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Thread: New Helius AM

  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... New Helius AM

    Hi all,

    Just took possesion last night of Dippers Helius AM, hopefully have it all built up tonight and will take some pictures!

    Few bits still to sort out but really looking forward to getting it finished and getting out on it.

    Tried Dippers demo build on Sunday past at Moray Monster Trails and loved it so can't wait!

    My build Spec:

    Nicolai Helius AM Medium Frame 12mm bolt thru rear end (Anodized bronze front/Anodized black rear)
    Cane creek double barrel shock, steel spring (To be changed for Fox RP23)
    Fox 36 Vanilla RC2 (To be changed for 36 Floats possibly?)
    Chris King NoThreadset (Black) 1/1/8th
    Thomson Elite MTB Stem 50mm (Black)
    Easton EC70 MonkeyLite CNT DH Riser 31.8 (Black/Gold)
    Strailine White bar ends
    Sram X0 Shifter pods
    Sram X0 Rear Mech Medium Cage
    Hope Moto V2 Disc Brakes Front/Rear 203mm Rotors C/W Braided Hoses (Overkill?)
    Shimano XTR Front Mech
    Raceface Atlas AM Cranks
    Raceface race rings Inner 22T and Middle 32T
    Raceface DH/FR Gold Bottom bracket
    E-thirteen Supercharger 32T White Bash Guard
    Stinger Chain Device BB mount
    DMR V12 Magnesium (White)
    DT Swiss EX1750 (240 Hub) White 135 x 12mm Rear 20mm Bolt Thru Front (Currently DT 440 hub with Mavic 321 rim on back)
    SRAM PG990 Red Cassette 9sp 11-34
    SRAM PC 991 9sp Chain
    Thomson Elite InLine Seatpost Black
    Hope Seat Clamp & QR 34.9 (Black)
    SDG Grand Prix Titanium Black Kevlar
    Shwalbe Big Betty Front/Rear Snake Skin 2008 (Currently NN 2.4 on back)
    Raceface Diabolus Lock-on Grips

    Hopefully when changed over to air it'll be 31-32ish lbs

    Huge change for me coming from a 40lb freeride bike (SantaCruz VP-Free), but it was FAR2 much bike for me so the AM should be awesome and allow me to do far more varied rides as unfortunatley around here you have to ride up the hills too!

    Cheers

    Derek

  2. #2
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    Good job!

    The old and the new!!!
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    Now I've got the Ion, I sooooo want one of these. It's not even like I think there's anything wrong with my 140mm travel Enduro - there's not, it's an awesome bike - it's just that owning and riding a Nicolai is like a special event each time you get your let over (so to speak).

  4. #4
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    I spoke to Dipper last night and he mentioned he'd sold the AM. Nicolai's are becoming quite common in the NE of Scotland.

  5. #5
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    nae wonder they're common - dippers' marketing manager is a genius

  6. #6
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    ... and if we just ... AM Build

    AM is almost there, missing a rear disc rotor as i dont have any bolts as i didnt pick them up from GS! Also be better with matching wheels when i get a 12mm conversion kit Well impressed with the cable routing of the rear brake hose etc, awesome attention to detail on the frame, welds etc!

    Big thanks to Dipper @ Graviy Sports for this beastie

    TLR's may have had a hand in this but dont mention that!!!

    Will get some better pics in the day light ASAP!
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    Looking good Derek

    Vans and CCDB - Good combination.

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    Indeed - very sweet ride.

  9. #9
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    Yeah i'm sure it'll be sweet but unf. the CCDB is Richard's not mine

    Altho if i fall in love with it i guess i could make arrangements

    My plan was/is? to put an RP23 and 36 floats (Hence the white theme) on her, but i'll see how it rides and decide as it feels super lightweight to me coming from a 40lb ride so looking forward to a play @ Fetty tonight in the dark!

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    I'd look to keep the CCDB and get an RP23 as well - that way the bike could be extra versatile. There's a lot to be said for having something like this but with one set of wheels, forks (maybe you don't need different forks, a Talas 36 or Lyrik would do the job) and shock for DH orientated days or alpine trips and another for general trail and AM work.
    Your Helius though really is lovely and I seriously want one now. How did you come by this one, it sounds as though you bought a shop's demo bike (Dippers?) What size is it and how tall are you?

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    That is a really nice sounding build, some good strong kit to match the purpose of the frame - none of that leightweight pish that's going to break as soon as you show it something interesting

    The Moto brakes are not "Overkill" at all in my opinion... for where we ride I think big brakes are a necessity. I would love to put Moto's or Mono6Ti's on my hartail but I will just have to live with the old DH4pots that are on it because I am a skinflint

    Nowt wrong with 40lb monsters if you've got the legs for them , but there are days when I don't feel up to the challenge so I ride my hardtail instead... it keeps the reflexes taught

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    Aha - I thought I recognised the VPF. I've seen you down at Fetty a couple of times sessioning parts of the trail but don't think we've met. I ride a black Helius FR and usually ride there with the rest of the Stoney trail fairies.

