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  1. #1
    Cumbria, England.
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    Would you swap Helius AC for...

    Hi, I would like to say my head is battered. I'm ordering a new frame in the new year but I'm torn between a Helius AC or a Mojo HD140!
    So, what I'm asking is would any AC owners swap theirs for a HD140?
    This:
    Would you swap Helius AC for...-ac.jpg
    or this:
    Would you swap Helius AC for...-hd140a.jpg
    HHmmm???
    Last edited by D45yth; 12-29-2010 at 12:11 PM.
    - The seasons blow away, but the love is just the same -

  2. #2
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    Ahh, tough one this. A very good friend of mine has the Ibis Mojo HD and just last week took delivery of the new modified mouting plates to turn it into the HD140. We both went out two days ago, him on his newly modified HD140, me on my Helius AM.

    He and I recently swapped bikes and did a good few hours ride in order to get a feel for each but I was riding his in the 160mm setting. Here's what I can tell you, but first some background.

    My friend test rode a medium Helius AC as well as numerous other bikes, including the Mojo HD before settling on the Mojo.

    I ride a large AM with a custom short seat tube and as I think you've seen I have either a Fox RP23BV or Cane Creek damper. I currently run it the 145mm setting, with about 37% sag to drop the BB height and pro-pedal in the first or second position depending on conditions. I tend to turn it off for going down.

    So jumping aboard the medium Mojo HD I notice immediately that it's quite a bit shorter in the cockpit/front centre/reach whatever, than my large length AM. The suspension is really quite progressive at the rear; I think more so than the AM so you can feel it ramp up quite a bit as it moves beyond the mid stroke.

    The Mojo pedals incredibly well and responds amazingly under power, so quick bursts of pedal input make it squirt forward with amazing alacrity. Under power it's far better than either the AC or the AM.

    With about the same amount of sag dialled into the damper, I found that the bike felt like it was sitting higher in its travel than my AM; the BB heights are stated as being the same between the Mojo HD and the Heilus AM and then the Mojo HD140 and the Helius AC - but crucially, I think that the Mojo will ride slightly higher in use than either equivalent Helius.

    The regular HD does not feel like it has 160mm travel for 90% of the time until you need to really open it up, but it is quite progressive so while there is a lot in reserve, you're really going to feel that last 20% of travel through your feet.

    I struggled to get a decent balance on the HD; this was partly because as it turned out later, there was a serious issue with the fork set up. Throughout the ride I felt the front end was problematic and it turned out that the fork (a Bos Deville) was set up with the very steep ramp up curve that limits travel to 140mm. But having said that, it was very obvious that I was not quite as comfortable on the Mojo as my mate was on my AM.

    His comments between the two (and I know that they are between the AM and HD and not between the AC and the HD) were that he really liked the AM, that it had more of a quality of 'not being there' as a bike, i.e. it was very unfussy, very transparent, didn't make its presence known etc. This is precisely how I felt on first acquaintance with it; it just let's you get on and ride without having much of a character of its own. The best word to describe it then is 'neutral'.

    In comparison then, the Mojo HD (iíll come to the difference between it and the HD140 in a moment) does have a character, is harder to balance and get to grips with, but potentially just as rewarding once youíve adapted your riding a little. It pedals quite a bit better, is better under heavy power/pedalling inputs and, crucially, is over 1lb lighter than the AM.

    Again, Iím comparing the bike with the AM, but actually thatís perhaps more relevant a comparison. The AC is more like the regular Mojo, not the Mojo HD or HD140. Certainly itís a less accurate comparison.

    Interestingly, my mate canít really tell much difference between the HD in either 140mm or 160mm setting and having pedalled the bike in the latter set up, I canít really see the point of the 140mm setting other than you can tell people that itís only got 140mm of travel and therefore is a good UK trail bike rather than being Ďtoo much travel for the trailí. It is a little lower in the BB though and while I havenít tried that set up extensively, I reckon you will notice it.

