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  1. #1
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    New question here. Nicolai Helius AC/CC 29er thoughts?

    So, read the great review of the Helius AC 29er and I have a little history of 29ers with my Jones etc.

    Currently rocking a Titus x-carbon (ssh) on the race circuit using it for marathon xc distance and 24hr racing.

    I would love to get another Nicolai, and I reckon for some of the stuff I'm doing it would be interesting to do it on a 29er again. Also with a thought to long distance xc/trail touring.

    Question is, and I know its a bit weight weenie, what could I expect to bring a new Helius AC29er in at, weight wise?
    Anyone with real world examples and spec lists?
    In 24hr Solo racing and on the long distance stuff it does make a big difference. This year I've done some events on my AM at 33lbs and others of similar distance on my Titus at 24lbs and there is a big difference in fatigue levels.

    My wife loves the Titus (must say I'm very impressed) so there is an opportunity here

    I'd be carrying over some parts so the biggest area's will be in brakes, spokes/rims and the all important fork? at least 15mm QR for me at the front.

    Feel free to post any pictures to get me even more stoked! If I thought I could deliver an AC29er at 25lb I would be a happy boy.

    Last question, is it too much?

    Really I'd like to spec a CC 29er as I don't want to compete with my Helius AM (29er with up to 150mm travel is very close to my AM?) I want a different tool for a different job, I was thinking more short travel full suss 100/120mm 26er is fine, so maybe 100/100 for 29er.

    At the moment the standard offerings suggest the new AC29er is lighter frame/shock by 100g than the current CC 26 frame.
    What might the current AC 29er design specced with CC tubing and 100mm travel would come in at?

    Discuss, constructively please, but if I'm nuts and a 'keep what you got' msg is what I need then feel free :-)
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  2. #2
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    27 views and no thoughts?..

    re-read some of the other threads- the 29inches review and Dippers AC thread..which seems to suggest 108-120mm rear on the current STD model, sounds good.

    1.5" HT to allow some fiddling with an angle set and bring the stack height down..

    dippers bike at 31lb heavy build, that would be too close to my AM at 32.5lb

    29inches bike at 29 ish...still on the heavy side...hmmm

    Maybe I should create a spreadsheet model...can't you tell I'm recovering post op and have too much time...
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  3. #3
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    Ok, I'm trying to answer my own questions now, fantasy AC 29 custom, possibly with short seat tube, longer TT, 1.5" HT

    Frame/shock: *Nicolai AC 29er/Vip'r 2900g
    Forks: *2012 SID120 1559g
    H/S: *CC angle set 112g
    Wheels: Stans crest/ Sapim cx-ray/CK hubs 15mm/12mm. 1550g
    Brakes: Hope Tech M4 1000g
    Tyres: 1200g*
    Crank: *XTR trail 26/38*750g
    Rear mech:*XT*225g *
    FR mech: *XTR 125g
    Shifters: XT/X9 225g
    Cassette: KCNC 11-34 210g
    Chain: YBN Hollowpin 220g
    Bars: Wide (730mm) Carbon flat/low rise 190g
    Stem: Thomson x4 70mm 170g
    Grips: Ozriders*49g
    S/post: Reverb 550g
    Saddle: San Marco Regal*180g
    cables: alligator 75g
    Pedals: PointOne/XT 330g
    11.62kg/25.5lb or 11.25kg/24.8lb without reverb.

    I'd be happy at that, have I missed something?

    Opportunities/compromise either in practicality/strength/fun
    brakes: xtr -200g : Hope (for me) easy to maintain/spare parts/cheap pads/long life?
    1x10: -160g gearing not quite as wide for bikes purpose
    lose the reverb- 370g less fun, race only mod, but it's fun to have fun when racing and I like tech courses.
    Pedals: eggbeabers -150g I hate them, couldn't do it

    Best case 11.27kg/24.8lb*or without reverb 10.9kg/24lb

    Is it really possible....
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  4. #4
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    600g tires? My 2.1 Aspen eXC tires are heavier than that and with the added DH potential of a Helius (vs. CD Flash) they could have a bit more tread (Ikon might do).

