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Helix Update?

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Old 02-12-19, 11:19 PM
  #1626  
linberl
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
It also would be nice if 75% of the country wasn't snowed or rained in right now. I don't expect any reviews for a while, it's COLD out there!

As for missing the market, my guess is yes. Every story I hear from insider bikey people is that ebikes are rolling over everything, and you better build one if you want to sell bikes. Helix is WAY behind on this curve. My opinion.
I wonder if ebikes will appeal to milennials, though. My son has never had a car, bikes everywhere, and would not use an ebike. Part of the appeal to him is the ability to eat any darned thing he wants in any quantity because he rides so many miles. And drink beer, lots of beer, lol. Of course milennials are probably not a big target for folding bikes, either. E bikes definitely appeal to the older crowd, which typically has more disposable income. I see lots of people on ebikes where I live but I don't think one has been in their twenties and few in their thirties. Maybe that's not true everywhere, though, but I suspect regular bikes will be around because....youth.
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Old 02-13-19, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I wonder if ebikes will appeal to milennials, though. My son has never had a car, bikes everywhere, and would not use an ebike. Part of the appeal to him is the ability to eat any darned thing he wants in any quantity because he rides so many miles. And drink beer, lots of beer, lol. Of course milennials are probably not a big target for folding bikes, either. E bikes definitely appeal to the older crowd, which typically has more disposable income. I see lots of people on ebikes where I live but I don't think one has been in their twenties and few in their thirties. Maybe that's not true everywhere, though, but I suspect regular bikes will be around because....youth.
Lightweight ebike make great sense as a urban transportation, which has been the main role of folder bikes for years. I recently saw a $300 electric kickboard with 25km/h top speed and +20km range that weighs as little as 8kg (it folds too). Except for the fitness benefit, those ebikes are much more practical than expensive (and mostly much heavy) folding bikes.
And road bikes and MTBs are less affected because they are more about fun and fitness than transportation method.
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Old 02-13-19, 12:56 AM
  #1628  
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I see lots of younger folks around here (N. California) on ebikes, plus rental e-scooters. I predict the evolution will eventually be e-scooters/ebikes/electric cars for future generations. They'll basically skip the world we knew of graduating from pedal bikes to IC cars.
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Old 02-13-19, 01:17 AM
  #1629  
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Coming back to the folders market, there is a clear demand for electric assist folders but the main competitor for folders now is electric scooter including the public ones like the Lime, overboards, self balancing monowheels... all kind of electric powered transportation system that are booming now what wasn't the case when Helix KS project was started.

Actually, many potential customers for folders aren't cyclists at all, they even don't care of the fitness benefit of cycling and all these people are now more attracted by all these new electric powered transportation system than by folders.

And one more thing about the wheel size, for me small wheel is an advantage,

I like the behavior of small wheel bikes, they provide much more fun that big wheels. In Asia there is a big market for small wheel bikes with a lot of models, many of them aren't folders. There are many brands unknown is western countries and western brands are selling a lot of small wheels bikes in Asia (Moulton and Brompton are selling a lot of bikes in Asia, Bike Friday too, Pacific Cycle is selling the Birdy...).
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Old 02-13-19, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
...Brompton sales are stagnating a little below 50K pieces/year..
Pardon, please would you mind to share also the source of this information?
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Old 02-13-19, 03:04 AM
  #1631  
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Originally Posted by Blackstrida_A_ View Post
Pardon, please would you mind to share also the source of this information?
Its published in several business reviews, just one https://road.cc/content/news/235018-...e-flat-volumes

When moving to the new factory, Brompton CEO Will Butler-Adams promised to double bike sales quickly what didn't happen.

Brompton is hoping to eventually increase sales with the Brompton Electric https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle...-a2920556.html
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Old 02-13-19, 03:38 AM
  #1632  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
Its published in several business reviews, just one https://road.cc/content/news/235018-...e-flat-volumes

When moving to the new factory, Brompton CEO Will Butler-Adams promised to double bike sales quickly what didn't happen.

