The latest incarnation of US manufacturer Cane Creek’s Helm fork, the Helm MKII, has been built with the intention of minimising friction and providing “the most supple and responsive fork for riders”, according to the company.
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This has been achieved through several updates, including remodelling of the fork’s damper, which features a new compression and mid-valve circuit “for increased support and control”.
There is also a new SKF oil seal head and 2.5-weight oil that is claimed to “reduce friction and provide a more supple ride-feel”.
A new air piston design in the air spring further reduces friction, while increased air volume equates to better traction and suppleness, according to Cane Creek.
The fork’s ‘travel change’ feature, which our testers found handy when reviewing the original, has been made even simpler via a new threadless seal head, too.
New low-friction SKF wiper seals should help improve sensitivity, and “external usability improvements” include updates to adjustment knobs and a bolt-on D-LOC axle.
Elsewhere, the fork retains many of its forerunner’s features.
Tokenless air volume adjustment is useful for tweaking the feel of the fork without needing to carry the plastic “tokens”, which many other fork manufacturers use to reduce air volume. Independently adjustable positive and negative air spring chambers also allow for personalisation.
The Helm MKII is available in a number of versions, with an air or coil spring option and 29in or 27.5in wheel sizes, with 51mm or 44mm offset options for the 29er and 44mm offset only in 27.5in.
The 29in fork is travel-adjustable from 130 to 160mm and the smaller-wheeled 27.5in ranges 130 to 170mm of travel.
To mark the launch, Cane Creek has made a run of 50 limited-edition forks in its eye-melting “Hot Pink” colourway.
Cane Creek Helm MKII specifications
- Price: $899 / £899.99
- Weight: 2,080g (29 Air) | 2,340g (29 Coil)
- Stanchion: 35mm
- Wheel size: 29in or 27.5in
- Hub spacing: 15 x 110mm Boost spacing
- ATC/offset: 29in, 568mm at 160mm travel / 44mm and 51mm options; 27.5in, 553mm at 160mm travel / 44mm only
- Axle: D-LOC 15mm bolt-on
- Colour: 29in, Gloss Black; 27.5in, Matte Black