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Helix Update?

Old 11-01-17, 10:38 PM
  #551  
maxxevv
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The helical transposed hinges yes. The lefty fork isn't really a complexity at all.

Problem is the lefty fork is also helical hinged. There should be a fair bit of wear and tear issues after a short while with the design.
The hinge design by their nature will most probably have issues once elements of wear and particle contamination to the joint comes into play.
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Old 11-01-17, 11:03 PM
  #552  
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Originally Posted by maxxevv View Post
The helical transposed hinges yes. The lefty fork isn't really a complexity at all.

Problem is the lefty fork is also helical hinged. There should be a fair bit of wear and tear issues after a short while with the design.
The hinge design by their nature will most probably have issues once elements of wear and particle contamination to the joint comes into play.
I don't know for sure because I haven't seen it in person, but as I understand the descriptions the fork (and rear) once locked, does not rely on the helical hinge for alignment and firmness of lock. The 2 are independent.
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Old 11-01-17, 11:40 PM
  #553  
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I'm keying my comment off of Mr. Boutakis statement that "Our CNC partner is behind on delivering our 5-axis parts and this set us back this week." As a production engineer I look at the design and the price and see some trouble in the future. I believe the product has been somewhat undervalued. Helix may be able to deliver the bike at $2k but he will soon get tired of his tiny margins.

However, I love the unfolded design. I'm sure it would be possible to produce it sustainably at the $2k price point, with some simplification. My Bike Friday has an offset (diagonal) fold that allows the rear wheel to sit beside the frame with a lot of extra space (and dangling metal... typical of Bike Friday.) The Airnimal uses an orthogonal folding axis so the wheel hits the frame. Their design requires removing the front wheel to open that volume to the fold. If you merge the two approaches you should be able to produce a fold only a couple of inches sloppier than the Helix fold. It is as if the perfection of the Helix fold has become a fetish. But I think it is a fetish worth $4000.
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Old 11-01-17, 11:47 PM
  #554  
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Its purely from a mechanical design standpoint.

Its my inferred interpretation after looking at the design patent linked here awhile back. The fork is one aspect, the revised design as shown in these pages is way better than the originals from the Kickstarter video. Those originals would have been problematic from the get-go of usage.

Do note that the folding hinge of the rear stays is also helical in design. That's where I suspect problems will arise in the mid-long term from wear and tear. But in any case, the proof will be in the putting, when the bike eventually gets delivered.

With appropriate sealing and surface treatment, it is possible to make a durable and problem free helical slide/rotation joint. Just whether its done or not remains to be seen.
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Old 11-02-17, 12:16 AM
  #555  
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Originally Posted by KentS View Post
I'm keying my comment off of Mr. Boutakis statement that "Our CNC partner is behind on delivering our 5-axis parts and this set us back this week." As a production engineer I look at the design and the price and see some trouble in the future. I believe the product has been somewhat undervalued. Helix may be able to deliver the bike at $2k but he will soon get tired of his tiny margins...

...But I think it is a fetish worth $4000.
Yep. My contention has always been that he can produce the bike, but doing so at the prices he proposed is nuts. I never saw a $2k titanium folding bike as feasible, and I think this fellow will agree with me at some point. Hopefully that point comes after the original supporters have their $2k bikes.
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Old 11-02-17, 02:11 AM
  #556  
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The Tyrell folding bikes like the Ive have also an helical design and they have no problem of wear and tear !
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Old 11-02-17, 08:03 AM
  #557  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
The Tyrell folding bikes like the Ive have also an helical design and they have no problem of wear and tear !
Are you sure you understand what a helical hinge is ??

A quick search for the Tyrell Ive clearly shows that it isn't / doesn't have one.



This is approximately (not exactly though very close in principle) to what the helical joint in the Helix is like.




Last edited by maxxevv; 11-02-17 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 11-02-17, 01:58 PM
  #558  
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Originally Posted by maxxevv View Post
Its purely from a mechanical design standpoint.

Its my inferred interpretation after looking at the design patent linked here awhile back. The fork is one aspect, the revised design as shown in these pages is way better than the originals from the Kickstarter video. Those originals would have been problematic from the get-go of usage.

Do note that the folding hinge of the rear stays is also helical in design. That's where I suspect problems will arise in the mid-long term from wear and tear. But in any case, the proof will be in the putting, when the bike eventually gets delivered.

