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Nicolai Helius AC – To Each His Own.

December 5, 2011

The majority of Nicolai’s that we have built have all come with a certain story behind them. Reasons as why to why a particular frame, colour, or set-up was chosen, have usually reflected a lot on the various personalities of our customers. Well it wasn’t any different with this Nicolai build, but it was a pretty damn memorable one we must say.

Roland (a retiree from Switzerland, currently living in Malaysia on a 10 year long visa), approached us to purchase a custom Helius AC. As an avid MTB forum reader, he was extremely particular about every single measurement of his bike, down to the slightest millimetre/milligram. He had already set his mind on getting one with an effective 580mm top tube, after an uncomfortable experience back in Switzerland, testing out a size L Helius AC that had a 600mm effective top tube.

Upon the arrival of his frame, he was over in Singapore for the week to witness the assembly process. To be honest, he wasn’t too pleased at all when he realised that his Helius AC came with a top tube reach that was 5mm shorter that what he wanted. It took us quite a bit of effort to convince Roland that he should just forget about all the measurements, and focus on how he wanted his bike to feel instead.

In that short week, we taught him how to assemble/disassemble/service the bike, and we brought him to the Tampines MTB trail for a ride to make sure that all the adjustments were dialed before packing his bike and delivering it to the airport. Thankfully, he was really stoked with how his bike felt.

His AC was built with carefully selected components that were a fine balance between weight, stength, and aesthetics. Colour choice turned out to be mostly a mixure of red and blue as he could not decide on which colour he liked the most. He also requested for a tougher Helius AM front shock mount.

A Rohloff rear hub was chosen for it’s ease of maintenance, with no drivetrain issues once it was set up correctly.

The services that we provided for Roland were no different from what we provide our Nicolai customers. We set out to make things right from the start so that they would be able to enjoy their bike in the years to come. As Nicolai owners ourselves, we’ve realised that a Nicolai will only feel right once it has been built and set up correctly, and that it is not all about the figures. Although we can’t deny that everyone is entitled their own opinions on what would be their ‘ideal geometry’ for their bike, but to each his own, we suppose.

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