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  1. #1
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    Nicolai vs Turner vs Ventana vs Endorfin

    Hi,

    I'm looking to get a new mountain bike, and have started to do some research. I have been around a few shops to see what's out there, but as yet haven't test ridden anything. I want to go with a custom bike.

    The last mountain bike I had was an Orange E3 back in 1996. In 2001 I got into road riding, but recently I have started to want a mountain bike again. How things have changed since '96!

    I want something fast, stiff and light, but with the comfort of full suspension (I did originally start looking at titanium hardtails). I don't think I will be looking to do mega jumps or drop offs so I think 4" of travel should be OK, whilst keeping the weight down.

    The four bikes I've been looking at are as follows:

    Nicolai Helius RC or CC
    Turner Flux
    Ventana El Saltamontes
    Endorfin VP-4 SL

    All the bikes seem to have similar weights of around 5 - 6 lbs, and prices range from 1,200 up to around 1,500 (can't find definite price for Nicolai RC).

    Can anyone comment on the pros and cons of these bikes? Are they hugely different from eachother?

    I know this is a Nicolai forum, but can anyone give me a non-biased opinion of the above or possibly recommend any other bikes for my needs.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Hi
    I used to own a Turner Flux and now own a Helius CC, so I suppose I'm reasonably qualified to give an unbiased appraisal on these two at least.

    The Flux is quite a lightweight bike, with the advantage of looking very good. I'm afraid that over the longer term I found it a little wanting. The tubing is very thin, this accounts for its overall light weight. Unfortunately it can dent quite easily, as mine did. A rock was thrown up by the front wheel and caused quite a dent in the downtube, I was never quite at home on the frame after that. The rear end is very flexy and can ghost shift - never could resolve this issue despite changing from Shimano to SRAM - so it wasn't attributable to the gears , mech etc - it just waould shift all on its own.

    In summary - the Flux is probably a good lightweight true xc race bike, but gets a bit flustered on more challenging terrain.


    The Helius CC is the best bike I've ridden full stop. Not just because I own one now. Its a very stable and neutral ride with plenty of confidence. It is extremely well made, and is capable of handling more adventurous terrain with ease.

    I can't help but recommend it. Your biggest dilemma will be what colour to buy.

  3. #3
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    Helius CC

    First thing is the CC is a very versatile bike and can be used in a lot of different terrain. The RC is more of a race bike so i woud not choose the RC. The other frames you are looking at are nice but you will find that they will be flexy and not as stable as the CC.

  4. #4
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    endorfin is made in taiwan.

    the others are not.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolap99
    Hi
    The rear end is very flexy and can ghost shift - never could resolve this issue despite changing from Shimano to SRAM - so it wasn't attributable to the gears , mech etc - it just waould shift all on its own.
    Have quite a different perspective... currently own a Flux and it's a great race bike. I have not noticed any flex in the rear end. Have not ridden any of the others... it depends on what you want a just over 5 pound frame is nice when you are suffering on that extended climb...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sekt88
    endorfin is made in taiwan.

    the others are not.
    I don't think that is right. According to their website everything is made in Germany.

  7. #7
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    The frames are made in taiwan.

  8. #8
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    The Salty is very stiff..ncig isn't correct in his assessment here. It is ridiculously stiff with quad bearings and its short rockers. The Flux is a bit flexier but not not bad at all and the new Flux is stiffer than the older Flux (Edit- but not as stiff as the others..it is much lighter though). I have no idea about the Endorfin.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Higgins
    I don't think that is right. According to their website everything is made in Germany.
    I mean to recall, that a Endorfin-representative wrote the same thing on a German forum some time ago, but without saying who exactly build the frames for them in Germany.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMountain
    The Salty is very stiff..ncig isn't correct in his assessment here. It is ridiculously stiff with quad bearings and its short rockers.

    +1 on the Salty....... flexy is the last thing I would call my Salty with Quad Bearings...the CC is an awesome ride, nothing/nobody can take away from that.... but Ventanas are known for their stiffness...

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    wow

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sekt88
    endorfin is made in taiwan.

    the others are not.
    If it's the Knolly Endorphin, it is made in Canada. I think that's the bike that more closely compares to the Nicolai. Ventana is made in the USA, and has good workmanship (I've seen it), but I haven't ridden it.

    Some friends of mine have had some Flux, but I think that's a more XC oriented bike, but it looks nice. Nicolai, well, I think it's one of the top makes of bikes.

    Personally I'm going for an Endorphin, but there are a lot of different bikes.

    I think you're comparing some more XC oriented bikes (Flux and El Saltamontes) towards some more heavy duty bikes (Nicolai and Endorphin). Maybe you should check what you want and then shorten your options.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Testmaen
    I mean to recall, that a Endorfin-representative wrote the same thing on a German forum some time ago, but without saying who exactly build the frames for them in Germany.
    I think that Knolly uses some german-made bearings for their bikes, but the frames are built in house in Canada, as far as I know.

