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Official Helix Kickstarter Launch Announced (Sept 1st)

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Official Helix Kickstarter Launch Announced (Sept 1st)

Old 09-02-15, 03:08 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
So out of the 325 backers at this moment, does anyone on Bike Forums have a horse in the race?
Hell no. I'm not interested financing schemes even if they look rosy and successful.
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Old 09-02-15, 03:32 PM
  #77  
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I ll wait for a used one in bad nick........
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Old 09-02-15, 05:24 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
So out of the 325 backers at this moment, does anyone on Bike Forums have a horse in the race?
Yes, #241 .

Still have to figure out exactly how to break the news to SWMBO.
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Old 09-02-15, 05:58 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by jur View Post

Still have to figure out exactly how to break the news to SWMBO.
She seems to have weathered you through the years thus far, odds are in your favor me thinks ..
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Old 09-03-15, 12:09 AM
  #80  
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There are number of reasons why Helix if fascinating. For me, the most interesting part is the business model. I'm just tickled to see how the public is responding to this approach. At this point, $570K+ in a day and a half. No doubt it will slow down but at this rate, I wonder how long it will take to get to a million before the whole deal is over in 28 days. And I note that many of the major sites that had talked about Helix back in Feb of this year have not even mentioned Helix again. If they do, I'm thinking there will be another surge of sales.

As Yan mentioned, I am wondering if they are rewriting the business model for folding bikes. Or at the very least influencing it. Just fascinating.

UL
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Old 09-03-15, 07:31 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
So out of the 325 backers at this moment, does anyone on Bike Forums have a horse in the race?
Yes.

I've said a few times that I would sacrifice just a little bit of the Brompton's compactness for 20" tires for a little bit more robustness into the ride. The Helix seems to not only fit that bill, but if it really is as compact as advertised, then I can have my proverbial cake and eat it too.

And as a Canadian, I've got to on principle support an actual made-in-Canada bike! Not too many of those these days...
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Old 09-03-15, 06:34 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
She seems to have weathered you through the years thus far, odds are in your favor me thinks ..
So this morning I showed her the phenomenal success of the funds gathering stage. She asked, "Did you also put money down?" I said yes. She said, "So will you get a bike?" I said yes, some time towards the middle of next year, not far from my birthday. She said, "That's WONDERFUL!!"

Looks like you know her better than me Bruce. She didn't ask how much, but she knows from conversations that I think this bike is too cheap. (I may have modified that view.)
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Old 09-03-15, 09:25 PM
  #83  
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Carrying on from the previous thought, I think maybe this is a leading wave of bike manufacture where the Ti frames are made at much lower price than is customary up to now.

Looking at some of the previous efforts, eg the Ti Swift, that frame was quoted at roughly $1000US, without seatpost and so on, but including fork. The total weight is (from memory) somewhere between 1.5kg and 2kg. Titanium tubing is going at Alibaba for roughly $20-$40 per kg. So material cost is drastically down. The $1000 price tag necessarily includes as much profit as that market allows. I would be surprised if the net profit is far from 100%, ie sell for double what the input is.

The Ti Swift was a one-off type of build which included producing a set of unique drawings. The Helix will be mass-produced. It follows that even given the difference in labour rates between Canada and China, the production cost per frame should not be much higher than say $400. If they have a semi-automatic robotic welding setup, that would be better again. I can think of a welding setup where an operator tacks the frame together, and a programmable robot welder fills up the welding in an inert enclosure (which they refer to).

Much is made of the difficulty in working with Ti. But it is apparently similar to working with stainless steel. Welding is very special but once you are set up, even that becomes routine.

So even though much of that figuring is speculation, it isn't likely to be completely off target, is it? Perhaps the touted production price for Helix is going to work, after all. The key is volume. Even from China with lower labour rates, you can't compete against volume and automation.
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Old 09-05-15, 10:44 PM
  #84  
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Just continuing to make a record.

$3/4 million funded around 4.5 day mark.

UL

Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
There are number of reasons why Helix if fascinating. For me, the most interesting part is the business model. I'm just tickled to see how the public is responding to this approach. At this point, $570K+ in a day and a half. No doubt it will slow down but at this rate, I wonder how long it will take to get to a million before the whole deal is over in 28 days. And I note that many of the major sites that had talked about Helix back in Feb of this year have not even mentioned Helix again. If they do, I'm thinking there will be another surge of sales.

As Yan mentioned, I am wondering if they are rewriting the business model for folding bikes. Or at the very least influencing it. Just fascinating.

UL
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Old 09-05-15, 11:49 PM
  #85  
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I'm not so sure of this any more...

