be trying a Monarch plus and would like to try a Vipr.

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    Thanks Sam,
    I have tried to contact Nicolai directly but that was last Monday amd still no response.
    Mike from Nicolai UK has said I can run a 200x57 in the second hole no problem, but the advice is conflicting with other info I have seen.
    I have established that I must have a 'B' link so travel is 146-132-120, max tyre i ride is a maxxis ardent 2.25 which is quite a high volume tyre.

    So, I will likely look at a an RP23 or RS Monarch Plus - both have great write ups!

    Anymore thoughts welcome.

    Cheers
    all

    Shiny
    Nicolai Helius AC
    Nicolai Helius FR
    Niner Air 9 Carbon
    Trek 69er
    BMC SLC01

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiny1973 View Post
    Thanks Sam,
    I have tried to contact Nicolai directly but that was last Monday amd still no response.
    Mike from Nicolai UK has said I can run a 200x57 in the second hole no problem, but the advice is conflicting with other info I have seen.
    I have established that I must have a 'B' link so travel is 146-132-120, max tyre i ride is a maxxis ardent 2.25 which is quite a high volume tyre.

    So, I will likely look at a an RP23 or RS Monarch Plus - both have great write ups!

    Anymore thoughts welcome.

    Cheers
    all

    Shiny
    Me and my mate (both have AC's) have a Monarch plus to try.will get it put on one of our bikes and see what its like.
    Mine is definetely B.
    Think you would only lose a few mm of travel if it was an A link in the 2nd hole.

  13. #13
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    Switch to the new linkage was at Eurobike/September 2010. Frames manufactured before that will definitely be c50mm stroke. With that linkage and a 51mm shock the 2nd hole down gave 145mm travel as per the specification. The top hole *might* work but likely to result in the tyre hitting the seat tube (and will give you >145mm travel which you don't necessarily want/need. Some of these frames left the factory without a blanking bolt in the top hole so that alone is NOT a guaranteed indicator of the spec.

    There should be no problem using a 57mm stroke shock in one of the lower holes though this might result in a very small difference to the bb height against a 51mm stroke shock with the same rear travel (first day back in the UK today and not thinking straight enough to work this out).

    IMPORTANT NOTE -
    Whatever shock you fit to any bike you should always remove the spring/let all the air out and perform a collision test. The huge variety of tyres, frame sizes, shock dimensions (piggy backs/valves etc), fitting direction, dropper posts and cable routings mean it's impossible to give definitive advice on what will work without problems - test it yourself to be sure and remember that the bottom out bumper on the shock, and some vertical flex in the rear triangle (even on a Nicolai) means under a really big hit it will compress more than you expect.
    Last edited by nicolai-uk; 01-03-2012 at 07:43 AM. Reason: further detail
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolai-uk View Post
    There should be no problem using a 57mm stroke shock in one of the lower holes though this might result in a very small difference to the bb height against a 51mm stroke shock with the same rear travel (first day back in the UK today and not thinking straight enough to work this out).
    This is my experience. I just ran a 57mm shock on a lower hole (second from BOTTOM) on my early-2010 AC. No problems at all. It still gives you approx 145mm with a lower leverage ratio, which is a nice thing to have and IMHO, can be positively noticed but it won't be a drastic improvement.

    Whatever you buy, have in mind that the different holes have different leverage ratios and you have to pick your shock for the one you'll spend the most time on. Off the top of my head, the second hole (from TOP) is like 2.8:1, the next is 2.6:1 and the lowest is like 2.1:1. That means you could need a different tune for each shock position.

    Blow money on something customized to you bike, whatever the brand.

    Oh... and go for a standard air can. High volume ones tend to blow through travel too quickly. In the same manner, get a coil shock that has some sort of bottom out protection (via damping adjustment or other means). The AC has a linear travel that eats bumps but will bottom rather easy as it's not meant to be a big hit bike.

    Or get a high volume can and shim it to reduce the extra volume until you find you sweet spot.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    That means you could need a different tune for each shock position.
    ------
    Or get a high volume can and shim it to reduce the extra volume until you find you sweet spot.
    Any recommendations on tunes based on your experience? Also, anyone riding Kashima and thoughts on tune (I've heard 'they're so plush you need more compression').