  14. #14
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Rzoz...I think the Op is referring to German brand Endorfin
    http://www.endorfinbikes.de/

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by crisillo
    Rzoz...I think the Op is referring to German brand Endorfin
    http://www.endorfinbikes.de/
    After I posted I figured I probably was making a mistake, but that's why I mentioned Knolly, in case I was wrong (which it turned out to be).

    Anyway, I've seen the bike and it looks good, XC oriented witht he angles and my understanding of such.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the reply. It's actually the make of bike, Endorfin, not a Knolly Endorphin. See www.endorfinbikes.de (they're a German company).

    It's an XC bike I am after hence I'm looking at the Helius RC which seems to be a more short travel race type bike.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Higgins
    Thanks for the reply. It's actually the make of bike, Endorfin, not a Knolly Endorphin. See www.endorfinbikes.de (they're a German company).

    It's an XC bike I am after hence I'm looking at the Helius RC which seems to be a more short travel race type bike.
    This is my personal opinion, and they're actually just some thoughts. Maybe if you're just going to start riding on the mountain, maybe you're looking at too expensive bikes to restart. There's nothing wrong with that, specially if you have the budget and you know that there is a difference between those bikes and mid level bikes. But, maybe there are a lot of stuff you're not sure on what works for you and what doesn't, so if you start with a lower level bike you could experiment and see what riding you do, and then you can decide to drop the money on a bike that adapts more on the riding you find you're doing more.

  18. #18
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    May seem like a silly idea, but with the dollar so week, why not buy a american frame. For 1500 pounds you could get a custom sized titanium racer X.

  19. #19
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    I hate to say it BUT..

    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus
    May seem like a silly idea, but with the dollar so week, why not buy a american frame. For 1500 pounds you could get a custom sized titanium racer X.
    He makes a good point.Trust me when I say I've owned and or ridden EVERYTHING and nothing is like a Nicolai.But because of the whole dollar here vrs.over there thing Turner Ventana is not THAT BAD of an idea. I saw the link to the "Endorphin" bike thingy got to say NOT IMPRESSED...CF..

  20. #20
    CAO
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    I tried not to post anything here for a long time but I'm at the end of my rope with Nicolai. Love my UFO but dealing with them is rediculous. From a CS stand point you need the patience of a budist monk if your going to order anything from Nicolai to the states. This is the second time that I've waited more than 6 months for small parts or items even with working with an awesome shop. I appologize to the board but needed to vent this one.

    Given the exchange rate I'd go for a Salty or RacerX if you wanted something more racey. Anytime I've called or emailed Ventana I am amazed at how quickly they respond. Can't wait to work with them this fall on a custom.

  21. #21
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAO
    I tried not to post anything here for a long time but I'm at the end of my rope with Nicolai. Love my UFO but dealing with them is rediculous. From a CS stand point you need the patience of a budist monk if your going to order anything from Nicolai to the states. This is the second time that I've waited more than 6 months for small parts or items even with working with an awesome shop. I appologize to the board but needed to vent this one.
    Yeah...I have seen several reports like that...I wonder if it has to do with Nicolai USA closing down distribution.....

  22. #22
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    COA
    I feel your pain i know as a dealer that it is tuff to get parts. I have been talking to Nicolai and we are working on getting that fixed. They are well aware of the problem and want to fix it quickley. The bikes are really awesome i am sure that this will be fixed fast. As a dealer we are going to try to carry as many parts as possible to keep the wait short. Keep the faith.

  23. #23
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRAZY FRED
    He makes a good point.Trust me when I say I've owned and or ridden EVERYTHING and nothing is like a Nicolai.But because of the whole dollar here vrs.over there thing Turner Ventana is not THAT BAD of an idea. I saw the link to the "Endorphin" bike thingy got to say NOT IMPRESSED...CF..
    DUDE! I know you are trying to not get booted again (as am i) but did you actually say something sort of ok about Turner? DUDE! WTF?

    ...and do you mean link to "endorfin" thing or do you actually mean the knolly enorphin?

  24. #24
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    Well, the Nicolai US sales percentage (and number) is probably miniscule compared to their total sales. They are not going to devote too many resources here....not unless they want a huge push into the US or till their sales start to increase in number.

    I don't want to take anything away from Nicolai but here in the US, I would not buy one and it has little to do with the actual bikes, which ride quite well. When they have more dealers, more support, a truly dedicated distributorship, and easy parts availability, I'd consider them at that point. I'd probably go crazy and snap (err..no pun intended) if I needed a part and had to wait months.

    In the meantime, there are other great bikes that have far better presence and CS here. If I lived in the EU, it would be one of my top choices.

  25. #25
    CAO
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    Quote Originally Posted by crisillo
    Yeah...I have seen several reports like that...I wonder if it has to do with Nicolai USA closing down distribution.....
    I haven't heard of an official closing of Nic USA but more of and abandonment from HQ. Then again I'll probably get 3 more stories by the end of the week. Thanks again for letting me vent, I hope things are much better on the other side of the pond.

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