Liteville or Nicolai

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  • Liteville or Nicolai
  • Premier Icon P20
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    The wife has a Helius CC. I’m in the process of trying to buy a 301 Mk11. Trying to find a dealer around here though….

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
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    Thought you weren’t getting sucked into the whole 650b scam Rik?

    Rik
    Member

    Seems like that’s the way the world is going Greg. Don’t think we’ll have much choice soon.

    I like the look of the Nicolai Helius AC 650. Current 650b, 27.5″, mid wheel size favourite at present (as the SC Solo and Bronson are silly money and probably too short in the top tube like every other SC).

    I’m not buying anytime soon though…

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    Oh and I’m sticking with 26″ for now. I can’t afford new forks at the same time

    Rik
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    Helius AC 650 looks lovely but the Liteville is slightly cheaper, longer warranty AND nearly 1lb lighter

    Ecky-Thump
    Member

    Regardless of the wheelsize sideshow, I’ll be looking at the Liteville 301 as next purchase, if I ever fall out of love with the Five that is.

    Quite like the idea of the 601 too.

    Rik
    Member

    Currently ride a Five but have done for nearly Five years so fancy a change.

    How do the bearings last on these, are they well sealed? As I used to go through 2 sets of bearings a year on my old s-works.

    niceandy
    Member

    I have been looking at the liteville 301 or Nicolai Ion 16 to replace my Alpine 160, which is used as a big travel trail bike, DH days and Alps trips (I’ll maybe try the odd enduro race in the future too). 160mm both ends is what i’m after, but something light enough to drag round all day (the Alpine is a bit of a lump for all day rides).

    I like the idea of the Liteville adjustable travel plates, and it’s low weight, so it’s a more versatile option, but had read some reviews that it can be a bit more compromised (flexy) in 160 mode (I guess this is the trade off for the low weight). It also looks like you are restricted in shock usage due to clearances.

    The Ion 16 ticks a lot of boxes for me, but the drawbacks (for me) are it is quite a bit heavier than the 301 (I guess similar to the Alpine) and more expensive.

    I’m currently in the pondering stage, but will hopefully try to get some test rides later in the year.

    Ecky-Thump
    Member

    How do the bearings last on these, are they well sealed?

    That was my first question to my mate who’s just taken delivery of a 601 (and got a 301 on order too I think).
    Obviously too early for him to say how they last, but he did assure me that all Liteville bearings were standard commercially available sizes.
    I’ll be taking a close interest in how they go on in Calderdale slop.

    Rik
    Member

    Taking a wild guess that at Eurobike liteville will release a mk12 fully 650b 301 (rather than the current half way house) and Nicolai will release more 650b options too.

    But who has (or would like) a Liteville 301 or a Nicolai Helius or Ion.

    140mm rear with 150 front are the numbers I’m looking at

    Rik
    Member

    That’s my worry going back to 8-12 bearings from 2.

    niceandy – Member

    The Ion 16 ticks a lot of boxes for me, but the drawbacks (for me) are it is quite a bit heavier than the 301 (I guess similar to the Alpine) and more expensive.

    Get the Ion.

    messiah
    Member

    I changed the bearings on my three year old Helius AM this year. Only one of them really needed changing and had I done a little more maintenance I doubt it would have needed done.

    I can’t comment on the liteville but my next FS will probably be another Nicolai…

    Your never going to build a super light Nic… but weights on a scale and riding a bike are differnt things.

    Rik
    Member

    The Ion is heavier than an Alpine 160 though

    Rik – Member
    The Ion is heavier than an Alpine 160 though

    What’s the frame weight of an Alpine?

    Rik
    Member

    Dropped pound on the newest model. Think its 7lb dead virtually the same as the Five now

    niceandy
    Member

    I’d read somewhere that the old Alpine frame weight is about 3.4kg (7.5lb) without shock, but I think this sounds a bit high. The new one is supposed to be 300g lighter. The Ion is claimed to be 3.2kg (7.1lb) without shock, which is close enough.

    I understand that the way it rides has an effect, but after dragging my Alpine round massive rides in the Lakes and Scotland (granted, not what it was designed for) for the last 3 years, losing nearly 800g off a frame is an interesting proposition.

    There is clearly a trade-off between strength and weight for an alu frame, so I guess if I want the strength and burliness to cope with the DH elements then I have to accept the weight and suffer on the climbs.