With appropriate sealing and surface treatment, it is possible to make a durable and problem free helical slide/rotation joint. Just whether its done or not remains to be seen.
Actually now that you mention the rear helical joint I realise that you are right, and I have also mentioned wear of the rear joint on the Helix forum.
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Old 11-03-17, 04:23 AM
  #559  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
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 :-)
So you've got a backstage pass with the backers. Pretty cool. I really do hope the test bike comes out in less than 2 weeks, or at least a status report.
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Old 11-03-17, 09:22 AM
  #560  
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Originally Posted by DaKineDatFolds View Post
So you've got a backstage pass with the backers. Pretty cool. I really do hope the test bike comes out in less than 2 weeks, or at least a status report.
We've got a bet going over a 6 pack whether Helix or Shareroller comes out first!
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Old 11-04-17, 05:44 AM
  #561  
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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.
Hi jur,
I am interested in buying you out.
I tried to send you a direct message but since I have less than 10 posts I can't.
Could you send me a message?
Thank you.
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Old 11-04-17, 01:43 PM
  #562  
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Email me at juried at yahoo dot com.
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Old 11-05-17, 06:27 AM
  #563  
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Not sure if this has been discussed before, but is the Helix get its design from this?

http://inhabitat.com/mikulas-novotny...l-size-wheels/
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Old 11-05-17, 02:23 PM
  #564  
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While there are visual similarities the implementation is different. The Helix inventor has not indicated that it did. Some people have looked at the patents he took out, and prior art had not been discussed. So I don't know for sure but it hasn't come up.
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Old 11-05-17, 02:48 PM
  #565  
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The Novotny bike has wheels bigger than 20", a mono fork and a mainframe consisting of four tubes. That's about it regarding the similarities aside from the look when unfolded. In the german folding bike forum we had a discussion about it vs. the Helix already years ago - while the look is similar the whole implementation is different and the wheels are 26" or 28". Folding bikes are about folding and the fold is different in every aspect - the Novotny folds simpler and ends up far less compact when folded. When unfolded the mainframe of the Novotny has a bit of a slope.

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Old 11-05-17, 07:46 PM
  #566  
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Funky. I don't think I could get used to looking down to the view of an askew top tube.
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Old 11-05-17, 10:20 PM
  #567  
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Ahh... that's interesting!

I didn't even know about the Novotny's existance !
Hahaa.... it will indeed be quirky, and need a lot of mental hurdling while getting used to the skewed top tube!
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Old 11-07-17, 06:33 AM
  #568  
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Hello everyone,

I have been eagerly following this thread on otherwise wonderful bike forums.

Your discussions and opinions I found particularly interesting and sometimes even instructive.

Unlike some of you I do not have a horse in this race, my spider sense was tingling. Although I came very close to pre-ordering, because the way I see it, if everyone like me decided to "wait and see", Mr. Boutakis' slim chances of success would be down to zero.
Like most of you I am however surprisingly and weirdly involved in this project, hoping that such a bold, interesting and, let's face it, beautiful design comes to life. And I do hope that all those who backed one way or the other end up vindicated for their ungodly patience (or ridiculous ability to rationalize things for themselves).

My opinion is that, albeit way too late, the era of improved communication from Helix's side is a good omen.
I believe he can pull through. Whether this will be a pyrrhic victory, and perennial success remains to be see, I for one would chip in as soon as the pre-production design is validated.

Jur: thank you. You have made this long waiting instructive with very little negative influence on the discussion quite the contrary. I know others could benefit from the same compliment but you've been extremely vocal and involved. Too bad you are giving up, but no one can ask anything more of you.


Coming back to the Novotny design and the discussion regarding the durability of the back helical joint. The main thing I see between Helix and Novotny's approach is that one uses a technological solution where the other uses a design solution to essentially the same problem.
Novotny's design was obviously not refined however, with half the front fork poking out for example.

Now... I'm a mere material's scientist and therefore only benefit from basic knowledge of mechanical design. But it seems to me that should someone ply their ability to it, Helix dimensions with the Novotny's frame shape would benefit from the best of both worlds: Robust, safe and above all simple hinges. Probably even lighter in the end, easier to maintain.

The bike would not necessarily have to be made out of Titanium, but a titanium frame would still work, and probably be even simpler (titanium hinges with probably hardened steen helical inserts seems like a weight and complexity increase vs. simple titanium hinge with say...IGUS hardwearing plastic bearings).

.. is my reasoning resonating with anyone here?

Thought like I had to chip in. Keep up the good work, the updates, and let's hope Mr. Boutakis succeeds, even if his reputation ends up chipped... some of the world's loathing is worth such an achievement in my opinion.
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Old 11-07-17, 07:48 AM
  #569  
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Greetings, all,
Looking for something better than my Dahons, I found the Helix on Kickstarter. Had to have one. Its fold is as compact & elegant as a Brompton, but with titanium, 10 speeds, & real world sized wheels for off road riding. And it fits in airline luggage without Bike Friday style tedious disassembly/reassembly.

