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Helix Update?

Old 01-15-21, 05:51 PM
  #2501  
mkatz
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Originally Posted by Robmac123 View Post
Hi,
No, Im sorry, I cant help with the info on the bars. I had several sets left over from previous folding bikes and other projects and I
m pretty sure I used a set that I already had. I dont have the bike with me to check for a brand or model on the bars, and likely wont be home for several weeks. I dont think the bars had much or any sweep, but I shortened the reach just by rotating them in the stem slightly towards me. It only brought the bars maybe 3/4 towards me, but in combination with the added rise the overall effect on the riding position feels much more significant.
Good luck with your order slot 🤞🏻
Still, thanks. Monday morning I will be an early (west coast time) riser!.
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Old 01-25-21, 08:49 AM
  #2502  
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You can now order an ultralight version of the Helix bike for delivery in April 2021.

What do you guys think?
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Old 01-25-21, 09:37 AM
  #2503  
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If you look at the comparison between the normal and ultralight, the weight reduction is for me mixed.

There are good thing, the transmission for instance with the E13 9-34 cassette.

Strange choice: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-SS max cog = 30t while the cassette is 9-34 ?

And less good thing, the brakes for instance: the Formula brakes are heavier than the TRP mechanical brakes. I have TRP Spire on my Birdy and they are really good, no need of hydraulic brakes.

There are few hydraulic disc brakes weighting less than the TRP Spire and they are very expensive.

The weight saving provided by the lightweight fragile disc rotors is questionable: how long will these disc last, how do they perform wrt. normal discs ?

Last point, more than 500g of the saving comes from the tires and Tubolito which is not that good as these lightweight tires are less robust and the Tubolito not very good.

I tried Tubolito's and had 2 of them that leaked due to manufacturing issues (replaced for free by Tubolito) and the two replacement one eventually had punctures that cannot be fixed because the special patches sold by Tubolito do not hold pressure a long time and Tubolito cannot be repaired with normal glue and patches.

The Donnelly MXP tire is a cyclocross tire, the only 24" tire made by Donnely a small company, and pretty difficult to find a kind of one shot weight saving, when the factory mounted tires must be replaced, the weight saving will probably disappear due to the impossibility to find this Donnelly MXP tire.

So the big weight saving provided by the tires and Tubolito (more than 25% of the total weight difference between the two versions) is a kind of fake weight saving.

Last edited by Jipe; 01-31-21 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 01-29-21, 07:39 PM
  #2504  
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I've sat on the fence about placing an order for a Helix for so long and have finally measured the space in the boot of my car in which it will often reside... then I took another look at the published photos of the bike folded and it has left me wondering if the dimensions can truly be 23X27X10. It is my understanding that the wheel+kenda tire is 23" in diameter. the folded bike photo shows the chainring reaching well outside the tire's space, and the seat reaching about as much above. And, so, my question for today is, are the cited measurements accurate? Am I misjudging something?
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Old 01-30-21, 04:19 AM
  #2505  
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I agree with you, ETRTO507 wheels with 40mm nominal wide tires are about 23" in diameter with the tires mounted (the real diameter depend of the rim width and real tire width).

Based on the picture of the website, the folded size will be about 27x24" (without taking into consideration the stupid seatpost horizontal tube). Close to what is claimed.



Last edited by Jipe; 02-02-21 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 02-01-21, 07:05 PM
  #2506  
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Jipe: Thank you!


I wonder what happened to the "owners' thread"?
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Old 02-02-21, 05:14 AM
  #2507  
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For the saddle/seatpost extension to the rear when folded problem, a solution I use often on other folders is to turn the seatpost 90 degree when folded.

Another issue you should maybe consider if you are a tall guy is the relatively short distance between saddle and handlebar (compared to a Brompton S or Birdy sport for instance).

