Nicolai have added a new model to their Helius full-suspension mountain bike range – the AFR, which stands for 'All FreeRide'.
It's described as a "purebred fun-bike" which has been designed for "bikepark playgrounds, trail hunting, gaps ‘n' steps, epic descents, spot hopping while dropping in wherever you want, and always full throttle".
The AFR's Horst Link rear end delivers 7-8in of travel, and with a 7in RockShox Totem fork fitted the head angle sits at 66.8° and bottom bracket height is 0.9in.
The new bike features a lower top tube than the cross-country and all-mountain Helius models, and an offset and flattened seat tube. It is compatible with Truvativ's Hammerschmidt planetary gear system, and comes with a 12mm through-axle as standard. Claimed frame weight is under 8lb.
The first Helius AFRs are expected to be delivered directly after the Eurobike trade show in September.
Nicolai's Helius AFR offers 7-8in of travel through a Horst Link four-bar rear end
Quashing the rumours
Nicolai have also released more pictures of their new Helius AC, which we showed you back in June – see the lower half of the thumbnail gallery at the top of the page – and quashed internet forum rumours regarding the demise of some older models. Here's what they had to say:
"Normally we don't drop models – see the Lambda, for example. Since the Lambda's glory days, three generations of new Nicolai downhill frames have passed by, but we're still keeping it. I admit that compared to modern downhill frames the Lamda is a dinosaur. But some people do love dinosaurs, and from time to time we still receive a Lambda order. Then we take that old, dusty welding jig from the attic, build another Lambda and make a customer happy.
"The new Nicolai Helius generation will have a similar effect on the elder Helius models. With the release of the Helius AC, AM and AFR there will surely be increasingly less interest in the Helius CC, FR and ST. The new Helius generation is technically advanced, lighter; it comes with the new, lean design, new bearing technology, state-of-the-art geometry, new options, devices and extras.
"But there will still be riders preferring the old style; riders who don't care about weight so much, who want to do an epic ride on a bombproof enduro frame and race the same one down the track at a local downhill race. So, from time to time we will take the old dusty jigs from the attic again and weld two or three Helius FR or ST frames."
Nicolai insist older Helius models will not be abandoned in favour of newer ones, like this AC