- Nicolai encouragement!
I’m ready to pull the trigger on a Helius am, but I’m obviously stressed at dropping that amount of fundage on a frame, please tell me it will be ok? Stories of how it will turn me into a mtb super hero are welcome! As will experiences of owning one.
Thank you, much love.Posted 7 years ago
I know they’re gonna be more expensive than a mass produced frame and I know I can get the same “angles” cheaper, to be totally honest I’m not Rad or totally Gnarr, I can’t do 10′ gap jumps and I don’t even own a pair of Vans, but if I’m gonna buy a new frame I think it should be something that’s gonna last, is as good as I can afford and again if I’m being honest put a smile on my face not just when I go out riding.
Ps I don’t even drive an Audi……. 🙂Posted 7 years ago
Riding up in the lakes, Scotland, trail centres, then I’m going touring round France, Spain and Italy so it’ll be coming with me over there, I do quite fancy the 650b but I’m not sure what models will use it yet, I was also told that they’re not gonna be doing the AM anymore as they are bringing out a new Ion frame as a sort of replacement?Posted 7 years ago
Yes, the am is now defunct. I suppose you pay your money, etc… The ion 16 replaces the am and is a more coherent design with sensible modifications.
I live in north Scotland and find the ac29er more than capable fr trail usage. I reckon it’d deal ok with alpine descents, etc. the new AC 29er is designed around 140mm forks. Worth considering ?Posted 7 years ago
The AM is not a machine gun to a knife fight. it depends entirely how you ride.
You’re in Scotland TLR, AM too much for Golspie or Laggan Black at speed with those jumps and terrain!!
However based on your description I would wager an AC would be a slightly more appropriate bike either 26″, 650b or 29er.
In fact for what you describe with the touring bit I would probably recommend the 29er as it is long legged as well as capable.
You’re welcome to have a thrash on mine if you want. Dipper of Gravity sports also has a Demo, which is one of the best ways to know.
I came from an AM, which I loved for all sorts of stuff and you wont be dissapointed if you go that route, but I wanted something that was a bit lighter and pedalled better for longer events/trips. The pedalling better is mainly due to weight and wheel size rather than any difference in suspension of which there is little.
On the Ion replacement, the Helius range is and will remain a little more plush/sensitive than the Ion due to the linkage design. There is nothing much in the Ion in terms of features, other than geometry change in the rear linkage, that isn’t in the Helius range.The Ion is intended to be harder hitting, but they have got the weight down to the same as the AM. The AC is still lighter.
You can always get similar angles cheaper with mass produced frames, you can’t spec your own if you know what you want and the build quality and attention to detail is second to none. They will last a long time under all sorts of use.
I suggest you get in touch with Richard at Gravity Sports as I think he will be able to hook you up one way or another with a demo on most of the models you are interested in through a Network of dedicated and generous Nicolai enthusiasts and his customer service is superb.
Also, Nicolai are not that expensive, against Carbon from other quality brands they are usually cheaper and Santa Cruz make them look like a total bargain!!Posted 7 years agodavidtaylforthMember
The Helius AM has 170mm of travel. I would have thought that’d be too much for anything other than downhill racing or the rough stuff in the alps. If you want to drag all that travel and extra weight around the lakes, scotland and trail centres then go for it. I wouldnt. They must do some shorter travel frames that are more suitable.Posted 7 years agomessiahMember
That will depend on if you ride like TLR or if you like it GNAR!
The AM is a lot of bike… it can be built light and trail riding friendly but at its heart is a doonhall eating beast that wants unleashed. IMHO etc.
I’ve not ridden a mega etc but ive had my AM for two years and I still love it.Posted 7 years ago
My 150mm Ac29er is ace at the Gnarr, Dipper thought it was ace at Golspie and can deal with alot of Doonhall nonsense and it weighs under 28lb with its new lighter crank setup 🙂
Understand the touring point. I wanted mine for racing Enduro’s so there is alot of pedalling up also involved before the doonalling down. It s aimed at the French and Italian Enduro’s.
650b would also be good I expect, I haven’t ridden one. I’d try a 26 and 29 if I was you, that should tell you weather you’d like a 650b too.
140/150mm 29er is a beast at speed 🙂Posted 7 years agosimons_nicolai-ukMember
Is the ion 160 not it’s replacement simon ?
Not precisely. The Ion is pitched as a ‘mini-DH’ bike – 160mm front and rear, suspension tuned for descending rather than the more balanced climb/descend tune of the AM.
For 2013 the AC gets slightly slacker and warrantied for 160mm forks (which were the most common forks fitted to the AM anyway).
As I said, the AM is staying in the range for the immediate future – still a standard model for this year – but unless demand remains high I’d not expect to see it in 2014. I can see that the AM will still make more sense than either the Ion or the AC for quite a few people – especially if you want a bike you can build light for the UK and heavier for the AlpsPosted 7 years agogeetee1972Member
I can see that the AM will still make more sense than either the Ion or the AC for quite a few people – especially if you want a bike you can build light for the UK and heavier for the Alps
+1 It’s also a great choice if you’re heavy and want something super stiff and reliable but don’t want a carbon frame.
I knew the Ion was coming but still went with the AM on the basis that I wanted something that had adjustable travel. I never ran my original AM in the maximum travel setting in the UK, only ever abroad.Posted 7 years agonicolaisamMember
I have an AC 26er.have had for a few years now,Nicest bike i have ridden,perfect for xc/trail and playing around on.Posted 7 years ago
Unless you are hitting DH tracks i would go AC,as someone has already said the new AC is 160mm fork ready so seems the new frame could have the capabilty of riding bigger stuff.geetee1972Member
new AC is 160mm fork ready so seems the new frame could have the capabilty of riding bigger stuff.
Simon correct me if I’m wrong but is the new warranty just a case of recognising that the frame is OK for a longer fork (like they did with the AM, when they sanctioned 170mm forks without making it any heavier)?Posted 7 years ago
Funny isn’t it people ride stuff so differently. My AC29er is 150mm travel with adjust ability down to 120mm but I never change it from 150mm. I find the new CTD RP23 is so good that pedal bob is a complete non issue and so why wouldn’t I want max travel!
I’m slightly concerned about the movement of the pivot point for 2013 to allow the shock to more of the driver in terms of characteristics, that part is ok, my worry lies with a potential stiffening under pedalling as suggested by one of the designers (I need to clarify this fact and that it isn’t a language thing i.e. just a more progressive linkage to take into account boost valves etc). I like the fact the Helius range is supple when climbing, particularly tech climbing. All this anti squat is ok until you need to drive up technical stuff. The Lactic Ladder at Golspie being a prime example and a number of climbs in the peaks. If I want it stiffer under pedalling that’s what pro pedal is for..
I shall be discussing the linkage characteristics over the coming months as we look at the Ion15 29er. progressive definitely, stiffening under pedal load, definitely not.
Mmmm Ion15 29er….Posted 7 years ago
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