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Helix Update?

Old 01-10-24, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
Are you sure that Helix produced more than 2400 bikes (all owners aren"t on the Hong Kong Facebook group)?

The Kickstarter project had 1069 backers and a big percentage of them never received their bike.
Hmm... the initial Kickstarter price was low, I think about half current price, especially good for both a new design and one from titanium. I sure hope that was not a factor. Because that's one of the things one is entitled to when they early fund a project, at a stated price. I'd be curious if a price increase was forced on them, or any other reason, for not getting a bike.
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Old 01-11-24, 01:19 AM
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I don't remember if they got a forced price increase but yeah, this ended up where it was always going: a ti bike for a ti bike price. But hey, they made some and some people bought 'em!
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Old 01-11-24, 06:02 AM
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Yes, about one year ago, the backers that didn't receive their reward yet, had the choice to either pay a substantial price increase or be refunded within an undefined timeframe.

From what I understood from following the Helix project from the beginning, only a little more than 50% of the backers received their reward and none of the pre-ordered bikes were delivered (pre-orders took place just after the end of the Kickstarter campaign with a price only slightly higher than the one of the kickstarter campaign; much less than the current Helix price).

After that, there were several opportunities to buy Helix at a much higher price than the one of the Kickstarter campaign.

But my impression is that there were much less than 2400 Helix produced, maybe 600 for backers and then the several batch produced with a small number of bikes in every production batch.

Does anyone know how many Helix were produced (just a rough estimation)?

I think that many of the 2400 Helix Hong Kong Facebook group members do not own an Helix because then there would be much more than 2400 Helix produced what seems to me impossible seen the amount of bike Helix can produce per year and the fact that production was interrupted several times for several reasons (lack of components during covid, stem problem...)?
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Old 01-11-24, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
(above) Hmm... Hong Kong and Singapore... my perception of both are "high rent", lots of money; Perhaps that has resulted in their getting a disproportionate number of Helix owners, if the pricing there, with exchange rate, makes Helix company more money? Or that the environment (pricey to own and park a car), with good public transport, places an extra premium on a good folding bike? Or there are Helix dealers with good company relations? I'd enjoy comments on any or all of the above. Thanks.
I'm not from Hong Kong or Singapore so I'm also just speculating, but I think you're probably right. I would expand the reasons Helix is likely successful there:
  • Hong Kong and Singapore are both very dense cities, much denser than most western cities
    • Density makes getting around by bike a lot easier. It also discourages automobile use due to congestion
  • Both cities have highly developed bike infrastructure
  • Singapore (and maybe Hong Kong as well) puts high taxes, restrictions and other impediments making owning a car difficult, onerous and extremely expensive
  • As you mentioned, both cities have comparably high GDP
  • In a comparably high GDP city which is dense, has developed bike infrastructure and getting around by car is cumbersome and very expensive, it makes sense that people would put higher value on their bike and be more willing to spend on bikes and bike equipment
Originally Posted by Jipe
Are you sure that Helix produced more than 2400 bikes (all owners aren"t on the Hong Kong Facebook group)?

The Kickstarter project had 1069 backers and a big percentage of them never received their bike.
Originally Posted by Jipe
But my impression is that there were much less than 2400 Helix produced, maybe 600 for backers and then the several batch produced with a small number of bikes in every production batch.

Does anyone know how many Helix were produced (just a rough estimation)?

I think that many of the 2400 Helix Hong Kong Facebook group members do not own an Helix because then there would be much more than 2400 Helix produced what seems to me impossible seen the amount of bike Helix can produce per year and the fact that production was interrupted several times for several reasons (lack of components during covid, stem problem...)?
I think you're highly underestimating the number of Helixes in existence. My bike, which I ordered last June, was number 2715 produced. I imagine hundred of bikes have been produced since then, just given the Helix Hong Kong group alone seems to grow by around 50 people per month and most people there seem to own or have bought a Helix. I think the Helix demographic just isn't well represented on these forums, possibly because most of the owners seem to be based in Asia and this site does not seem to cater to that market.
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Old 01-12-24, 06:21 AM
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Thanks for the information.

It seems that the production capabilities of Helix increased a lot since the beginning of the production when backers were waiting for their bike!?

Nevertheless, with 2400 on the Hong Kong FB group, there are not many Helix elsewhere in the world (assume about 50 bikes more/month since yours, that's about 3100 now, with 2400 in HK, only about 700 in the rest of the world).
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Old 01-12-24, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
Thanks for the information.

