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Helix Update?

Old 02-22-19, 04:10 PM
  #1776  
unterhausen
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I cleaned up. If your post is mostly about another bikforums.net member, it probably runs afoul of the rules. Not sure this thread is even needed anymore, but let's keep it civil
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Old 02-22-19, 04:13 PM
  #1777  
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On the issue of this thread still being needed.....
We're awaiting reviews from buyers as they receive their bikes.
We have many questions, answers to which will affect feedback to Helix,
future purchasers who are undecided, & our plans to buy accessories.


On the issue of rolling a folded Helix, this is what the website has shown & still shows...
The combination of side-by-side folding and our patent
pending helical hinges allow Helix to be folded with ease.
Once folded, it can be rolled on its own wheels and has
an integrated stand for when you stop.
I'm curious if any buyers have tried this with their bikes?

Last edited by Revoltingest; 02-22-19 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 02-22-19, 04:31 PM
  #1778  
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Am I right in thinking you work for Helix in some capacity? I’m referring to your last paragraph under your heading Easier to use, where you talk about « our patent pendng helical hinges » , which certainly implies you do.

Forgive le if that is being cynical, but it wouldn’t be the first time forums have been used to promote a product.

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Old 02-22-19, 04:37 PM
  #1779  
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
Am I right in thinking you work for Helix in some capacity? I’m referring to your last paragraph under your heading Easier to use, where you talk about « our patent pendng helical hinges » , which certainly implies you do.

Forgive le if that is being cynical, but it wouldn’t be the first time forums have been used to promote a product.















I copied & pasted text directly from the Helix site.
This was because of the question about rolling on 2 wheels or 1.
So, no....I do not work for them.
My only connection is having ordered one bike.

Moreover, if they ever hired the likes of me, I'd immediately cancel my order.
(I'm too far past my prime to be of use to anyone. Hiring me would show terrible judgment.)

I edited my earlier post to more clearly indicate it was quoted from their site.

Last edited by Revoltingest; 02-22-19 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 02-22-19, 04:44 PM
  #1780  
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You sound far too cultured to be thrown out on the scrapheap of age! Write to them, and offer your services . You should be good for at least $100 per hour.
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Old 02-22-19, 04:49 PM
  #1781  
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
You sound far too cultured to be thrown out on the scrapheap of age! Write to them, and offer your services . You should be good for at least $100 per hour.



These days, I only work for free....if it's a good cause.
That's actually what the bike is for, ie, transportation around vast museum
complexes (historic engines) where I volunteer. The roads are bad, grass
or gravel, hence my wanting to upgrade from 20" to 24" wheels.
And the Helix is just too cool for school with all that fiddly titanium going on.
The gearheads will love it.

Last edited by Revoltingest; 02-22-19 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 02-22-19, 08:31 PM
  #1782  
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Originally Posted by Revoltingest View Post
I picked up a Travoy on ebay for hauling light loads around behind my new
beast of burden, the Helix. It collapses to a small size, & looks like it will be
more versatile & better handling better than my old Bob Yak.
But the Yak was good for things like a small drill press.
What do you think of the seat post hitch vs the axle hitch?
I like the seat post hitch - on my Dahon Mu Uno, I can actually attach the Travoy with my seatpost rack underneath and hang panniers....load that sucker up, lol. I know Burley makes a "rack" hitch but having the Travoy attached up a bit higher reduces the footprint which is already long due to the smaller tires. Attaching lower to the rack or axle makes a much longer footprint. If that matters to you - it does to me when I'm clearing intersections.
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Old 02-22-19, 08:37 PM
  #1783  
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Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
. You can make a standard steel brompton as light as 16-17lbs without spending too much.
Uh, you must have an interesting idea of "not too much". The single speed titanium is what, 22 lbs stock. Before you drop 5 pounds off it somehow and at some price, you need to add in weight for some gearing to be more or less equivalent with the other lightweight bikes mentioned. With Brommie, you're capped out at 6 but that probably adds what, at least 2 pounds? So now you've got to go from 24 down to 17 "without spending too much". Seven pound drop cheaply, I don't think so.
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Old 02-22-19, 10:36 PM
  #1784  
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You'll drop 7 lbs. from a Brompton if you change seatpost, saddle, bar, levers, rims, front hub, cranks, bottom bracket, front clip, and hinge levers. On a bike that starts at $2500. Easy!
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Old 02-22-19, 11:22 PM
  #1785  
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And just the seatpost for the Brompton is $200 USD in titanium, not exactly inexpensive. Sure you can do it, but it costs big bucks. Folks who bought a Helix got one hell of a bargain imo, and the changes they need to make to drop weight aren't all super expensive, just some of them.
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Old 02-22-19, 11:55 PM
  #1786  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Uh, you must have an interesting idea of "not too much". The single speed titanium is what, 22 lbs stock. Before you drop 5 pounds off it somehow and at some price, you need to add in weight for some gearing to be more or less equivalent with the other lightweight bikes mentioned. With Brommie, you're capped out at 6 but that probably adds what, at least 2 pounds? So now you've got to go from 24 down to 17 "without spending too much". Seven pound drop cheaply, I don't think so.

