A call to Helius AC owners in NW England.....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    A call to Helius AC owners in NW England.....

    I'm looking to get a Helius AC this year but really want to try and test one first so I'm not buying blind.
    Are there any Helius AC (medium or small) owners who live in the North West of England, who would be willing to let me have a look, feel, and possible ride, of their bike?
    I willing to pay good money to get a test ride, and would be very grateful if there's anyone out there who could help.
    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Sorry sold my AC last year so can't help. Moonglu at ripon had an AC demo bike last year maybe try there.


    Edited:Just noticed Moonglu no longer do Nicolai so that wont work!
    Last edited by scarlet; 01-13-2017 at 11:37 AM.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I've been in contact with Moonglu and Keswick Bikes. Both didn't have demo bikes, although Neil at Moonglu has an AC I could ride, it's a large. Now neither deal with Nicolai so the sole UK dealer is over four hours away, in Surrey.
    Hence why I'm trying to find someone closer with an AC.

    Cheers anyway!

  4. #4
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    Speak to Chris, I know where there is an AC but it's a long way from you as well.

    If you are happy to cover the cost of a test ride then I've known Chris get a test bike from Germany, we did this with the GPI, you could also test others of the range at the same time and if you decide you want any of them, the cost of the demo comes off the cost of the frame so it becomes gratis. I think Toby would travel to you on your trails on that basis. If you struggle with Mojo let me know. Chris is away until end of Jan but talk to Paul Shepperd and tell him Phil put you in touch.

    My next question would be why an AC. It's genuine question not a judgement or a preparation to convince you to have something else, although I would urge testing both Nicolai suspension designs if it's a Nicolai you want.
    Aka chainline...

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your reply. When I contacted Nicolai directly, they advised that if all else fails, contact Mojo and they could sort something out.
    However, they're just as far away from me as Head For The Hills, who actually have an AC I can demo. I'm planning a visit in a couple of weeks but if I can save myself an 8hr round trip, I'll take advantage!

    I've wanted a Helius since they came out but, whenever new-bike-time came around, I have always opted for bikes I could demo first. Much as the GPI is an awesome bit of kit, it's not really what I'm looking for. The AC fits the bill perfectly.

  6. #6
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    Apologies I didn't mean you should try the GPI!!! Only that we got one from Nicolai specifically to demo so I'm sure it's possible to do the same with an AC, but Niclolai have said that to you so...

    I would suggest you try both an AC and a GeoMetron with std setup to get a feel for both if you get the chance.

    The Mojo demo service comes to you within reason, certainly if I do it, o if you want to try a GeoMetron and Toby can't do it near you let me know.
    Otherwise, definitely see what Paul at Mojo says about the AC. I think they would have to get one from Nicolai so timing may be a question.
    Aka chainline...

  7. #7
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    Hey, nowt to apologise for. I took no offense at anything you said!
    I did think of contacting Mojo about possibly doing a head-to-head test of the Helius & Geometron, after Nicolai said that could be done but I've decided to go for the Helius so I don't want to waste anyone's time, or my money.
    If I miss out on the AC I'm after it may give me time to reconsider.
    Cheers!

  8. #8
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    I started off wanting a new Helius AC and ended up with a Geometron! Compared to my old AC the Geometron is a more efficient climber and weighs just about the same. I would love to commission a 140mm Geometron in 27.5, that would be ace.

  9. #9
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    I was going to ask you what you'd replaced your old AC with?
    It's a close call but I've been told the AC has the edge on tight twisty uphill sections, whereas the Geometron nails the downhills.
    It's half and half.......all the AC owners I've spoken to have either kept with the AC, or have Geometrons! Whatever the case, Nicolai owners don't tend to stray!
    All things considered, the smart money lies with the AC right now. Although I'm going to try and get a demo of a Geometron. Plenty of them up here!
    I do appreciate your input.

  10. #10
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    No worries. I don't think any Nicolai will disappoint. For me it started out as wanting the most durable and reliable bike I could get when I was based in NE Scotland. I was thoroughly fed up of bikes falling apart with crap bearings that needed changing every 5 mins. The AC did not disappoint and I had 3 years with just 4 bushing changes (that's 4 bushings not 4 sets of bushings!). The AC now runs on bearings I think and if the Geometron bearings are anything to go by they seem very good after a year without service.

