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Helix Update?

Old 02-26-19, 08:30 AM
  #1826  
Ozonation
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Originally Posted by maxxevv View Post
Fatter tyres will make a bigger difference than just wheel diameter differences on rougher roads.
Case in point would be BMX tyres (406x1.95") handling much better in gravel and rock chip surfaced roads than a 700x25c or a 700x28c.
Quite true, but given that there are few if any other options for fatter tires for the 16" wheeled Brompton, then I have to move up in wheel size to get any sort of more capable ride. AND if I still want a compact fold, then the Helix potentially offers this combination.

I have also looked at other options such as the Terns, Dahons, etc. but their 20" wheeled models don't fold as much as I would want for travel, and their 24" or larger models don't really fold for travel but more for just convenience. So I'll see what the Helix has to offer.
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Old 02-26-19, 08:33 AM
  #1827  
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Originally Posted by AvnerBen View Post
Trailers need more work, because they rely on adding a hinge mechanism under the closing nut of the rear hub, and the helix does not have one. Peter assured me he's working on an optional universal ball hinge attachment which will solve the problem.
But there should be no problem with the Travoy, because it mounts to the seat post, or so it seems
I've pulled my kids' two seater WIKE trailer on my Brompton. It works! But it's awkward... not my first choice... if I'm bringing that large of a trailer, it's not exactly travel friendly, so I might as well just as use a larger bike. Your mileage with the Travoy or other similar system might be better.
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Old 02-26-19, 08:37 AM
  #1828  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
Sure, anyone can accept the weight and choose to enjoy the bike for other reasons. The problem is it was promoted as The New Most Fabulous Ever Lightweight Titanium Folder, and now it's just a nice folder. For those who are still into it and buy the bike it won't matter much, but it's an huge marketing hurdle IMO.
Fair enough, but I never really bought into the lightest this, fastest that, etc. Meh... I shoot photography too. If I believed every claim by every manufacturer about how bloody good their camera is, I'd own them all! LOL For me, it was about the tradeoff: can the Helix really shove a 24" folding bike into almost the same footprint as a Brompton? My Brompton, with rack, leather seat, etc. already clocks in at just under 30 pounds. So for me, it's all relative. As with many others, I'm looking forward to the first "real world" experiences of the bike in actual use.
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Old 02-26-19, 10:27 AM
  #1829  
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Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
I've pulled my kids' two seater WIKE trailer on my Brompton. It works! But it's awkward... not my first choice... if I'm bringing that large of a trailer, it's not exactly travel friendly, so I might as well just as use a larger bike. Your mileage with the Travoy or other similar system might be better.
You can't pull kids on a Travoy but I can attest to the fact that it tracks amazing well even with heavy 60lb loads; in fact, I keep looking back because I think it isn't there anymore, lol. I've used it on a 16" and 20" Bike Friday andi it is brilliant. Not being able to attach a standard kid axle trailer to the Helix is kind of a big deal, I think, for families that travel so I hope there's a work around.
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Old 02-26-19, 11:19 AM
  #1830  
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Old 02-26-19, 12:34 PM
  #1831  
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Originally Posted by spambait11 View Post
More posts going up:

https://youtu.be/4mkzRF3trJM
Huh... so I scanned the video... didn't manage to watch it entirely but I did catch the one part where he weighs it and it reads 11.38 kg, or 25.04 pounds. Did anybody else catch it? I think that's in keeping roughly with what the 10 speed configuration was supposed to weigh.

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Old 02-26-19, 12:37 PM
  #1832  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
You can't pull kids on a Travoy but I can attest to the fact that it tracks amazing well even with heavy 60lb loads; in fact, I keep looking back because I think it isn't there anymore, lol. I've used it on a 16" and 20" Bike Friday andi it is brilliant. Not being able to attach a standard kid axle trailer to the Helix is kind of a big deal, I think, for families that travel so I hope there's a work around.
Hmmm... time to buy a new toy for the bikes! Heh heh heh.. not that I didn't look at the Travoy before... ahem...
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Old 02-26-19, 02:00 PM
  #1833  
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Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
Huh... so I scanned the video... didn't manage to watch it entirely but I did catch the one part where he weighs it and it reads 11.38 kg, or 25.04 pounds. Did anybody else catch it? I think that's in keeping roughly with what the 10 speed configuration was supposed to weigh.
It weighs 11.38kg / 25lbs for 10 speed version, which is almost TWO kilograms heavier than initially advertised weight. And that's without mudguards and racks.
Brompton M6L (with mudguards) weigh 11.7kg. So this bike is just as heavy as Brompton. Which means it is too heavy to carry around and should be rolled. And it can roll only on the front wheel.
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Old 02-26-19, 02:09 PM
  #1834  
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Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
It weighs 11.38kg / 25lbs for 10 speed version, which is almost TWO kilograms heavier than initially advertised weight. And that's without mudguards and racks.
Brompton M6L (with mudguards) weigh 11.7kg. So this bike is just as heavy as Brompton. Which means it is too heavy to carry around and should be rolled. And it can roll only on the front wheel.
Their website lists the single speed at approximately 23 lbs, the 10 speed at 24.4 lbs, and the 11 speed Alfine at 27 lbs.

