Helm 170 Boost Fork
Cane Creek's first fork offering took a little longer than expected, taking about a five-year span from napkin drawings, to prototypes, and finally into production models, but good things come to those who wait, and it allowed for plenty of time for extensive testing and research and development. The wait was also due in part to the fact that it's only building premium forks, no cookie-cutter OEM offerings to hit a certain price point, so it had to be absolutely dialed. It knew its offering would have to be an excellent and viable option that provided discerning riders with a viable alternative to some of the bigger names with a stiff chassis, smooth travel, and amazing adjustability. This fork, the Helm 170 Boost Fork for 27.5-inch wheels, offers 170 millimeters of plush travel sliding on silky smooth 35-millimeter stanchions for sure tracking that'll please even the most aggressive riders as they barrel through technical trails and park jump lines on their all-mountain and enduro rigs. And in contrast to its twin-tube damper that's drawn acclaim on its Double Barrel shocks, through testing, Cane Creek found that for a fork, a mono-tube damper was most effective and offered low weight and simplified servicing while improving reliability.
A rear shock is much smaller in structure and has more seals to deal with higher air pressures and thus has to manage more heat, so the twin-tube design makes a lot of sense as it provides more consistent damping, dumps heat better by completely circulating the higher oil volume, and offers more adjustments. A fork doesn't have to deal with such extremes so the mono-tube offers a lighter weight build with fewer complexities. That doesn't translate to a dumbed down damper, mind you, it still offers you the ability to tune 10 and 17 clicks of high and low-speed compression, with an additional 10 positions of low-speed rebound adjustment.
Cane Creek offers the Helm in a coil and air-sprung version and the one we have uses an air spring with two high volume independent positive and negative air springs. It allows full tune-ability of both air chambers for increased sensitivity as well as the ability to adjust the travel internally in 10mm increments from this stock 170mm down to 100mm without the need for a new air spring for each travel setting. Other forks have offered dual air springs in the past, however, it is more expensive to manufacture and requires that the rider knows the importance of setup. If you’re the discerning rider and you're reading this, we're certain you can benefit and appreciate the lengths Cane Creek went through to offer two air springs. The fork includes 2 travel spacers so you can go to 150mm out of the box with others available separately if you seek less travel. Another neat feature is the indexed rod that allows you to change the static piston height. By moving the piston up or down, it effectively changes the positive chamber's air volume and how quickly the fork ramps up, all without the need for adding volume spacers like you've come to expect with others. This gives you the ability to gradually progress the ramp-up in 8 positions so you can take bigger hits without the fork blowing through its travel.
Finally, the unique D-Loc axle assembly features a hard anodized aluminum cam lever that closes against a self-lubricating brass clamp washer for easy axle function and impressive durability. It uses a quick keyed entry axle and locking system that eliminates rotational and torsional axle forces for impressive levels of stiffness and ensures that your wheel is not only better secured, but the legs are better aligned for smoother travel.
- Cane Creek's entry for the premium fork market
- 170mm of smooth travel and stiff 35mm stanchions
- Adjustable travel of 150-170mm with included travel spacers
- Mono-tube damper offer easier service and reliability
- Independent positive and negative air chambers tune the ride
- 10/17 clicks of high/low-speed compression
- 10 clicks of low-speed rebound adjustment
- Accessory-free air volume adjustment