Thread: Helix Update?
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Old 02-11-18, 05:15 PM
  #921  
smallboats
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I have been waiting for availability of the Helix folding bike since first reading about it in 2015. When the Kickstarter funding campaign was announced I considered participation. My personal experience with funding failures and actual scams on Kickstarter and Indiegogo led me to decide to wait for retail availability of the Helix. My interest in this bike brought me to this website and this thread.

The Helix is a brilliant design. It is very compact when folded, with the frame inside the footprint of the wheels, and due to its normally sized wheels the bike should ride like a normal bike. When folded, both wheels are in parallel and locked together hub-to-hub, making rolling it around in the folded position easy, no trolley wheels needed. Using modern components, disc brakes and standard bicycle parts makes customizing the bike an easy process. There are, however, a few engineering concerns.

The front hinge fork lock hopefully uses a spring to maintain constant clockwise rotational pressure to keep the lock from vibrating loose, or vibrating to the open position.

The rear swing arm will be loose and rattling with the current design. The rear latch does not pull the swing arm tight against the frame. It only prevents it from swinging open. Because of this design, the play in the rear helical hinge and the play in the retaining latch will create a shaky and rattling bike. With mild engineering revisions this can be resolved.

The contractor who fabricated the bicycle seen on the Helix website has pictures of the parts they built: htps://www.protolabs.com/resources/case-studies/helix-bikes/ <--Link broken: I am a new poster. Add a 't' to https

As has been discussed by others, the numbers donít work. This bike cannot be manufactured and sold at a profit for anywhere close to the pricing originally offered. This bike utilizes complex hinge parts that cannot be manufactured at a low price if made out of titanium. It was a poor choice to go with titanium, also addressed by others in this thread. With no products being sold by Helix, the developer is out of money or on his way to being out of money. With no money and no products being sold, this is a non-sustainable venture.

I donít see this funding campaign as a KickScam. It is a KickFail due to unrealistic price projections, obvious manufacturing challenges and inept project management. The Helix folding bike is a great design backed by good intensions from a person who is way out of his skill set. The developer is aware of this thread. This is good, as this means he will eventually read this post. It is my hope that he soon pulls the plug and walks away from this failure with lessons learned and partners with an overseas manufacturer to construct a revised design using more appropriate materials.

I very much want to purchase a Helix, and I am prepared to spend $3,000 retail. Waiting three years for a bicycle has forced me to look elsewhere. There is nothing else on the market like the Helix, so I am back to looking at non-folding bikes.
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