Actually now we can do that thanks to cheap aftermarket titanium, carbon and CNC aluminium parts.

Steel frame + fork + rear triangle + handlepost weighs around 4.2kg, Full titanium setup weighs around 2.5kg.

I have built a full titanium Brompton clone that weighs 12.7lbs. If I just transfer parts to steel Brompton frameset, it will be ~7.5kg or 16.5lbs.

And if you start from superlight version with titanium fork and rear triangle, it will be ~6.8kg or 15lbs.


For gearing, many forks are now using 3 cogs (11-14-19T for example) or even 4 cogs (11-13-17-21T) now, which somewhat helps the gearing problem.



Originally Posted by linberl View Post
And just the seatpost for the Brompton is $200 USD in titanium, not exactly inexpensive. Sure you can do it, but it costs big bucks. Folks who bought a Helix got one hell of a bargain imo, and the changes they need to make to drop weight aren't all super expensive, just some of them.

It is indeed quite puzzling why they included a very expensive to make titanium seatpost - it's not even a standard design and needs additional welding point.


That said, now you can get a two bolt titanium seatpost for brompton (31.8x580mm) for around $80 shipped.

Of course it is way more expensive than aluminium one with similar weight (I got one at $20 shipped!)

And much lighter carbon fiber one is now around $40-50. I am using two of them, one for the titanium Brompton clone and one for TSR.
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Old 02-22-19, 11:56 PM
  #1787  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
24.5 lbs. for a 10-speed ti bike is ridiculous, regardless of wheel size. This is not what Helix was presented as.
I 100% agree with you. I have conversations in my inbox from 2015 with Peter claiming that the 22 pound maximum weight limit was with gears. I don't see how this has evolved to denials and iterations that this acclaimed weight was only with a fixed gear bicycle. A fixed gear bike was not in the cards at the beginning. So yes, I am disappointed. The Helix was supposed to be the lightest multi-gear folding bicycle in the world. I am not hating on Helix. I'm just disappointed with the final product as is but I do believe over the next few years improvements will be made and we will all get the bicycle we were promised. Helix breaks the mold of folding bicycles. We just need to give it time to mature.
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Old 02-23-19, 12:31 AM
  #1788  
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I thought Hummingbird was supposed to be the lightest....8.2kg with IGH.
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Old 02-23-19, 12:39 AM
  #1789  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I thought Hummingbird was supposed to be the lightest....8.2kg with IGH.
Chedech ss version is also around 6.8kg and folds as small as Brompton.
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Old 02-23-19, 12:54 AM
  #1790  
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You can't promote your product as lightest in a market where lightest would be a massive selling point, then it's not even close. I had all the doubts about Peter ever getting a functional titanium folding bike to his investors, but one thing that never occurred to me is he would do it and miss the light part!
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Old 02-23-19, 02:27 AM
  #1791  
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I'm not convinced that lightness is the key. I'm guessing that most people have non-folding bikes as well, so their folding bikes perform a commute or shopping function. I realise there are folding bike fanatics, but most buy for practical purposes.

For me, because I use the folder for the supermarket run plus touring, the weight is less of a concern. I do take the bike touring, but only because they're less hassle to put on aircraft, and are, though it seems we'll all be using the past tense shortly, often free. Same with trains, though buses are beginning to charge. Anyway, weight really isn't a concern, the greater one is that folders in some countries are the subject of much interest, and you do wonder about the availability of spares and theft.

Size of fold is important, of course, but I don't see the Helix as being significantly better than what is already out there, in fact, fold size looks much larger than the Brompton, particularly as most Brompton owners know quite a few handy dodges. These may come, but the manufacturers claim that the Helix folds to 23" I find nonsense, even though they attempt to explain why. You only have to look at the photo to see it does not fold down to the size of its wheels. Besides? I find this piece of justification particularly jarring concerning the wheel: "To try and keep things simple, the bicycle industry calls it a 24" wheel." Funny that ETRTO is not mentioned in this context. Also, the tyres are Kenda - what happens if you switch to another brand?