Brompton is hoping to eventually increase sales with the Brompton Electric https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle...-a2920556.html
Thanks for sharing. Interesting articles. They prompt more questions than they answer on the topic of overall market state and trends.
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Old 02-13-19, 03:53 AM
  #1633  
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Originally Posted by Blackstrida_A_ View Post
Pardon, please would you mind to share also the source of this information?
Jipe's info is only half correct. Brompton announced with the move to the new factory their goal to double sales to around the 100.000 a year mark until the early 2020ies. It seems unlikely that they will reach that goal or even come close, based on the published sales numbers. Sales stalled indeed for a couple of years (after years of massive growth) but they started growing slightly again last year as you can see from their published financial data. Brompton's business year lasts from April-March. These are the numbers I drew from their official publications:


So you can see a slight growth, especially in April 2017 to March 2018. What's more important is that for the calendar year 2018 the frame numbers of produed bikes indicate that they have probably built more than 50.000 bikes during the calendar year 2018 and will thus possibly end up beyond the 50k mark for their business year 2018/2019.

This is IMHO however not really a massive leading indicator for the folding market as Brompton expands into new markets and enhances sales through more intensive marketing than they did earlier as well as new/different sales channels. Still I do not see a fall in folding bikes - the opposite is the case. The number of folders I see in the wild has grown massively over the last years. It is still a small niche market but my impression is that is has been growing and is growing further.

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Old 02-13-19, 06:49 AM
  #1634  
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As a person who lives in a small rural town, located in the albeit not so large (but still rather hilly) New Hampshire west central mountains, where the nearest traffic light and fast food chain, are more than 15 miles in the distance, and nearest big-box retail store is more than 30 miles away, it is interesting to read about urban living, transportation, etc., and your passionate opinions on folding and E bikes.

I own a folding bike for one reason: It will fit in a suitcase and I can take it with me on vacation. Fortunately I happened to stumble upon mine, a relatively modest Dahon Speed 7 (which typically sells for $400-$450 USD retail) for a very nice $99 brand new (and we don't have sales or VAT tax here in NH). If it had been a whole lot more $$$ I probably would have passed. Now, I must admit, taking into account the value of the spares I've had on hand, and purchases made to upgrade it to a drop bar folder with more and better gearing, over the course of the 6 or so years, I've gradually spent another $400-500 USD.

The point I'd like to communicate, is that there is a huge segment of the world's population that would find a Brompton, or a future Helix (whatever the final retail price might be), a Bike Friday, or many other folding bikes, MTBs, road bikes, E-Bikes, E Scooters, etc., way too expensive. I'm not interested because of the cost verses the use. Others can't afford it, even the Kicksarter price. I say that--- even when I possess what I feel is significant disposable discretionary income and financial reserves.

I could easily offer a Kicksarter backer of a Helix 5X, even 10X, his/her investment--- or more. I can afford to purchase the best Brompton, or Bike Friday, or commission Frank the Welder (local to me) to build me one-off custom folder--- but 99.9999% of the world's population can't afford or have no need for a $$$$+ Folding, E, MTB, Road, Cargo, etc., bicycle.

So keep this in mind as you debate and argue, become frustrated, miffed, and increase your BPs. You have a very, very, very tiny audience (just look at how many are viewing this forum at any given moment--- possibly 5-10 BFers and 20-30 non members). Is all the vitriol and one ups-man-ship really worth the effort? Does it contribute positively to the well being--- of even the bicycling world--- let alone the tiny handful of people here in BF-Folding Bikes?
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Old 02-13-19, 07:29 AM
  #1635  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
As a person who lives in a small rural town, located in the albeit not so large (but still rather hilly) New Hampshire west central mountains, where the nearest traffic light and fast food chain, are more than 15 miles in the distance, and nearest big-box retail store is more than 30 miles away, it is interesting to read about urban living, transportation, etc., and your passionate opinions on folding and E bikes.

I own a folding bike for one reason: It will fit in a suitcase and I can take it with me on vacation. Fortunately I happened to stumble upon mine, a relatively modest Dahon Speed 7 (which typically sells for $400-$450 USD retail) for a very nice $99 brand new (and we don't have sales or VAT tax here in NH). If it had been a whole lot more $$$ I probably would have passed. Now, I must admit, taking into account the value of the spares I've had on hand, and purchases made to upgrade it to a drop bar folder with more and better gearing, over the course of the 6 or so years, I've gradually spent another $400-500 USD.