My Brompton weighs more than even the top configuration. Yes, it should be rolled... what of it? Even if it weighed 20 lbs I wouldn't want to carry it around all the time. And as long as it rolls on the front wheel, great.
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Old 02-26-19, 02:31 PM
  #1835  
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Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
Their website lists the single speed at approximately 23 lbs, the 10 speed at 24.4 lbs, and the 11 speed Alfine at 27 lbs.

My Brompton weighs more than even the top configuration. Yes, it should be rolled... what of it? Even if it weighed 20 lbs I wouldn't want to carry it around all the time. And as long as it rolls on the front wheel, great.
Nobody's talking about "carrying it around all the time", it's about ease of lifting into and out of transport and carrying up stairs. The difference between 20 and 25 pounds is significant in those cases; each pound over 20 is noticeable and - for me - could make the difference in whether I buy a particular folding bike or not. Right now a 10-speed Helix - which should benefit from an all ti frame and not having a heavy IGH - weighs more than a 6-speed steel/ti Brompton, not itself a notably light bicycle.

I'm sorry, if you're going to go after Brompton with a titanium frame, you gotta beat 'em on weight.
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Old 02-26-19, 04:31 PM
  #1836  
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As someone who is constantly carrying her bike (up and down stairs to public transit) I agree weight matters. But - carrying a bike with 16" wheels is easier than carrying a bike with 24" even if the weight is exactly the same. Size is a factor in terms of how easy it is to carry. While the Helix fold is brilliant for a 24" wheel bike, there's no way it is going to be as easy to carry as the Brompton or other 16" bike for most people. Now just today I was out with my Dahon Mu Uno (which weighs 21.5 lbs after a few changes) and I definitely find the slightly bigger wheels more bulky to carry than my 16" Pakit - although the Dahon definitely rolls easily. But going up and down stairs and even up and down escalators with the bike folded (you get a ticket if you take an unfolded bike on one instead of using stairs) it would have been easier with my not-quite-19lb Pakit, both size and weight being better. But Baby doesn't go out on really crappy rainy muddy days ;-).
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Old 02-26-19, 04:41 PM
  #1837  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
Right now a 10-speed Helix - which should benefit from an all ti frame and not having a heavy IGH - weighs more than a 6-speed steel/ti Brompton, not itself a notably light bicycle.

I'm sorry, if you're going to go after Brompton with a titanium frame, you gotta beat 'em on weight.
The naked 10speed Helix is at 11,38 kg. A Brompton S6E (steel, six-speed IGH-derailleur-combo, no blades, no rack) is listed at 11,27 kg in the Bromoton configurator (and at 1020 GBP). So surprisingly a comparable Brompton does not need to be the ti-version to still be slightly lighter than the Helix with it's ti-frame. This is no doubt a little bit disappointing and comes a litte as a surprise but for me it would not be a killer as I personally consider everything below 12 kg light enough in my daily practice. The lighter the better of course.

What is interesting to use another 24" folder as a comparison. The entry level Airnimal Joey Sport seems pretty comparable: 9-speed casette, disc brake in the front, 520 wheels, no blades, no rack. The frame is made of aluminium, it has a list price of 1290 GBP and a listed weight of 11kg (probably w/o pedals). Same ballpark as the Helix, no ti at all. It rides very well but folds worse than the Helix as you have to take out the front wheel for folding. I am not sure if the folded size is that much bigger for the naked version. The better comparison would be the (higher ranked) Joey Raptor as it has 507 wheels, 10-speed derailleur and dual disc brakes, so very comparable to the Helix. Unfortunately with this model there's no weight listed. I'd assume it could be a tad lighter due to the carbon fork and the higher speced components in comparison to the Joey Sport.

