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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Winthrop, WA. Methow valley
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    Any Beta on BD Helio 116?

    Might have a chance to get on them at the NW demo at Bachelor next week but the whole mountain melted a couple of days ago so it is going to be bullet proof at best. Wondering if anyone has any time and feedback on them in their natal environ? Currently in the market for a wider touring board.

    LT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    I have limited time on them. They seem very nimble and snappy. The ski has more of a spine than expected. Reminds me of a turnier more forgiving w105.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Top o Parleys
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    Not the 116, but I just got done touring for a week on the helio 105. Let me know if you re interested in my thoughts on those.
    sigless.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Winthrop, WA. Methow valley
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    basinB,

    Yes, inquiring minds want to know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Top o Parleys
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    Allright then. I bought the 185cm Helio 105 just before a trip up to Canada for a week of hiking. Boots are Scarpa Maestrale RS, and bindings are BD vipec 12.
    I was looking for something that would work well at home here in Utah for hiking, and pow, and really wanted a lighter setup that my previous. First off, these tour fabulously well. We hiked in everything from soft pow, to windfuct styrofoam going up to the peaks. The edge hold going up was great, several people busted out ski crampons, I never felt the need with the strong ability to hold an edge. Did I mention they are light? They are light.

    On the down, they ski quite well in smooth soft snow, they are shorter than what I ski in bounds, and narrower, and lighter, so they don't have as much power, but that is the trade off for light. They like to go fast on smooth snow, but they do get bounced around a bit if you are going through choppy snow. We often started our days off dropping the same little pitch before fanning out and heading off to where we were going to go for the day. And in that skied up chop, they just were not powerful enough. All was soon forgotten though as the skins went on and we started climbing. In soft untracked snow, they also were a lot of fun, they liked to open up and go fast, and would make nice big turns, but also turned well in the trees.
    For what it is worth, I am 6'2" 190lbs in my birthday suit.
    I plan on keeping them a while.

    Let me know if you have any specific questions I'll answer as best I can.

    Here is my setup underneath my buddy.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    sigless.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Methow Valley
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    464
    My only question would be: WTF is going on in that photo?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Top o Parleys
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    hahaha, dude rippin his skin ate it and landed on my gear. But did he give up? No!
    sigless.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    107
    Ive got a pair of the 186's and so far for a dedicated pow ski they are great. Yup the tips are pretty soft, but I've mostly skied on bibbys as my old touring set up. The lightest ski I've ever owned. paired with the mohair mix and some speed radicals and they are a dream on the legs. tips have just the right angle of rocker making trail breaking easier, without being overly upturned. Underfoot and the tails are much stiffer and just damp enough that there isn't chatter are harder snow. any size turn they can handle though I have not really tested out their speed limit though hoping to get onto some big steep stuff up here in Idaho if it ever stops snowing. Have not taken them out on any days with gnarly conditions. for reference I'm 6' 200lbs using mtn lab boots. Quality really impressed compared to years past skis BD has made. The move from China to the Blizzard factory paid off. Personally I wished they were a tad stiffer in the tips but otherwise no complaints.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    57
    I skied the Helio 105 all last season and they have been my favorite touring board of all time. The performance to weight ratio is hard to beat and I really like the more traditional shape with just the right amount of tip rocker. They will chatter on hardpack or ice and will definitely get tossed in choppy snow, but they handle the vast majority of BC snow really well.

    I bought the Helio 116 this season as a quiver addition, but so far have skied these around 30 days and the 105s only a couple - mainly when I want a lighter ski. In anything soft, the 116s are just so much fun. They feel a lot like the 105s, just more float and surf. I wouldn't say it's an aggressive ski but it feels pretty stout for the weight (like the 105). Have skied them in powder 90% of the time (it's been an epic winter) but the few times in variable BC snow they did great. I took a few runs on them in bounds on firm snow and they did surprisingly well. A bit of chatter but less than expected for a super light 116 waisted ski.