Consider this. The funding model is simply a pre-order, at a lower price than the production price. They were hoping for $120k, that is roughly 60 bikes, which they planned to deliver during March '16. After that, they would swing into normal production, making profit.

However, everybody seems to be getting in on a cheaper price, assuming that March is delivery time. But we are looking at a plan of 60 bikes for March, and after that who knows what schedule, let's call that double. If we end at 600 bikes instead of 60, they have made the mistake of offering 10x the pre-production lot at a discount, and putting a severe stress on profit making down the line. At double the production rate, that is 120 bikes a month, or 6 bikes per day. For an established production line that should be OK but they're not established. I'm getting even more pessimistic as I write this.

As I see it there can't be much of a stretch goal, as that sort of thing happens with excess funding, which in this case does not seem to be the case. There is shortage of excess.
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Old 09-06-15, 12:39 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
Much is made of the difficulty in working with Ti. But it is apparently similar to working with stainless steel. Welding is very special but once you are set up, even that becomes routine.
Hmm... tell that to the opticians. When the made-in-Japan titanium frame of my glasses broke, during a visit to Japan, I found out that the only way to get it fixed was to ship it to the US, where it was purchased, so that the seller could send it to the manufacturer in Japan, followed by a return route. You can get a stainless steel frame fixed anywhere in about half an hour. Needless to say I went stainless from that moment on and never looked back. In spite of titanium being used for a prolonged time in the glass frames, those frames have problems beyond repairability, strengthening my commitment to stay away. In bulky elements such as BB spindles yes.
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Old 09-06-15, 01:31 AM
  #87  
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Legitimate question. I too had that question - what if they lost a little bit of money on each just to get the business started? Now the greater the success, the greater the loss.

I do wonder if there is possibility that the opposite is true. That they are making a little, and the larger the quantity, the cost per bike for them become due to scale. So in effect, the greater the support, the better it fares.

Hard to tell - the key is where the break even point is and how large they can scale. I think they already found their factory facilities etc which I assume they had to 'guesstimate' as to the appropriate size. I wonder if the success will strain them or set them free to to do better.

UL

Originally Posted by jur View Post
I'm not so sure of this any more...

Consider this. The funding model is simply a pre-order, at a lower price than the production price. They were hoping for $120k, that is roughly 60 bikes, which they planned to deliver during March '16. After that, they would swing into normal production, making profit.

However, everybody seems to be getting in on a cheaper price, assuming that March is delivery time. But we are looking at a plan of 60 bikes for March, and after that who knows what schedule, let's call that double. If we end at 600 bikes instead of 60, they have made the mistake of offering 10x the pre-production lot at a discount, and putting a severe stress on profit making down the line. At double the production rate, that is 120 bikes a month, or 6 bikes per day. For an established production line that should be OK but they're not established. I'm getting even more pessimistic as I write this.

As I see it there can't be much of a stretch goal, as that sort of thing happens with excess funding, which in this case does not seem to be the case. There is shortage of excess.
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Old 09-06-15, 08:30 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
I think they already found their factory facilities etc which I assume they had to 'guesstimate' as to the appropriate size.
UL
Anybody have any concrete info on where production is to take place? and who the partner is and what their production experience might comprise of ?


From Helix website:

"Peter will be working with a team of local experts in manufacturing and bicycle design to ensure Helix gets to market successfully."
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Old 09-06-15, 07:23 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
Anybody have any concrete info on where production is to take place? and who the partner is and what their production experience might comprise of ?


From Helix website:

"Peter will be working with a team of local experts in manufacturing and bicycle design to ensure Helix gets to market successfully."
Based on a Google search of the Kickstarter team members Peter will be working with Evelko Designs as his manufacturing partner. It appears they have significant manufacturing skills and experience, though none appears to be cycling-specific.

WRT cost, I've wondered similar to others here. Several possibilities: If they use off-shore ti in standard diameters and gauges and if the frames use only one common tube spec then materials could be purchased in bulk and pricing leveraged accordingly. I wonder about some of the one-off bits and special machining but it appears their partner has significant skills and capabilities. Whether the promo cost model is a loss leader, break even or slight gain seems to be the $64k question. I inquired to Peter with my concerns regarding scalability as the campaign took off and he responded last night in a manner that indicates they have anticipated at least some of the positive response. He indicated they still feel they can meet their stated timelines. Time will tell how large the response is to their campaign and also how they will manage the inevitable 'growing pains' of this project. I am not too concerned that I will in fact receive a Helix. But given past experience supporting KS campaigns I will likewise not be surprised if I'm not riding it until late next summer.

