SX Trail vs Bottlerocket vs Helius FR/ST
Am looking at an SX Trail (prob 08 but also maybe 09) and interested in peoples' views vs Transition Bottlerocket or a Nicolai Helius (FR or ST)? Would be used as a playbike, and perhaps a few uplifts, as I have a 5-Spot for general trail duties.
The SXT has a couple of things going for it that most bikes don't have.
A low center of gravity which equates to great stability in the air, and a nimble feeling on the trail.
Slack and low geo. You get a "sit in the bike" feel rather than "sit on top".
The 09 will have a more rearward axle path for better bombing plushness in the rough.
The 08 can be more of an AM bike in addition to FR bike, I think the 09 is more FR oriented.
I dunno about the Nicolai's besides they look industrially cool and owners dig em. The Bottlerocket is an amazing platform to build a huge range of styles - tho I've read it an be a bit harsh at speed.
It looks like all of your choices are good ones, now it's just down to details as to which fit best your riding style and terrain.
See my post at the bottom in the SX Trail Pic forum here:
I rode an '06 SXT for almost 2 years, loved it. For some reason sold it to get my Demo 7. Went to Whistler, saw some dude on a Tranny BR and fell in love with it's low-sleek/aggressive look.
Came back from Whistler, bought a BR Frame (DHX 5.0 air, hoping to save weight) and built her up as a AM bike. Came in at 37 lbs, rode great up hill, that's about it.
I was NEVER comfortable on it...it just felt awkward. I'm 5'7 and the Tranny website said SMALL frame for people up to 5'10...that's BS.
It was VERY nimble in tight curvy/switchback type trails....the only plus due to it's short wheel-base. As far as DH goes it was rough...even set up properly in both shocks, it was just non-responsive. I know some groms up in BC just kill it on this rig but for me...no, wrong bike for me....a medium would have helped me but still, you can't beat FSR no matter what anyone says.
I went and SOLD that frame ASAP, picked up a brand new 09 SXT frame (loved the black color), swapped components and was on my way...I LOVE IT, no comparison!
Climbs MUCH better than the gen. 1 frame, decends better than the gen. 1 frame and looks SICK in real life, pics do it no justice.
This thing is like a mini-Demo when it comes to the DH, just mow's over stuff.
As for the Helius....never heard of it, never even seen one, so can't comment.
GET THE SXT...you won't be dissapointed
2013 Specialized Enduro Expert
Bronco D-handle square point Shovel
Had a 08 SX II, that bike rocks, climbs and descent like a dream, very balanced in the air as well. I stuck a Ti coil on the DHX and damn it sure rocks. Decided to get the 09, as it pronises better climbing and yes, the extra rearward axle path brings the bike to life as it doesn't hang up on square hits at the rear anymore. Really plush as it descents. Although a lot of my mates won/t touch a speshy with a 10ft pole, simply because it is not a boutique bike. The hell with them, FSR works.