    My Ion frame is the same (maybe slightly heavier – there was about 150g in the difference in the completed bikes, but I refilled tyres with Stan’s and fitted a longer-travel reverb so hard to be sure) than the Spicy it replaced but goes uphill better – it’s not heavier than comparable 160 Aluminium bikes (or the Alu 150mm SB66), from the above there’s nothing to choose weight wise between it and the Alpine either.

    One reason I didn’t consider a Liteville is that it’s squeezing 160mm travel from a fairly short stroke shock – for a big guy like me that means high shock pressures. Preferred something that’s designed ground up to be 160mm, and feels solid. Probably a different thought process if you’re lighter than I am.

    Premier Icon GHill
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    the SC Solo and Bronson are silly money and probably too short in the top tube like every other SC

    They’re a bit longer (0.5″ compared with BLT) than previous, roughly on par with Trek Remedy etc. A wee bit longer still would be nice though.

    niceandy
    Member

    George, interesting to hear that, as I’d also been considering a Lapierre Spicy. How do they compare in detail? I thought the Spicy frame was a bit lighter, but as you say probably not much in it.

    It’s a good point about the shock stroke, which I hadn’t considered. What shock do you run on the Ion?

    Sorry for the slight thread hijack

    Rik
    Member

    It’s a real shame the Ion 140 is a park/dj frame and not a 140mm travel trail bike.

    Somebody said all nicolai frame will end up looking like the Ion rather than the Helius.

    Rik
    Member

    I reckon with 1×10 (or 11) sub 27lb should be achievable with the Liteville even with 34mm forks and wide wheels. Doubt you could do that with a Nicolai.

    jools182
    Member

    I was torn between a Liteville or Nicolai

    I was helped in this decision by lack of funds, I’m getting neither πŸ™

    nicolai build quality is legendary – as messiah suggests, alignment and bearing wear are not issues.

    stiff and accurate frames – love mine.

    Premier Icon boltonjon
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    I built a 26″ Liteville 301 in May12 and i couldn’t be happier

    I’m very heavy on bikes (snapped 2 x Zesty frames in a year), yet the 301 is still in great shape – the black anodise is very tough

    Liteville replaced the main bearings after 9 months FOC

    The rest of the bearings are still original – which has impressed me as i’ve hammered the shite out of it and can’t land in a straight line to save my life πŸ™‚

    Its an XL, with 160mm front and rear and it still only weighs 31 lbs – i regularly ride with a mate who has a Helius AM and that weighs about 36 lb

    It really is a great all rounder – just look at this baby..


    Token Bike shot by boltonjon, on Flickr

    messiah
    Member

    If your posting pictures of bikes… here’s my three year old 31lb Helius AM on top of a Munro yesterday evening πŸ˜‰

    just rebuilding my Helius AM – jagemister orange and White Chainstays and white decals – god it looks good – cannot wait to ride it again

    messiah – loving your work, very jealous

    I have nothing useful to say other than that I really like the look and engineering of those Litevilles!

    Premier Icon boltonjon
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    Messiah – loving the photo!

    Don’t get me wrong – i love the Helius and i’m very interested in one of their gearbox bikes for my next build – but i’m hoping that’s a couple of years away so i can enjoy the Liteville for a few more years πŸ™‚

    Just built up a Litevlle 301 (LArge, ano black0 with fox 36 kashimas and 160mm link plates. Its bloody lovely! Liht for its build and so stable at speed. Im coming from a Spesh Stumpy EVO 2012 which was great, just very average, whereas the 301 just feels that bit more special to ride – Just dont look down at the weird linkage, its mind boggling when you should be looking ahead!

    niceandy – Member
    George, interesting to hear that, as I’d also been considering a Lapierre Spicy. How do they compare in detail? I thought the Spicy frame was a bit lighter, but as you say probably not much in it.

    It’s a good point about the shock stroke, which I hadn’t considered. What shock do you run on the Ion?

    Not much weight wise in the current crop of 160 frames unless you go carbon (even then, the Carbon Covert isn’t really any lighter). Spicy maybe a shade lighter, but the Nicolai beats it in every department, for me. Have a BOS Vip’r on the Ion (and had same on Spicy), but rode it briefly with an RP2, and that was spot on too.

