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Helix Update?

Old 12-23-17, 10:44 PM
  #751  
MrFlamey
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It's awesome that they finally finished the test bike, and it looks incredible. Titanium seat post and shot-peened finish confirmed!

I'm not sure now exactly what the differences are between the retail/pre-order bikes and the backer ones, so I sent an email off in the hope that maybe Peter could clarify all the differences. I know backers got a lower price and some component upgrades, but I'm not 100% if things like the shot-peened finish and Ti seat-post are for every bike, although I would assume so.

I wonder if manufacturing will actually begin in February. I am somewhat doubtful I'll have a bike by Spring, but you never know. Let's hope that backer #1 does at least.
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Old 12-24-17, 05:11 AM
  #752  
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Hi Mr. Flamey, this is an educated guess from snipets of official and unofficial information:

The difference between backer and retail: Ti-Seatpost vs. standard (Al or steel) seatpost.

Shot-peening finish: May be a one-off for backers but since this process changes, (to a small extent), the stresses distribution in the frame, I believe this could be generalized to all back.

Per helix team: pre-orders were "the last time the bike would be offered at this price", so unless their business strategy changes, I expect retail buyers (such as myself) may have to shell out a heftier amount of money. And it would make sense.

From my experience in manufacturing (machine tools): Once the first production demonstrator is down, it is almost immediately (2 weeks) possible to produce more of those, at a slower rate. To increase the rate, 2 months is a solid estimate (February), 3-4 months if the production team really screws the pooch. (I've seen it happen first hand, it's extremely frustrating when everyone is ready and the ball is dropped that way, however, it usually is amenable to someone in the organization being lazy/soft/incompetent, so it's a human factor at this point most of the time).

Anyway, I'm trying to say end of Feb. is reasonable for first deliverable bike, from the technical point of view.

However, they need to have the bike certified now...how long does that take? (To be added to the Feb. estimate).
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Old 12-24-17, 06:36 AM
  #753  
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Originally Posted by RatonLaveur View Post
Hi Mr. Flamey, this is an educated guess from snipets of official and unofficial information:

The difference between backer and retail: Ti-Seatpost vs. standard (Al or steel) seatpost.

Shot-peening finish: May be a one-off for backers but since this process changes, (to a small extent), the stresses distribution in the frame, I believe this could be generalized to all back.

Per helix team: pre-orders were "the last time the bike would be offered at this price", so unless their business strategy changes, I expect retail buyers (such as myself) may have to shell out a heftier amount of money. And it would make sense.

From my experience in manufacturing (machine tools): Once the first production demonstrator is down, it is almost immediately (2 weeks) possible to produce more of those, at a slower rate. To increase the rate, 2 months is a solid estimate (February), 3-4 months if the production team really screws the pooch. (I've seen it happen first hand, it's extremely frustrating when everyone is ready and the ball is dropped that way, however, it usually is amenable to someone in the organization being lazy/soft/incompetent, so it's a human factor at this point most of the time).

Anyway, I'm trying to say end of Feb. is reasonable for first deliverable bike, from the technical point of view.

However, they need to have the bike certified now...how long does that take? (To be added to the Feb. estimate).
All this planning assume that the test bike is right, i.e. no problems are detected on this test bike that need to be fixed to have the bike certified !
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Old 12-24-17, 09:39 AM
  #754  
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Originally Posted by MrFlamey View Post
I'm not 100% if things like the shot-peened finish and Ti seat-post are for every bike, although I would assume so.
Actually, I expect they throw in the Ti post for us (pre-orders) too. I'm just about ready to pull out of this, and give my soul and a few limbs to Brompton.

Last edited by DaKineDatFolds; 12-24-17 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 12-24-17, 09:59 AM
  #755  
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Originally Posted by DaKineDatFolds View Post
.... I'm just about ready to pull out of this, and give my soul and a few limbs to Brompton.
Just make sure you get one with a working bottom bracket!

