The Helix OS takes our signature Helix tube set and adds current component design elements to create one of the most exciting road race frames for 2013. By adding a SRAM Pressfit 30 bottom bracket to this frame (which requires BB30 cranks), we have increased stiffness for maximum power transfer. We have also increased the headtube diameter for more responsive handling and to accept a Cane Creek 110 ZS 44mm headset. Our proven Pro Competition geometry can be found on this top level race frame allowing for an aggressive riding position. The combination of these features make the Helix OS the pinnacle of our road racing lineup.
Strengths: Excellent stiffness, response, versatile geometry, endless options, timeless beauty with a different twist to the mainstream. Fast and nimble, critty frame. Huge huge pride of ownership without being shouty or fashionable. You've got to see it in the flesh to appreciate it!
Weaknesses: Mmmm, this is being picky, perhaps weight by current standards (mine, bare, came in at about 1.6kg for my Large Helix OS Di2 model, but I was brought up Columbus SLX and TSX vs Reynolds 753, preferring efficiency and reliability over weight alone) but in this frame, you are buying over-engineering for the long haul. Either way, it is considerably lighter than most steel frames and for the size on par with a "good" alloy frame. I consider carbon frames too fragile to compare, based my current experience so far. Blink and another crack appears for whatever reason. Needless to say, I no longer trust carbon and keep my carbon content to a minimum, particularly on key structural parts. At times, it can feel a little stiff in the front end, if using Enve 1.5 tapered forks (which I am due to my distrust of carbon)
So here it is, approaching forty, 1.89m/6'2.25" and currently about 90kg, down from 110kg (might have something to do with being a carbon killer). I am not going to pretend to be pushing a gazillions watts of power because I don't use power meters and therefore have not got a clue what I put out. However, I have not raced since the late eighties and really only ride for fitness now, still pretty heavy on the gear though. I have owned quite a few nice bikes over the last twenty five years including some really nice custom steels (Ottadinis, Mercians), Italian top end alloys (Colnago Dream), Trek Madones, Cannondale Supersixes, loving most of them. However, I love the art of framebuilding and the metalwork. For me plastic bikes seem a bit soul-less and their performance deteriorates with every turn of the cranks, as the fibres gradually loosen within the resin under strain. It's pretty much inevitable. (Yes, I also know of metal fatigue or should i say "I have heard of it"). Anyway, it took me while to eventually arrive at this bike and even now I still like looking at other nice ti brands like Passoni, Crisp, Baum and Moots because I really admire the skill, material beauty and creativity which these frames possess. But would I swap my Helix OS Di2 (bright brushed and etched graphics) for one of those? No, why would I? Pay more, for less? It seems to me that Lynskey offer the best value for money in the ti frame industry. So far, I am still in awe of this one, I just can't seem to get sick of looking at it. There is just so much detail to admire, most of it seemingly having tangible purpose (yes aesthetics do count in there too) along with a good clean contemporary geometry. Oh yes and it rides pretty darn well to boot.....rock solid, none of this wibbly wobbly titanium nonsense I might have read about in the past. To me at least, it feels and looks pretty special...
Favorite Ride: Anywhere with no cars, trucks and with smooth silky roads, usually around hometown in France...
Purchased At: Primera Bournemouth,
Similar Products Used: Various, see review summary
Bike Setup: Set up with Enve 2 1.5" tapered forks, Cane Creek 110 int/ext headset, Deda Zero 100 DMP stem, bars, USE Alien ti seatpost, Selle Italia SLR XP saddle, Fulcrum Racing RRS Ultratorque Chainset, Ultegra Di2 transmission and levers, Ultegra Carbon SPD-SLs, Tune seatpost clamp, Fulcrum Racing Zeros with Dura-Ace cassette and the awesome TRP r979eq brake calipers...Bang tidy!!
Strengths: Amazing comfort. Super responsiveness and stiffness. Strength and longevity.
Weaknesses: Absolutely none. Honestly if I could fault it I would.
This is my 5 th titanium bike and now 15 th bike overall. I just sold my r340 just so I could have the very best in the Lynskey helix os. Just for the record my mate who bought the r340 absolutely loves it. Hardly rides his Trek madone 5.2 any more.
I can truthfully say that the helix to me represents the holy grail of bikes. What do I mean by that? Well basically the helix has the amazing responsiveness of my colnago eps plus the beautiful ethereal ride that titanium is famous for. The front end stiffness is incredible. Bottom bracket does not budge. The bike can easily be compared to BMW M3. Just beautiful and comfortable when cruising and an absolute beast when the throttle goes down. The workmanship is certainly up there with Moots which I also owned. Anyone who is thinking about a top end carbon should definitely consider this bike.
