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GT Helion Comp – first ride – BikeRadar.com

It’s tempting for a manufacturer to drop the entry point on a range as low as possible. Has GT cut too many corners to cut the price of its Helion Comp or has budget suspension performance got a new benchmark?

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Frame and equipment: impressive, bar a few teething troubles

GT launched its Independent Drivetrain suspension design nearly 20 years ago and it’s sticking to its guns with the latest evolution of the system. The downside on a discount bike is that it’s arguably the most complex suspension structure in widespread production.

The shock drives through the base of the seat tube so there’s no getting round a multi-part selection of curved hydroformed tube sections as well as intricate forgings for the seat tube straddle section, a big horseshoe section to mount the main pivot and the large two piece clamshell welded together to form the dangling bottom bracket section. Even the front derailleur is bolted onto a separate arm that’s in turn bolted to the underside of the seatstay bridge and has to be fed through a curved cable tube of the type you used to see on V brakes.

A neat gauge helps simplify suspension sag setup:
Russell Burton

A neat gauge helps simplify suspension sag setup

As impressive as it is to see how it all dovetails together, this type of assembly is expensive to produce. This leaves less money for the rest of the bike, and the lower that price point the closer you get to compromising performance.

Initial impressions are good. The 740mm bars are wide for a 110mm travel bike and hint at more control and chaos taming potential than you’d expect in this category. An 80mm stem keeps it easy to hold online on climbs or under power. It syncs well with the 69.5-degree head angle, not too fussy when you’re just cruising, but well weighted on turn-in if you need to whip it round something tight.

Despite the cross-country intentions, the cockpit setup is modern:
Russell Burton

Despite the cross-country intentions, the cockpit setup is modern

But where a lot of cheaper full sussers suffer is the quality of the damper and fork, and at first we thought that GT had fallen into the trap. The X-Fusion rear shock was stubborn to move and if it did it then cannoned back to a savage metal on metal top out.

Hoping it was an irregular issue with our shock rather than a cost-cutting compromise too far we contacted X-Fusion in the US who came back with a simple ‘try this’ fix. Just unscrewing the air sleeve then popping it back on recharged the negative spring chamber that helps get the shock movement started and prevents it bouncing all the way back to the stops. With that back to correct pressure and an extra bit of Slick Honey grease around the seal head we were back in supple, consistently controlled business.

Ride and handling: stiff, smooth and grounded

Despite the complex looking suspension architecture and QR skewers rather than thru-axles, this is an impressively stiff frame in terms of twist and lateral flex. The relatively short 110mm travel enables GT to sit the Helion low to the ground, and together with the well-balanced suspension weight it’s a naturally grounded feeling bike.

The lack of thru-axle doesn’t stop the raidon fork working well:
Russell Burton

The lack of thru-axle doesn’t stop the Raidon fork working well

This secure feeling is enhanced by its unique suspension action. The key feature in terms of suspension reaction is that the joint between the front and rear frame halves is higher than a normal suspension setup. It can swing backwards and upwards away from a frontal impact (boulder/step/root) much more easily than a low pivot.

Normally this increased backward and upward swing would cause massive pedal pull back, directly opposing suspension function and power transmission and causing pedal bob or choke problems. However, the cranks are mounted on a separate section, sitting between the central mainframe pivot and the junction with the rear frame at the bottom. The shock is squeezed between the top of this independent section and the mainframe. Because the crank moves backwards roughly half the distance of the axle as the shock compresses the effect on pedalling and suspension is also roughly halved.

The Independent suspension reaction amplifies smoothness over small bumps and rough patches, creating a remarkably floated ride for a bike at this price. Wallop something big flat out and the back end copes much better than you’d expect for a 110mm bike. With the transmission only semi connected from the whole shock absorbing process you can keep cranking to top the speed up without getting a beating through your feet or interrupting impact composure.

The x-fusion rear shock is supple and controlled:
Russell Burton

The X-Fusion rear shock is supple and controlled

The Raidon fork coped well with a range of rubble and trouble too, which is a good job as the rear suspension tends to keep the whole bike glued down rather than waving its front wheel in the air. Add the sorted handling and rear end stiffness and the GT swerves and flows through everything from rolling singletrack to techy trails with enthusiasm and more control than you’d get from a hardtail or most suspension bikes at this price.

The constant midsection movement does create a slight ‘rubber chain’ softness underfoot when you really put the power down but the consistent trail connection gives the Helion outstanding traction. This gives it fine technical climbing ability on challenging sections and bagged it significant summits during testing despite its speed rather than grip focused WTB rubber. On smoother trails or fire roads you can engage the remote control fork and shock mounted rear lockout for a solid pedalling platform.

Climbing ability is impressive, both on smoother trails and technical ascents:
Russell Burton

Climbing ability is impressive, both on smoother trails and technical ascents

Considering the frame complexity and low cost it’s not as heavy as you’d expect. Though it’s not exactly light either, those fast rolling WTBs stoke its speed and your ego nicely so you’re not longing for a hardtail as soon as the trail heads upwards.

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There are detail issues, such as Alivio shifters restricting it to a nine-speed block despite SLX derailleurs, and stuck on rather than lock-on grips (as in the online specs). But given the ride we’d be happy to overlook easily upgraded details if it was our wallet we were opening.