    Other suggestion: 100mm Lefty fork, Avid XX WC or X7 brakes. Pilot's other parts are certainly a good choice.

  5. #5
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    Hmm, lefty fork, never thought about that! Carbon 120mm version? Must research..agree on the brakes, but I love the modulation, reliability backup and power of my hopes, probably a compromise I'm willing to make...
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  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Weight may be an issue. Even with a cc I think you'll struggle to get below 27lb. Might be wrong though. Here's my currentspec for an idea

    Medium ac 29er. Tapered ht, 12mm rear Powder coated
    Fox float 120 fit rlc and rp23
    Hope hubs on stans crest and schwalbe 2.25 fast freds running tubeless
    Xtr chainset(3 rings and use them all!)
    Xtr cassette and chain
    Xo Shifters and mech
    Tech m4 brakes
    I900 remote post
    Sunline 80mm xc stem
    Sunline v1 bar

    Currently 30lb dead Inc pedals

    You could change the bar and brakes and ditch the post but everything else is already light. Go with Ano as well and cc tubing and 27ish would be realistic I'd think
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Hmm, lefty fork, never thought about that! Carbon 120mm version? Must research..agree on the brakes, but I love the modulation, reliability backup and power of my hopes, probably a compromise I'm willing to make...
    I'm not sure whether it's possible to get a 120mm Lefty fork for the 29er. The 90mm Lefty that comes with the Flash is the same, traveled, that is used as a 120mm fork for the Rize. So maybe one could travel a 140mm Lefty Max fork to 110 or 120mm.
    The Scalpel 29 comes with a 100mm Lefty (probably the same as the Flash's).

    Hope parts rule and they look damn sexy on a Nicolai. I often considered getting some Hope brakes as well, but then the Avids work well, so why swap?

    edit: If you got any questions concerning the frame, just shoot. I'm going to the Nicolai factory show this weekend and can ask them in person.

  9. #9
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    Here we go then dipper, based on your calcs..

    Medium ac 29er. Tapered ht, 12mm rear Powder coated
    Fox float 120 fit rlc and rp23 use Lefty carbon - 470g
    Hope hubs on stans crest and schwalbe 2.25 fast freds running tubeless use lefty hub and Rocket Rons+sealant -260g use cx-ray spokes (assuming comps) -100g)
    Xtr chainset(3 rings and use them all!) use xtr trail -50g
    Xtr cassette and chain - use kcnc cassette - 75g, use ybn sl chain - 25g
    Xo Shifters and mech - same near as dammit
    Tech m4 brakes - same - but use Ti bolts + pro rotors (assume normal 160s?)- 150g
    I900 remote post - same
    Sunline 80mm xc stem = same for comparable stem.
    Sunline v1 bar use Carbon flat bar -90g

    So potential weight saving of 1.02kg,

    If a normal saddle then 100g there, normal cables 75g there, but still only 1.4kg or 3lb

    Would the use of CC tubing but the new AC design drop much in the frame?

    So what would that be 27lb with pedals? suggests Nicolai frame could be as much as 4.5kg, which I'm not sure that can be true can it!! They are showing the custom version on the website as 2700g in a M with ST...
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  10. #10
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    The CC wasn't lighter than the AC, but maybe you could get a RC tubeset (I doubt it).

  11. #11
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    Midget man, I just read there were some changes making the new AC frame lighter, it's quoted as 2700g on the Nic website for the 29er.

    So you could do me a favour and ask the 'real weight' of a 29er AC frame and then how that might change with short seat tube as per the pic/spec on their website, or if CC tubing & new design would be lighter.

    I think I might want this as I have shortish legs at 31.5" inside leg, might be worth even a slightly more sloping TT?

    I'm realistic, I know a Nic won't be the lightest out there but sub 3kg frame weight should be possible without shock on a cross country oriented frame.

    And you're right the new left carbon is a 100mm, but it's so much lighter than anything else 29er.

    I'd just have to check what stem vs stack height as there are some issues with that and a lefty, is suspect min stem might be 80mm.