Bike Setup: Ultegra Di2 Reynolds Attack, 3t, flite saddle.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: January 2, 2013
stiffness (subjective depends on individual)
low key (non flashy)
Customer service (there is a REAL person on the other end chatting real time with you)
Weaknesses: not compatible with Electronic shifting (Depends on the model you got)
Context first. I have the Helix non OS version. My previous road bike is a Trek1500 (and a few steel frame bikes) and I have a rode and owned Mongoose IBOC Pro, and most recently a Cannondale F2. I ride L sized bikes. I am a recreational weekend cyclist and don’t participate in races, but I try to put some mileages into my rides. I usually do 70K rides on Saturdays and Sundays. So my review will be based on my experience on these bikes as a baseline.
When I got my bike, the criteria that I set was that the frame should be fairly light, I am not hoping for feather light, being an L sized, I was looking for something that is light but durable enough. Obviously I am also looking for comfort and stiffness, but these are very subjective and vary from one individual to another. I am also looking for low maintenance frame in the sense that it is easy to clean after rides. I normally ride alone so I prefer a bike that doesn’t shout ‘Look at me I’m an expensive bike’.
As of this review I have done approximately 2K on the bike and just completed a 180 + 83 K two day event.
What I like about the bike:
1. This is the 3rd year I rode in the 2 day event and the first 2 was on my trek. But this year was the first year that I did not get any lower back pain nor saddle sores after the ride. The comfort that people talked about ti frames really is true, but I would also like to add that it also has to do with the bike geometry to divert the road vibrations away from the saddle.
2. In terms of weight, obviously ti is not as light as carbon, but what I like about this frame is that the weight is very well balanced and that translated to a very stable bike.
3. In terms of stiffness, I always believe that this is subjective and is more a balance with comfort. My take is that it has to be stiff enough to handle the max power I can produce and not more because any additional stiffness will only be translated to loss in comfort. To me, this bike hit the right balance but again, my opinion is that this varies from one individual to another.
4. I got the industrial mill with etched lettering option. So maintenance is quite low, most of the time I just wipe off any dirt with a cloth and it will look like new. No worries about whether the frame/paint will be sensitive to chemical from lubes or degreasers.
5. What I like most importantly about this bike as far as looks is that, ‘only those who knows know’. I like my bike to be low key but have a high quality feel to it and this bike fits the requirement. It may sound cliché but whoever who is considering this bike (or any lynskey for that matter) will need to look at the frame personally to really appreciate it. The welds are an art. You can’t see them very well in the lynskey website and need to see them in person to really appreciate it. I have seen welds of other ti frames brands, and am glad to say that they are nothing compared to those on the helix. The other thing I like isthat there are a lot of ‘hidden’ art on the bike. They are not very obvious and does not scream out, but once you see them you will truly appreciate them.
What I think can be improved about the bike (this is my personal opinion):
1. I got the non Di2 (mechanical shifting) option and from what Don explained in the Youtube video, it can not be retrofitted with the Di2 option. My suggestion is that it will be good if lynskey can come up with an ‘Upgrade’ option to retrofit existing frames and have it compatible with electronic shifting.
2. Fairly higher entry Cost. I have to clarify that it’s entry cost and not price or overall cost. To me entry cost is the initial investment you need to get the bike. While cost is the investment over the lifetime of the bike. It is a bit steep when compared to carbon options but once you are in, the overall cost pay for itself in terms of the bike’s lifespan. I have been advocating Ti to any cyclist thinking of getting a new bike but most of the time the resistance come in the form of the initial entry cost. I guess the main reason is that they are comparing Ti with carbon. (not really an apple to apple comparison but unfortunately that’s often the case). What I think the guys at lynskey can do is to offer other value added items that carbon manufacturers can’t offer such as frame refurbishing or retrofitting to improve the value of the frame or offer more size (or build options) that carbon frame makers can’t provide without significantly increasing their production cost. The Lynskey Website mentioned about Houseblend customization, but will be cool if they can have options listed out (and priced) as standard.
3. Not really the bike’s fault, but my MTB have been complaining that it is not getting any ride time since June... :(
Bike Setup: SRAM Red, Zipp 303, lynskey Seatpost, Salle Italia Kit carbonio, ritchey carbonio handlebars, deda zero stem, selle an-anatomica tape and eggbeaters :P
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2012
Strengths: Ride Quality
Stiffness and Power Transfer
Aggressive Yet Comfortable Geometry
Gorgeous Titanium Frame (Brushed Finish with Etched Graphics)
Lynskey Customer Service
Weaknesses: None. The engine is the weakest link on this bike! :-)
I got this bike in March of this year (4 months ago as of this writing) and wanted to put some significant miles on it before posting a review. So far I have about 3000 miles on this bike in that time and have found it to be a joy to ride each and every mile.