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    Seriously, how on earth do you manage to pedal a 40lb bike around an all day ride? I mean it's entirey up to anyone what they ride but I've never got my head around how people do it - it must be the Iron Bru ;o)

    PimpMessiah - the lightweight kit thing is interesting though. Ultimately the only issue these days with light weight stuff seems to be forks and wheels - almost everything else you would run on a light trail bike could happily be used on a DH bike - XT cranks, brakes (I think this multiple pot thing is a bit of a marketing ploy as my single pot Formula The Ones are the most powerful, fade resistant brakes I've ever used), Thomson finishing kit, XTR/X0/X9 gears, DX flats, even DH bars are light enough these days for trail use. Indeed, if you think about a set of Fox Talas forks, these are easily up to moderate DH use, which really only leaves the wheels and tyres as the overly heavy items.

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    PimpMessiah - I've just realised we've had this exact conversation before. You're the nutter (in the nicest possible way) that rides the Nucelon on Munro bashing rides as well as nailing the DH tracks - definitely something in the Iron Bru! I've been in the south too long - reckon I must have gone soft.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by geetee1972
    I'd look to keep the CCDB and get an RP23 as well - that way the bike could be extra versatile. There's a lot to be said for having something like this but with one set of wheels, forks (maybe you don't need different forks, a Talas 36 or Lyrik would do the job) and shock for DH orientated days or alpine trips and another for general trail and AM work.
    Your Helius though really is lovely and I seriously want one now. How did you come by this one, it sounds as though you bought a shop's demo bike (Dippers?) What size is it and how tall are you?
    I agree with you it would prob. be nice to have both and i can see me getting a CCDB in the future, just that one i have is dippers personal shock as he'll be getting another AM to replace mine.

    And yes i got dippers demo AM, i wasnt keen on the colour to start but it has really grown on me and tbh the pics dont do it justice as its a superb colour in the flesh!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepimpmessiah
    That is a really nice sounding build, some good strong kit to match the purpose of the frame - none of that leightweight pish that's going to break as soon as you show it something interesting

    The Moto brakes are not "Overkill" at all in my opinion... for where we ride I think big brakes are a necessity. I would love to put Moto's or Mono6Ti's on my hartail but I will just have to live with the old DH4pots that are on it because I am a skinflint

    Nowt wrong with 40lb monsters if you've got the legs for them , but there are days when I don't feel up to the challenge so I ride my hardtail instead... it keeps the reflexes taught
    Yeah agree'd mate, for fetteresso i could easily handle the 40lb VP-Free all day long as it pedals so well as i've seen me riding fetty for 4 - 5 hours on it and still not being totally fzuked.

    Problem is on longer more testing climbs i really was struggling whereas i think the AM will be in its element! Also after the test i had on Sunday i cant see the AM struggling with anything i ride, even The Mighty Quim once i get the bottle up to try it as that gap over the existing trail really freaks me out! I can happily handle anything else at fetty but that 20ft gap eludes me to this day, but who knows maybe soon!!!! I must say i love watching people nail it and if you check out thepimpmessiah's thread you will see him nailing it big time!!!!



    Thats one of the other reasons i've downsized my steed as to be perfectly honest my riding just isnt at the stage i need a big bike like that, but we all live and learn + the great thing is the AM although not as burly seems just as capable!

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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by yetiman71
    Aha - I thought I recognised the VPF. I've seen you down at Fetty a couple of times sessioning parts of the trail but don't think we've met. I ride a black Helius FR and usually ride there with the rest of the Stoney trail fairies.
    Hi mate, yeah i'm sure i've spotted ur steed on my travels - quite often hang around the jumps and drops and do them several times with my mate Lee (He rides a Spesh Demo 7) thats why i got away with my VP-Free too as he has no chance of pedaling that 47lb monster up anything steeper than 1 degree

    I also do a bit of riding with TLR (Simon) but as of late we havent been out much as with my VP-Free i was struggling to keep up with the lightweight boys Thankfully now i have the AM i'll be more capable of riding up as well as down so i'm sure we'll meet up sometime soon!

    If you fancy a blast of the AM just let me know your more than welcome!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by geetee1972
    Seriously, how on earth do you manage to pedal a 40lb bike around an all day ride? I mean it's entirey up to anyone what they ride but I've never got my head around how people do it - it must be the Iron Bru ;o)

    PimpMessiah - the lightweight kit thing is interesting though. Ultimately the only issue these days with light weight stuff seems to be forks and wheels - almost everything else you would run on a light trail bike could happily be used on a DH bike - XT cranks, brakes (I think this multiple pot thing is a bit of a marketing ploy as my single pot Formula The Ones are the most powerful, fade resistant brakes I've ever used), Thomson finishing kit, XTR/X0/X9 gears, DX flats, even DH bars are light enough these days for trail use. Indeed, if you think about a set of Fox Talas forks, these are easily up to moderate DH use, which really only leaves the wheels and tyres as the overly heavy items.
    It is surprising how pedalable a big heavy bike is (If its designed to be pedaled like the VP-Free etc) but it is energy sapping and does take alot out of you.