Last edited by Jipe; 02-02-21 at 05:19 AM.
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Old 02-08-21, 04:56 PM
  #2508  
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Stupid(?) or perhaps naive question: woes anyone worry that next year suitable tires for this bike (507-40 or less) will no longer be available?

Also, Jipe, at 5'5" being too tall is not one of my worries. :-)
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Old 02-09-21, 03:39 AM
  #2509  
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What I mean is that a big part of the weight saving the customer pay for is obtained by the lightweight tire and inner tube that won't last long and aren't replaceable or are fragile.

Last edited by Jipe; 02-09-21 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 02-09-21, 06:53 PM
  #2510  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
If you look at the comparison between the normal and ultralight, the weight reduction is for me mixed.

There are good thing, the transmission for instance with the E13 9-34 cassette.

Strange choice: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-SS max cog = 30t while the cassette is 9-34 ?

And less good thing, the brakes for instance: the Formula brakes are heavier than the TRP mechanical brakes. I have TRP Spire on my Birdy and they are really good, no need of hydraulic brakes.

There are few hydraulic disc brakes weighting less than the TRP Spire and they are very expensive.

The weight saving provided by the lightweight fragile disc rotors is questionable: how long will these disc last, how do they perform wrt. normal discs ?

Last point, more than 500g of the saving comes from the tires and Tubolito which is not that good as these lightweight tires are less robust and the Tubolito not very good.

I tried Tubolito's and had 2 of them that leaked due to manufacturing issues (replaced for free by Tubolito) and the two replacement one eventually had punctures that cannot be fixed because the special patches sold by Tubolito do not hold pressure a long time and Tubolito cannot be repaired with normal glue and patches.

The Donnelly MXP tire is a cyclocross tire, the only 24" tire made by Donnely a small company, and pretty difficult to find a kind of one shot weight saving, when the factory mounted tires must be replaced, the weight saving will probably disappear due to the impossibility to find this Donnelly MXP tire.

So the big weight saving provided by the tires and Tubolito (more than 25% of the total weight difference between the two versions) is a kind of fake weight saving.

Very helpful!

FWIW, Kenda Kwest in 40-507 are "out of stock" in all of the sites I've checked and are not listed on the Kenda site. Perhaps the've been replaced by the Kenda Conversion 40-507, which are available. I'd hate to buy a bike and have it become unusable due to a difficulty in locating replacement tires.
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Old 02-10-21, 04:35 AM
  #2511  
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The Kenda Kwest is (was ?) a city tire while the Konversion is a BMX tire.

Strange, the Konversion on the EU website is heavier than on the US website and has ICAPB protection bbut the .pdf spec-sheet of both websites is the same with ICAPB and heavier weight ?

The pictures of the Ultralight Helix show it with the Kwest tires, not with the Donnely MXP tires.

Seems that there aren't so many orders since its still possible to order and Helix ?

Last edited by Jipe; 02-10-21 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 02-10-21, 03:48 PM
  #2512  
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It would be a shame if the Helix folding bike series were doomed to obsolescence simply because of a decision to base its usage on the availability of a tire size of limited availability. (or, am I "overthinking this?)
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Old 02-10-21, 09:58 PM
  #2513  
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Originally Posted by mkatz View Post
It would be a shame if the Helix folding bike series were doomed to obsolescence simply because of a decision to base its usage on the availability of a tire size of limited availability. (or, am I "overthinking this?)
You've pegged one of the few weaknesses of this bike.

Maybe Helix is in talks with a tire company to create an exclusive line of tires?
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Old 02-11-21, 03:27 AM
  #2514  
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ETRTO507 is a BMX tire size. Most tires are BMX tires not road tires and are wider than 40mm.

Globally, 24" size has always been a mess with at least 3 ETRTO sizes, ETRTO507, ETRTO520 and ETRTO540.

