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First off is the 2011 Ridley Helium I just finished this week. It's the Flandrien edition, size medium. I tried to make this my first WW bike, but probably came out a little heavier than I hoped for. All in with pedals, cages etc she's at 15.5 lbs. Had to make some decisions based on comfort and budget. I built this with the 6 Gap Century here in GA in mind. Here's the specs:
Group is Campy Chorus 11 all the way around
Wheels are Mavic Ksyrium SLRs with the Griplink and Powerlink tires that come with them
Saddle is a Fizik Arione vs
Stem is an FSA OS99 carbon with the graphics removed
Bars are FSA SLK carbon with graphics removed
Cages are Blackburn Camber CFs
Bar tape is Lizard Skins, my new favorite
I'd like to find some black carbon spacers that don't have the weave pattern on them. Just plain black. I'll cut off the excess steer tube when I've dialed it in.
Next up is my Pinarello FP Quattro. Finished this one earlier this fall and I've been very happy with it. Here's the specs:
Group is Campy Record 11 all the way around
Wheels are Zipp 303 Firecrest carbon clinchers with custom black on black decals
Tires on there right now are Gatorskins for winter training
Saddle is a Selle Italia Flite Gel Flow
Seat post is an FSA K Force Light with graphics removed
Seat post clamp is a Thomson
Stem is an FSA OS99 with graphics removed
Bars are FSA K Wing
Cages are Blackburn Camber CFs
Bar tape is Lizard Skins
Thanks for looking.
Rock Lobster Team Tig SL Disc = (pending)
Sold: Ridley X-Night Disc = 7.80 kg | Ridley Noah FAST = 6.86 | Ridley Fenix = 6.74 | Raleigh HiLife = 7.46 | Fuji SST = 7.34 | Van Dessel FTB = 7.58
I need to get back out there this summer. Loved doing the Wednesday evening shop ride. Used to barely be able to hang on to the A ride. Would be fun to see how I fare now.
MaxDaddy wrote:I'd like to find some black carbon spacers that don't have the weave pattern on them. Just plain black. I'll cut off the excess steer tube when I've dialed it in.
Ask you and shall receive.
The first thing I noticed about the helium was how little I noticed it beneath me. I'm not sure if it's just weight, this is my lightest bike ever by over a pound, or a characteristic of the bike. In fact, the first time I came out of the saddle I was a little surprised at how little effort there was to get moving. This caused the bike to rock back and forth as I learned to distribute my weight. There was no feeling of having to drag the bike up a hill.
The other thing I noticed was how great a job the frame did at dampening road vibrations, particularly on rough roads or chip and seal. My Excalibur did a good job of this, but not like the Helium. The ride was still very smooth and stable.
The bike is also incredibly responsive. There's no lag to it. As soon as I stepped on the gas it took off. This reminded of the Ridley Noah I had previously. I loved that aspect of that bike, but it was a bit of a teeth rattler. But the Helium gives me the stiffness and ride quality all in one. It is also incredibly nimble and sure footed. Although they felt a bit squirrelly at first, after 10 or 15 miles I settled in with the Mavic tires.
I can't say enough about the Helium. I think a friend of mine said it best "It's a super bike without the price tag.".
Now to compare it to the Quattro.
The Quattro is a great bike, and before I built the Helium I thought it was going to be my all arounder. But the Helium does so many of the things the Quattro does, and does them better, that I'm not sure that's true anymore.
If I'm going to do a lot of climbing I'm definitely going to be on the Helium. And I also want to be on it for any sprinting or rough riding.
If the ride/race is going to be a lot of flats or rollers I think I'd choose the Quattro. When it comes down to mashing for long periods I think I actually prefer the weight of it. Reminds me a little more of my tri bike. There's a certain comfort in being able to feel it.
And if the terrain permits, I'd rather be on the Quattro if there's going to be wind gusts. This seemed to effect the Helium more than I thought it would. I guess it's just the weight of the bike, because even with the 303s on the Quattro I don't notice it as much.
Something else I noticed was that the Helium with the Chorus shifted better than the Quattro with the Record. Could just be tuning, but I'm wondering if it's the external vs. internal cable routing. I'll have to keep an eye on this one.
Unfortunately, I think the Quattro has just become a really nice back up bike. Once I dial in the fit it's going to be tough getting off the Helium. And it sure is pretty.
All in all, I'd recommend the Helium to just about anybody. If you're looking for something new I think Competitive is blowing them out at $2,599 with a complete Force group. That's just crazy for a non-used bike of this quality.
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