(Oh, you said a few limbs. I guess you already know.)
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Old 12-24-17, 10:16 AM
  #756  
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Testing

Originally Posted by RatonLaveur View Post

However, they need to have the bike certified now...how long does that take? (To be added to the Feb. estimate).
Peter has said it should take 2-3 weeks. This estimate has slightly better credibility than his previous schedule predictions since it has to be from the test lab, but as Jipe has already pointed out, there's potential for delay if (heaven forbid) it fails to meet one of the test criteria for any reason. Let's hope there aren't any nasty little stress risers lurking under the surface of those "perfect" welds.

Last edited by Jonesandrew; 12-25-17 at 03:00 AM. Reason: error correction
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Old 12-24-17, 10:57 AM
  #757  
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Originally Posted by spambait11 View Post
Just make sure you get one with a working bottom bracket!

(Oh, you said a few limbs. I guess you already know.)
Right, I saw the 12/21 post. Is yours a 2014-2017 model?
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Old 12-24-17, 12:42 PM
  #758  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
All this planning assume that the test bike is right, i.e. no problems are detected on this test bike that need to be fixed to have the bike certified !
Indeed, I am astounded by all the hurray after the single bike got produced. There are so many things that need to line up to make a good bike . On the other hand the audience has an abnormally large component of those who jumped in the first place, so certainly not typical. Even though there are so many bikes in the world that are long in production, but are duds for one reason or another, good luck there!
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Old 12-24-17, 04:10 PM
  #759  
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You are, my dear sir, no doubt right.

This being said, one bicycle produced entirely with the envisioned industrial process is a production prototype. Helix has now therefore officially gone from "functional proof of concept" to "designed for manufacturing concept" to "fully produced demonstrator". Which is perfectly in-line with how an industrialization process should go.

Hence there IS reason to rejoice, for they are one serious step closer to victory, but there is no reason to cry victory just yet.

I wish every one of you, and the Helix team, a Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-17, 05:06 AM
  #760  
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But the quality of the production must then be demonstrated.

The next step is to have customer qualified samples.

To reach this step, the demonstrator must successfully pass all the test including reliability test.
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Old 12-25-17, 10:51 PM
  #761  
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Originally Posted by DaKineDatFolds View Post
Right, I saw the 12/21 post. Is yours a 2014-2017 model?
My Brompton? No. Circa 2004.

(Bought it before they came with latches to keep the rear triangle from swinging freely.)
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Old 12-27-17, 04:40 AM
  #762  
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Originally Posted by RichardLee View Post
Beautiful.
Hi!

Where are I can see photo of test bike from Helix?
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Old 12-27-17, 05:28 AM
  #763  
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SunDuck,

Lest I am mistaken, the website pictures are of the test bike from now on.

If you meant a real world (not marketing) picture, I suppose we'll have to wait until actual backers, pre-orders are allowed to share the more recent content with the world. Or Helix does.

Have a pleasant day every one.
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Old 12-27-17, 05:44 AM
  #764  
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I feel like Raton Laveur is Peter Boutakis wearing a moustache

Joking aside, in the progression from "functional proof of concept" --> "fully produced demonstrator," has the bike been validated from a testing perspective? I know that ISO, and a number of other international organizations, require safety and durability testing before a bike can be sold in most European and American markets.

Has this 'fully produced demonstrator' been through these tests? If not, it could require 1) a fundamental redesign and 2) a fundamental revision of manufacturing.

Any insight? With the lefty fork and bolt-action locking mechanism, I've got my doubts about durability.
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Old 12-27-17, 11:05 AM
  #765  
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Bike is scheduled in for 2-3 weeks testing in the new year.

There is always the risk of failure in testing. Don't think it likely given the genesis of the bike though.
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Old 12-27-17, 12:02 PM
  #766  
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Originally Posted by RatonLaveur View Post
Lest I am mistaken, the website pictures are of the test bike from now on.
If those website pictures are images of an actual, physical bicycle - and I'm certainly not saying they're not - then Helix went to some effort to make them appear like computer renderings.