About making custom tires, that's what Brompton is doing with several Schwalbe Brompton special tires but these tires are expensive (50/piece or more) and Brompton is producing more that 50000 bikes per year with a huge amount of existing bikes. Moreover, most of the custom ETRTO349 tires for the Brompton are derived from the same tire in ETRTO355, they are not real new tires just the same tire but 6mm smaller in diameter.
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Old 02-17-21, 07:53 PM
  #2515  
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read on another source:"There was an incident reported to me this weekend of a steerer failure on one of the early production bikes. It appears that the lower weld at the base of the steerer failed and the steerer tube separated from the locking body." I think this occurred in Hong Kong.

Helix is (relatively) light, has a nice (relatively) compact fold (the better to allow it to reside in the trunk of my car), and has reasonable sized wheels (the better to be ride over minor potholes. This recent (presumed weld) failure together with limited and (apparently) diminishing tire options is causing me to back away from placing an order for one. It's a shame, as I've sat on the fence for quite a while (primarily while waiting for owner/user reviews).
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Old 02-17-21, 09:26 PM
  #2516  
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Originally Posted by mkatz View Post
read on another source:"There was an incident reported to me this weekend of a steerer failure on one of the early production bikes. It appears that the lower weld at the base of the steerer failed and the steerer tube separated from the locking body." I think this occurred in Hong Kong.

Helix is (relatively) light, has a nice (relatively) compact fold (the better to allow it to reside in the trunk of my car), and has reasonable sized wheels (the better to be ride over minor potholes. This recent (presumed weld) failure together with limited and (apparently) diminishing tire options is causing me to back away from placing an order for one. It's a shame, as I've sat on the fence for quite a while (primarily while waiting for owner/user reviews).

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Old 02-17-21, 09:39 PM
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I don't think that's supposed to happen!
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Old 02-18-21, 08:31 AM
  #2518  
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I don't know how this works but it does not look like a broken weld.
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Old 02-19-21, 05:17 AM
  #2519  
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
I don't know how this works but it does not look like a broken weld.
I can confirm it is a fractured weld. There are two welds very close together at the base of the steerer where it joins the upper half of the handle post hinge. It is the lower weld which has fractured. The mode of failure was loss of steering while riding, the locking mechanism did not fail so the handle bars did not detach from the bike. The rider managed to stop safely. Helix have requested owners not to ride the bikes as a precaution until investigations are complete. They have posted: "Right now it is impossible to determine whether or not this is an isolated issue, so as a precaution I ask that you all stop riding your bikes immediately until we have determined the cause of this failure. This is the highest priority and we are working quickly to resolve this asap.
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Old 02-22-21, 05:11 PM
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Helix orders are opening once again tomorrow. Every time I think of placing an order (love the fold!) my logic path once again runs into the issue of tire availability. Kenda Kwest 40-507 are listed as "unavailable" on every tire website I've checked. Bikes lacking tires roll slowly. Am I overthinking or is my caution well merited?
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Old 02-22-21, 05:21 PM
  #2521  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
About making custom tires, that's what Brompton is doing with several Schwalbe Brompton special tires but these tires are expensive (50/piece or more) and Brompton is producing more that 50000 bikes per year with a huge amount of existing bikes.
Since getting out from under Raleigh back in '83, Alex Moulton Bicycles has been dedicated to continued availability of its special 17" (ISO369) road tires. No 50000/year production level. Not a huge existing population. Dedication to customers.
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Old 02-23-21, 03:46 AM
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There is for the moment only one tire really available in ETRTO369, its the Kojak. This situation last since several years, I wonder what will happen if Schwalbe stops the Kojak. I see that every time a tire that was available in rare sizes disappear, its successors has less choices in sizes,

Besides the availability, there is the type of tire, Kojak is a relatively fragile slick road tire, there is no touring tire in ETRTO369.

This is a major problem for the 17" Moulton.

I own two Moulton, but these have 20" wheels, I would never buy a 17" Moulton.

I have owned a ETRTO520 wheeled bike, finding ETRTO520 tires was a nightmare and the choice of type of tires was very limited (almost only narrow race road tires).

