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  1. #1
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    help! rear shock specs for '04 Helius FR

    Hi!
    I'm the original owner of a 2004 Helius FR. At the time I purchased the frame, I never received any documentation from Nicolai, and I'm in a bit of a bind.

    At the time, I was shipped a Manitou Swinger 4-way (coil) direct from Manitou, so I doubt it was custom.

    However, when I measure the shock on the frame I get something over 7.5" but less than 7.875". I plan to take the shock off to measure the i2i again and attempt to measure stroke. However, I'd love to hear what the bike is spec'ed for.

    Can anyone help? This is the 2004 model, and it looks a bit different than the current 2009 Helius FR. (In fact, it looks a little closer to the current Helius AM.)

    Does my frame accept a 7.5x2.0, 7.875x2.0 or 7.875x2.25? I suspect those are the 3 most likely options.

    Thank you!
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  2. #2
    lazy piston
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    According to the 2004 catalog from Nicolai, the eye to eye is 200 mm (7.875 inches). However it doesn't say which stroke (2.0 or 2.25) it should be.

    You should probably write Nicolai an email, they can definitely help you.

  3. #3
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    thank you so much!

    any chance you could send a copy of that catalog/manual, or scan and post?

    i just pulled off the shock and confirmed that 7.875" i2i.

    i'm attaching a photo of the stroke measurement. i believe the stroke to be 2.0" (~50mm). i realized that the extra bit of motion that i initially *thought* might be there to bump it up to 2.25 (57mm) is taken up by the collar.

    i'm also reviewing post #4 in this thread.

    if i drop down to hole #2 from the top, that reduces the leverage ratio and -- if i'm interpreting it correctly -- would mean i could use a shock with 2.25" stroke. [BB height would go down a bit, and head angle would be slightly more slack.]

    i did some quick calculations and think that the max travel with a 2.0 shock is 6.57"/163mm => 6.57/2.0 = 3.285 leverage ratio in the top hole. presumably, the 2nd hole is designed for 5.79"/147mm travel with 2.0 => 5.79/2.0 = 2.90 leverage ratio. therefore, if i put a shock 7.875x2.25 on there in the 2nd hole, that would be 2.90 * 2.25" = 6.53".... i.e., virtually the same travel as the 7.875x2.0.

    does that make sense?

    i have an email into nicolai germany, but historically those emails have not been answered. that said, the last time i emailed was years ago, so things could have changed.

  4. #4
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    hi,

    you can download the 04 cataloge (and many others) directly from Nicolai.

    careful: pdf-document opens directly Link

    Be patient with the Emails, my questions have always been answered.

  5. #5
    lazy piston
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    You're welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by tetonrider2
    any chance you could send a copy of that catalog/manual, or scan and post?
    You can download it here: http://www.birota.ru/catalogues/files/nicolai-2004.zip
    More Nicolai (and many other brands) catalogs are here: http://www.birota.ru/catalogues/index.php

    Quote Originally Posted by tetonrider2
    i'm also reviewing post #4 in this thread.

    if i drop down to hole #2 from the top, that reduces the leverage ratio and -- if i'm interpreting it correctly -- would mean i could use a shock with 2.25" stroke. [BB height would go down a bit, and head angle would be slightly more slack.]

    i did some quick calculations and think that the max travel with a 2.0 shock is 6.57"/163mm => 6.57/2.0 = 3.285 leverage ratio in the top hole. presumably, the 2nd hole is designed for 5.79"/147mm travel with 2.0 => 5.79/2.0 = 2.90 leverage ratio. therefore, if i put a shock 7.875x2.25 on there in the 2nd hole, that would be 2.90 * 2.25" = 6.53".... i.e., virtually the same travel as the 7.875x2.0.

    does that make sense?
    Well, actually your 2004 FR has less travel (140 / 130 / 120 / 110 according to the catalog) so you'll at least have to adjust your calculations accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by tetonrider2
    i have an email into nicolai germany, but historically those emails have not been answered. that said, the last time i emailed was years ago, so things could have changed.
    Falco has always answered my emails with very little delay.

  6. #6
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    thank you to everyone who posted links to catalogues. i appreciate it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Testmaen
    Be patient with the Emails, my questions have always been answered.
    Quote Originally Posted by smith
    Falco has always answered my emails with very little delay.
    i don't know falco, but since 2004 i have not had an email directly answered by nicolai. please note, i have not sent many emails. i have also supplied alternate email addresses to ensure it was not a spam-filter issue.

    on multiple occasions (including this one), dealers and distributors have helped.

    perhaps this time will be different. we shall see!

    Quote Originally Posted by smith
    Well, actually your 2004 FR has less travel (140 / 130 / 120 / 110 according to the catalog) so you'll at least have to adjust your calculations accordingly.
    hm. i now see that listed in the catalogue.

    i actually have emails dating back to april 2004, and the then-US distributor told me the frame had 7" of travel. i assumed that meant he rounded 160mm = 6.57" up to 7". 140mm is only 5.5" of travel.

    what do you make of this? why would he say 7" rear travel??

    interesting (disappointing perhaps is the more appropriate word).

    i was able to contact a german-speaking friend in europe who got through to nicolai's factory today. he was told the helius FR has always been designed for 7.875x2.0 AND 2.25 (200x50 and x57), so either one is OK for me to use.

    hm. now, this new information makes me wonder a little bit as the travel is reduced.

    my friend specifically told them it was the 2004 FR. i thought they told him the travel was 160mm, but i am not 100% certain on the last one.

    thanks for the help.

  7. #7
    lazy piston
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    Well, maybe (but unlikely) there's an error in the catalogue, maybe the US distributor had wrong info. If you're really wondering how much travel your frame has, I think you can measure it yourself. Remove the shock, then measure how much travel the rear wheel has by compressing the suspension until the distance between the front and the rear shock mounting holes is reduced from 200 mm to 150 mm (for 50 mm stroke shock) or 143 mm (for 57 mm stroke shock). You'll have to have some creativity to properly measure wheel travel, but it's doable.

    This way you'll be able to check the travel in all four shock mounting options, for both 50 mm and 57 mm stroke shocks, and also make sure there's no contact between the tire and the seat tube on full compression (known problem for some of the Helius models).

    Good luck and be sure to post the results here

  8. #8
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    I think the old Helius with 167mm travel was called the "Helius DH" wasnt it???? I could be wrong tho!
    Visit - www.gravity-sports.co.uk - Exclusive high end MTB Products

  9. #9
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    tr2, had a 200 x 57 CCDB fitted to a 05 FR...no problems.

  10. #10
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    wanted to follow up to thank those that offered help (publicly and privately), as well as to let everyone know what i've heard officially from nicolai.

    (1) the 2004 helius FR is designed for a 200x57 (7.875x2.25) shock. that confirms what i suspected.

    (2) despite the information in the 2004 catalog (thanks for that link), the travel on this frame is "150 static; 163 dynamic." from what i gather, the static measurement means "when the shock is pre-loaded" (i.e., with sag). since not everyone runs at the same sag, this seems a bit arbitrary. 163mm matches the travel of later Helius FR frames and seems to be the real apples-to-apples comparison.

    a big thanks to falco for replying to my email!

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