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SolarWinds Integrates Web Help Desk and DameWare(R) Remote Support to Accelerate IT Ticket Resolution – The Korea Bizwire

SolarWinds introduced new integration between SolarWinds Web Help Desk and DameWare Remote Support, empowering IT Pros to provide fast and direct IT incident support and reduce overall end-user performance disruption wherever end-users are working. (image: DameWare)

SolarWinds introduced new integration between SolarWinds Web Help Desk and DameWare Remote Support, empowering IT Pros to provide fast and direct IT incident support and reduce overall end-user performance disruption wherever end-users are working. (image: DameWare)

press-release-notification

Enhanced IT Help Desk Ticketing Software Features New Capabilities for Delivering Live Technical Support for Remote End-Users, Asset Reporting and Documentation, Helping IT Pros Meet Rising Business Expectations and Bolstering Them With Critical IT Performance and Trend Data

AUSTIN, TX, Dec. 9 (Korea Bizwire) – SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI), a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT performance management software, today introduced new integration between SolarWinds Web Help Desk and DameWare Remote Support, empowering IT Pros to provide fast and direct IT incident support and reduce overall end-user performance disruption wherever end-users are working.

As end-user expectations for optimal IT performance are on the rise and IT departments are tasked with delivering near-immediate problem resolution, businesses are also becoming more global and mobile, increasingly supporting teleworking and travel to meet business needs. In a 2014 HDI survey of over 1,300 IT support center respondents, remote support was cited as the top technology needed to provide successful end-user desktop support, with 43 percent of organizations resolving half of their IT tickets remotely in 2014.

SolarWinds Web Help Desk and DameWare Remote Support, currently supporting over 25,000 organizations collectively, now integrate to allow IT Pros to remotely access and control end-users’ Windows, Linux, and Mac OS devices and immediately address their IT problems, all while recording ticket details including chat transcripts, asset status and other data to reduce downtime and optimize long-term business performance.

“IT Pros require direct access to the end-users’ devices to investigate and resolve their problems quickly and they need an automated solution for keeping track of those IT incidents and assets,” said Chris LaPoint, vice president of product management, SolarWinds. “SolarWinds Web Help Desk and DameWare Remote Support seamlessly integrate with the goal of solving end-user problems faster and enabling the automatic storage of IT incident resolution metrics; in this way, IT is able to provide unique insight into a business’ problem areas and apply appropriate tech solutions to fix them.”

SolarWinds Web Help Desk and DameWare Remote Support integration highlights
With the new integration between SolarWinds Web Help Desk and DameWare Report Support, IT Pros are able to launch remote support sessions directly from tickets and asset reports, essentially providing onsite support delivery for end-users working from home or on the go. IT Pros can:

  • Connect with a remote end-user’s computer or server directly from an automated support ticket or from an asset management record
  • Store critical information from completed support sessions into the ticket log and asset data, including chat transcripts, screenshots and data such as remote access duration

In addition, SolarWinds Web Help Desk features new asset reporting for easy monitoring of business-critical metrics including time-to-resolution and end-user satisfaction, enabling IT Pros to:

  • Maintain reports on assets, both hardware and software, for records, audit trails or to identify weak spots within an infrastructure
  • Generate reports about assets both at the aggregate and single-system levels, filtered by OS or model, location, incidents, warranty expirations and more

SolarWinds Web Help Desk features automated help desk ticketing for streamlined IT service management from request to resolution with rule-based routing and escalation, real-time tracking and SLA alerts, simplified IT asset management, tracking and reporting. Pricing starts at $695.

DameWare Remote Support provides remote access to Windows, Linux and Mac OS X desktops, laptops and servers for remote troubleshooting and management of servers and workstations. Admins can reboot systems; start and stop services and processes; copy or delete files; view and clear event logs; manage multiple AD domains, users and groups; remotely reset passwords; and gain access to Windows computers from iOS and Android mobile devices. Pricing starts at $349.

Pricing for both products includes the first year of maintenance. For more information, including a downloadable, free evaluation, visit the SolarWinds website or call 866.530.8100.

Additional Resources:

About SolarWinds
SolarWinds (NYSE:
SWI) provides powerful and affordable IT management software to customers worldwide from Fortune 500® enterprises to small businesses. In all of our market areas, our approach is consistent. We focus exclusively on IT Pros and strive to eliminate the complexity that they have been forced to accept from traditional enterprise software vendors. SolarWinds delivers on this commitment with unexpected simplicity through products that are easy to find, buy, use and maintain while providing the power to address any IT management problem on any scale. Our solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base, which interacts in our thwack® online community to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly participate in our product development process. Learn more today at http://www.solarwinds.com/.

SolarWinds, SolarWinds.com and thwack are registered trademarks of SolarWinds. All other company and product names mentioned are used only for identification purposes and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

 

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Nicole Fachet
Text100
Phone: 212.871.3950
NicoleF@text100.com


Courtney Cantwell
SolarWinds
Phone: 512.682.9692
pr@solarwinds.com

Source: SolarWinds via GLOBE NEWSWIRE

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