    Now I live back in the Lake District I wouldn't ride anything else. My mates with all singing carbon jobs from big companies are forever having issues with bearings, frames cracking and poor quality control issues. The ironic thing is that there is feck all difference in weight once you make a bike fit for purpose in the mountains between my Nicolai and my mates latest carbon jobs.

    If you do get chance, at least swing a leg over a Geometron, it will freak you out when you compare the numbers on paper, what armchair experts say and what it actually rides like. Whatever you decide it's hard to look at any other bike and not see pish quality!

  11. #11
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    It started off as a choice of a Helius and Santa Cruz Bronson. Then I poured over every relative bike out there and added an Ellsworth Rogue to the list. I've had an Ellsworth before and, to date, is the best bike I've had.
    I ditched the Ellsworth due to lack of demo bikes.
    Since it's been a straight shootout, Nicolai have just been racing clear on all fronts! Everyone I've spoken to would have the Nicolai (except Si at 18 Bikes, who's a SC dealer!).
    Nicolai now have a lifetime warranty on their bearings, which is lifetime of the bike not just the original buyer. It's little details like this that set Nicolai apart!
    I've been offered a good deal on a Helius but if you're saying the Geometron is pretty close in terms of handling and weight, despite the extra travel, I think I'd regret not at least getting to see one.

  12. #12
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    My AC was 31.5lbs and my Geometron is 31.9lbs. There seems to be about half a pound difference in weight and I build my bikes up to be very durable for the Lakes where I live. I have tried a longer Geometron in a light build with 160mm forks instead of 180 lighter rear shock and light wheels and I estimated it to be probably sub 30lbs. The 160 forks calmed the head angle down as well and gave it a totally different feel to my Lakes setup. That's the thing with the Geometron it can be made to ride however you want it to and mojo tweek the suspension to suit. Also I wouldn't be put off by the weight or anything else on paper, the bike has to be ridden to understand it. I have had demos on many bikes including carbon Santa Cruz and failed to be impressed by almost everything. The geometry and sizing of the Santa Cruz was awful for me and the ride felt rubbish. I know 2 people now who have sold all carbon Santa Cruz bikes for a Geometron after demoing one!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
    If you do get chance, at least swing a leg over a Geometron, it will freak you out when you compare the numbers on paper, what armchair experts say and what it actually rides like. Whatever you decide it's hard to look at any other bike and not see pish quality!
    +1

    It's easy to get distracted by the numbers with the Geometron-best to ride one and decide. They're certainly very different on paper to most other bikes out there. Sadly I don't have a lot of time on my Geometron yet but I'm looking forward to fixing that in springtime. It felt surprisingly normal for a 29er (well, 29 front/650b rear) with a 61 degree head angle though...

    The frames are art in aluminium, really impressive welds and machining. I've always wanted a Nicolai because of this.

  14. #14
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    You can build a sub 30lbs Geometron with 160's for sure. Mine was 30.5 set up with lighter gear for a while.

    I build a 160mm with a DPS rear for a guy too. Running 34's at 160 with a DPS I think you could go sub 29 and robust enough for most anything with a bit of $$.
    Aka chainline...

  15. #15
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    I contacted Mojo, spoke to Toby and he can't get a Helius to demo. He can travel to my local trails with a G16 and a G13 but if I'm going to test the G16, I would rather trial it against the
    Helius.
    Also, I don't want to be spending a fortune on demos. A Mojo test is 200, if I go down to Head For The Hills to test their demo AC, that's another 100 travel plus however much a demo ride is. That's too much to justify!

    I think I either have to decide on AC or G16 and just go for it, or try to find a demo G16 near Surrey, or near my route from Lancashire to Surrey. That's the only way I could demo both bikes in the same day.

    Whereabouts are you based?

  16. #16
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    Will Mojo not offer you the 200 back if you test and buy either bike. I'm surprised Mojo can't get a demo AC for a short while. I only know of an older AC, of the two people that wanted an AC that I know, they tried a GeoMetron and bought that!

    I am in the midlands but can travel a bit if needed for a ride. I ride up in Hebden with friends sometimes.

    What size bike are you thinking of? and definitely 27.5 or also open to 29? I ask as the G19 is closer to an AC in travel. Having said that as mentioned a std GeoMetron at 155mm with a lighter front fork if set up as a trail bike would be a great option, onother friend has just such a beast.

    PM me with what size you are looking at and where you are based. My friend with the lighter GeoMetron is near Surrey.
    Aka chainline...

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