    I'm not the best ski reviewer, but I know what I like and I love the Helio 105 and 116. I'm 6', 190#, and ski the TLT6P.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    184
    Quote Originally Posted by ccl View Post

    I'm not the best ski reviewer, but I know what I like and I love the Helio 105 and 116. I'm 6', 190#, and ski the TLT6P.
    helpful.

    what lengths in the 105 & 116 ?

    had you had any time on the previous Convert or Megawatt as a comparison?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    57
    I have the 185/6 in both. I have generally skied a 180 and have enjoyed the extra length. They still feel quick enough but have more stability.

    Skied the Convert and Carbon Convert extensively, the latter for 1.5 seasons. I really enjoyed the Carbon Convert, very fun and playful in powder but the heavily rockered tip and tail made them less versatile. They had a low speed limit and in steep ski mountaineering terrain you needed to be super centered as there was little front or back seat in them. The Helio series feels more traditional, and while you lose some playfulness, they are higher performance skis with more versatility.

    Actually bought the Carbon Megawatt but sold them before I ever mounted them. They felt pretty flimsy and at the time decided I didn't need/want something that one dimensional.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    57
    Also, I have the Helio 105 mounted with a radical toe and plum race heel. With BD ultralight skins, it is a remarkably light and fun rig!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Golden
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    Any more thoughts after a season on the 116s? Any bigger guys skiing the 186...enough ski? Mount on the line?
    Drive slow, homie.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
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    No info to add, but picked up a pair of the 186 116's this summer. Wish they had a ~181 length but was afraid to go with the 176 for carrying a pack.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Simi Valley, CA
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    Just got a pair of used 178 Lotus 120's spoons and compared them to the 186 Helio 116. Surprisingly the Helio is only 1.5cm longer at the tip, but 8cm longer at the tail, so a more forward mount (and clearly the DPS must be shorter than the stated length). The Helio has longer, more gradual tip rocker, and longer yet mild tail rocker.

    186 Helio weighs in at ~1,620g each, while the 178 Lotus is 1,800g +/- 43g (yeah, a surprising 86g difference between skis). Lotus is naturally quite a bit stiffer, especially through the tail - the 189 must be a beast. Both look like fun skis for sure, guessing the little Lotus is a bushwhacking charger and the Helio more mellow and friendly, especially on the up being ~200g lighter.
    FS: NIB G3 Ion Crampons, all widths
    FS: 1/4" Toe Shims for G3 Ion, aluminum

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    The Chicken Coop, Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1000-oaks View Post
    the 189 must be a beast.
    It is. The tail feels like an I beam.
    wait!!!! waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait...Wait!
    Zoolander wasn't a documentary?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    Any more thoughts after a season on the 116s? Any bigger guys skiing the 186...enough ski? Mount on the line?
    Iíve got the same questions as Z and
    would love to hear any feedback on this ski. Iím on 184 Salomon Q bc Labs for touring and am considering something else - Iíd like something in a similar weight class around 115 underfoot and can hold up to aggressive skiing. Helio might fit the bill?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    57
    I skied a fair bit last season on the Helio 116 186cm. Theyíre actually for sale in the Gear Swap forum. Iím 190 pounds/6í.

    I really liked them and the only reason Iím selling them is to pay for some new boots and we donít get enough snow that theyíre really justified. I ski the Helio 105 as my daily driver.

    Just like the 105, the 116 skis incredibly well for its weight. I ski these with TLT6Ps and am definitely not a charger, but Iíll get aggressive on occasion and push the speed limit when conditions warrant. These skis have performed great in all soft Backcountry conditions. Theyíre definitely no noodle. I skied a few runs in a resort and was surprised that these didnít totally fall apart on form snow. They ride a great balance between surfy/floaty and a more traditional feel. But they are light - so have reasonable expectations.

    They do not ski long. I skied a 50* narrow couloir in variable conditions and was very surprised how easy they were to ski. I thought I was in for a struggle fest but not at all.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Golden
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    6,250
    Quote Originally Posted by thefortrees View Post
    I’ve got the same questions as Z and
    would love to hear any feedback on this ski. I’m on 184 Salomon Q bc Labs for touring and am considering something else - I’d like something in a similar weight class around 115 underfoot and can hold up to aggressive skiing. Helio might fit the bill?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I've got about 5 days of non-aggressive (passive?) skiing on them so far. They ski the mellow pow very well and are SO light for a fat ski.