The point I'd like to communicate, is that there is a huge segment of the world's population that would find a Brompton, or a future Helix (whatever the final retail price might be), a Bike Friday, or many other folding bikes, MTBs, road bikes, E-Bikes, E Scooters, etc., way too expensive. I'm not interested because of the cost verses the use. Others can't afford it, even the Kicksarter price. I say that--- even when I possess what I feel is significant disposable discretionary income and financial reserves.

I could easily offer a Kicksarter backer of a Helix 5X, even 10X, his/her investment--- or more. I can afford to purchase the best Brompton, or Bike Friday, or commission Frank the Welder (local to me) to build me one-off custom folder--- but 99.9999% of the world's population can't afford or have no need for a $$$$+ Folding, E, MTB, Road, Cargo, etc., bicycle.

So keep this in mind as you debate and argue, become frustrated, miffed, and increase your BPs. You have a very, very, very tiny audience (just look at how many are viewing this forum at any given moment--- possibly 5-10 BFers and 20-30 non members). Is all the vitriol and one ups-man-ship really worth the effort? Does it contribute positively to the well being--- of even the bicycling world--- let alone the tiny handful of people here in BF-Folding Bikes?
I think so!
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Old 02-13-19, 07:48 AM
  #1636  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
It also would be nice if 75% of the country wasn't snowed or rained in right now. I don't expect any reviews for a while, it's COLD out there!

As for missing the market, my guess is yes. Every story I hear from insider bikey people is that ebikes are rolling over everything, and you better build one if you want to sell bikes. Helix is WAY behind on this curve. My opinion.
Helix has expressed plans for Ebike conversion (250W max power).
There are many add-on options which would be easy to adapt, eg, Copenhagen
Wheel, which look like a great solution both short & long term. But I know that the
market is heading towards motors at the crank, which would mean a major redesign.
Will Helix take the hard or the easy route? Or both?

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Old 02-13-19, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Gibsonsean View Post
I think so!
The positive optimistic side of me wishes you had added an emoji so that we might know whether you say this in jest or are serious. It is very challenging to know or to guess.
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Old 02-13-19, 09:18 AM
  #1638  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
The positive optimistic side of me wishes you had added an emoji so that we might know whether you say this in jest or are serious. It is very challenging to know or to guess.
I think the chatting on Bike Forums is worth the effort. I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it, and I'm not concerned that only 30 people see it. Honestly, number of readers had never occurred to me until you mentioned it.
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Old 02-13-19, 09:34 AM
  #1639  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
The positive optimistic side of me wishes you had added an emoji so that we might know whether you say this in jest or are serious. It is very challenging to know or to guess.
I am learning that strategic ambiguity is more fun than explicit clarity sometimes and practice accordingly.

For me, this thread is primarily about 2 things:
  • sharing information available to backers, within the parameters I feel are fair to Helix, with non-backers - as someone who was not a backer, was very interested in the Helix and ultimately bought out a backer, this thread was one of the few sources of useful information on the bike and its progress. I wish to extend that benefit to others who share that interest in any way
  • enrichment of the Helix journey - the Helix project is really interesting and the backer portal provides glimpses of it through a filter. Many, though not all by far, thoughts, opinions, observations and queries on this thread are ultimately additive, providing different perspectives and insights, thereby enriching my, and I hope others, understanding and appreciation of the journey we are witness to
In addition, and as a corrolary to the above, I feel it a duty to try to debate, challenge and debunk statements on this thread (usually negative) which I percieve to be unfair, baseless, ill informed and/or misleading, based on the information available to backers and a bit of logic and rigour. The cut and thrust of debate, while occassionaly overheated, is enjoyable, the stakes are essentially nil and it releases frustration at the pace of the actual project.

You make a good point on the catchment demographic for premium folders and the privilege of being 3%ers. However in the context of the above, you are preaching to the converted. This thread is a personal indulgence and matters not a whit in the grand scheme of things. My response is therefore heartfelt agreement with the core sentiment, gentle, jestful mockery of its seriousness in such a frivolous context (no offense intended!) and a straight answer to your question of is it worth it. I don't know what the emojis for that are.