The Joey is a very robust bike, using standard components all the way and it is light too - I used to own a naked Elite Drop version and it was a pleasure to carry. So I'd assume for one that Helix pays a price for the additional and more complex hinges in comparison to the Joey and second that there might be additional potential for weight saving in future iterations - cannot judge. But it also means the weight of the Helix would at least to me not be an issue in daily practice - though again lighter would be nicer.
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Old 02-26-19, 05:02 PM
  #1838  
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Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
Fair enough, but I never really bought into the lightest this, fastest that, etc. Meh... I shoot photography too.i If I believed every claim by every manufacturer about how bloody good their camera is, I'd own them all! LOL
Please, we all know that the Sony A9 is the smallest,
lightest, fastest, best, full-frame camera in world!
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Old 02-26-19, 08:18 PM
  #1839  
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Originally Posted by davidhunternyc View Post


Please, we all know that the Sony A9 is the smallest,
lightest, fastest, best, full-frame camera in world!
Don't go there! Nikon rules! No Fuji! Canon! Meh... who cares about Canon. LOL
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Old 02-26-19, 08:32 PM
  #1840  
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Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
Don't go there! Nikon rules! No Fuji! Canon! Meh... who cares about Canon. LOL
Talk to the hand! Just sayin'....
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Old 02-26-19, 09:15 PM
  #1841  
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Sure... lighter is always better - nobody is going to say they enjoy schlepping heavy weights around - but...
  1. There's a lot of moaning and complaining how this titanium frame should be lighter and that the implication is that Helix has somehow screwed up in not making it lighter still. Why? The website lists the weights for each of the configuration, and the lightest configuration - 23 lbs - was to my recollection always the stated weight. There seems to be the implication that the marketing was false or misleading but the stated weight of the 10 speed configuration on the public website is 24.4 lbs. An actual user weighed it to be 25 lbs. This is a difference of a mere zero point six pounds, and this assumes there was no error in measurement. So, the bike weighs what it was stated to weigh. How exactly is this disappointing or misleading at this stage? You still find that too heavy? Fine - make sure you read the fine print and don't buy it. It clearly doesn't fit your specific needs. [EDIT: As is pointed out later, the KS campaign listed lighter weights. So be it. That the risk you take with KickStarter. It was prototype that was featured after all. The website clearly reflects more up to date information.]
  2. The weight is apparently comparable to a Ti-Brompton or some other folder, and maybe even a fraction heavier, so the Helix has missed the mark. Has it? Who said it was meant to be a direct replacement? What are the tradeoffs? Oh wait... it has 24" wheels, not 16" wheels. And it doesn't fold mid-frame, so that should offer structural advantages. Well, others don't fold mid-frame either. But the Helix offers (to be verified by actual owners) the most compact fold given its wheel size; others don't. And it folds without compromises - no taking the wheel off, no strapping things together. So what do we have in totality? A TWENTY FOUR inch wheeled bike - not a 16", not a 20" - that offers likely greater structural advantages AND can (so it is claimed) fold down to a form factor - and fold easily (again claimed) - that has yet to be achieved by any other folder of comparable wheel size.
  3. A titanium bike should be lighter - why? Maybe the fact that it is constructed out of titanium is what has allowed Helix to design in features (folding, safety, etc.) while still keeping the weight reasonable. What about the inverse alternative? Back when everybody was complaining about Helix being all smoke and mirrors, several comments stated Helix should just forget about the titanium alternative and just build the same design out of steel to get the damn bike to market. Let's say that happened. The bike would come in at several pounds heavier... and then I bet people would start complaining that Helix should offer a titanium version to save a few pounds. I'm going to paraphrase retrogrouch Grant Petersen: the obsession with weight savings is misplaced... a few pounds of weight reduction on a frame can reduce its integrity significantly; most people would be better off losing a few pounds off the engine (i.e., you, the rider).
  4. But every pound counts. Sure... but in practice, probably not as much as you think. I've hauled my Brompton on trains, packed into planes, and up and down stairs. Would it be nicer if it was a couple pounds lighter? Sure. BUT when compared to my backpack loaded with my laptop, files, lunch, water bottle, reference documents, etc., or my overnight bag with clothes, toiletries, blah blah blah... a savings of 2 to 3 lb would be less than 1% of the total weight (including me) that I'm moving. Not surprisingly, the reality is not quite as effortless as Brompton portrays on it shiny advertisements.
So, now that the bike is out in the wild... let the users document their experiences about how the bike works in totality. The perceived significance of a few pounds is not going to make or break the experience for those who felt the Helix fits their needs.