    The 186 is as long as other 190s I have and with the tail fairly flat I'm hopeful they'll ski longer than a 186cm, but I haven't formed much of an opinion yet.

    I'm guessing they'll ski like junk at the ski area, too light and twitchy.
    Drive slow, homie.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    73
    Yes need more beta Iím torn between this ski and the Qst 106 as my dedicated touring ski. Need something to ski Sierra pow all the way through spring corn. Would sacrifice functionality in spring conditions, for the float of the 116. Or do anyone you think the Qst 106 would be good enough in Pow. Currently ski a 115mm waist ski in all conditions. Help??


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    [a] Van [down by the river]
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    1,147
    Seemingly two very different skis... for the size the qst 106 weighs a lot more than lets say... the helio 105.

    I had the helio 105... QST skied way better.

    Remember that the helio line skis VERY well for their weight... it doesn't mean they ski VERY well. They are great skis, but they arguably fall under the ultralight category. I was on freedoms last year with them and consistently overpowered the skis in anything but the softest/smoothest snow.

    I'd go QST if I was you...

    for reference, replaced the helios with ravens.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    202
    I skied last season on the 116 and was generally happy. You have to expect that they are going to get tossed a bit in chop and tracked up stuff just based on weight but they weren't complete pushovers, either. I mounted a couple cm back and can't image going forward of that but I'm old school and lean more on my tips out of habit. Even back, the 186 did not feel long or unwieldy in any way - the swing weight is still crazy low.

    In fresh pow, they're really fun and float better than the 185 Mtn Labs (according to a friend who just mounted back a bit to avoid tip dive). They're also light enough that I ended up using them a lot for spring duty last year. The prevailing wisdom is that you don't need fat skis in the spring. While it's nice to be able to get up on the edges easier in firm, techy terrain and corn is fun on, well, anything, there's rarely a spring day where I don't find myself skiing mush at some point and the wide skis really help there. Sometimes you nail the timing and/or you're not skiing enough vert for conditions to change due to elevation but it's nice to have the wide planks when things get a little squishy. YMMV.

    Overall: the weight and width make them really versatile but they're not the best at anything, especially not chop/crud. For short tours or hiking up Glory, I'll take something heavier for a smoother ride in most conditions.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Golden
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    Quote Originally Posted by phattypowpow View Post
    I skied last season on the 116 and was generally happy. You have to expect that they are going to get tossed a bit in chop and tracked up stuff just based on weight but they weren't complete pushovers, either. I mounted a couple cm back and can't image going forward of that but I'm old school and lean more on my tips out of habit. Even back, the 186 did not feel long or unwieldy in any way - the swing weight is still crazy low.

    In fresh pow, they're really fun and float better than the 185 Mtn Labs (according to a friend who just mounted back a bit to avoid tip dive). They're also light enough that I ended up using them a lot for spring duty last year. The prevailing wisdom is that you don't need fat skis in the spring. While it's nice to be able to get up on the edges easier in firm, techy terrain and corn is fun on, well, anything, there's rarely a spring day where I don't find myself skiing mush at some point and the wide skis really help there. Sometimes you nail the timing and/or you're not skiing enough vert for conditions to change due to elevation but it's nice to have the wide planks when things get a little squishy. YMMV.

    Overall: the weight and width make them really versatile but they're not the best at anything, especially not chop/crud. For short tours or hiking up Glory, I'll take something heavier for a smoother ride in most conditions.
    How far back did you go? I went back 1cm of the farthest back line, almost thinking I should have gone back more....
    Drive slow, homie.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    How far back did you go? I went back 1cm of the farthest back line, almost thinking I should have gone back more....
    X2, haven't drilled mine yet, appreciate the recommendations.
    FS: NIB G3 Ion Crampons, all widths
    FS: 1/4" Toe Shims for G3 Ion, aluminum

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    202
    Looks like I only went 1cm behind the the BC (0) line. Don't know if going further back would feel better or weird. For the record, I mount pretty much all my skis behind the recommended line which has been creeping further and further forward with new ski designs and techniques the last several years. When I don't, I usually end up remounting despite the manufacturers theoretically knowing what's best. While tip dive may or may not be a problem on some skis, I have no patience for long tails getting hung up in weird snow, even if they're rockered. Just personal preference, of course.

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