We have a variety of spring rates, designed for riders ranging from 90lbs to 240lbs. Here is a quick reference guide:
35lb spring - AAG0421 RED - (90-120lbs rider)
45lb spring - AAG0422 BLACK - (120-160lbs rider)
55lb spring - AAG0424 GREEN - (160-200lbs rider) ** Stock Spring in Helm Coil
65lb spring - AAG0426 BLUE - (200-240lbs rider)
With changes in internal travel amount, rider positioning on the bicycle, bicycle head angle, and rider ability/style, spring rates will vary. Factoring in rider weight means that the guide above is just that; a guide. It can’t with 100% certainty predict what any rider will prefer, because there are several other variables to be factored in.
For riders that are on the cusp of two spring sizes and can’t decide which one is more appropriate, there are some guidelines you can use to help you find the best results. With any spring, whether it be coil, air, linear, or progressive, there are always tradeoffs that the rider will make, no matter how much they weigh, and picking the “best” spring rate is about knowing those tradeoffs and comparing them to your own personal preference.
In the case of a linear coil spring, the main value it provides is that it can help dissipate force in a more consistent range of the suspension travel. Where an air spring might move through the first 30% of the travel quite easily, and then spread the majority of the force of an impact out over the next 30% of the travel, a linear coil spring will evenly spread that impact out over the entire 60% of the travel. The big advantage of this, and the reason you’ll hear so many companies explain that their air spring “feels like a coil” is because this trait results in riding higher in the travel and maintaining bike geometry, while at the same time giving a grippier more plush ride. Modern air springs like those found in the Helm MK II Air are fantastic, and the difference is less drastic than it used to be, but for some riders, it’s still a noticeable distinction in feel and a reason to get the Helm Coil.
The tradeoff is that with a coil, the only way to reliably prevent bottom outs is to make adjustments to the compression, or change spring rates. More advanced riders may find that they’re willing to give up a little bit of “plushness” on bump absorption for the ability to have a stiffer fork that resists bottom outs more effectively - so a pro level 150lb rider may find the green spring works better for them. Likewise, a more novice rider weighing 170lbs that prefers the control and feel that a super plush fork gives them may find that the black spring gives them a superior ride quality.
Because of this, spring choice is going to be a value judgement that each rider has to make on their own based on their own preferences. Spending more time on flow trails and jump lines? A stiffer spring will give more support for the bigger hits and pumping the terrain. Spending more time on technical rocky and rooty trails? A softer spring will likely result in better traction and a smoother feel at the handlebars.
If you have more specific questions pertaining to your own setup, don’t hesitate to reach out!