It seems that the production capabilities of Helix increased a lot since the beginning of the production when backers were waiting for their bike!?

Nevertheless, with 2400 on the Hong Kong FB group, there are not many Helix elsewhere in the world (assume about 50 bikes more/month since yours, that's about 3100 now, with 2400 in HK, only about 700 in the rest of the world).
That could be. I obviously don't have access to their production or sales numbers, but given the Hong Kong Helix group seems to be by far the biggest online group of Helix users, with Singapore being second, it would make sense that most of the bikes are there.
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Old 01-12-24, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
Yes, the Birdy is expensive but it has features not available on any other folding bike like the excellent front suspension that doesn't dive when braking or pedaling and 50mm wide tires.

Its rear rack that automatically folds when folding the bike and accepts big pannier without any heel interactions when pedaling is also unique.

Several Moulton have still frame mounting points for front and rear racks but the rear rack doesn't accept big pannier only a big trunk bag (for the big rear rack) and its not folding.
Does anyone actually sell Birdies in America? I only see options for Europe and Asia. I swear is everyone on this forum in Europe lol there's only been like 1 or 2 bikes on here I could actually buy without a plane ticket to another continent XD
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Old 01-12-24, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Saitoh17
Does anyone actually sell Birdies in America? I only see options for Europe and Asia. I swear is everyone on this forum in Europe lol there's only been like 1 or 2 bikes on here I could actually buy without a plane ticket to another continent XD
I believe you can order direct to Pacific Cycles. You can also order through some local shops. I don't know of any shops that stock them.
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Old 01-22-24, 11:08 AM
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Hi. Looking at purchasing a Helix and would be interested to know peoples opinion regarding the Standard v Ultralight models? Anyone have experience of riding both and can comment on whether the reduced weight of the Ultralight is worth the additional cost? Thanks
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Old 01-23-24, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemonhead
Hi. Looking at purchasing a Helix and would be interested to know peoples opinion regarding the Standard v Ultralight models? Anyone have experience of riding both and can comment on whether the reduced weight of the Ultralight is worth the additional cost? Thanks
There are people in the Telegram group with both. If you'd like an invite, feel free to DM me.
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Old 01-23-24, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemonhead
Hi. Looking at purchasing a Helix and would be interested to know peoples opinion regarding the Standard v Ultralight models? Anyone have experience of riding both and can comment on whether the reduced weight of the Ultralight is worth the additional cost? Thanks
I have the Ultralight derailleur 11 speed and also the Standard Alfine model and the weight difference is notable when riding. Itís also quite noticeable when carrying the bike in its folded position. I think itís something like a 6lb weight difference. If I was going to buy another one Iíd might choose the Ultralight Alfine model as I do appreciate the simplicity of the hub gear for the folding bike. Also, I have an issue on the Ultralight model where Iíve been having difficulty positioning the shifter and brake on the narrow handlebar in such a way that they donít rub against my thumb while riding. For some reason my bike came with XTR brake levers rather than the Hope Cura levers that appear to leave more room for adjustment.
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Old 01-23-24, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mallomar
There are people in the Telegram group with both. If you'd like an invite, feel free to DM me.
He/she needs 10 posts before they can DM you...
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Old 01-24-24, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemonhead
Hi. Looking at purchasing a Helix and would be interested to know peoples opinion regarding the Standard v Ultralight models? Anyone have experience of riding both and can comment on whether the reduced weight of the Ultralight is worth the additional cost? Thanks
In my opinion the cost is worth going for the ultralight. I went for the standard thinking I could find better, cheaper, lighter components........I was probs wrong.
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Old 01-24-24, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemonhead
Hi. Looking at purchasing a Helix and would be interested to know peoples opinion regarding the Standard v Ultralight models? Anyone have experience of riding both and can comment on whether the reduced weight of the Ultralight is worth the additional cost? Thanks
i dont have experience, but supposed no difference.
UL is confirm more lighter more lighter to carry.
but if u plan to upgrade your bike with your preferred part, better buy standard like me.
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Old 02-04-24, 08:50 AM
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A bunch of people from the Helix Hong Kong group met up for a group ride


