“With the growing popularity of two-wheeled commuting and increasing enthusiasm for hitting the trails on the weekend, Bergamont’s Helix 4.0 is a great bike for both that and beyond”
My name is Kanth, Prem Kanth! I’ve been commuting by bicycle for the most part of my life. Commuters go through lots of obstacles on their bike with different seasons, detours because of road maintenance, road conditions that go from smooth as a baby’s behind to borderline warzone, slushy mud puddles, and what not! It could be the same route every day but a different experience every ride. Hybrids have been a popular choice for most commuters. Cross hybrids always take you a little beyond commuting and Helix 4.0 is the perfect example of a bike that over delivers!
Bergamont understands you’ll never build the perfect bike from just a smattering of good components. The German precision frame is what brings it all together and makes the difference. At the heart of the Helix 4.0, is a lightweight aluminium alloy frame (6061-lite tubing), with a straight gusset up front and beefy down tube for extra strength. The Helix 4.0 has a cross-sport geometry frame which doubles up as your commuter. Like most cross hybrids, it is a stable bike yet very responsive. It offers you quick acceleration on tarmac and smooth grounds with a healthy serving of agility, which pushes you to try out the pavements on your day-to-day office commute or experience your favorite trail over the weekend. The bike will limit you on the more adventurous trail exploits though. The frame is well finished, with neat welds and the practical inclusion of mudguard eyelets. Bear in mind though that you’ll need a disc specific rack.
In India the bike comes in 46 and 52 cm frame sizes with size specific handlebar, stem and crank set, which allows the bike to be set up perfectly for the rider. All of us are built differently, with size specific components, the riders feels a lot more comfortable on the bike. The Bergamont Comp Sport foam saddle offers a pliable feel that springs back to shape, adding comfort on both your city rides and trails. The wider handlebar offers you better maneuverability on trails and the 15mm rise offers you comfort on the long rides. The double density BGM comp grips goes better with a cycling glove on trails.
The Helix 4.0 comes with good 8-speed drivetrain components. It has Shimano’s new Alivio M4000 rear derailleur and Acera M360 front derailleur, which offers you smoother shifting even under load. The Shimano Rapidfire Plus shifters ensure you have no qualms in shifting to higher or lower gears quickly, on trail, on the road, up climbs or down descents.
The Helix 4.0 comes with hydraulic disc brakes with a 180mm rotor in the front and a 160mm rotor at the rear. The front 180mm rotors offers you better braking power when you are descending on a trail. The hydraulic disc brake system offers more confidence than V-Brakes on trails and on a rainy day. The Suntour NEX suspension fork irons out all the small bumps, cobble stones and mild trails debris. The Schwalbe Smart Sam tyres goes well on any terrain. It rolls effortlessly on road at higher tyre pressures.
It would have been a marginally better bike on the road, if the fork came with a suspension lock-out. The grips are hard and are best used with a good pair of gloves. There are no frames available for riders below 5 feet 4 inches.
Overall, it is a versatile bike which allows you to be Mr. “Burn-fat-not-fuel” commuter, or a “fun-is-out-in-the-woods” weekend trail rider or an “I-am-a-machine” endurance rider!