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'All over it!'
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know many of you on this forum own an FR, so my question to you all, is just how far can you push the FR? As you may know, I am in the process of rebuilding my FR with a burly build that includes a CCDB (from old) and a new totem coil which I see coming in at about 38lb with DH tyres and tubes.

With this in mind, how far could you realisticly push the limits of the FR? Could a bike such as this be used for DH? and by this I don't mean World Championship courses, but local downhill runs.

I have been interested in building a more DH specific bike, but now with the prices of frames and indeed parts increasing to riduculous levels, would I be asking too much from a bike that has 6.6inches of rear travel.

I understand that this is a highly subjective topic and is dependant on build and rider ability to name a few, but your thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.:thumbsup:
 

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I don't own an FR but I have test ridden one and I can't see any reason why you couldn't quite easily ride the FR on even World Cup level courses. You're right, it is very subjective and it's hard to find a way to illustrate the point. I've got an Ion, which is the 'worldcup DH bike' and a Spesh 2006 Enduro with 140mm of travel. I've ridden both on a number of local (Welsh) DH courses and I reckon I'm in the region of 10% maybe 15% faster on the Ion than on the Enduro.
If you really want a bike you can do everything on, then consider building your FR up with the lightest components you can, i.e. XTR/XT level kit, but have two sets of wheels, one for DH, one for trail riding. You probably don't need to put a Totem but there's no reason why you shouldn't, it will just add a lot more weight. You could just as easily ride a DH course with a RS Lyrik (which is what I have on the Spesh) or a Fox Van 36 or similar.
Last year there was a guy riding a DMR Trailstar at the Mynydd Du Dragon DH race. I can't quite remember where he came overall, but it was something like top 30 overall - on a bloody hardtail! Myn Du is a hard course to ride fast (it's a hard course to ride full stop) but it illustrates the point.
Have fun with the bike and consider your options - at 38 lbs the bike is going to be too heavy to have any real all day trail fun and really, your build kit doesn't need to be heavy. People are running light chainsets, bars, stems, posts etc on their DH bikes these days because they're all perfectly good enough.
 

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well, I had an Mpire before it got stolen in June in Morzine.

So I had to hit all summer the DH runs with my Helius FR (2008) I took off my Lyric and set it up with a 66 RCX. Well I have to say, I did exactly the same time as i use to do with my Mpire. I did pass the same gap without a problem.

I was dead tired at the end of each ride cause you take much more abuse (your body) but in the end, the bike was much lighter, easier to move. It's only on really destroy section that I really missed my Mpire. On big gaps also... the rear was so much smoother with the Mpire....

pictures are really crappy, but that's what my FR has been taking all summer long :





I had to say, even if the Helius Fr is NOT a real dh rig, it's possible to use it as long as you take care of being smooth with it and service the bike more often (checking bolts, axles etc...)

Love this bike !
 

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It can be pushed as far as you want it to Lorni. What you've described is pretty damn close to the build of mine and I've used it as my only bike for 6/7 months. Everything from local gnarly singletrack to full on DH action at Innerleithen. It will also be called into action for a trip to Fort Bill later in the Spring to ride the existing worlds course and the new red DH course. Admittedly, I have bottomed out both the shock and the Totems on some of the bigger stuff but only on the very odd occassion and usually because I've landed badly after getting carried away with my speed .
The '08 onwards FR was designed as a more aggressive bike capable of DH days or, with 36's/Lyriks, air shock and lighter wheel/tyre combo, an all day bike with big hit capability. I love it for it's flexability and the fact it can handle a DH course one minute then fly through the red/black Glentress singletrack the next.

If you end up spending a lot of time on DH courses then a 2nd DH bike might be worth a punt. If it's only going to be one part of your riding then stick with the FR and enjoy it in the manner it was built for.
 

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'All over it!'
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your inputs. It seems that the FR can take more than I had thought. I have a set of coil lyriks for trail use but have purchased the totems for the more gravity sided events.

With regards to wheels, I have also thought about this. I am currently running Syncros DS 28s (a more AM) but plan to use Maxxis Advantage 2.4 rather than the dual ply High Rollers, but plan to purchase some Mavic 823 for DH purposes with the heavy tubeless tread.

I hope to get my FR built up over the next couple of days and will list it with a full parts list and photos so that people may have a better understanding of what I hope to achieve.

Any further opinions are welcomed.
 

