German aluminium mountain bike frame specialists Nicolai have announced a new frame for 2010: the Helius AC. They hope to have the first models available for sale this summer.
The Helius AC fills the 'gap' between Nicolai's cross country (Helius CC) and all-mountain (Helius AM) frames, thanks to its 146mm of rear travel and up to 150mm of fork travel. Despite the big travel allowance, Nicolai say the 5.7lb (2.6kg) size M AC frame could be built up into "a sub-30lb bike with ease". They say the weight savings come from "machined braces and new ceramic axles that replace steel to lose 85g over the CC."
The frame is built in Germany and comes with a five year warranty. It features a 67-68 degree head angle, depending on what fork you choose to run, and there's enough clearance for 2.4" tyres. There are plenty of options too: ConeHead steerer, Hammerschmidt mounts, custom geometry, thru axle, an integrated cable guide/chain stay protector and hundreds of possible colours.
The Helius AC will retail for around £1800 in the UK and €1849 in Europe.
The chainstay protector and Hammerschmidt mounts are offered as options for the frame
Cable guides help keep everything neat
The Helius AC can be built up into a sub-30lb bike