Last edited by mallomar; 02-04-24 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 03-31-24, 01:13 PM
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Has anyone compared the Helix Ultralight vs. the Brompton T-Line? I'm in the market for a bike. I've been following Helix since Day 1 on Kickstarter. After years of delay it seems if I order now I can get a Ultralight in May of 2024, just a month away. I took the T-Line for a test ride. I liked it but I wonder if the Helix is better?
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Old 03-31-24, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by davidhunternyc
Has anyone compared the Helix Ultralight vs. the Brompton T-Line? I'm in the market for a bike. I've been following Helix since Day 1 on Kickstarter. After years of delay it seems if I order now I can get a Ultralight in May of 2024, just a month away. I took the T-Line for a test ride. I liked it but I wonder if the Helix is better?
Completely different animals. The Brompton is the most compact folder, so primo for daily multi-mode commutes, but has the disadvantage of small tires 16"/349 bead diameter; steering more "twitchy/responsive", ride inherently worse, and especially with typical skinny Brompton tires, and I don't know if fatter tires will fit. Most bikes with larger wheels are a much larger fold, such as ones with 20" wheels that are "bifold", whereas the Bromption is "trifold", plus folds with the chain to the inside so less likely to get you or other things oily. However the Helix has a very clever fold that is more compact than bifolds, even though it has 24" wheels. They were able to do this with a swinging rear triangle like the Brompton, but also an innovative folding fork. For longer rides and especially pannier touring, the Helix should be a much better performer, due to two steps larger size tires, but you should check if it still fits within checked bag size of 62" girth if flying. While technically too large, people have brought disguised Bromptons as carry-on luggage. Also, the Brompton, due to the very small wheels, requires an Internal Gear Hub (IGH) for an overdrive to have a high enough top gear. The Helix does not require this so maintenance is much simpler and less expensive, and service in the field on a tour much easier or any bike shop can fix, whereas the number of bike shops in the USA that actually repair IGHs is very limited, one in my town (one of the best).

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Old 03-31-24, 05:23 PM
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With Bromptons, I've seen people extend the gear range without an IGH by adding a 58T chainring. Also, the T-Line will be offering a 12-speed soon but that could defeat the purpose of the 16.4 pound lightweight titanium bike. Your response has been helpful. I wish I could examine a Helix and take one on a test ride. I did feel every bump and jar on NYC rough roads on the T-Line. It got tiring. The skinny 16" wheels didn't help. It's still a great bike on smooth roads. Hmm...
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Old 03-31-24, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Completely different animals. The Brompton is the most compact folder, so primo for daily multi-mode commutes, but has the disadvantage of small tires 16"/349 bead diameter; steering more "twitchy/responsive", ride inherently worse, and especially with typical skinny Brompton tires, and I don't know if fatter tires will fit. Most bikes with larger wheels are a much larger fold, such as ones with 20" wheels that are "bifold", whereas the Bromption is "trifold", plus folds with the chain to the inside so less likely to get you or other things oily. However the Helix has a very clever fold that is more compact than bifolds, even though it has 24" wheels. They were able to do this with a swinging rear triangle like the Brompton, but also an innovative folding fork. For longer rides and especially pannier touring, the Helix should be a much better performer, due to two steps larger size tires, but you should check if it still fits within checked bag size of 62" girth if flying. While technically too large, people have brought disguised Bromptons as carry-on luggage. Also, the Brompton, due to the very small wheels, requires an Internal Gear Hub (IGH) for an overdrive to have a high enough top gear. The Helix does not require this so maintenance is much simpler and less expensive, and service in the field on a tour much easier or any bike shop can fix, whereas the number of bike shops in the USA that actually repair IGHs is very limited, one in my town (one of the best).
I'd recommend reading this entire thread before posting your opinion. There's more to this bike than you realize.
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Old 03-31-24, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by davidhunternyc
With Bromptons, I've seen people extend the gear range without an IGH by adding a 58T chainring. Also, the T-Line will be offering a 12-speed soon but that could defeat the purpose of the 16.4 pound lightweight titanium bike. Your response has been helpful. I wish I could examine a Helix and take one on a test ride. I did feel every bump and jar on NYC rough roads on the T-Line. It got tiring. The skinny 16" wheels didn't help. It's still a great bike on smooth roads. Hmm...
Depends how much gear range you need, just flat land and minor hills, or steep hills and want to be able to spin up if they are long. Without an IGH (or Schlumpf drive at the crank), it is extremely difficult or impossible to get a wide gearing range with just derailleurs on 349 wheels, and even with IGH, Brompton uses a special "wide range" IGH. In the past, you didn't have a wide enough range on the cogs. A 58T chainring is not much larger than 52 in percent. Some have mounted 1X cassettes with like 11-42 on 349s using newer advanced rear derailleurs so they don't drag on the ground. I also met a fellow with a Brompton with a Schlumpf drive. Go to one of the online gear calculators and run calculations, like sheldon brown gear calc. For me, I have a 2X derailleur system on my 20" wheel folder with 400% range, 21-85 gear inches and I can handle steep hills and 85 is all I need for a high, I'm not racing. If I heavy tour I may go up to 42 cog to get 566% range and a 15 inch low. Run numbers for both bikes on gear calc and compare to gearing on known bikes you like. Also depends on your riding distances, like you said, the Brompton does not ride great. Consider if any flying travel and baggage implications. Consider if you want pannier capability.