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I been using 823's for 18 months now, first on my yeti ASX and now the Nicolai. So far they've been pretty bombproof and not required any trueing. Messiah on here has had his for years on his Nucleon and as far as I'm aware hasn't had any issues and he usually finds the breaking limit of kit :rolleyes: ;)

I'm looking forward to seeing the finished bike.
 

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'All over it!'
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am currently awaiting delivery of the frame, so I will start the build process this very evening.
 

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I used my fr on a cwm carn uplift day and I was only running talas 36s, handled everything fine. I also used it on the wc dh track at les arcs
 

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the FR is MORE than capable of dealing with ANY british DH course.
the limiting factor will be the wheels, but 823's are SO Much wheel, there's little to worry about imo.
it's so capable in fact, thats why I chose an AM over the FR. i simply do not need any more bike for my riding here in North East Scotland, and we have lots of square edged hitting rock up here :)
dipper runs his FR occaionally on triple clamped zocchis....this set up will devour the UK DH's and all Alp shuttlers.
again, the limiting factor is the wheel rim / tyre choice.........
 

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'All over it!'
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks TLR, that is music to my ears. I agree totally with wheel choice. As already stated, I will run Syncros DS28 with Maxxis Advantage 2.4 and tubes for AM then the 823 tubeless with Maxxis Minions in 2.5, ST on the front and 60A on the rear.

I must admit, the FR looks the business with the Triples. I have seen one on this forum with boxxers and the A-C is about the same as the totem. I think the FR is the total package, so much more than the equivalent Nomad or 6.6. I am happy with my choice in the Totems and will see how I go. Back to building now....
 

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steep fast and loose :)
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lorni - the FR shoul NOT be confused as a rival to the 6.6 or the NOMAD.... that job is taken care of, (and won), by the AM.

the model year 08 onwards FR is exactly that - a FR rig.....designed to run 180mm forks as yetiman has already identified to his pleasure.....

trail wise, the AM has that base now covered, and the reason i believe nicolai introduced the revised less adjustable 180mm FR for the 08 season.
 

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Lorni - you will be all good bro... I did a run on A Line at Whistler last year on the FR, it wasnt as easy or as smooth as the ION, but it ripped it, was light, nimble and quick... All on DT 5.2 rims.... But like you, have 823's on the ION, and they are bomb proof....

Build it, ride it, then ride it and then some more....
 

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I've ridden the British, French and Swiss national DH courses on My FR... its more than capable of handling that type of terrain and is certainly strong enough to take the beating those course provide. The ST seems to use the FR's front end with a bigger rear and shock so there is plenty of burliness there natively on the FR. Taking a beating is however not the b all and end all.

Lets not forget that the FR does have trail Geometry - I was hoping that they would slack it out further with the intro of the Am and bump the travel at the rear to 180. Without this slackness (64-65.5 head angles are ideal) a FR with a totem is 67ish, it will be compromised on high speed and steep sections as it will get twitchy. It is all about the geo bro. No amount of burliness will compensate for that. I suspect that with the coil totems rather than my airs you will not blow through travel as quick in the mid stroke so this may be less of an issue for you. U willl also take less of a beating from the coils.

This is exactly why adjustable geo is on my Nicolai wish list. A 65.5 headangle FR would make it a contender for a perfect mini downhill machine and i probably would not have splashed out on the Gambler. A head sleeve sleeve to twek geo from 65.5 to 75.5 would be delicious. Delirium T Style

It very capable of having a lot of fun on it. I more than kept up with my buddy last year on his Vpfree and fox 40's but he was less tired
 

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'All over it!'
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Jon, I knew that you have done much on your FR, especially overseas so thats good to hear. I recieved the frame today but have some real issues with the shop that put it together! more on that once I have informed them.

It's all looking good although with the current dual ply DH High rollers it's a heavy beast, which for me, is no great shake, thats changed with a new set of tyres.
The white looks crisp and with the black totems, looks the dogs swingers. Just need to bleed the brakes and put the stickers on and ready for photographs.
 

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Hey Karve, that's why I ordered my FR with a 66 degree angle for the lenght of a Lyric.
Even with a 160mm fork, it's perfect !!!
With my 66 on, I was at 65°, was really cool !

Think about tailor made, it's a certain price, but at the end, choosing your geometry is worth it !!!
 

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Since 08 Helius ST at 65 and UFO ST at 66...both ideal geo for DH? If you can afford two Nic's the UFO/HeliusST or Ion for DH plus CC or RC for UK XC is all you would ever need I think?
 
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