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  1. #1
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    Helius AM vs Liteville 301?

    Has anyone been able to compare the two? Both are a similar suspension design but what are the differences in feel and performance?

    I have a Mk9 301 and really like it, but I'd love a Helius AM Pinion. I find the 301 to pedal better than my old Pivot Mach 5, steering geometry of the 301 is a little better and everything else seems to be about the same between those two.

  2. #2
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    The AM is much more on the rough stuff side of the house, i.e. it's heavier, but certainly more potent downhill.

    If you want something that is comparable to the Liteville, you'd have to look at the AC (which is also available with Pinion). Generally, the Nicolai build-quality is much better, plus you can basically get every custom option you want. On the other hand, Liteville is lighter and certainly good quality for a Taiwan bike.

  3. #3
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    Interesting timing as I've been looking at them myself recently. They are being distributed in the UK now by the company that was originally bringing in Yeti.

    Are they manufactured in Taiwan? I thought they were also built in Germany but that was an assumption. They are very light for their intended use, especially compared to Nicolai. The 601 is sub 3kg for a frame that offers up to 180mm of travel.

    They do have a lot of nice engineering touches and they 'look' quality but I just can't help but think that they've made them just a little too light.

  4. #4
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    Can you really run the 301 with 180mm now? The rig once started as a marathon racer... Sorry, I don't seem to be up to date (I thought the max. travel was 150-160mm).

  5. #5
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    The 301 is 140 or 160mm travel, the 601 is 165 or 190mm travel.

    My 301 is the 140mm version, but if the Helius suspension feels similar then the AM version at 160 would be excellent. Even better with the Pinion gearbox.

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    Sorry that was me not being clear - I was referring to the 601, which is probably the comparable model to the Helius AM but is quite a bit lighter. The 301 is lighter still and analogous to the AC in my view.

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    second that

  8. #8
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    Okay, how does a Helius AC feel and perform compared to a Liteville 301?

    Or, how does a Helius AM compare to a Pivot Firebird?


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    I haven't ridden either sorry. I have ridden the Ibis Mojo HD which uses the same platform as the Pivot and is a comparable bike to the Firebird in terms of suspension layout and design brief.

    I found the suspension difficult to set up well and it's not a neutral 'feel' but it does work very well and in some ways it works better. But overall it doesn't feel as neutral or transparent as the Helius.

    The sizing on the Mojo HD is also more geared to trails and long days in the saddle - but I've no idea if that's how the firebird feels.

  10. #10
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    I think the AC's suspension feels a bit more linear. It's firmer and more responsive. But I only had a rough setup on both bikes and couldn't tell you the exact rear shock specifications.

    However, look at the welds and the decision is easy. I mean, both are great bikes and will work immaculately, but since the price is more or less the same, I'd go for the individual German made one (or American or British made for that matter). The N's style factor is definitely much higher.

    Honestly, if I "just" wanted a well designed, innovative mass production rig, I'd buy a Specialized. They are, fore me, the true competitor to a bike like the Liteville.

  11. #11
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    I haven't got a problem buying a bike that is made in Taiwan, so the Nicolai being made in Germany doesn't sway me either way.

    Being a bit more linear in suspension rate is okay though. How did the AC pedal compared to the 301?

  12. #12
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    I don't have a problem with buying a bike made in Taiwan either, but considering the price I think that there are smarter choices.
    The ACs I've ridden all felt more efficient than the one Liteville, but as I said: I didn't get a proper suspension setup. The Liteville will probably perform as well with proper adjustments.

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    I've seen both the Liteville 301 and 601 first hand and the quality is first rate. Not been able to ride any but I'm sure the ride would be comparable to the Nicolai but are a lot lighter. The Litevilles are also 650b compatible.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgetman View Post
    I don't have a problem with buying a bike made in Taiwan either, but considering the price I think that there are smarter choices.
    The ACs I've ridden all felt more efficient than the one Liteville, but as I said: I didn't get a proper suspension setup. The Liteville will probably perform as well with proper adjustments.
    The fact that Nicolai are prepared to build a bike with the Pinion gearbox is the only reason I'm considering a Helius. Aesthetically I don't really like the Nicolai style, but if the suspension performance is similar or better than the Liteville or Pivot Firebird I'm happy to look beyond the appearance.

