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Nicolai Helius AM 29ner

February 16, 2011

Its officially built and ridden in the highlands of New Zealand by Mr Fenton ( aka Whafe). Definitely not his first Nicolai and it won’t be the last addition to a handful of Nicolai he owns in his garage! Mr. Fenton also happens to be one of the first to have his hands on a AC29ner even when Nicolai was only at its development stage for the possibility of producing 29ner models.

All photos courtesy of Mr. Fenton / source from MTBR forum

As we have briefly previous mentioned. What you have here is an exclusive build by Nicolai. Showing just how much they can provide base on a customer’s explanatory dialogue which includes sometime hours of dicuessions, tons of email and multiple drawings.

We are left speechless in regards to this build hence we will give some justice to our limited knowledge of the build and update our audience with the owner’s informative feedbacks. I believe the pictures tell a million word but yet unable to describe the enjoyment Mr. Fenton is having!

Already taking some air on his first ride, heres what Mr. Fenton’s initial Field report of the ride :-

“Great to have the AM29er fully built, all that is left to do it shorten the brake hoses slightly…

So first ride today, was peaking to be honest, not a lot of sleep had last night, some heaving good anticipation. Yes the bike looks good to me, but that is not the main thing I am looking for. It needs to ride and perform far better than the visual appeal.

I have done very little set up to the fork and shock. Set the sag on both, other than that, have not adjusted any knobs etc… The Vivid Air is running about 200lbs pressure, which guves around 40% sag, still think this can be changed to around 33% sag say… Been doing a little reading… I will fiddle more with the fork and shock for sure.

The fork doesnt feel hugely supple as yet, doesnt feel bad, but for sure needs some breaking in. The odd clunk coming from it, am thinking this is normal perhaps, nothing at all is loose or out of place.. SHe made an interesting noise on the very first jump… The rear shock felt good as it was, without any other adjustments other than sag… Am liking this shock already…. And the like am thinking may well turn to love in the next few weeks…

So how does she feel: Pedals really well, not as good as the AC29er, but nor should it. With the saddle up, you sit on top of the bike so to speak, but with the saddle down, you are in the bike, really like this… The bike is very agile, lively, compliant. The small bump sensitivity on the suspension is less noticeable because of the big hoops…. Couldnt really tell you much difference with the feel of the carbon rims, think I need to ride some Ali wheels side by side… (taking also into account that arm has not long been out of plaster, so it feels a tad weak)

It was easy to get used to for sure, easier than I thought it would be if that makes sense… The bike feels low and well centered, the BB is low, that is noticeable.

You all know by now that I am crap at writing reviews. I wanted to build a bike that would replace my Helius FR. With one ride, I feel that I have done this, the bike will get better as I get used to it. But it has the foundations to make a great play bike…

The first jump I did as you would, notice the weight of the front of the bike, the fork is 3+ Kg’s! But after a few more jumps, did feel quite balanced in the air…

A few shots of the bike out of the stand more or less finished… As I said before, it doesnt seem to look that slack, but slackens more when on the bike and at riding sag…”

Till more information and more exciting news awaiting to be uncover from this modernistic and beau build. We leave you with Mr. Fenton’s MTBR thread where the full build history and discussion about this unique gem is held!

All photos/information courtesy of Mr. Fenton & MTBR forum

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2011 9:45 am

    yeah nice

  2. Whafe permalink
    October 7, 2011 7:20 am

    Have upgraded the cockpit a little, have added a Canefield direct mount stem, along with some Havoc bars… It has dropped the front near 2 cm’s, looking forward to ripping it up this weekend in Rotorua on the National DH track… Yeah ha

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