But perhaps we're mere moments away from seeing pictures of a final configuration Helix being ridden around Toronto.
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Old 12-27-17, 01:05 PM
  #767  
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Actually, I was incorrect. I can see significant differences between the test bike pictured on the portal and the images on the website. I guess think the images on the website are still of the final prototype.
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Old 12-27-17, 02:04 PM
  #768  
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@Gibsonsean: thanks for checking, will be happy to see pictures when they escape in the world.

@tcs: no they are definitely pictures of a real bicycle taken by a professional, under professional lighting. Potentially photoshopped. What gives it away is the tires, you can see slight variations in color and the molding markings. I know CGI has come a long way but I am convinced it's real.
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Old 12-29-17, 06:42 AM
  #769  
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Hello everyone - another long time lurker of this thread coming out....

Quick question: does the test bike have internal cable routing? To me that's aesthetically the biggest shortcoming of this otherwise beautiful bike, and I'm surprised nobody else has brought this up. IMO Ti-seatpost is nice, but ultimately a side show.

Happy new year to everyone & may the first helix bikes hit the road soon!
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Old 12-29-17, 07:05 AM
  #770  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
...Helix went to some effort to make them appear like computer renderings.
Originally Posted by RatonLaveur View Post
...they are definitely pictures of a real bicycle taken by a professional, under professional lighting. Potentially photoshopped. What gives it away is the tires, you can see slight variations in color and the molding markings. I know CGI has come a long way but I am convinced it's real.
Originally Posted by helixhelix View Post
...does the test bike have internal cable routing? To me that's aesthetically the biggest shortcoming of this otherwise beautiful bike, and I'm surprised nobody else has brought this up.
Oh! Whoa! You guys are right. Why the need for the pro photos on a test bike? And will the test bike will be able to shift gears?

Originally Posted by spambait11 View Post
My Brompton? No. Circa 2004.
Well I'm betting that your Brompton works, and the Helix test bike doesn't!
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Old 12-29-17, 07:33 AM
  #771  
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Thx for the pics DaKineDatFolds! But... which one is the final design? My guess would be picture 3 (Ti-Seatpost, round rear triangle) which would mean no internal cable routing... I love the clean looks of pics 1 & 5, but even there the front cable routing does not seem (aesthetically) ideal. Routing back break & shifter cable in the back triangle would be the cherry on the cake, but presumably tricky because of the fold.
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Old 12-29-17, 07:51 AM
  #772  
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Originally Posted by helixhelix View Post
Thx for the pics DaKineDatFolds! But... which one is the final design? My guess would be picture 3 (Ti-Seatpost, round rear triangle) which would mean no internal cable routing... I love the clean looks of pics 1 & 5, but even there the front cable routing does not seem (aesthetically) ideal. Routing back break & shifter cable in the back triangle would be the cherry on the cake, but presumably tricky because of the fold.
You're right about the final design. Internal cable routing for shifting AND folding? How about... where's the shifter? Not knowing what's internal and external on my own non-folding bike, I had to check: Front and rear shifting is internal; front and rear brakes are external.

Last edited by DaKineDatFolds; 12-29-17 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 12-29-17, 08:13 AM
  #773  
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Indeed - where is the shifter? Do you have other pics from different angles for the final design to share? Ideally with a shifter installed...
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Old 12-29-17, 08:23 AM
  #774  
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Originally Posted by helixhelix View Post
Indeed - where is the shifter? Do you have other pics from different angles for the final design to share? Ideally with a shifter installed...
Okay, let me start by saying that I would've rather much preferred to keep things internal but after reading about the possible suspicions on the test bike, I feel that this needed to come out for comparison.

That's the only photo that I'm aware of for the test bike update, helixhelix. I wonder if anyone here with Photoshop skillz can help out.

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Old 12-29-17, 12:20 PM
  #775  
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interesting way to attach the saddle ....
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