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    In this case it won't take too long till you buy the next bike...

    If you buy an xxl frame, let me know as soon as you sell it

    There must be other Pinion bikes around that you like better.

  16. #16
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    The Alutech Fanes seems to be the only other option at the moment.

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    i have testridden a 301 before i bought my helius am. on the uphill the 301 was ace but i didnt like it on the downhill. the geometry wasnt my fit. i felt just right on the nicolai.
    the litevilles are very nice bikes with clever details and are super light, BUT they dent easily. when you knock on the frame with your hand you think its a coke tin. somewhere the lightweight must come from!
    iŽd go for Nicolai anyday. supporting craftmanship from my own country.
    designwise its not everybodys cup of tea :-) i like the raw brutal style of N.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgetman View Post
    If you buy an xxl frame, let me know as soon as you sell it
    Sorry I missed this. Mine will be a small.

    I appreciate the opinons in this thread. Perhaps I'm trying to convince myself to go for a Helius purely for the Pinion gearbox. I might be better off looking at a "conventional" carbon bike until the weight of the gearbox comes down.

    Or I could look at replacing the Pivot Firebird with a Helius AM Pinion instead of comparing it to the Liteville? Any thoughts on that idea?


  19. #19
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    crank - Asthetically, if the you don't like the Nicolai, wouldn't jump at it...

    Frame quality wise, don't think you can compare the Nicolai AM to a Pivot Firebird... And am not for a moment dissing Pivots, think they are great bikes. I owned a ExoGrid Motolite that Chris from Pivot designed, was a magic bike... Just coming from the quality aspect...

    Call me anything, but I would not buy a bike sitting at the same value made in Taiwan as a frame made by a small team in Germany such as Nicloai... Thats just me, and each to their own...

    I would be jumping at a Pinion if I could... Will have to be a Pinion AM 29er though...
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  20. #20
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    Crank, do you really need a Pinion with 1 x 11 now available? If you are looking to replace the FB, I would suggest looking at the Knolly Chilcotin or Nicolai Ion 18 as options. Let us know where you go with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crank1979@optusnet.com.au View Post
    Okay, how does a Helius AC feel and perform compared to a Liteville 301?

    Or, how does a Helius AM compare to a Pivot Firebird?

    i have tested 301 in large and helius ac in large.
    the ac felt much more live and chuckable on the trails due to its short wheelbase. the ac is a trailrocket.
    i went for the am as i wanted to stick a lyrik in it.

    the turner 5 spot is no option? the 2012 dw link is awesome.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by loamranger View Post
    Crank, do you really need a Pinion with 1 x 11 now available? If you are looking to replace the FB, I would suggest looking at the Knolly Chilcotin or Nicolai Ion 18 as options. Let us know where you go with this.
    I like the idea of doing away with the derailleurs.

    Quote Originally Posted by dr.juggles View Post
    i have tested 301 in large and helius ac in large.
    the ac felt much more live and chuckable on the trails due to its short wheelbase. the ac is a trailrocket.
    i went for the am as i wanted to stick a lyrik in it.

    the turner 5 spot is no option? the 2012 dw link is awesome.
    I'm not a Turner fan, but the AC sounds about right. How well did it climb?

  23. #23
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    it climbed equal to the 301 which i liked on the uphills.
    but the ac felt more "live" on the trail. more flickable.
    the geo of the 301 was not my cup of tea on the trail and downhill.

    i wish i had the money to buy an ac next to my helius am. my am is on the heavy side with lyrik coil and heavy dh tires, dropper post etc.
    would like to have a fast, not so heavy trailbike aka the ac for long distances and fast trail action.

  24. #24
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    Crank - The AC climbs like a goat on steroids!

    Was out on my AC 29er today, forgot how well it climbs, had an absolute blast on it. Had not been out on it for some months. Been riding the bigger AM of late, preparing for a trip to Whistler early September (WHOLE LOTTA YEAH HA)
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the ride info guys.

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