Tuesday, November 29, 2011 8.00am
By Cycling Plus
The Helix OS (£4500 frameset only) is the flagship of Lynskey’s titanium range and features the distinct Helix tubeset: an ovalised square section tube manipulated into a spiral shape. Lynskey claims this adds a significant amount of stiffness over a standard tube, enabling the titanium to handle more forces and resist twisting.
The twisted tubing is also used in the seatstays, but helix tubes are just part of this thoroughly modern titanium frame, which features a BB30 internal bottom bracket and an oversized internal headset. Touches of the traditional frame builder’s art haven’t been lost to the pursuit of technology, as revealed by the machined cloverleaf dropouts and sculpted brake bridge and cable bosses.
The special edition three-colour painted frame here, complete with highly polished rear end and colour matched all-carbon Enve fork, adds a significant £1500 premium over the frame’s £3000 base price. That puts the Helix into very serious territory occupied by the likes of Colnago, Pinarello, Storck and Pegorretti. Simply put, to compete here the OS really needs to perform.
The design uses Lynskey’s Pro-series geometry. No compromises to comfort, this is out-and-out race-bred stuff. A short head-tube (181mm) on our Large test model, mated to a long top-tube (58.5cm) and an Enve seatpost with a 40mm offset, makes for a flat, long and fast position. And the OS really does like to go fast. The chassis has a real sharpness to it, responding instantaneously to acceleration and with nip-and-tuck handling that’s equal to any of the equivalent high-end carbon bikes we’ve tested. On descents the sharpness turns to stability; it has a point and shoot nature that’s hard to fault. A top level spec package also makes climbs a breeze, with only the limits of your power and the standard 53/39 chainset slowing you down.
That Lynskey has made a high performing race bike from titanium is impressive. What it doesn’t have is that comfort and resilient feel you get from less race-focused titanium bikes. Yes, it offers some reduction in road vibration, but the combination of a stiff frame and deep-section carbon wheels gives it a harder edge and one we felt after a few hours in the saddle.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus
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