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Old 02-13-19, 10:09 AM
  #1640  
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Noble thoughts, indeed, but Isn't there a forum on the Helix website where you can do both? You didn't start this thread, I know, but hasn't it outgrown its usefulness? You'll be receiving your Helix shortly, so hopefully the saga on this thread comes to a close. Bear in mind the higher the expectations the greater the disappointment if things do not turn out well.

I'm neutral on the bike, and, since I know nothing of the company or its goals, though I'd wager they are the same as most businesses, and won't be buying one anyway since the folding bikes I have are just fine. Would haves, as in would I have bought it had it existed 4 years are pointless, since it didn't.

By the way, I began and let languish a thread on my experience with Brompton copies, mostly because it seemed to affront real Brompton fans. I tried to be humorous (difficult, I know, but that simply puzzled people. As it stands, the Brompton may be going, and the copies staying, as, unless the world economy plunges into the greatest recession it has ever known - yes, - being forecast, not joking - mostly because the money covers more than the cost of the two copies so makes good economic sense. Waiting until the weather warms up before advertising, of course.
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Old 02-13-19, 10:23 AM
  #1641  
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
Noble thoughts, indeed, but Isn't there a forum on the Helix website where you can do both? You didn't start this thread, I know, but hasn't it outgrown its usefulness? You'll be receiving your Helix shortly, so hopefully the saga on this thread comes to a close. Bear in mind the higher the expectations the greater the disappointment if things do not turn out well.
The Helix forum is accessible to backers only and backers already have access to info. There is discussion aplenty there too, though usually of a different nature. I do hope that Helix share the backer timeline more widely in due course for those who are interested but I can appreciate they might prefer not to for reasons of IP protection.

I do think this thread will come to a natural end very soon. I think reviews of Helix and discussions around these belong in their own thread and once the pace of delivery is clear and people have a good sense of when Helix might come to market and Helix starts communicating with the market again, this thread will fall away completely.

Personally, i don't know if I will be as interested in contributing to this forum once i receive my bike (should be soon). Time will tell.

A life lived avoiding disappointment is likely to be disappointingly drab.
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Old 02-13-19, 10:23 AM
  #1642  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
I see lots of younger folks around here (N. California) on ebikes, plus rental e-scooters. I predict the evolution will eventually be e-scooters/ebikes/electric cars for future generations. They'll basically skip the world we knew of graduating from pedal bikes to IC cars.
In the East Bay the only time I see young people on e bikes is on Jump Plus bikes, but much more often on Lime scooters. But owned bikes are traditional...either roadies, mtb, or fixies. Then again, I see a very small percentage on folders (mostly brommies) on Bart - they are predominantly using full sized bikes there. I suspect not so much a reflection of cost as a reflection of the ever-present bike theft. E-bikes are just more expensive targets. Nothing locked up is theft proof here. That's why I have a folder I can take in with me, the only real solution to bike theft. Now, removable e-bike motors/batteries could be a game changer in big bad urban areas; at least only your bike would disappear then.
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Old 02-13-19, 10:24 AM
  #1643  
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This thread shall never die. Our children will be on it 😁
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Old 02-13-19, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Gibsonsean View Post
The Helix forum is accessible to backers only and backers already have access to info. There is discussion aplenty there too, though usually of a different nature. I do hope that Helix share the backer timeline more widely in due course for those who are interested but I can appreciate they might prefer not to for reasons of IP protection.

I do think this thread will come to a natural end very soon. I think reviews of Helix and discussions around these belong in their own thread and once the pace of delivery is clear and people have a good sense of when Helix might come to market and Helix starts communicating with the market again, this thread will fall away completely.

Personally, i don't know if I will be as interested in contributing to this forum once i receive my bike (should be soon). Time will tell.