    I also agree with you re. the kit you've listed i mean all of that would be just as happy on a DH/FR bike as it would a burly trail bike.

    As for brakes, Moto V2! need i say more, if you've tried them you'll know what i mean they are the single best brakes i have ever ridden, but of course there is a slight weight penalty but its sometimes worth adding a bit of weight to get the performance that is required. Again this depends where you ride but as thepimpmessiah has said up here in the NE Scotland that sort of braking power imho is justified as they instill ALOT of confidence!

    Just my 2p worth!

    P E A C E O U T he he he

  19. #19
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    *Blushes* okay, so everyone thinks I'm a nutter...*Blushes*


    Quote Originally Posted by geetee1972
    Seriously, how on earth do you manage to pedal a 40lb bike around an all day ride? I mean it's entirey up to anyone what they ride but I've never got my head around how people do it - it must be the Iron Bru ;o)

    PimpMessiah - the lightweight kit thing is interesting though. Ultimately the only issue these days with light weight stuff seems to be forks and wheels - almost everything else you would run on a light trail bike could happily be used on a DH bike - XT cranks, brakes (I think this multiple pot thing is a bit of a marketing ploy as my single pot Formula The Ones are the most powerful, fade resistant brakes I've ever used), Thomson finishing kit, XTR/X0/X9 gears, DX flats, even DH bars are light enough these days for trail use. Indeed, if you think about a set of Fox Talas forks, these are easily up to moderate DH use, which really only leaves the wheels and tyres as the overly heavy items.
    Okay, I may not be Mr Average on a bike but seriously... I've worked my way up to the bombproof kit I now use by bending and buggering stuff I've tried on the way up (XT cranks). Or if I've seen stuff fail then I rule it out (Thomson).
    I also like a solid feeling bike and I distrust Carbon (except on very lite duty) as I've seen it fail catastophicaly with nasty consequences (Easton CF).
    These big bikes are built capable of big stuff. If your going to build them down to a weight with lite components then the components will set the limit... but I guess if people have no intentions of riding the big stuff and it's all about building as light a bike as possible with a given travel then that's fine... but the trails will laugh in your face... and when you bin it and the bike breaks when it bounces down the trail you will have a long walk (Light wheels are asking for this, also light tyres with ripped sidewalls).

    The Nicolai was built 4 years ago with the intention of building something that I would have difficulty breaking. The Intense I had before this while being a fantastic trail bike suffered loads of breakages which I was not happy to live with again.
    Plus... my worst crashes have mostly resulted from component failure... as have some of the worst I have seen (Forks, handlebars, seatposts, tyre blowouts at high speed).
    Also... a day up in the big hills is an expedition and I hate to have to walk off due to component/frame failure. Been there, got the T-shirt and the scars!

    In summary I would rather have overbuilt kit and know that we will survive the day than tiptoe about hoping I don't break something.

  20. #20
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    PimpMessiah - just in awe of your obvious ability! When I think about it I've broken plenty of stuff as well but i guess I'm always optimistic that the next time it won't!

    My Ion is built to last, the only concession to weight are the Race Face Atlas FR cranks - everything else is DH specific and the cranks 'should be' strong enough.

    The riding down here, in the Surrey hills is great, but having grown up in the Peak District, the terrain here is no where near as hard on bikes.

  21. #21
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    I guess it depends what riding is on your doorstep or a few hours in the car away as to what build you can get away with. Also depends if you want a big bike for the Alps (or other) once/twice/more a year

    My local forest is a bike wrecker, and an hour up the road are the Grampian Mountains and the Cairngorms... awesome terrain but no uplift so we build bikes we can ride up and down.

  22. #22
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    Hi all,

    Got the AM in its final build configuration last night (All i'm waiting for is the CK SteelSet) and all i can say is WOW! This new Fox Air Suspension Technology has moved on leaps and bounds since i last used any!!! I'm a bit sick now i havent tried it earlier, remember i'm coming from Totem coils and these Floats feel EVERY bit as plush straight out of the box!!!!!

    The float fork feels really nice as does the RP23 which feels plush but also seems to ramp up as the stroke goes on. I'm only speaking 'Car Park Test' not actually on the trails yet but first impressions are normally correct for me re. suspension. I've set the floats 36 RC2's up with 50psi (Prob need more pressure but we'll see) and the RP23 with 185psi (Can someone tell me if the band on the rear shock is an ok sag percentage for my setup?

    Will update with some thoughts on the ride etc once i've been out on the trails and also some new pics not in my kitchen!!!

    Cheers

    Derek
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    Looks good Derek.

    A good test will be landing it off the Mighty Quim this weekend

  24. #24
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    Agree'd, I'll just get me coat..................

  25. #25
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    Derek - again an awesome build - so many things done just right: The right length stem the right kind of pedals wide bars saddle at the right height wheels that are up to the job bling kit where it counts and weight saving where it matters

    A man of taste and distinction I believe.

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