    My mate though seemed to take to my AM far more readily than he took to the AC. He wasnít wholly impressed by the AC for some reason, I donít know why, but he loved my AM, even though my AM was basically set up with the same amount of travel as the AC has when the latter is set up in max travel mode. I did set it up for him with a lot of sag and low BB (and yes he did notice a few pedal strikes but nothing that would cause a problem Ė conversely even with 35% sag on the Mojo HD, I never had pedal strike and that might be because the bike does indeed ride high in the travel.)

    I wrote a piece on why Nicolai versus any other bike recently on here and if you can find that thread it may help you make a decision based on your head and your heart.

    For me personally, Iíd take the AM over the Mojo HD, despite the weight penalty but Iíd take the Mojo HD over the AC. Although Iíve only had a brief test of the AC, I still think that the AC is quite a different bike to the AM and I know itís less for me than either the AM or the Mojo.

  3. #3
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    Interesting write-up. Has your AM got the old or revised angles?

  4. #4
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    Old angles. Not really sure how much different the new ones are to be honest; I mean I know what they are on paper, but it would be interesting to ride one and see what it felt like.

    Given the choice I would have the newer version, but I'm not exactly feeling like the current one holds me back much.

  5. #5
    Cumbria, England.
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    Thanks for taking the time to write such an in-depth reply.
    I should have started with my reasons for choosing these two. If I hadn't have cracked my Intense Tracer, I wouldn't have been in to much of a rush to change my frame in the first place!
    I have this built up with a Fox 32 150 fork and don't really need any more travel or burl than this. Not long after buying it, the AC came out and I was gutted as that is what I would have chose. I used to be a welder/fabricator, so have a thing for hand built, aluminium bikes.
    I've had the Tracer nearly two years now and in that time, more and more carbon trail/all-mountain bikes have appeared, which are all very nice. The thing is they're stiffer but not much lighter. I'd looked at a SC BlurLTc but decided I'd rather have an AC, then I found out about the HD140! So, what to choose? If I get the HD, I'll need to keep my race/event bike. If the AC doesn't ride too bad set at 120 F&R ('11 talas only has 120/150 ), get some spare XC wheels and the race bike can go! Which in turn will give me extra money to bling the AC to the max. The parts coming off the Tracer aren't too shabby though, so may be unnecessary.

    Arrghhh! Decisions, decisions! DF.
    - The seasons blow away, but the love is just the same -

  6. #6
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    This isn't going to help much, but the HD140 will weigh the same as the AC (actually it may weigh maybe 150g less!) when built with the Fox 32 forks and it will likely pedal slightly better as well. Sure as heck it will be stiffer.

    But if that weren't complicated enough, I don't think your decision should be between the AC and the HD140; I just don't think they are comparable beasts, certainly not having ridden both.

    If you're hankering for what the HD140 can do then it should be between this and the AM at which point you might realise that it's the HD140 you want since that could do everything you need it to; race bike, hard core play bike, and even downhill bike with the right wheels and the longer travel setting.

    But since you say you don't need that much travel/burl then perhaps you really you should be looking at the Mojo SL, in which case you're going to be getting a bike that is quite a bit lighter than the AC when fully built, with sub 25lbs more than possible.

  7. #7
    Cumbria, England.
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    I've ridden a standard Mojo in the past and it wasn't the bike for me. Even though I don't need extra travel, I do want strength as I'm not afraid of downhills. I only manage to get away with Fox 32's because I'm only a touch over 10st. I want a bike with a 12x135 bolt-thru rear axle and need a tapered head tube seeing as I've already got a tapered fork. My Intense weighs around 30lbs with dropper post and CK/Stan's Flow wheels. I do 30-40mile rides on this, so wouldn't want anything heavier although something a bit lighter wouldn't go amiss.

    Cheers, DF.
    - The seasons blow away, but the love is just the same -

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