    Re -HV cans, are there any bikes they work well on? Fox seem to have moved to them as standard (at least on the 57mm stroke) yet all i ever hear are complaints.
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  16. #16
    steep fast and loose :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolai-uk View Post
    Any recommendations on tunes based on your experience? Also, anyone riding Kashima and thoughts on tune (I've heard 'they're so plush you need more compression').

    Re -HV cans, are there any bikes they work well on? Fox seem to have moved to them as standard (at least on the 57mm stroke) yet all i ever hear are complaints.
    Depends on your weight. Drcv may be a solution ???

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    ..... and go for a standard air can. High volume ones tend to blow through travel too quickly. In the same manner, get a coil shock that has some sort of bottom out protection (via damping adjustment or other means). The AC has a linear travel that eats bumps but will bottom rather easy as it's not meant to be a big hit bike.

    Or get a high volume can and shim it to reduce the extra volume until you find you sweet spot.
    Agree with a standard air can. HV cans can however easily reduced, trailside adjustment takes 2mins

    AC does not have linear travel, it`s falling rate. IMO too much falling. This creates big challenges for coil shocks to work well during the last third of stroke.

    @nicolai-uk - if you mean recommended FOX tunes, there´s two variables required to know before answering - what hole is used with shock and what´s the riders weight ?
    Kashima- models are really slick ones - but before playing with compression, add a bit air pressure + reduce air volume + add Boostvalve/IPF- pressure +25psi`s => end result will be much better

    @TLR - where you can get DRCV- shocks suitable for Nicolai shock mounts?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks View Post
    Depends on your weight. Drcv may be a solution ???
    Can you expand? Heavy riders work well with HV (as you need lower pressure)? DRCV is what?
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  19. #19
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    dual rate control - threshold control and the ability to control mid stroke - ask mojo - i'm sure they'll be able to advise....................?????........

  20. #20
    steep fast and loose :)
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    how heavy are you Simon ?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pergamonx View Post

    AC does not have linear travel, it`s falling rate. IMO too much falling. This creates big challenges for coil shocks to work well during the last third of stroke.
    You're right, the linkage rate falls from initially 3:1 to like 2.3:1 (I can't remember the right number off the top of my head), that means you need more force to move 1mm of shock while deep into travel as compared with early travel. It feels very linear to me.

    However, this looks like not enough with HV cans. A HV can normally has a weak mid stroke which accentuate the issue.

    I have not had this issue with a coil over, though. It's actually the best feel I've got on the AC, a coil shock with a 57mm stroke in the second hole from bottom. However, my testing was in rather tame trails with no jumping and I'm very light, so I understand others bottoming too easy.


    As for recommendations for tunes. Well, that's rather difficult. I weight 140pounds (around 60kg) and do trail riding. I went with a Monarch 4.2 in standard B Tune. If you look at the proposed table by RS, the AC would be better off with a C tune, but as I'm very light I went with a lighter tune.

    I have no experience with other shocks on the AC than the Romic Double D and the Monarch 4.2 of 2010. I have a Swinger Coil that I have not been able to ride on.
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  22. #22
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    Certainly on nicolais big volume cans don't work very well imo unless custom tuned. Mojo now supply internal spacers to take up the volume if required.
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks View Post
    how heavy are you Simon ?
    c80kg. My own AC uses the 51mm stroke shock and I'm on a 2010 RP23 BV with a low volume can. It's a standard Medium tune and I run it firm and fast.

    Happy enough with it but you always wonder if it could be better (and need to keep up with latest variations for customers).
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolai-uk View Post
    c80kg. My own AC uses the 51mm stroke shock and I'm on a 2010 RP23 BV with a low volume can. It's a standard Medium tune and I run it firm and fast.

    Happy enough with it but you always wonder if it could be better (and need to keep up with latest variations for customers).
    I run a small volume pushed rp23 on the ac29er and can't really fault it. The push tune helps with the on/off nature of the rebound aadjustment on these shocks as well. On the standard shock I could never get the happy medium between too slow and too fast.

    Speaking of Hv rp23's. You still got one of mine there?
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dipper View Post
    I

    Speaking of Hv rp23's. You still got one of mine there?
    er...yes. Should have sent it back with that bearing kit. On my todo list now.
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