A life lived avoiding disappointment is likely to be disappointingly drab.
Oh please leave us a review and some pics. At least an initial review...some of us want to cheer and celebrate that good things do happen in the world to those who wait =).
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Old 02-13-19, 10:32 AM
  #1645  
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
By the way, I began and let languish a thread on my experience with Brompton copies, mostly because it seemed to affront real Brompton fans. I tried to be humorous (difficult, I know, but that simply puzzled people. As it stands, the Brompton may be going, and the copies staying, as, unless the world economy plunges into the greatest recession it has ever known - yes, - being forecast, not joking - mostly because the money covers more than the cost of the two copies so makes good economic sense. Waiting until the weather warms up before advertising, of course.
I understand the Brompton tribe are a fierce and ornery bunch who are as protective of the brand as the company itself - mess with them at your peril. I don't imagine being run over by a herd of Bromptons is a good way to meet your end .
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Old 02-13-19, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
This thread shall never die. Our children will be on it 😁
Well the fat lady's final song is long and so far we've only heard her breath in and the sound of the first note has yet to reach us.
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Old 02-13-19, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Oh please leave us a review and some pics. At least an initial review...some of us want to cheer and celebrate that good things do happen in the world to those who wait =).
I'm sure many more qualified than I will be posting reviews here and elsewhere but I will of course be posting my impressions.

There has been some interest on the backer forum in a London Helix owner's get togther. As my bike was fairly early in the order, i was thinking of bringing it to a centrally located, and well lubricated London venue one evening after it has arrived so that fellow backers with a longer wait may get their fix a little earlier. No reason that couldn't extend to other interested Londoners on this thread, if there are any.

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Old 02-13-19, 11:10 AM
  #1648  
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Originally Posted by ladi View Post
Well, I guess if you want to be positive, every critical question seems "unqualified". Both positions have been supported by arguments as well as unfounded emotions. And thinking about it rationally one has to agree that "Never works, way too cheap!" is equally "unqualified and uninformed" as "Great idea. Happy for you guys!".

I think I did not notice anything really negative here recently. But on the other side there were comments like this one:
For clarity, by 'unqualified' i mean statements with with no acknowledgement of the basis for the rationale and the potential limitations of that basis. By 'uninformed' I mean statements whose basis is incorrect i.e. at odds with information which is known, or willfully partial or missing entirely, i.e. half assed data, or pulled out of a whole.

Only days ago, the inventor of Helix was classed as either utterly clueless or a liar, stated with poor rationlisation, no meaningful qualification and based on rubbish information. This is potentially damaging to the the target and to those who might form an opinion of that target based on what they read. Compared to an exuberant backer getting arguably carried away at the prospect of their bike finally being delivered, I don't think there is equivalence.
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Old 02-13-19, 02:17 PM
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@Jipe
@berlinonaut

Many thanks to you both!

Here a few more articles regarding sales figures:

https://www.theguardian.com/business...tory-expansion
https://www.tutor2u.net/business/blo...lding-bicycles
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-23239764
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Old 02-13-19, 02:52 PM
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Ozonation
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Bikes: Rivendell Sam Hillborne DTT in Awesome Green; Brompton M6R (reduced gearing) in Sage Green; GT Timberline Hybrid (10 years old!)

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Originally Posted by Gibsonsean View Post
For clarity, by 'unqualified' i mean statements with with no acknowledgement of the basis for the rationale and the potential limitations of that basis. By 'uninformed' I mean statements whose basis is incorrect i.e. at odds with information which is known, or willfully partial or missing entirely, i.e. half assed data, or pulled out of a whole.

Only days ago, the inventor of Helix was classed as either utterly clueless or a liar, stated with poor rationlisation, no meaningful qualification and based on rubbish information. This is potentially damaging to the the target and to those who might form an opinion of that target based on what they read. Compared to an exuberant backer getting arguably carried away at the prospect of their bike finally being delivered, I don't think there is equivalence.
Some of the earlier statements verged on slander or libel (if not outright venturing into them). What was ironic is that the most vicious statements often came from those who did not back in Helix - why so invested? Sure we could all use a "public service reminder" now and then, but if anybody bought into KS without seriously considering that they might actually get nothing... well, that's too bad. That's the way it works: you invest your money, you take your chances. Buyer beware.

Now that the bike is in the wild... it's waiting game to see how the reviews will turn out, and how Helix positions itself for long term success.
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