I've mentioned before that the future for Helix is probably in the direction of Dahon or similar, although the buyer will probably wait until the bugs are ironed out. Even then, that is by no means assured: I strongly doubt that Helix as it stands will be making a profit within the next 5 years, so its chances of survival may be limited, especially as the global economy appears to be heading for a downturn. Even if it doesn't do this, why would owners of any folding bike want this one? Bikes generally last a long time. As to electric, I sincerely hope people wake up soon. They definitely have a future, but perhaps less than it seems at present. An electric folding bike? Why bother. Those scooter things are smaller, whizz round cities at a great rate, although often on the pavement which is a future problem.

Finally, you can hire bikes in most larger cities in Europe now, whether they're Vélib or similar, which you can find in many places, or in the bike shops. Yes, this bicycle will certainly fit the commuting/boat holiday/caravanning niche.

Please note that this post is a probably unsuccessful attempt to counter the enthusiasm that future owners use to describe a bike they haven't even seen in the flesh yet. Yes, I am a Brompton owner, but use it almost exclusively for shopping. I have another folder, the Brompton-inspired copy, but that is in Thailand and used once a year by me, but possibly more often by guests. For tours here I use the Bianchi, and for fitness the Time. The latter two are much better, and faster, to cycle.

Anyway, I'm out of here. Despite my criticisms, I'm sure you'll get value from your bikes, and I wish both owners and the manufacturer well.
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Old 02-23-19, 03:11 AM
  #1792  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
You can't promote your product as lightest in a market where lightest would be a massive selling point, then it's not even close. I had all the doubts about Peter ever getting a functional titanium folding bike to his investors, but one thing that never occurred to me is he would do it and miss the light part!
You make a good point. The final production Helix 10spd is just over 11kg. The KS campaign projected just over 9.5kg. I very am disappointed by this.

So many of the preceding posts highlight how the Helix is not the best in x or y or z or how some other bike is better in x or y or z. They are missing the point. The appeal of the Helix, for me at least, is the balance of x and y and z, not that it is the pinnacle of any of those characteristics.

The Helix never was going to be the lightest. Hummingbird would probably represent the sweetspot if i was to prioritise low weight within the balance of other charactics important to me, though even then, price and folded size are outside my preferences.

The Helix never was going to be the smallest. Brompton has a great balance of characteristics prioritising folded size. But Helix is small enough when folded.

The Helix does appear to be very usable. It has a very easy fold with no disassembly/reassembly required, on a par with Brompton. It rolls on it's own front wheel when folded, and according to the first and only review posted, rides well feeling smoother than the reviewer's 20" folders on rough ground, is light and responsive and 'a good climber' i.e. dicernably stiff and direct in drive with no squishy bits involved in the frame and fits a rider of my size. We'll see what more comprehensive reviews say and my own experience brings, but these are the characteristics which, in my expectation, make Helix stand out. Not to say that other bikes don't exhibit some of these characteristics, just not all of them in combination, together with such a compact fold, a manageable weight and that price point.

The bike will probably get significantly lighter in later iterations. At this stage, I'm content to just to get it soon. The bike may get pricier or they may go out business. Both would be a shame. Time will tell, but at a minimum I hope all backer sand pre-orderers get their bike.
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Old 02-23-19, 03:36 AM
  #1793  
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Originally Posted by Gibsonsean View Post
Hummingbird would probably represent the sweetspot if i was to prioritise low weight within the balance of other charactics important to me, though even then, price and folded size are outside my preferences.
-Both chedech bike (a full carbon clone of Brompton) or custom built full titanium Brompton clone are among the lightest (<15lbs or less) AND folds as small as Brompton without disassembly.

-Both Montague and Changebike framesets accept 27.5" / 700c full sized wheelset and strong enough for mountain biking. They can be rolled on front wheel too.
And they are fairly lightweight and can be easily built into ~16lbs hybrid bike or ~18lbs light mountain bike.