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Old 03-31-24, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101
I'd recommend reading this entire thread before posting your opinion. There's more to this bike than you realize.
I thought I was being complimentary. The Helix is an amazing bike. I don't recall the exact difference in folded size with a Brompton, but recall looking at that when it first was announced, and I was quite impressed. Innovative design, super compact with almost full size tires, quality, plus titanium, and initially was an amazing price for all that. I just don't know if it will fit standard checked bag size. I had also wondered about rear rack ability but have since seen videos of people pannier touring with one.

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Old 04-01-24, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by davidhunternyc
Has anyone compared the Helix Ultralight vs. the Brompton T-Line? I'm in the market for a bike. I've been following Helix since Day 1 on Kickstarter. After years of delay it seems if I order now I can get a Ultralight in May of 2024, just a month away. I took the T-Line for a test ride. I liked it but I wonder if the Helix is better?
These two bikes are very different, both have strong points and weaknesses:
- T-line is really lightweight, it weight much less than Helix Ultralight. Helix, even the Ultralight, is an heavy bike for a bike with a titanium frame (take into account that a big part of the weight reduction of the Ultralight come from the Tubolito tubes and ultralight tires).
- Whatever the claims of Helix, T-line folds smaller and its folding mechanism is very simple and reliable compared to the complex system of Helix.
-T-line has a poor transmission, the 12s with IGH is a nonsense on such a lightweight bike, while Helix has an good derailleur transmission (but I do not see any reason o use a Ethirtheen cassette with a 9t smallest cog on a 24" wheels bike).
- Brompton has a full range of accessories with an excellent front bag carrier, while there is still nothing for Helix (some accessories are announced).
- Helix has a major problem with tires: its limited to about 40mm wide and the choice of tires is very limited, there are no high end tires available for Helix (ETRTO 40x507 or narrower) while there is now a wide range of tires for the Brompton, with tires for all needs (from race road tires to spikes snow tires!).
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Old 04-01-24, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by davidhunternyc
With Bromptons, I've seen people extend the gear range without an IGH by adding a 58T chainring. Also, the T-Line will be offering a 12-speed soon but that could defeat the purpose of the 16.4 pound lightweight titanium bike. Your response has been helpful. I wish I could examine a Helix and take one on a test ride. I did feel every bump and jar on NYC rough roads on the T-Line. It got tiring. The skinny 16" wheels didn't help. It's still a great bike on smooth roads. Hmm...
u can try mine
but i stay at SG
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Old 04-01-24, 05:15 AM
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I didn't mention comfort in the drawback of the T-line and Helix because both have this problem: both have relatively narrow tires (35mm for the T-line, the frame should accept 40mm but there is only one slick race tire in 40x349, 38mm for Helix, narrower for the Ultralight), Helix has bigger wheels but a stiffer frame+fork, T-line has a (poor) rear suspension and a softer frame (the titanium frame of the T-line is significantly softer than the steel main frame of the other Brompton).

So both are OK on good; smooth roads and bad on bad roads, cobbles for instance.

Testing the T-line in Europe is now relatively easy, Brompton has a now a network of retailers approved to sell and maintain the T-line (not all Brompton retailers are allowed to sell+maintain the T-line) most of these have a test T-line.
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Old 04-01-24, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, I test rode the 4-speed T-Line in NYC at the Brompton Junction Store on Bleecker St. I would like to test ride the Helix Ultralight, or any Helix. If anyone lives in NYC and would allow me to test ride their bike, I'd be very grateful. I've read that the Helix is stiff and uncomfortable to ride. I don't know. I was even thinking about getting a Tern Verge X11. The T-Line and Helix are both supercool bikes but if there's a folding bike that's faster, more comfortable, and less fatiguing over long distances, I would consider it. In NYC, the roads are awful. Potholes and torn up streets everywhere. I'm even considering an e-assist bike, perhaps 250 watts. It's amazing to see how fast big, clumsy 65lb. Citi-E-bikes are with 500 watts.
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