Thread: Helix Update?
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Old 05-31-20, 11:22 AM
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Bikes: Helix, Brompton, Rivendell, Salsa, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

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Originally Posted by RatonLaveur View Post
Thanks for the suggestions, i have considered both options but i use my folder as my main bike too. I have used it on long tours, up and down mountains (roads not trails obviously). My daily commute leads me to slopes that peak easily at 50kmh, which is perfectly fine on the 24" wheels...on smaller...fat chance. Also i have already replaced the hinge pins of my Tern once (one sheared during transfer not during riding), so my next bike will definitely not have a weak point inbuilt in the frame. Here you see all of it. I don't see anything better than helix. But I'm still pining on the decision. Expensive, potentially a bit too short, durability of the helical hinges...all combine to make me uncertain.
Hmmm... I see you are in a bit of a bind if this is to be your daily and only bike. I asked around how any tall - very tall - Helix riders found the fit of the bike for them, but no replies. I seem to recall a thread with one owner who is 6'2" saying he thought the helix is great, but if you're 198 cm, then that's still a 4 inch difference.

Sounds like you're tough on your bike and expect a lot (I would too), so I can see how a non-folding main frame would be desirable. The Birdy looks good too, but of course, it doesn't offer 24" wheels. I would think its 18" wheels are fine... I've done pretty much everything on my Brompton with its 16" wheels, but yes, it's not so great on rougher roads. And I don't have hills here to reach 50 km/h! Where are you located?

I think I will try some alternate stem extensions, etc. I did put better handle grips on mine, and that *really* helps with the comfort. Like the Brompton, the Helix shipped with these semi-awful foam grips: I don't even know what's the point.

Not sure what else I can comment on... my first impressions - and the comments from one of my colleagues who is a mountain biker, race marshal, and our lead technologist - of the Helix is that it is finely engineered and made bike: I'm thinking durability is not going to be an issue under most cases. Given your height, fit is probably the main concern. Perhaps send a note to Peter and see what he says.

In terms of the fold, since that is still a major consideration for you, I'm attaching some photos of the Helix and the Brompton side by side. Keep in mind that the Helix can be SMALLER than it is in the photos... just because I was lazy, I kept the seat post up so that I didn't have to remove my cheap, add on seat post rack that I got for $25 Cdn. It actually isn't bad: when I ride I loosen it up, swivel to the back, and retighten. When I fold and want to roll, I just swivel around to above the fold. You roll the Helix around with the seat post extended anyways. So, the Helix is not quite as compact as the Brompton, but for a bike with 24 inch wheels... it is really compact, and honestly not much larger than the Brompton folded, especially when compared to other folders with 20" to 24" wheels.

Cheap add on seat post rack, clamp on bottle holder, and handlebar bag work pretty well until Helix dedicated accessories are available.

I left the seat post up (just because I'm lazy) and the seat rack on, so it distorts the size comparison a bit. You might argue that any seat rack would be integral to the bike size so leaving it on is a better comparison, but keep in mind that anything you attach to the Brompton's rack has to be removed when you fold, so the fold parameters with or without racks for both are probably comparable in most respects.

This might be a better comparison. If you push the Helix seat all the way down, it will be at about the same level as the Brompton's in the folded configuration. The overall fold volume is larger than the Brompton, but not by too much. And yes! That black apparatus is a stay mounted kickstand for my Brompton. I just found a short piece of plastic to replace the metal stand itself. It works pretty well if I'm riding and don't want to fold the bike up to stand and just want the bike to quickly stay standing - but it doesn't work if your front bag is too heavy.

Again, if the seat was down, and if I didn't have my rack on, the overhead view of the two folds would be comparable, with the Helix being a bit larger obviously, but not by a dramatic amount.

Last edited by Ozonation; 05-31-20 at 11:30 AM.
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