    Target weight with a standard post would be 25lbs for me with a lefty.
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  12. #12
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    Tell you what, I'll strip it down and weigh it! I'll leave the acros headset in as sure you'll k ow the weight of that! I'll do it over the weekend
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    So you could do me a favour and ask the 'real weight' of a 29er AC frame and then how that might change with short seat tube
    - Helius AC 29er frame size M (?) with S seat tube actual weight
    - possible weight savings with CC tubeset

    roger that

  14. #14
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    Pilot, I have an AC frame in 26" flavour sitting here with a 1.5" head tube, 12mm axle, anodised and it tips the scales at a lot more than the claimed weight of 2.6kg!

    It actually weighs a shocking 2930 grams! My AM frame with the same spec was 3190 grams. It's a big difference to the claimed weight and I can't see the 29er being any lighter.

    It'll be interesting to see how much Dippers frame weighs when he strips it.

  15. #15
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    I have nothing to suggest on the frame, however I am interested in it. If I like my 29er argon then I might contemplate getting one.

    The hope hoops are heavy even with cx ray spokes around the 2000g mark. Wasting haven Ali are around 1750g and the carbon around 1650g or posh bikes think they can build stan crest rims onto tune hubs for less then 1500g

  16. #16
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    Ian,

    I worked out as above CK rims on crests with cxrays was approx 1550g give or take a frame or two, I was even sad enough to take into account the spoke length. sub 1500g with a lefty hub.

    SDR, interesting that, my AM also came in at just under 3200g and I would expect it to have a much heavier tube set. I wonder if the rear triangle is the same on all in terms of spec?

    I did read, as I said that the new design is somewhat lighter, lighter than the current CC and the one on the website quotes the 29er at 2700g, the swing arm does appear to have more holes! Is yours the 2011/12 model year?

    I'll go search the web and find a link I think.

    Midget man, yes M frame :-)

    I want to do this project with the Nicolai 29er and I do want it to last but I do struggle with a frame weight well over a kilo heavier than anything else out there and as beefy as my AM to take 160/170 forks.

    Here's hoping it's is closer to 2700g.

    I wonder if they're weighing it without rocker plates/pivot bushes/mech hanger, which technically would be frame weight but Not actually representative?

    There might be 25g in the pivot and mech hanger bolts if titanium was used 'clutches at straws!!'
    Last edited by the_pilot; 08-13-2011 at 01:08 AM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    I did read, as I said that the new design is somewhat lighter, lighter than the current CC and the one on the website quotes the 29er at 2700g, the swing arm does appear to have more holes! Is yours the 2011/12 model year?
    There is no current CC The CC was replaced by the AC and the last quoted weight for the CC was higher than the AC's anyway: CC 2700g @ 26" vs. AC 2600g @ 26"
    What you are looking for is a Helius RC (2300g @ 26") 29er.
    All the official Nicolai weights are for M frames, black anodized, w/ RADO, w/ bearings, w/ rocker links, but w/o shock and mounting kit. However they seem to be too low usually...

  18. #18
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    CC was still listed on their website but you're right, just checked. The 29er spec sheet has no weight but 29inches said Nicolai quoted 3.1kg so the same weight as an AM!

    The Giant Anthem 29er comes in at 2700g with 100mm travel, shock and headset cups. I'd be ecstatically happy at that, but it wont happen (And since they appear to be cracking top tubes one wonders) however 2900g or 3kg for the Nic with a shock without headset for a 100mm XC bike must be doable surely esp. with an unbraced short seat tube...here's hoping
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  19. #19
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    I assume that Nicolai simply use straight gauge tubing for the 29er AC. At least for the downtube. It seems to be their all-purpose remedy when building something bigger or different. The XXL frames, like mine, for example always come with them.

    Don't worry too much about the weight though. I actually won a 24h race on my heavy duty Nicolai (Pike coil etc.) after messing up my race bikes's drivetrain (I felt a bit strange among the folks with their 18lb carbon hardtails though). Just make sure you get good wheels and tires.

  20. #20
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    Great thread. Sorry have not responded sooner. That work thing has been full on of late...