After that experience, I will never buy a bike with a very limited tires availability and very limited type of tires available.
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Old 02-23-21, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mkatz View Post
Helix orders are opening once again tomorrow. Every time I think of placing an order (love the fold!) my logic path once again runs into the issue of tire availability. Kenda Kwest 40-507 are listed as "unavailable" on every tire website I've checked. Bikes lacking tires roll slowly. Am I overthinking or is my caution well merited?
@ Mkatz: The signs are that Helix will continue in production and that all backers and preorderers will receive their bikes. Even with the resolution of the current safety issue still outstanding, I'm firmly convinced that production will continue and that the bike has a future. Helix can't sell bikes without tyres, so they have to ensure a supply is available. The worst case is that you have to always buy tyres direct from Helix if no one else is making them available. As long as you don't mind mail ordering (Internationally?) and are not too pernickety about having the perfect tyre for your needs then you should get a Helix. Another backer has compiled the list below of tyres which are apparently available at the moment: Note that even at the current low level of production Helix have apparently enough purchasing power to obtain batches from Kenda and Donnelly.
some ETRTO-507 tyres for Helix
Kenda Small Block Eight
https://bicycle.kendatire.com/en-us/...-eight-pro-cx/
Part No: 212550 24x1.50 38-507 85psi
seems it can be only ordered through Peter

Kenda Happy Medium Pro
https://bicycle.kendatire.com/en-us/...medium-pro-cx/
Part No: 212504 24x1.125 32-507 85psi
https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...yclocross-tire

RITEWAY (these are what I am using)
https://www.riteway-jp.com/pa/013407.html
24 X 1.35", 75psi, Japanese brand, Taiwan made
https://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B07Q1S7BNX/

Donnelly MXP 24 x 32 (1.25)
https://www.donnellycycling.com/coll...31327135826033
https://www.cantitoeroad.com/Donnell...ize_p_970.html
https://www.amazon.com/DONNELLY-Donn.../dp/B075QML4ZH
https://www.store.pronetcycling.com/...tire-p858.aspx (back order)

??Islabikes 24"
https://www.islabikes.co.uk/collecti...24x1-02-26-507
26-507
from https://helix.ca/admin/user/forum/sh...dID=1000013597


and some BMX tyres

Kenda Konversion Pro
https://bicycle.kendatire.com/en-us/...onversion-pro/
Part no: 212258 24x1.5 40-507 100psi
https://shop.kendatire.com/Konversion-p/212484.htm

??VEE BMX MK3
https://veetireco.com/product/bmx-mk3/
Part no: B28912 241.50 40-507 100psi
Part no: B28909 241.00 25-507 80psi

??VEE BMX Speedster
https://veetireco.com/product/bmx-speedster/
Part no: B31645 241.50 40-507 100psi
Part no: B316339 241.50 40-507 100psi
some different colors
https://www.eciimports.com/product_i...oducts_id/7904
https://www.eciimports.com/product_i...oducts_id/7901
https://www.eciimports.com/product_i...oducts_id/7900
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Old 02-23-21, 07:27 AM
  #2524  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
There is for the moment only one tire really available in ETRTO369
I'm not sure there has ever been more than one tire brand+model available in ISO369. But, and it's a big but, the company has always made sure that one was available in adequate supply. Helix would be well advised to follow this example.
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Old 02-23-21, 07:39 AM
  #2525  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
Besides the availability, there is the type of tire, Kojak is a relatively fragile slick road tire, there is no touring tire in ETRTO369.

This is a major problem for the 17" Moulton.
'Major' problem? Meh. If you want to go on a world tour on your Moulton AM, rebuild the wheels with 18" rims and use Schwalbe Marathons in ISO40-355. Or perhaps you could rebuild with ISO349 rims; some Alex Moulton owners have.

I haven't looked into this: possibilities of using other perhaps more common/more available rim/tire sizes on the Helix?
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