I know, I know....titanium isn't magical or necessary. And it made everything spendier, slower & more difficult. But it's the ultimate geek material. No paint, no corrosion, & it has that wonderful nickel-like color. I also investigated the component choices, & found'm an optimum balance of quality & cost.

I've been burned by failed start-ups before, so I waited for the spring pre-order to buy mine. By then success appeared very likely. I'm a mechanical engineer, specializing in new product design (mainly aerospace), & saw that the founder tackled more than expected. So I'm prepared for delays & a long wait.

Helix has answered all my emails. Difficulties are being addressed with intelligence & obsession. The biggest problem I see is that the price is too low for the production costs. But that can be solved later.

Last edited by Revoltingest; 11-07-17 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 11-07-17, 08:12 AM
  #570  
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The Novotny design is interesting. It shows that there are many ways to skin a cat. Skewing the top tube cleverly simplifies hinge design. But is it unforgivably funny looking?

Folded, it reminds me of designing a saggital saw (for orthopedic surgery) back in the late 70s at Black & Decker. Research involved case studies. One patient was a ballerina with a bad knee. She opted to have her knee fused, instead of getting an artificial joint. In a post-surgery video, she looked quite normal when dancing. But when she sat down in a chair, that leg stuck straight out....like a folded Novotny. It just looks so wrong.

The helical hinges don't look inherently subject to wear. The front shouldn't bear any load when riding. (The load bearing interface is all titanium.) The rear one bears a load, but it isn't rotating when riding. A plastic bearing should easily stand up to such static loading.

Last edited by Revoltingest; 11-07-17 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 11-07-17, 05:48 PM
  #571  
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Two newbies who've only contributed to this thread, and talk in the same manner. Sure, let's go with that.
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Old 11-07-17, 07:10 PM
  #572  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
Two newbies who've only contributed to this thread, and talk in the same manner. Sure, let's go with that.
Three if you count me, and we are all engineers. Speaking for myself, I expected this to take a long time but now I am getting a little impatient. I've been following this so long I know Peter doesn't really have a BMW and a car model girlfriend.
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Old 11-07-17, 08:16 PM
  #573  
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Originally Posted by KentS View Post
Three if you count me, and we are all engineers. Speaking for myself, I expected this to take a long time but now I am getting a little impatient. I've been following this so long I know Peter doesn't really have a BMW and a car model girlfriend.
You, I believe. The other two chiming in at the same time with the same speaking style..not so much.
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Old 11-07-17, 08:31 PM
  #574  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
Two newbies who've only contributed to this thread, and talk in the same manner. Sure, let's go with that.
I'm pretty happy to have two (or three including KentS) engineers joining the thread as they all have interesting things to say about the design. Maybe I'd feel differently if they were making me feel worse about my decision to pre-order, but whatever, it's good to hear about other bikes and what people make of the various designs rather than the handful of us there were before posting updates and expressing our disappointment that things aren't moving along more quickly. Also, how many other places are people talking about Helix? Is it really that weird that a few new people join the thread?

The Novotny design looks quite interesting, but for me what appeals about Helix is Peter's obsession to solving all his personal issues with the folding bikes of today to achieve the perfect folder (or at least as close as he can get). As RatonLaveur and Revoltingest pointed out, the Novotny bike has bits poking out all over the place and is far less optimised. This perfectionism has almost certainly been the reason for most of the delays, and might even lead to the project failing, but over the last few months I think progress seems to be relatively OK, and since Helix started keeping everyone updated I have been a lot less worried about my cash.
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Old 11-07-17, 08:44 PM
  #575  
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With regard to wheel size, the Helix has 24" wheels, which I'm hoping is going to offer a ride that compares reasonably well with full-sized 26" wheels. I remember testing out a Brompton when I was first looking into getting a folder, and despite the Brompton really living up to the ideals of being a bike that folds small enough to put in a suitcase and travel with, with its 16" wheels it was far too twitchy and not that much fun to ride. Bromptons are also quite expensive and there are lots of custom parts. In the end I got a Tern Verge x10, which has its own set of problems (the folded bike is awkward as hell to carry, and there were some recalls, due to folding joint welds welds failing which could have led to serious injuries or deaths), but is so much better to ride. The reason I got into Helix is because I want a folding bike that is actually compact, light and easier to carry folded than unfolded, but rides more like a regular bike.
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