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Helix Update?

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Old 10-01-17, 07:59 PM
  #526  
MrFlamey
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There was another update today about the newly hired TIG and robot welding expert they hired, as well as a picture showing the top of the front fork assembly with two different finishes. It's unconfirmed, but Helix are considering using shot peening to finish the frame, which will result in a duller (but cool as hell) appearance to the metal, but it has the potential to increase the life of the frame and welds by a considerable amount.

Due to a few unforeseen problems, they still haven't got a test bike out for testing yet, but according to the update, it should happen within a month.
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Old 10-01-17, 08:39 PM
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I'll bet that they have to contract out the shot peening process, as it's pretty complex and expensive to have in-house. I have an Indy Fab Crown Jewel in ti that's been shot-peened. This is a description of the process & benefits:

Independent Fabrication Bikes - Custom Bicycles & Frames Hand-built in New England. - FAQ
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Old 10-02-17, 08:57 PM
  #528  
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Thanks for that link, bargainguy. I like their description of the finish appearance as looking like pearl paint job when light hits it. The pictures I've seen of shot peened metal make it look a bit duller in general, but it's quite attractive.

The update just said that they are considering it. I would hope that if it adds a significant delay to manufacturing and doesn't offer enough benefit over the current machined Titanium finish that they would forgo it, or maybe add it as an option for people who don't mind waiting a little longer. Personally, I love the look of the shot peened finish, but I don't know how long I would mind waiting or paying to get it on my bike. I guess most people still waiting for their Helix are pretty patient
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Old 10-03-17, 02:16 AM
  #529  
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Originally Posted by MrFlamey View Post
...I guess most people still waiting for their Helix are pretty patient
I'm one of the few who are not so patient. I may possibly jump ship by Q1 of 2018,

but I do appreciate the transparency...

So the ETA on the test bike is October 10th(?).

Other issues that are being tended to:
* Front Lefty Axle needing thread correction.
* Tolerance to the Front Helix needing adjustment.
* Slight changes with the Seat Post setup.
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Old 10-16-17, 02:34 PM
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According to the pre-order update,

"The test bike is almost ready. I had a final design marathon making adjustments to the welding fixtures. They are out being laser cut as I write this and will be ready on Monday."

Does anyone have more details on this?

Also, it looks like a component change has been made. Instead of a common aluminum seat post, titanium will now be used. "This seat post will be included with every bike in appreciation of your tremendous patience and support."

The photo looked more like a zero-offset seat post. "We are considering two different designs, the one pictured above and another that has a larger offset."
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Old 10-16-17, 03:45 PM
  #531  
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I've never been so invested in something in which I have no investment, lol. sounds exciting, and very cool about the seat post upgrade. You backers deserve it. Hope there are more pics soon.
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Old 10-16-17, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DaKineDatFolds View Post
According to the pre-order update,

"The test bike is almost ready. I had a final design marathon making adjustments to the welding fixtures. They are out being laser cut as I write this and will be ready on Monday."

Does anyone have more details on this?

Also, it looks like a component change has been made. Instead of a common aluminum seat post, titanium will now be used. "This seat post will be included with every bike in appreciation of your tremendous patience and support."

The photo looked more like a zero-offset seat post. "We are considering two different designs, the one pictured above and another that has a larger offset."
Looks like you get about the same info as is posted on the backers portal. That's good.

The months are ticking by. Looks like the Helix guy is TOTALLY focused on getting the manufacturing perfect. I would have been much happier if his focus was TOTALLY on getting the test bike dispatched.
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Old 10-17-17, 08:23 AM
  #533  
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
The months are ticking by. Looks like the Helix guy is TOTALLY focused on getting the manufacturing perfect. I would have been much happier if his focus was TOTALLY on getting the test bike dispatched.
I have no clue on manufacturing bikes. I'm wondering though, wouldn't it be a good thing if the test bike was put together using the manufacturing equipment? OR... since it's just a test bike, would it be better by whipping up a test bike by hand (including welding)?