Last edited by Ozonation; 02-26-19 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 02-26-19, 10:30 PM
  #1842  
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Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
The website lists the weights for each of the configuration, and the lightest configuration - 23 lbs - was to my recollection always the stated weight. There seems to be the implication that the marketing was false or misleading but the stated weight of the 10 speed configuration on the public website is 24.4 lbs. An actual user weighed it to be 25 lbs. This is a difference of a mere zero point six pounds, and this assumes there was no error in measurement. So, the bike weighs what it was stated to weigh. How exactly is this disappointing or misleading at this stage? You still find that too heavy? Fine - make sure you read the fine print and don't buy it. It's clearly not for you.
I think what other posters are comparing to is the original claimed weight from the Kickstarter page, which was 20lbs for the single speed, 21lbs for the 10spd, and 24lbs (23.7 actually) for the Alfine 11. Seems like the lineup as a whole gained around 3 pounds.
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Old 02-26-19, 10:39 PM
  #1843  
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Originally Posted by Nightdiver View Post
I think what other posters are comparing to is the original claimed weight from the Kickstarter page, which was 20lbs for the single speed, 21lbs for the 10spd, and 24lbs (23.7 actually) for the Alfine 11. Seems like the lineup as a whole gained around 3 pounds.
Thanks for the reminder... fair enough, but hey, it's Kickstarter. Not only might you not get your product, but specs are subject to change. And the KS page only listed them as "approximate" weights. Caveat emptor. Personally, if the changes mean improved handling, durability, and safety, then the extra three pounds are probably worth it.

Last edited by Ozonation; 02-26-19 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 02-26-19, 11:15 PM
  #1844  
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Aside from the backers, some of whom may not care about the weight and some who might, the market will take care of the rest. Actual weights will be available for any prospective buyers who can decide how much "weight" to give that factor. My suspicion is that most of the whining is about the loss of the "ideal" which is what the KS Helix represented in many ways.
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Old 02-27-19, 02:42 AM
  #1845  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Aside from the backers, some of whom may not care about the weight and some who might, the market will take care of the rest. Actual weights will be available for any prospective buyers who can decide how much "weight" to give that factor. My suspicion is that most of the whining is about the loss of the "ideal" which is what the KS Helix represented in many ways.
My "complaint" - such as it is - is that the bike was presented as a lightweight new folder, with the titanium frame being the representation of that promise. People can keep saying 3 pounds doesn't matter to them personally and I believe them, my point is it's a big miss marketing-wise. If you said your carbon race bike was going to be 16 pounds then it landed at 19, that bike would rapidly cease to exist.

Last edited by Joe Remi; 02-27-19 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 02-27-19, 07:34 AM
  #1846  
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Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
Thanks for the reminder... fair enough, but hey, it's Kickstarter. Not only might you not get your product, but specs are subject to change. And the KS page only listed them as "approximate" weights. Caveat emptor. Personally, if the changes mean improved handling, durability, and safety, then the extra three pounds are probably worth it.
Lots of people deliver what they promise on Kickstarter, some even on time.
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Old 02-27-19, 08:14 AM
  #1847  
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Just for a moment lets forget what the bike was "suppose to be" and look at the bike as something brand new, like you have never seen it before, never heard about it. When you take away your perceived notions it appears to be a pretty cool bike. There isn't a bike that will appeal to everyone but for some the Helix is going to be perfect. Imagine walking into a retail establishment and seeing that bike for the first time? I am not in the market for another folder and even if I was, Helix wouldn't be on my list but when I watched the video I couldn't be more impressed with what they built. I can't wait until I see one in person.

I was one of the naysayers on Helix, thinking they would never produce a bike but I am glad to say I was 100% wrong. So, congratulations to Helix and to the backers that persevered and will get/got their bikes.
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Old 02-27-19, 08:17 AM
  #1848  
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If I were a svelte athlete, & racing my Helix in a Tour de Something, 3# would be a deal breaker.
But I'm not, & I won't, so it isn't.
No other 24 incher will fit where I'll carry it.
24" is better than 16" or 20".
TI is pretty.
And the bike is beautifully gearhead with all the fiddly mechanisms.
Lighter would be nicer, but here is what I'll tell mine when it arrives....

