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  1. #1
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    What size Helius AC and shock?

    Right.....got my choice of new frame down to a Nicolai Helius AC and looking at sizing and rear shock, before i have to decide on colour.

    My lbs who are Nicolai dealers dont have a demo bike. I have had the oppurtunity to sit on a medium frame and it didnt feel quite right although that may be due to the setup.

    My current bike is a large 5 Spot and comparing geometry it looks as if i should go for a large Nicolai. I am 5'10" and after correspondence with Nicolai they are split between a medium/large and so need a little assistance.

    I currently run a 70mm stem on my Turner with a TT of 23.6" and I also have a Dialled Bikes Love/Hate commuter/winter bike with a 100mm stem with a TT of 23.75". Both run inline seat-posts.

    Looking at the data for the AC the medium has a TT = 22.65" and the large TT = 23.43".

    Would i be better off with a medium (smaller) frame for more manouverability or a large frame for stability. My riding is XC/AM.

    In addition to the above what rear shock should i go for? Should i stick with the tried and tested Fox RP23 or go for the DT Swiss either XM180 or M210?

  2. #2
    steep fast and loose :)
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    is it a horst 5 spot ?

    i had a large 6 pack horst and have a large AM but i'm 6' tall.

    nic's don't have short tt's - they are typically european in that regard.....

  3. #3
    steep fast and loose :)
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    if you like them stretched and racy a large will be fine....
    if you like them just right for nadgery trails and hustling, then medium will be fine.....

    i'd personally go medium for your height, but without knowing your arm or inseam, it;'s impossible to recommend

  4. #4
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    Just shy of 6ft on a Medium here. Tried a friends Large but Medium fits me perfect.

    Why are all your other bikes so big? Are you an odd shape or is it just that you like your bikes stretched out?

    Do you find rocky-rooty-techy terrain difficult and does the bike feel dreadfull in the air?

  5. #5
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    Not sure why all my bikes are so big. I am 5'10" with an inside leg of around 30".

    Dont find rocky terrain difficult as such and not sure what the bike feels like in the air as the wheels are normally on the ground!!

    Looks like i will go for a medium.

    Any thoughts on the shock?

  6. #6
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    The reason many of us used to buy long bikes was to gain stability at speed... but the new generation of bikes with slacker head angles give us that without the need to be so stretched out. A shorter bike works so much better for jumping and techy terrain as I find I can move about on it and tweak it in the air - I would always err on the smaller side than end up with something too big.

    Shock for an AC... would have to be air. I would get a custom tuned Fox... speak to any of the tuning companies such as TFT. Stock shocks are a compromise, speak to the experts about what you want the shock to be best at.

  7. #7
    "El Whatever"
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    5' 9" on a Medium. I had my concerns because the AC is actually short for a Medium at 22.65" (my Medium Titus was 23.25" and my Medium Giant was 23") but so far so good. It really fits me well. In line post here also.

    The Large is a tad too large, I think. But maybe running a 50mm stem???

    Having tried a Romic Coil and a Monarch 4.2, I'd take the Romic for pure performance and the Monarch for versatility. Coil is king to me, but to each his own, I guess.

    My next shock is an Avalanche tuned Swinger.
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  8. #8
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    Would people agree that 6'2'' is Large territory, I have a Medium Titus Motolite at the moment and it could be a bit longer.

  9. #9
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    You should be looking at the 'reach' measurement rather than the TT measurement. The medium AC might look short in terms of TT but actually the reach is quite long. For example, the reach on a medium AC is actually slap bang between that of a medium and large Turner 5-Spot.

  10. #10
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by geetee1972
    You should be looking at the 'reach' measurement rather than the TT measurement. The medium AC might look short in terms of TT but actually the reach is quite long. For example, the reach on a medium AC is actually slap bang between that of a medium and large Turner 5-Spot.
    What is reach??? Isn't that combined with stem and handlebars?

    I used a calculator spreadsheet, put all the info both bikes and my Ac is indeed shorter in any regard (but wheelbase) than my former Titus.
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  11. #11
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    You can see the measurement on the Tech sheets of the Nic website. There are two measurements, reach and stack.

    To get both you draw two lines at right angles to each other. One vertically from the ground passing through the centre of the bottom bracket, the other horizontally from the top of the head tube.

    They will then intersect and the distance from that intersection back to the top tube is the reach and the distance back to the floor is the stack.

    It's a very good way of judging how big a bike really is.

  12. #12
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    I agree that the reach can give you an indication of the true length of the bike, only however if you had a really slack or steep seat tube that would give a long/short TT. A long short reach with slack seat tube will give a stretched upper body and have your feet more in front, the converse is also true.

    Giving a statement that it is a better indication of size is a bit misleading. More needs to be taken into account that reach, just as more than TT is needed as well.

  13. #13
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    SMH - that is a good point. It would probably be more accurate to say that it gives a better indication of how large the bike feels when you're NOT sat in the saddle, i.e. when you're bombing down hill I think it was to help with the size of DH bikes, which tend to have slack seat tube angles and therefore misleading TT measurements.

  14. #14
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    Quite, and despite my comment a minute ago, it is when going down that I feel too far forward on the Titus. Seated it is fine but with the fork length that I have to get the right head angle the seat tube is so slack that your sat on the back wheel. In short the size is probably wrong for me, despite it having a long TT on paper but by the time you rotate the frame backwards that gets shorter.

    Where I am going with these musings is that even though the medium AC has a shorter TT than the Titus, because of the steeper seat tube the reach must be longer than on the Motolite and hence when going down the bars should be further away from me. Now back to do I want the smaller medium.

  15. #15
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by geetee1972
    It's a very good way of judging how big a bike really is.
    Thanks, GT... Now I get it.

    The rerason my Titus was still bigger is that the chainstays are the same length and the headtube was same length... so, it effectively ends up being longer and taller with the same fork. I understand now some bikes may be different.
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  16. #16
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by smh151
    Now back to do I want the smaller medium.
    I don't think so... it's on the short side for me coming off a Medium Titus. You should be on a Large.

    Don't get me wrong... The AC actually fits my 5'9" better... it's just that it's as short as I would go. For you it would be plain nuts.

    The problem with the Titus ML was that the head angle was a little too steep and the seat angle was definitively slack. It makes for a very agile and sharp steering bike, with the long top tube keeping the stability in check. However, as soon as you put a fork longer than 120mm on the ML/SB to make it a bit more planted when going down, it suffers from too happy nose on climbs.

    The biggest change in handling coming off the Titus was to ride the AC more on top of the front wheel. The Titus naturally keeps you riding more rearwards in order not to weight the front end that much IMO, your mileage may vary; while the AC needs a bit more weight on the nose to keep the tyre glued. This translates to the AC being more confident going down.
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  17. #17
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    Glad I am not the only one that feels this way about the ML, Fine with a 125mm Fox float, Nice down down with Pike but a compromise. Now have a 2010 rev and at 130mm that seemed the best balance but missed the slacker head angle going down.

    Your comments on the difference going to the AC are just what I am hoping to achieve with the new frame. And I think at 6'2'' a medium is pushing it for my only bike. At least the large AC does not look like a gate. (Orange 5 springs to mind)

  18. #18
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    I would say 6ft 2ins might even be XL territory? In my experience Nicolai Helius's come up small compared with other manufacturers....XL being like some others large. For example Knolly Endo large TT = 620mm , Nicolai AC XL TT= 620mm.

    Shock advice: CCDB

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