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  1. #1
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    Helius FR - One Year on

    So it’s a year on since I got my mitts on my FR.... and while giving it a rare clean after a massively muddy ride today I thought id grab a few snaps and do a year on review!

    Its been ridden 2-3 times a week, has done a week or so in Scotland an Wales and 2 weeks in the alps... so it has some mileage under its belt.

    The frame

    Still as solid as the day I bought it. Cant really fault it. The polished finish requires a bit of maintenance but still looks awesome. Makes all other bikes apart from my DH rig feel flexy. Tracks extremely well.

    True 4 bar works better than anything else I have ridden and natively produces hardly any bob… you could run it with a rocco wc which has no low speed compression. I regularly clear steep climbs that people on lighter trail bikes cant as I have so much dam traction from the rear... its very hard to get the rear to spin when climbing.

    Love the 1.5 headset – no weight penalty when you add the fork and headset into the equation. Looks super mint.

    You how it is…after you buy something there is always something better that appears.. however if I was buying today id still go for the FR… there is nothing that really hits the button of bad ass trail / enduro DH bike like the FR does. Ill be riding this bike for the next few years for sure.

    The only thing that would also be on my radar if I was buying today would be the Knolly Delirium T, but that is a good 1000g heavier than my FR, though it does have adj geo and wheelbase. The new intense Uzzi also looks interesting but that is not out for a while. The new Santa Cruz D8 (you heard it here first) would also be a contender.

    Id love love love to see adjustable geo on this frame going forward… with the range of terrain ive had it on over the last year it would be very useful. I also think the head angle is natively a bit steep when you take the bike to places where its burliness is really tested.

    The Shock

    Epically good – the best – you can make it do anything you want. However if you cant get your head around how all of the different adjustments relate to different things on the trial its probably not worth it. As with any other performance part an extra 60% on the price over a DHX doesn’t mean 60% better – but it is very good. Word of warning - the CCDB Ti spring will rub the barrel of the shock… get a barrel shim free from Cane Creek – bit of a design flaw that!

    The Forks

    Really suit the frame – looks awesome – easy to maintain - had no reliability issues – mega stiff. I love pushing it through rock gardens at speed and seeing it track like a beaut. Plush once you break the initial stiction at the top of the travel and it has saved my ass sooooo many times. It does make you a bit lazy and you can get used to ploughing on a trail – I still maintain the coil is better as it doesn’t have the top travel stiction and a better feel in the mid stroke, but as this is now my trail bike I think the air is the best set up for me as it saves ½ a pound.

    Other bits

    Formula the ones – feel sooooooooooooo good but a total arse to set up and the levers develop play – if I had my time again ide go for the new saints

    Speedball – not in this pic as its in bits – brill when it works – but develops lots of play and f*cks up every month. Got a love hate relationship with this bit of kit.

    All the other gear has performed really well. Im glad I stretched the budget on the kit as it has performed without much of an issue over the year and I wouldn’t really change any of it.

    Few pics to show that sometimes the bike is clean lol








  2. #2
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    nice year review of that sweet ride!

  3. #3
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    Karve,

    thanks for the review.....what 1.5 headset are you using....did you have any clearance issues?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryates
    Karve,

    thanks for the review.....what 1.5 headset are you using....did you have any clearance issues?
    Chris King 1.5 mate.. see pics no probs with clearance with either floodgate down or up. Never run the floodgate up anyway.




  5. #5
    "Its All Good"
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    Great year review, sums things up for me well...

    I too crave no other frame to be honest, I do love the Knolly DT, am lucky though, my main riding buddy Momentus has recently got one...... So all good on that front......

    Go the Nicolai Helius FR.....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  6. #6
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    Great review mate and of course a VERY schweet FR indeed
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  7. #7
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    Nice write up there Karve. Still the king of bling, buffed the frame up nicely for the pics .

    Getting some Totems in myself soon, so can never have enough confirmation that they're working great on the FR .

  8. #8
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    Karve

    Thanks for the photos. Apart from KC what other 1.5 headsets do you rate?

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryates
    Karve Thanks for the photos. Apart from KC what other 1.5 headsets do you rate?
    Hopes are good value and seem pretty reliable. Cane Creek do an excellent range of headsets too. The 110 http://www.canecreek.com/110_headset.html is up there with the best of them. Its a 1.5 head tube on your helius st yea?

