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Helix Update?

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Helix Update?

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Old 02-19-19, 05:13 PM
  #1701  
ladi
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Now here's something odd--- and more about the unique shape of the seat post and seat tube:

The top of the seat tube is the ovalized shape...
I would not read too much in one picture. It might just be an optical illusion. Maybe the tube was not cut straight and this gives this impression.
Something like this:

Might also just be an effect of the way the upper part of the tube was polished together with the lighting.
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Old 02-19-19, 10:26 PM
  #1702  
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Originally Posted by SurfHenk View Post
The backer of bike nr 5 shared these pictures, which is really kind of him:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9bky3u0w7...2hzKcva9a?dl=0
Enjoy!
Thanks for this link. Take a long look at pictures number 18 and 19. That latch assembly is sophisticated, elegant and unique. The latch lever lifts the two locking lugs that keep the swingarm secured to the main frame. Look at both pictures long enough to understand how it all works. Brilliant.

There is also a brass swingarm travel stop to control how far the swingarm is allowed to move when folded.

The ablity to lock the front and rear hubs together when folded will keep it from being a wobbly mess after folding.

Many little details: the spring on the derailleur, the chain guide, the cable routing, the handlebar/ stem area hinge assemply and rotating latch. Again, brilliant.

Beautiful welds and the machined and cast parts have smooth radius edges to remove sharp edges.

The seat post design is interesting and a clever approach to improving the ability to make a compactly folded bike. Being a standard 28.6mm round seat post allows a huge number of other seat posts to be used, including suspension posts.

When Helix gets to the point where they are shipping them regularly, rather than a pre-order and unknown shipping date, I will buy.

Smallboats approves!
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Old 02-19-19, 10:32 PM
  #1703  
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Originally Posted by ttakata73 View Post
Yeah, the seatpost is a weird choice and limits comfort. I'm guessing it's a standard diameter and can be replaced? I am glad this project is finally happening. I would consider buying version 2 or 3 when the community reports no problems with the design. I'd still prefer a 20" tire that is fatter instead of a skinny 24". Maybe they will do other wheel sizes later.
A wider tire would mean big changes because the wheels fold within the cranks.
The Q factor would have to increase. That would be an awkward thing.
I was wondering how they'd control the swingarm fold.
Now I know. And it's good that the stop is adjustable.
Beautiful bike...but with an odd looking seatpost top.

Any mounting bosses for bottle cages, fenders, or racks?

Last edited by Revoltingest; 02-20-19 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 02-19-19, 10:32 PM
  #1704  
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If this is indeed what Helix will be manufacturing and selling, it will be relatively easy to electrify. I expect we will be seeing some very nicely designed electric Helix folding bikes.

It is time to update the Helix website. Even the pictures of the bike are two years old and do not show how nice this bike has become. Time for Helix to stop being a hermit and start engaging with the world.
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Old 02-20-19, 05:01 AM
  #1705  
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I wonder how you want to electrify it ?

What kind of motor: front hub seems difficult with the lefty fork, bottom bracket motor also due to folding and because the seat tube is place in front of the bottom bracket , I only see a rear hub motor as possibility.

Then where to place the battery ?

Looking at the detailed pictures, I do not find the welding amazing, actually several welds are questionable (look for instance at the picture with the serial number for instance). But seen the low price of the bike, it seems normal).

I have see also some design weaknesses:
- the seatpost locking seems to me really basic and not made for a folding bike where the seatpost must be unlocked/locked each time the bike is folded.
- the helical system for the rear arm and fork folding that is very much exposed to dirt, what will happen when the bike will be folded with dirt (or mud) inside the hHelical groves.


Last edited by Jipe; 02-20-19 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 02-20-19, 05:26 AM
  #1706  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
I wonder how you want to electrify it ?

What kind of motor: front hub seems difficult with the lefty fork, bottom bracket motor also due to folding and because the seat tube is place in front of the bottom bracket , I only see a rear hub motor as possibility.

Then where to place the battery ?

Looking at the detailed pictures, I do not find the welding amazing, actually several welds are questionable (look for instance at the picture with the serial number for instance). But seen the low price of the bike, it seems normal).

I have see also some design weaknesses:
- the seatpost locking seems to me really basic and not made for a folding bike where the seatpost must be unlocked/locked each time the bike is folded.
- the herbicidal system for the rear arm and fork folding that is very much exposed to dirt, what will happen when the bike will be folded with dirt (or mud) inside the herbicidal grooves ?
Lost in translation? Helical system and groves?

I was sort of wondering the same thing as well. I would think it be vitally important to keep these areas clean and grit free.
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Old 02-20-19, 05:43 AM
  #1707  
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Originally Posted by smallboats View Post

The seat post design is interesting and a clever approach to improving the ability to make a compactly folded bike. Being a standard 28.6mm round seat post allows a huge number of other seat posts to be used, including suspension posts.
Gonna disagree with you on the seat post design, that's a concession to a design feature that led to inadequate reach... there was a post on this exact concern not long ago.

The photos reveal a very prettily put together bike that has other design features that may have been fun to draw and conceive but that won't work in the real world. One photo shows the drive chain nearly right on top of a frame tube, that's gonna slap slap slap every bump. And those helical hinges (hard to drop that "cool" design decision when the name is "Helix") are dirt magnets. Imagine the fold after a wet ride and the sound that the grit is going to make as the hinges rotate together. Sure hope there's a way to open them up to clean/grease (and I wonder about the tolerances necessary to keep them tight after a couple hundred folds with sand in them. Last nitpick from a quick look is the circlip at the stem hinge, another engineering decision that will work, but there's better ways to finish off that shaft and hold it in place.