    Check out the below threads on my AC29er.... Of which is 28.9 lbs.... It is built not to be light as it could be. 20mm front axel, 12 mm rear axel, ti HS, Ti bar ends etc etc...

    The Tangerine Dream - 29er Bikes


    The Tangerine Dream - Nicolai

    I do think it would be possible to make it quite a lot lighter...

    I have had a Jones, of which I sold recently. I loved the Jones, however just love the AC29er more... I have a decent bunch of bikes, and if I could only own 1 bike, the AC29er would be it...

    I would seriously ask Karl Nicolai what a Helius RC frame would and could weigh. I have thought about this often... However the weight of my current AC is not heavy when riding, but hear and understand your thoughts on weight in long races etc...

    Any questions, hit me up and will do my best to answer
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  21. #21
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    Hi Whafe, strangely similar on opposite sides of the world. I sold my Jones after finding myself on the AM all the time! However, I did love the geo on it for a 29er, other 29ers I've ridden feel too twitchy or too barge like.
    I'm trying to find out the offset On the 'Dale lefty 29er and 26er forks, since both can be used.
    The diff is the AC has 18mm longer CS compared to say a Superfly (447/465), which does ride nice, they have 71HA but 51mm offset. (Jeff and Gary 'discussed this between them at a SSWC I understand and then both came out)
    So my Q would be your CS's are 5mm shorter than the Nic STD 29er and the HA 1deg slacker @71
    How does it feel in singletrack/tight trees compared to Jones, my benchmark 29er handling (ingnoring rigid specific weight distribution)

    My thought was (bear in mind I want 100mm travel to differentiate it enough from my AM, I'm happywith 120mm 26" for racing/xc) specify around a 71deg HA and 1.5" HT to use an angle set (must check if they are + or - 1.5deg or total 1.5deg change)
    If the former then between 69.5 and 72.5 HA would be ideal to use upto 120 fork if I felt the need but also to dial in my preferred HA by feel.

    I take it Helius RC would be Helius frame design with a light tube set?

    Lastly yours is a pretty light build really, the lefty would save 600g, some in the saddle (150g) & wheels(300g with crests/leftyhub, 300g light 2.0 tyres) maybe 2.5-3lbs max. 27lbs. I would be after a M frameset with short ST and poss extra slope on TT so that with the light tube set may realise an extra 200g....
    Last edited by the_pilot; 08-13-2011 at 04:54 AM.
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  22. #22
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    Looks like the quoted weights above are pretty good for the AC 29er. Just stripped and cleaned mine. It's a medium, powder coat, 12mm, tapered ht. Weighed minus shock bolts and maxle but Inc cable guides and the top/bottom cups and bearings of a tapered across headset

    3.32kg. Ano apparently reduces that by @ 200grams and a small will knock a bit off again so 3kg ish is almost doable

    I've no idea about other 29ers but I can also say that the ac is very stiff. Even when hauling on my 760odd mm flat dh bars and bar ends there is very little hint of flex when standing and honking. I can notice a sizable difference in flex between running crests and flows and the fox 32 15mm shows some flex but is pretty good considering.

    Surely the ability to efficiently put the power down is as important as light weight?
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  23. #23
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    Excellent dipper :-)
    Didn't realise paint was that high! Power down is a fair point, stiffness is what I love about the Nic!
    Wonder if RC tubing would kill that? Hmmm

    I think I'd want Med TT dimensions.

    Seems to me an Ano AM29er with small ST might scrape in at 3kg which I could live with. If it could be optimised without compromising stiffness that would be great...

    I only weigh 68kg and leftys are very stiff so I doubt I'd trouble crests too much, Alpines are fine for me so..

    Can anyone confirm the nature of RC tubing, just lighter gauge or butted?
    Last edited by the_pilot; 08-13-2011 at 05:00 AM.
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  24. #24
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    A guy on a german forum stripped the paint off his 26'' AC.
    In his case it made a difference of about 130g.

  25. #25
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    Bikes rebuilt and minus the i900 is just over 29lb(29.07 to be exact). Will be fitting a reverb though so will be back to 30! Brakes and bars and lighter pedals should see it at 29 but unlikely I'll ever see lower than that.
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

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