    Rik
    Member

    Just heard back from Liteville – the Mk12 is still going to be scaled sizing rather than dedicated 650b.

    That might change things as I’d be after an XL which is 26 with 650b as an option. But from what I’ve head and seen the 650b clearance is a bit shocking and more of an after thought.

    Complicates matters with the whole world going 650b

    Rik
    Member

    Some gorgeous looking Nicolai’s on the MTBR forum and the links to the German forums.

    Such a shame they don’t do a 140mm 650b Ion

    Premier Icon Chainline
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    I’ve just got back from 3 days with Nicolai at the factory. A fantastic, dedicated bunch of guys committed to quality.

    I think Eurobike will reveal a few things.

    I picked up my full custom Ion29 and rode some local trails.It is such a stiff bike with fantastic rear suspension feel and performance.

    As for warranty, Crank Brothers have long warranties but….well enough said. Broken Nicolai’s, I know they do happen but almost as rare as unicorn s@%t.

    I can’t speak for riding a liteville but the attention to detail and passion at Nicolai in addition to great riding bikes is enough for me.
    The fact you can have almost anything you want (providing they think it will not compromise their reputation or just be rubbish) is also pretty unrivalled in full suss makers. My Ion is a dream of mine that they helped to make a reality because no other supplier did quite what I wanted…1 pound in weight here or there on a 160 bike? Thats a different tyre make, and I am a weight weenie.save the weight where it matters and makes a difference not on the frame..

    Premier Icon Chainline
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    Rik,

    Nicolai’s USP is custom. If you don’t ask, you don’t get as I found out. They didn’t do a 150mm travel Ion 16-29er….until now πŸ˜€

    Making an Ion 650b πŸ˜‰ see earlier comment, 140mm may not be a huge leap, however, making an Ion14 a trail bike is also not a huge leap in terms of geo.

    I think the Helius platform will survive, it offers a different ride and suspension performance to the Ion, very suited to trail riding. As such a Helius AC650b is already capable of being set at 140mm at the rear If I recollect correctly and customising/optimising the geo around a 140mm fork (if that was the idea) is straightforward.

    Rik
    Member

    Cheers chainline – i prob can get a 140mm Ion 650b – but custom adds Β£650 to an already expensive frame.

    The world is going 650b – so hopefully at Eurobike Nicolai will offer a 650b Ion – just every fingers crossed they do a shorter travel Ion. 140mm or even 150mm but 160mm is just too much for me as it just deadens the trail to much.

    Love the look of the Ion – more so than the Helius – it just looks right.

    We’ll see hopefully in about a 6 weeks πŸ˜€ or πŸ™ depending on Eurobike

    duir
    Member

    Your never going to build a super light Nic… but weights on a scale and riding a bike are differnt things.

    That’s an excellent way of putting it. People are obsessed by weight but how does it ride? I have seen 27lb versions of my 2013 Nicolai Helius AC 26″ (or correct sized wheels as I prefer to call them). I built mine properly for how and where I ride and it weighs 31lbs. However it rides miles lighter than that because there is much more to the physics of riding than simple weight.

    So if we ignore the question of being suckered into the whole very slightly different sized wheels/biggest con job in the history of MTB and you are falling for it argument, I would say go Nicolai.

    They are very reliable, very robust, fit for purpose with attention to detail and a build quality that is unsurpassed in the industry. More importantly, the ride is as good as anything out there.

    Rik
    Member

    Don’t agree at all. There is a huge difference between building up a frame with inappropriate parts to get a light bike.

    But new Pikes are stiff and light, havoc carbon, 120g turbine stem, XTR 1×10, flow wheels on dt 240. Are all solid kit that doesn’t weigh very much. If I put all that on nice kit on a bike with a reverb I don’t want to be left with a 30lb + bike. I want to have a bike that is a long way south of 30lb.

    Cost/weight/strength – you can have all 3

    Rik
    Member

    So if we ignore the question of being suckered into the whole very slightly different sized wheels/biggest con job in the history of MTB and you are falling for it argument, I would say go Nicolai.

    Oh and you can sod off with that comment – grow up. 26 inch is dead and 650b is here to stay. Didn’t say I wanted it, but we are being forced to have it. So I’m not going to buy a frame that going to be out of date before I even ride it.

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