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    Oh to add to this I spotted derkr's comment about Uk Nics customer service in another forum

    R F X

    I wondered about bringing this up in my original thread but didnt really know how to phrase it... derkr' kinda does it for me there... and I know Bozz has had issues and i have had a couple of 'hmmm thats not great' moments when trying to get stuff sorted this year.

    I don't think its terrible but it certainly doesn't match the quality of the frames. Not sure if its because they are really small - or perhaps its because Nic themselves arnt as responsive as they would like? Whatever the reason they should step it up.

    Engaging the community on here would be a good start. I think this is the most active English speaking Nicolai forum in the world... take a book out of Noel over at Knolly and see how everyone loves him as he is a face on the board and deals with issues there and then.

  11. #11
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    Generally my experience with both Nic UK and the Factory has been good. I have received reasonably prompt replies to e-mails and spoken to both on the telephone and always found them helpful. It is important for any business to maintain good customer relations...especially when you are selling a top product. It's dissappointing to hear that my good experience has not universally been repeated and it sounds like they have to try harder. One complaint I have is that they have not yet produced an English version of the manual.

  12. #12
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    Excellent review... but that bike is far to too pretty

  13. #13
    Fat & Single
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    Very very nice

    I would have loved a FR but my riding style and trails have AM wrote all over it

    Still 1000% happy with my choice in the AM.

    .....its at the 3 week mark now .... bits are being delivered from wiggle and CR .... still a bit to wait for the frame

  14. #14
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    I fully agree.

    My Helius FR is 13 months old and right now, there is no other bike I would like (in the same category)

    My frame shows no sign of fatigue. No play, paint is a bit damaged, but nothing unusual for this kind of bike.

    It's been used 99% of the time in the Alps, meaning lots of rocks and thousand of downhill runs !

    It feels so nice, that in March I'm ordering a CC with the same geometrie to pass from the FR to the CC without any adjustment.

    My FR is already tailor made. I had a 66° angle for a Lyrik. Shorter chainstay and seat tube.
    CC will be the same.

    The 4 bar linkage works so well, it's so good !

  15. #15
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    Yeah.............................................. .................................................. .............................................Thank s
    Last edited by Sim2u; 02-09-2009 at 10:09 PM.

  16. #16
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    Schweet review mate, glad your happy with it - it is an awesome looking machine
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  17. #17
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    Hi Karve

    How are the Syncros rims performing? I read that the Halo Freedom's are the same rim.

  18. #18
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    Yeah now you come to mention it they are the same shape?
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  19. #19
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    There's a lot of rebadging going on.....Azonic Outlaws are Alex rims I believe.....N17 mag flats (£60) are Wellgo MG1's (£35)....for example. Can you think of any others?

  20. #20
    "Its All Good"
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    Azonic frames are Mondraker
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  21. #21
    Castron BTT Crew
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    Mondraker are Azonic..

  22. #22
    "Its All Good"
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    all good, thanks for clarifying that..... Knew it was something like that...
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  23. #23
    Castron BTT Crew
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    Just kidding. Here in Spain few years ago, Mondraker frames (from taiwanese catalogue) had quite bad feedback. Now thy're designing their own frames and are much more reliable. Excuse for the interferences! ;D

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryates
    Hi Karve
    How are the Syncros rims performing? I read that the Halo Freedom's are the same rim.
    I think they are

    They are a good solid 8/10 they feel a bit soft but this gives them some spring and it it is tricky to get get then out of true. I dented the one on the back hitting a square edge at 20mph with low tyre pressures and it physically dented the rim but the wheel did not go out of true. That has since been replaced with a white sun defender which is more robust but a good 150g heavier.

    I would say for the weight they are a very good choice... 100-150g lighter the full on DH rims but 90% of the strength.

    I cant find the post but someone asked about the bash guard previously ... its a cheapie one... had to file bits off to make it fit lol - brand x or something - does the job and is still true after 12 months - and people always seem to comment on it.

  25. #25
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    Karve have you played with the front shock mount to see what it does to the geometry? Does moving the mount forwards create problems of tyre/seat tube contact at the end of the travel? Or can you 'get away' with one hole forward, and have a lower bb/slacker head angle?

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