Helix in theory can be good enough for both, but we will see.
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Old 02-23-19, 09:35 AM
  #1794  
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Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
-Both chedech bike (a full carbon clone of Brompton) or custom built full titanium Brompton clone are among the lightest (<15lbs or less) AND folds as small as Brompton without disassembly.
chedech is a good price ($2k) at the lower end but carbon a worry for rough and tumble of public and car transport.
ti brommie all in is not cheap ($3-4k) and a hassle to pull together. Ultimately genuine Brommies are fine and if I really needed the bike in the interim, that is what i would have gone for.
Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
-Both Montague and Changebike framesets accept 27.5" / 700c full sized wheelset and strong enough for mountain biking. They can be rolled on front wheel too.
And they are fairly lightweight and can be easily built into ~16lbs hybrid bike or ~18lbs light mountain bike.
I like both but not for commuting due to folded size and fold/unfold faf.
Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
Helix in theory can be good enough for both, but we will see.
There is no other bike I am aware of which promises to cover its range. We will indeed see if practice lives up to theory.
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Old 02-23-19, 10:40 AM
  #1795  
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There's no one way people use bikes and even less commonality in what folks want in a folding bike. My priorities (1) ride/fit quality, 2) carry weight, 3) fold) are not the same as others. Folding bikes which "survive" are ones that can adequately meet most needs and that stand out in at least one area. Brompton stands out in fold, Bike Friday stands out in ride quality (and weight with the Pakit now as low as 12lbs but $$$), etc. If Helix excels in ride quality with all that lovely titanium, and the fold is decent enough, and the weight can be trimmed a bit, it should be around for the long haul. I don't know that the Helix would take customers away from Brompton, but stellar ride quality at a reasonable price could make inroads into Birdy/Dahon/Tern and even Bike Friday markets. Brompton people are like Apple customers, they'll stick with it no matter what.
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Old 02-23-19, 12:36 PM
  #1796  
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Of course I understand weight isn't the end-all/be-all for all folder buyers, but it's pretty much the selling point of titanium..it's the reason you pay for that material. And I stand by my contention that weight is a huge deal for daily commuters who fold and carry several times a day, usually while in a hurry. Helix needs to solve this.
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Old 02-23-19, 01:12 PM
  #1797  
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Do you think it's because he "over built" the tubing? I have to say while I put the titanium parts on my BF for weight reasons, I actually discovered how amazing it is at reducing road vibration and absorbing bumps, more than steel. If I'd had that experience already, I would have done it for that reason alone, weight saving being the bonus. If the Helix is a super ride, do you think buyers will go for it and plan on doing their own weight reduction after (as is pretty common these days)?
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Old 02-23-19, 02:10 PM
  #1798  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Do you think it's because he "over built" the tubing? I have to say while I put the titanium parts on my BF for weight reasons, I actually discovered how amazing it is at reducing road vibration and absorbing bumps, more than steel. If I'd had that experience already, I would have done it for that reason alone, weight saving being the bonus. If the Helix is a super ride, do you think buyers will go for it and plan on doing their own weight reduction after (as is pretty common these days)?
Either that, or he simply underestimated how much the folding mechanisms would kill the weight savings of ti tubes..I see a lotta metal on that bike.

As the owner of a Seven ti road bike I appreciate the ride quality, but I don't think anyone would buy a Seven at steel weight just for the ride. People are going to go into a ti folder as a markedly lighter bike, then lighten it further. Starting from "not very light" is not going to be an easy sell..
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Old 02-23-19, 02:21 PM
  #1799  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Do you think it's because he "over built" the tubing? I have to say while I put the titanium parts on my BF for weight reasons, I actually discovered how amazing it is at reducing road vibration and absorbing bumps, more than steel. If I'd had that experience already, I would have done it for that reason alone, weight saving being the bonus. If the Helix is a super ride, do you think buyers will go for it and plan on doing their own weight reduction after (as is pretty common these days)?
He bought the tubing at the outset and has engineered for durability throighout. As someone highlighted before the frames etc withstood double the duration of testing require to pass and tests usually completed with separate individual samples were passed with a single sample. I think he grossly overshot on the safety front and it is too late to pare back the weight.

He needs to clear the backlogband start earning new money. I'd be suprised if the full retail bike doesn't show some weight savings by the time the backlog is cleared.
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Old 02-24-19, 06:36 AM
  #1800  
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Adding to others' thoughts on why the frame is a little heavy......

- Most bikes use folding joints where the hinges are part of the latch
mechanisms. The Helix frame hinges & latches are entirely separate.
So it's a couple more structural components.
- The handlebar stem hinge has extra meat to fold it farther off to one side.
- The rear triangle is really a cantilever beam, which is structurally
less efficient than a full triangle.
(On the plus side, greater flexibility should give a comfier ride.)
- Components are less spendy, & consequently heavier, than those
found on bikes like a $5000+ Burke.
- The stub axle on the front wheel will weigh more than one
supported at both ends.

I wonder if a future lighter Helix might exist alongside this model,
which could be the Clydesdale model.

Last edited by Revoltingest; 02-24-19 at 08:10 AM.
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