As a 200lb rider I wanted a really stiff frame and Lynskey answered the call. When I stand and mash the pedals of this bike, the surge I feel is phenomenal. I am constantly amazed at the efficiency of the power transfer with each pedal stroke. I feel I can turn at least one full gear larger than on my previous R340 with the same power. When I am trying to close a gap on a group ride it feels like all I have to do is lightly tap the pedals and I am there.
I have seen real performance increases on this bike. Earlier in the season I was doing rides at paces comparable to my peak fitness of last fall and have subsuquently exceeded all of my personal bests from last season.
As a larger rider, I find the ride quality to be smooth and responsive. The bike accelerates without being twitchy and the titanium frame soaks up a good portion of the road buzz. Let's face it, a chip/seal road is never going to be smooth but the Helix OS helps keep my teeth from chattering.
I came to the Helix OS from a Lynskey R340. The R340 was a nice bike and I enjoyed riding it but the difference between it and the Helix OS is night and day. I've heard people say that the Helix downtube is just a marketing gimmick that doesn't offer any real impact on performance. All I can tell you is that between the twisted Helix tubes, the oversized BB30 bottom bracket and oversized head tube, SOMETHING is different because the "jump" on this bike is real. The bike surges every time you apply power to the pedals unlike any bike I have ever ridden.
Lastly, Lynskey Customer Service is top notch. I am a bit of a perfectionist and recognize that I can be a bit of a customer service nightmare. The folks at Lynskey have taken great care of me without ever making me feel like I was being difficult. They gave me great advice at purchase and helped steer me to the right frame for my goals and needs. They talked me out of a more expensive frame that wouldn't have been right for me. They have handled all of my follow up questions promptly and cheerfully.
Needless to say I love my Helix OS - so much that I've also recently added a Lynskey ProCross to my bike collection. You can't go wrong with them.
Bike Setup: ML Frame with Brushed Finish and Etched Graphics. All Dura Ace Components with 3T Carbon Team Bar, Ritchey Wet Red Stem, Thompson Elite Seatpost, Speedplay Pedals, Selle SMP Pro Saddle and Zipp 303 wheels. Wheels MFG BB30 Adaptor with my Dura Ace Cranks.
Date Reviewed: June 13, 2012
Strengths: Great looking frame (industrial mill finish with etched graphics), solid (feels bomb proof), very light frame, fast on quick sprint starts, no flex in the saddle when climbing, smooth ride
Weaknesses: Only the rider!
First, I want to thank the great folks over at Lynskey and Maplewood Bicycles for guiding me through the process of getting my OS. I learned that if you want the best, you have to be patient!!! I am a larger rider at 6'4, 275 lbs and was looking for a frame that would support me well and last a lifetime. Carbon was my first thought, but then I saw the Helix frame on the wall at Maplewood and fell in love. I have had the Helix OS for almost 2 weeks now and have already logged close to 400 miles (actually did a century ride the very next morning after picking up my bike). Not only does the bike look great (I recommend spending extra on the etched graphics), but right from the start I was giving all of the "skinny" guys a run for their money! First thing I noticed was how solid the frame feels. My last frame was aluminum and really flexed a lot when hammering down on the pedals. I don't feel that flex at all on the OS and that seems to give me more confidence to push harder than I ever have. I also noticed that most of the bumps in the road disappear as the ti frame seems to eliminate the vibrations (not 100%, but definitely an improvement over my Al frame). Finally, I have noticed an increase in speed with the Helix OS. Just in the past 400 miles, I have seen an average increase of almost 2 mph--very significant change for me. Lynskey has definitely earned a new lifelong customer!! I highly recommend the Helix OS for those wanting more confidence on the road as well as for those larger riders looking for a solid, dependable road machine!! I just want to again thank the folks at Lynskey, as well as those at Maplewood Bicycle (Missouri) for helping me build my dream machine!
Bike Setup: Helix OS frame with modified head tube, etched graphics, full Ultegra 6700 components (including pedals), Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset, Thomson Elite seatpost, Zipp Service Course SL handlebars, Red Cane Creek 110 ZS44 headset, Koobi Classic Saddle, Michelin Krylion Carbon tires, Bontrager gel bar wrap, Lifeline titanium bottle cages and Garmin Edge 500.
I just have a question for any lynskey owners who are running a tapered fork on their road frame. I have just purchased a helix os with a enve 1.5 tapered fork which needs an external bearing cup assembly on the bottom of the headtube. By installing the external cups on the headtube t ... Read More »