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Ridley Helium Road Bike Frame $0.00
After the success of the Damocles, Ridley was faced with a new set of challenges. Namely, its goal was to increase the Damocles' stiffness and stability, while dramatically reducing its overall weight. The bike which resulted from this development was the Ridley Helium Road Bike Frame. At nearly 300 grams lighter than the Damocles, Ridley created a frame that was bred for the mountains. Not surprisingly, this was Ridley's objective all along. Essentially, this frame was designed to be built to the UCI's 6.8kg limit, giving you the lightest platform possible to hammer up the climbs.
The Helium tips the scales at just over 1000 grams, which is less than that of Ridley's pave-flagship, the Excalibur. This was accomplished through its use of superior grades of carbon fiber. In fact, the Helium predominantly uses both 30- and 24-ton carbon fiber, with areas of 40-ton and 50-ton reinforcements (in comparison to the 24-ton carbon used on the Excalibur). But, if you're wondering what the 'ton' designation is, it essentially reflects how many tons of pressure per square millimeter that the carbon is able to withstand before failure. Thus, 30-ton carbon will withstand 30 tons of pressure per square millimeter. By using high-grade carbon, Ridley's able to use less carbon in the production process. After all, common logic tells us that the stronger a material that's used, the less of it that's need. As a result, the Helium is able to achieve a lower frame weight. And to further reduce weight, the Helium also utilizes full-carbon dropouts with stainless steel inserts. Additionally, it doesn't use any aluminum in the head tube bearing races.
And while materials are a key foundation for a sound strength-to-weight ratio, the construction process and tube shapes are of equal measure. Along these lines, we find it comforting that Ridley draws its tube shape inspiration from the most tested designs on earth -- nature itself. You'll find that Ridley's strongest frames, like the Fenix, feature tube shapes inspired by the diamond. Meanwhile, frames like the Helium are based off of the circle. Yes, the circle. As Ridley asserts, the circle reflects the best stiffness-to-weight ratio in nature, as it requires the least amount of materials in order to achieve the highest amount of strength. Accordingly, you'll find that Ridley designed the tube shapes of the seat, top, and down tubes with rounded, circular shaping. However, for sake of even higher rigidity, and weight savings, the top tube has been slightly tapered. Adding to this theme of lightweight rigidity, the Helium features a hollow-molded bottom bracket. This design allowed Ridley to remove excess materials, and the ability to reshape the conjoining tubes. As a result, needless weight has been eliminated, while lateral rigidity has been increased.
Going a step even further, Ridley also built the front triangle of the Helium with a monocoque construction. Ready for a little lesson on carbon construction? Surprisingly, the definition of the monocoque process is hidden within the name -- 'mono' being Latin for 'one,' and 'coque' being French for 'shell.' So, as logic would have it, monocoque carbon fiber is formed as one piece in a single mold. This system allowed Ridley complete creative control in developing the Helium. From the geometry to the tube shaping to the layup, every design parameter is attainable with monocoque, whereas the tube-to-tube construction method that you see on halo bikes is far more limiting for the engineer. As a result, the front triangle was met by flat-designed seatstays and oversized chainstays. Essentially, this design increases lateral stiffness, while also absorbing road vibration. Additionally, Ridley engineers were able to incorporate an integrated seatpost, again keeping with the theme of stiffness-to-weight. This feature allows you to deliver more power to the pedals while seated during climbs, and just as importantly, it provides increased aerodynamics and stability while cornering for the descent.
The Helium comes with a matching Ridley 4ZA monocoque full-carbon fiber fork and a proprietary FSA integrated headset. This system further increases rigidity under load, especially where the Helium excels, on the climbs. Additionally, this characteristic has been further increased through the incorporation of a 1-1/8 x 1-1/2-inch head tube. And with a 99.0cm wheelbase, a 73 degree head tube angle, and a 73 degree seat tube angle (size Medium), the Helium is guaranteed to descend confidently, and more importantly, quickly.
The Ridley Helium Road Bike Frame is available in the color Red/black and in five sizes from X-Small to X-Large. Given its compact geometry, we strongly suggest that you focus on the virtual top tube length as you make a determination of the proper size. Please provide us with your Bottom Bracket-Saddle Rail height in the 'Comments' section of our order form, so we can properly cut down the seat tube for delivery. Please note that the post's maximum cut-off length from the top of the seatpost is 60mm. Of additional note, the Helium requires an English bottom bracket, and a 34.9mm front derailleur. One final note on sizing: on all sizes the top of the seat tube is 235mm above the center of the top tube, not including seat mounting hardware. The standard Helium seat clamp has 18mm in height adjustment, and comes with a 1mm micro-spacer for small adjustments. Ridley also offers an aftermarket clamp that provides 40mm of height adjustment.
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Reviews & Community
Good Value, Light, Lively.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I exchanged the 2014 Fenix (w/Ultegra) for the Helium (also w/Ultegra). I put about 350-400 miles on the Fenix with one long ride (205 miles). I've put about 200-250 miles on the Helium with a long ride (169 miles, 11k climbing) as well.
Helium > Fenix:
- The Helium is much, much lighter. The Helium with Hed Ardennes comes in at 16.5lbs with pedals and cages, vs 18.5 for the Fenix with Fulcrum 7 wheels. The rest of the components were near identical.
- Helium is "livelier". Given that the geometries are near identical, I can only assume that frame shape and material is making the difference here.
- The Helium was way smoother on rough pavement than the Fenix. The wider wheels probably had a lot to do with this, but I'm convinced the frame contributed too. Both were on 25c Conti GP 4000 SII tires.
Fenix > Helium:
- Fenix has real paint with clear coat. This Helium appears to have decals. No clear coat. I was quite disappointed by this and is the only reason I've docked a star.
- Braking feels more secure on the Fenix. The fork flexes noticeably more when braking on the Helium. This "springiness" is possibly what gives the Helium it's livelier, smoother running nature as well, proving that you can't have it all!
For sizing: I'm 5'10.5" and have a 33.5" inseam. I'm a long legs and arms and short torso kinda guy. I chose the Medium. The bike is quite large and the stock 110mm stem was too long for me. I swapped to a 90mm, and probably would prefer to go smaller. I knew this coming from the Fenix, but the Small size was no longer available. If it was, that's the route I would have gone and possibly swapped to a slightly longer stem.
What is the differance between helium and...
What is the differance between helium and helium lt?
Is this frame compatible with Rotor 3D+...
Is this frame compatible with Rotor 3D+ crankset?
Great All around frame!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I climbed over 400,000 ft last year in the Blue Ridge Mtns. and the Helium was a fantastic ride.
Not only does it climb and decend incredibly well,but in spite of its stiffness it has been very comfortable and the best balanced frame I've ever ridden!
What year is this frame?
What year is this frame?
This is a 2013 frame
Dose the weight contain the fork ?
Dose the weight contain the fork ?
1620g is frame and fork. I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but frame alone was right around 1050 grams
Did the price on the Ridley Helium frameset...
Did the price on the Ridley Helium frameset increase? I thought it was 1500$ a while back?