YMMV.
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Old 09-07-15, 12:19 AM
  #90  
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In all the publicity photos, there isn't a single one taken from the right side. I wonder if they are hiding something about the drive train...
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Old 09-07-15, 03:36 AM
  #91  
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The video on Kickstarter shows that side a few times.
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Old 09-07-15, 04:05 AM
  #92  
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Kickstarter has delivered some great results. Life is a risk and Mr Boutakis doesn't come across as a conman. The problem lies in some of the marketing hyperbole. Focus on the merits of their own bike rather than exaggerating about the limitations of other folding bikes.

Last edited by mulleady; 09-07-15 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 09-07-15, 04:15 AM
  #93  
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I keep watching the video and it does seem a good shape to move around but it's still a large package. Look at how much space it takes up in the boot of the car. It also seems a difficult package to manuvover ,it does really roll except on very smooth surfaces. It looks great as a one bike solution that can be used on trains or off road. It's light weight is a bonus for carrying that makes up for a lot of compromises.
I will be really interested in seeing if a 20" bike design that folds as small as a birdie or Brompton that preforms with this potentional. I hope it's intinal success leads to a 20 or even a 16 inch model.
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Old 09-07-15, 04:20 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
This project looks like it has a lot more credibility than some of the other dubious ones that have been featured. It was also endorsed by none other than Mark Anders, inventor of Strida. You can see from the publicity material that this is a finished product. So to me this generates confidence. If I didn't have 2 Ti Swifts, I might have put down the money for one of these.
Well said Jur. I think owners of other bike brands on BF should stay out of this and focus on their own company instead of casting doubts on other brands, start-ups or otherwise!

Last edited by mulleady; 09-07-15 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 09-07-15, 04:27 AM
  #95  
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No photos of mudguards or luggage racks, is that because its looks better without them for marketing purposes or because they dont work well with the bike? Clearance between the front wheel and crown fork when folded looks small, possibly too small for a mudguard. Would a rear luggage rack compromise or even prevent the fold?
I do like the look of the bike and with mudguards and rack would be a step closer to my ideal folder.
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Old 09-07-15, 05:06 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by cpg View Post
No photos of mudguards or luggage racks, is that because its looks better without them for marketing purposes or because they dont work well with the bike? Clearance between the front wheel and crown fork when folded looks small, possibly too small for a mudguard. Would a rear luggage rack compromise or even prevent the fold?
I do like the look of the bike and with mudguards and rack would be a step closer to my ideal folder.
Hi CPG. I do know that Helix plan to release some mudguards for the Helix. It's worth asking Helix some questions on the messaging or comments section of their KS page.
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Old 09-07-15, 05:09 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by hasbeen View Post
Based on a Google search of the Kickstarter team members Peter will be working with Evelko Designs as his manufacturing partner. It appears they have significant manufacturing skills and experience, though none appears to be cycling-specific.

WRT cost, I've wondered similar to others here. Several possibilities: If they use off-shore ti in standard diameters and gauges and if the frames use only one common tube spec then materials could be purchased in bulk and pricing leveraged accordingly. I wonder about some of the one-off bits and special machining but it appears their partner has significant skills and capabilities. Whether the promo cost model is a loss leader, break even or slight gain seems to be the $64k question. I inquired to Peter with my concerns regarding scalability as the campaign took off and he responded last night in a manner that indicates they have anticipated at least some of the positive response. He indicated they still feel they can meet their stated timelines. Time will tell how large the response is to their campaign and also how they will manage the inevitable 'growing pains' of this project. I am not too concerned that I will in fact receive a Helix. But given past experience supporting KS campaigns I will likewise not be surprised if I'm not riding it until late next summer.

YMMV.
Even an established company like Pebble have had delays on their 2nd generation smart watches especially the Pebble Time Steel. I think the Helix looks a serious proposition but the March deadline is overly ambitious given the response and amount of backers they have had and may have before the end of October.
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Old 09-07-15, 05:22 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
Hi CPG. I do know that Helix plan to release some mudguards for the Helix. It's worth asking Helix some questions on the messaging or comments section of their KS page.
Hi Mulleady. I read that on the kickstarter page which is why I posed the question here. I wont be investing so wont be asking the same question on the kickstarter page, its more of a rhetorical question as part of the general discussion.
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Old 09-07-15, 05:58 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by cpg View Post
Hi Mulleady. I read that on the kickstarter page which is why I posed the question here. I wont be investing so wont be asking the same question on the kickstarter page, its more of a rhetorical question as part of the general discussion.
I think you posed some good questions especially re the possibility of a rear rack!
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Old 09-07-15, 09:22 AM
  #100  
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The Brompton mangers without a rear rack pratically for most people. Most people virtually never use it. Mudguards.....i wounder about the mezzo integrated solution with that folding fork?
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