Also, in the parallel universe....... http://tinyurl.com/jjark5y
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Old 10-17-17, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DaKineDatFolds View Post
I have no clue on manufacturing bikes. I'm wondering though, wouldn't it be a good thing if the test bike was put together using the manufacturing equipment? OR... since it's just a test bike, would it be better by whipping up a test bike by hand (including welding)?

Also, in the parallel universe....... http://tinyurl.com/jjark5y
For sure the idea is to use production equipment to manufacture the test bike. However I don't see how small compromises would invalidate test results, such as welding say 95% of the frame by robot and doing the balance manually, in the interest of getting the test bike out for testing. Parallel task scheduling is critical right now as the money pile is dwindling every day.
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Old 10-17-17, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
For sure the idea is to use production equipment to manufacture the test bike. However I don't see how small compromises would invalidate test results, such as welding say 95% of the frame by robot and doing the balance manually, in the interest of getting the test bike out for testing. Parallel task scheduling is critical right now as the money pile is dwindling every day.
Based on the Kickstarter photos, they apparently hand-built three prototypes prior to that campaign.

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Old 10-23-17, 11:58 PM
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In this particular case, the test bike must validate two things:

The design of the bike that completely changed since the prototypes made for the Kickstarter campaign, i.e how does that bike ride, is it stable, safe, how is the cyclist placed on the bike, does it fit and is it comfortable for all cyclists sizes...

The manufacturing of the bike, i.e is it strong enough, is it reliable, what is the real weight vs. what was computed...

For the first goal, test bikes could be manually built.

But not for the second that requires to have the bike built with the production equipment, especially for the reliability that depends on the titanium welding process (but this will be difficult to validate as titanium welding problems do not appear immediately, it takes time for the oxidation to make the welding break).

Helix is a risky project that combines the risk of bicycle (bad) design and titanium (bad) manufacturing and added to those two high risks the challenge of making a cheap titanium bike.

Another company Seattle Cycle making another titanium folding bike, decided to reduce the risk by using Lynskey, an experienced titanium bike manufacturer, to build the frame with as consequence a much higher (but inline with the titanium bike market) price.

Last edited by Jipe; 10-24-17 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 10-24-17, 12:31 AM
  #537  
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Yes, I think Seattle Cycle used a more realistic approach. The Helix may still happen, but boy did that guy take the hard road.
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Old 10-24-17, 07:10 AM
  #538  
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
For sure the idea is to use production equipment to manufacture the test bike. However I don't see how small compromises would invalidate test results, such as welding say 95% of the frame by robot and doing the balance manually, in the interest of getting the test bike out for testing. Parallel task scheduling is critical right now as the money pile is dwindling every day.
Since there are 9 or so Mondays left in the year of 2017, a small betting pool for the Monday closest to completion of test bike might fun.

Come on, Petey, quit flakin' on us.
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Old 10-24-17, 02:01 PM
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If they're still messing around with getting the welding more perfectererer by this weekend and not sent out the test bike I will loose my cool again like a year ago.
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Old 10-25-17, 05:29 AM
  #540  
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
If they're still messing around with getting the welding more perfectererer by this weekend and not sent out the test bike I will loose my cool again like a year ago.
After your waiting this long as a backer, I'm quite impressed that you've got some 'cool' left.

As for me, since jumping on board from the beginning of 2017, I've been running on the heat side - on medium low. From there, I'm ready to go to full boil.

Pressure required. Pete needs heat.
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Old 10-25-17, 10:49 PM
  #541  
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Originally Posted by MrFlamey View Post
Thanks for that link, bargainguy. I like their description of the finish appearance as looking like pearl paint job when light hits it. The pictures I've seen of shot peened metal make it look a bit duller in general, but it's quite attractive.

The update just said that they are considering it. I would hope that if it adds a significant delay to manufacturing and doesn't offer enough benefit over the current machined Titanium finish that they would forgo it, or maybe add it as an option for people who don't mind waiting a little longer. Personally, I love the look of the shot peened finish, but I don't know how long I would mind waiting or paying to get it on my bike. I guess most people still waiting for their Helix are pretty patient
I'm not sure what's the 'political intent' for experimenting on such a thing so late in the deliverables cycle but shot peening is one of those processes that can be completely automated versus hand brushed finish or for that matter polished finish.