As a designer, it's easy to critique other's work, and there's no doubt a massive effort in that bicycle. But, and I'll reiterate it's just looking at the photos, the bicycle reeks of a lack of considered critique and some of its significant and foundational design features (helical fold) are not utile for the way that commuters/etc will use their bikes.
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Old 02-20-19, 06:29 AM
  #1708  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Lost in translation? Helical system and groves?

I was sort of wondering the same thing as well. I would think it be vitally important to keep these areas clean and grit free.
The hebicidal qualities of the bike's hinges are an excellent design feature to stave off vegetal reclamation when i leave it too long between rides. Peter's thought of everything.
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Old 02-20-19, 06:46 AM
  #1709  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Lost in translation? Helical system and groves?
Too small screen + automatic automatic spellchecking !

BTW, seems to be very little space for mudguards (that would help to keep the helical grove of the fork clean).

Do we have any idea of the size and weight of this first real Helix, i.e. is it what was shown on the website ?

Last edited by Jipe; 02-20-19 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 02-20-19, 07:07 AM
  #1710  
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Originally Posted by kahuna100 View Post
Gonna disagree with you on the seat post design, that's a concession to a design feature that led to inadequate reach... there was a post on this exact concern not long ago.

The photos reveal a very prettily put together bike that has other design features that may have been fun to draw and conceive but that won't work in the real world. One photo shows the drive chain nearly right on top of a frame tube, that's gonna slap slap slap every bump. And those helical hinges (hard to drop that "cool" design decision when the name is "Helix") are dirt magnets. Imagine the fold after a wet ride and the sound that the grit is going to make as the hinges rotate together. Sure hope there's a way to open them up to clean/grease (and I wonder about the tolerances necessary to keep them tight after a couple hundred folds with sand in them. Last nitpick from a quick look is the circlip at the stem hinge, another engineering decision that will work, but there's better ways to finish off that shaft and hold it in place.

As a designer, it's easy to critique other's work, and there's no doubt a massive effort in that bicycle. But, and I'll reiterate it's just looking at the photos, the bicycle reeks of a lack of considered critique and some of its significant and foundational design features (helical fold) are not utile for the way that commuters/etc will use their bikes.
The choice to eliminate the collar on the seatpost presumably allows a smaller fold but is a worry from a fatigue standpoint and not replaceable/easily repairable.

The drive chain is not on top of anything when riding as far as i can see. I thought that too for a moment but the photo you are looking at is from below and a check against the photos of the full bike. Chain slap may be a 'feature' while rolling folded. Nothing a clear protective film won't resolve.

The exposed helical hinges have long been an area of concern/discussion on the backer forum, with suggestions mooted for sheilding them. I am pretty confident, given their criticallity, the extensive flagging of concerns and Peter's evident attention to detail, that the design and implementation carefully consider wear on these. We do know that the screw is very hard, the sheath is very slick and replaceable and that fit is very tight. Time will tell on their durability bit the critical design decisions are not necessarily discernable by photos alone.
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Old 02-20-19, 07:13 AM
  #1711  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
Too small screen + automatic automatic spellchecking !

BTW, seems to be very little space for mudguards (that would help to keep the helical grove of the fork clean).

Do we have any idea of the size and weight of this first real Helix, i.e. is it what was shown on the website ?


I assume after market mud guard options are limited. We have seen designs for various dedicated accessories including mudguards but it seems they are a ways off being available still.

No one has posted confirmation of size yet. The provider of the photos posted this:
"Weight: using a cheap luggage scale, it came in at 25 lbs even, or a bit over 11 kg. "

Last edited by Gibsonsean; 02-20-19 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Correction
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Old 02-20-19, 08:16 AM
  #1712  
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Hmmmmm. I just noticed an interesting possible limitation. There's a chainguard for the 10 speed cassette, which appears to be a pretty normal 11-30 or 11-32 range (difficult to determine).


Would this chain guard possibly eliminate the ability to change it for something with a tighter range? Perhaps a 11-25? I wonder if the smallest sprockets would not sit above the guard?
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Old 02-20-19, 08:28 AM
  #1713  
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Originally Posted by kahuna100 View Post
Gonna disagree with you on the seat post design, that's a concession to a design feature that led to inadequate reach... there was a post on this exact concern not long ago.

The photos reveal a very prettily put together bike that has other design features that may have been fun to draw and conceive but that won't work in the real world. One photo shows the drive chain nearly right on top of a frame tube, that's gonna slap slap slap every bump. And those helical hinges (hard to drop that "cool" design decision when the name is "Helix") are dirt magnets. Imagine the fold after a wet ride and the sound that the grit is going to make as the hinges rotate together. Sure hope there's a way to open them up to clean/grease (and I wonder about the tolerances necessary to keep them tight after a couple hundred folds with sand in them. Last nitpick from a quick look is the circlip at the stem hinge, another engineering decision that will work, but there's better ways to finish off that shaft and hold it in place.

As a designer, it's easy to critique other's work, and there's no doubt a massive effort in that bicycle. But, and I'll reiterate it's just looking at the photos, the bicycle reeks of a lack of considered critique and some of its significant and foundational design features (helical fold) are not utile for the way that commuters/etc will use their bikes.
So the secret source was two splined shafts, that makes both the rear frame and lower fork move laterally when they fold.
And such a design is even harder to understand for me - they require a strong, MACHINED shafts with a tight tolerance.
If there is too little tolerance it won't fold; if there's too much tolerance, it will wobble. Making such a parts cost money... and Helix is made of titanium and made in Canada already.

Just imagine assembling such a complex bike. It will take many times longer than assembling a "normal" bike. And how much do they charge for tuneups in Canada?
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