Unless its intended as a surface tensioning/hardening process where evenness of finish is critical it can be done similar to automated sandblasting like what they did with the M1 Abrams hull re-conditioning process. (there are 1 or 2 videos of that). It will save labour in the long term.

At the rate things are going, looks like the first deliveries will be in time for Spring '18.
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Old 10-29-17, 11:54 AM
  #542  
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This was just posted on another forum I follow, where the poster is a helix backer.

“With the steady progress of the past few months the reveal of a test bike today was surely inevitable. Unfortunately we need just a little more time.

Our CNC partner is behind on delivering our 5-axis parts and this set us back this week. They have ensured us that we will have our parts by the end of the week and we will be able to complete the test bike by the next update.

In the mean time, our production jigs have been completed and tested successfully. We have also built a backup production weld torch to ensure there is no downtime during production and have nearly completed our manuals and quick start guide.

We’re almost there, thank you for your patience.” He also included a component list complete with manufacturer and weight, by component.
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Old 10-29-17, 01:36 PM
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I am done waiting. It may be close but my patience has run out. Trying to find someone willing to buy me out. Not holding much hope.
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Old 10-29-17, 04:59 PM
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By the next update? "Next update" in this guy's parlance could mean anything!
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Old 10-29-17, 08:44 PM
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To be fair, the next update will be in 2 weeks from now if the schedule of the last few months is kept to. It's kinda disappointing that they still don't have the test bike, but I didn't really expect it, even though it was supposed to be done a month ago.

Not sure if I'm willing to buy anyone out right now, but I have thought that it might be better to do that and cancel my pre-order, since backers get better components and a slightly cheaper price than pre-order customers. Probably get their bikes a little sooner too.
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Old 10-29-17, 11:47 PM
  #546  
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Originally Posted by MrFlamey View Post
To be fair, the next update will be in 2 weeks from now if the schedule of the last few months is kept to.
Ok, I guess that's a real date for him then. But holy cow, I don't know how much longer he thinks he can drag this out!
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Old 10-29-17, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
This was just posted on another forum I follow...

I'm curious linberl, what's the other forum you're following? All I'm aware of atm is the kickstarter.com website.


Originally Posted by jur View Post
I am done waiting. It may be close but my patience has run out. Trying to find someone willing to buy me out. Not holding much hope.

Your awesome Helix info would be missed, jur. And thanks if you chimed in to get Team Helix to do this current update...


Originally Posted by MrFlamey View Post
To be fair, the next update will be in 2 weeks from now if the schedule of the last few months is kept to. It's kinda disappointing that they still don't have the test bike, but I didn't really expect it, even though it was supposed to be done a month ago.

Not sure if I'm willing to buy anyone out right now, but I have thought that it might be better to do that and cancel my pre-order, since backers get better components and a slightly cheaper price than pre-order customers. Probably get their bikes a little sooner too.

I'm a bit curious myself, what it is to be in backer status. In PRE-ORDER, at least we can at least jump ship, being granted a refund, right up to the time the bikes are ready. We wouldn't have to work on being bought out - this is our only benefit. For me, it's a higher price tag for the basic titanium bike with mediocre components.
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Old 10-30-17, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DaKineDatFolds View Post
I'm curious linberl, what's the other forum you're following? All I'm aware of atm is the kickstarter.com website
I'm on a slack for backers of an indiegogo item and one of those backers also backed the helix; he gets his updates from the helix backer forum. We are all sharing stories of commiseration :-)
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Old 11-01-17, 09:47 AM
  #549  
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We should just have Jur design the frame and have it made by his Titanium contact in China like he did with the Swift.

It would have been done and hundreds sold by now..
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Old 11-01-17, 06:42 PM
  #550  
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Speaking of design... Isn't the problem a lot easier to solve if you remove the front wheel and reattach it elsewhere like Airnimal does? It seems like you could put together a package with nearly the same folded dimensions without the complexity of the helical hinges and the lefty fork.
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