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Old 02-27-19, 08:24 AM
  #1849  
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Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
I've pulled my kids' two seater WIKE trailer on my Brompton. It works! But it's awkward... not my first choice... if I'm bringing that large of a trailer, it's not exactly travel friendly, so I might as well just as use a larger bike. Your mileage with the Travoy or other similar system might be better.
I traveled the Elbe bike track and others with Brompton followed by Radical Design Chubby trailer on a variety of surfaces, and it was very comfortable.
The great thing about the Chubby trailer is that it can accommodate the folded Brompton plus some equiment (minus its self weight of 6kg), so may it also be used as a suitcase for air travel. The Chubby 3 had some stability problems. Radical design say that model 4 solves them, using the same frame as their excellent Cyclone trailer. I am seriously considering using a Chubby 4 trailer with our Helices for our summer trip, if they arrive on time .
Peter assured me that the folded Helix can sit in the Chubby 4 "with room to spare".
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Old 02-27-19, 08:25 AM
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Raxel
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Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
Sure... lighter is always better - nobody is going to say they enjoy schlepping heavy weights around - but...
  1. There's a lot of moaning and complaining how this titanium frame should be lighter and that the implication is that Helix has somehow screwed up in not making it lighter still. Why? The website lists the weights for each of the configuration, and the lightest configuration - 23 lbs - was to my recollection always the stated weight. There seems to be the implication that the marketing was false or misleading but the stated weight of the 10 speed configuration on the public website is 24.4 lbs. An actual user weighed it to be 25 lbs. This is a difference of a mere zero point six pounds, and this assumes there was no error in measurement. So, the bike weighs what it was stated to weigh. How exactly is this disappointing or misleading at this stage? You still find that too heavy? Fine - make sure you read the fine print and don't buy it. It clearly doesn't fit your specific needs. [EDIT: As is pointed out later, the KS campaign listed lighter weights. So be it. That the risk you take with KickStarter. It was prototype that was featured after all. The website clearly reflects more up to date information.]
They promised 20lbs for a SS bike and 21lbs for a 10-speed bike in the kickstarter. Here are what they have said:
"Helix was designed to go everywhere, whether it's the subway, the trunk of your car or a suitcase; it will be lifted often, so it must be lightweight."
"We've obsessed over every detail to make sure Helix is as light as possible without compromising everyday durability."

And it turned out 4 POUNDS heavier.


Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
  1. The weight is apparently comparable to a Ti-Brompton or some other folder, and maybe even a fraction heavier, so the Helix has missed the mark. Has it? Who said it was meant to be a direct replacement? What are the tradeoffs? Oh wait... it has 24" wheels, not 16" wheels. And it doesn't fold mid-frame, so that should offer structural advantages. Well, others don't fold mid-frame either. But the Helix offers (to be verified by actual owners) the most compact fold given its wheel size; others don't. And it folds without compromises - no taking the wheel off, no strapping things together. So what do we have in totality? A TWENTY FOUR inch wheeled bike - not a 16", not a 20" - that offers likely greater structural advantages AND can (so it is claimed) fold down to a form factor - and fold easily (again claimed) - that has yet to be achieved by any other folder of comparable wheel size.
.
No, its weight is on par with full steel brompton with internal gear. Ti-version and external geared version are much lighter.
Wheel size cannot be an excuse. Montague and Changebike are much lighter even with 27" wheels.
And according the youtube video, folding and unfolding look quite cumbersome. One need to press the knob and rotate it multiple times.
Also Changebike has the EN 14766 certified, and Montague frames have proved themselves strong enough for mountain biking. Does helix frame have any? How can they claim structural advantage?

Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
  1. A titanium bike should be lighter - why? Maybe the fact that it is constructed out of titanium is what has allowed Helix to design in features (folding, safety, etc.) while still keeping the weight reasonable. What about the inverse alternative? Back when everybody was complaining about Helix being all smoke and mirrors, several comments stated Helix should just forget about the titanium alternative and just build the same design out of steel to get the damn bike to market. Let's say that happened. The bike would come in at several pounds heavier... and then I bet people would start complaining that Helix should offer a titanium version to save a few pounds.
Because TItanium has higher strength to weight ratio than most steels, for the price of being much expensive and harder to machine/weld. Nobody will buy ti Brompton if they weigh the same.
And they promised 20lbs titanium bike and they didn't deliver for four years. That's why people asked for somewhat heavier (23-24lbs) steel bikes ASAP. And now we have 25lbs titanium bike after long 4 years.

Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
I'm going to paraphrase retrogrouch Grant Petersen: the obsession with weight savings is misplaced... a few pounds of weight reduction on a frame can reduce its integrity significantly; most people would be better off losing a few pounds off the engine (i.e., you, the rider).
Except for folding bikes, which needed to lifted often (and sometimes carried over staircases) for multimodal commuting.
They explicitly said this in the kickstarter page.
"it will be lifted often, so it must be lightweight."

Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
  1. But every pound counts. Sure... but in practice, probably not as much as you think. I've hauled my Brompton on trains, packed into planes, and up and down stairs. Would it be nicer if it was a couple pounds lighter? Sure. BUT when compared to my backpack loaded with my laptop, files, lunch, water bottle, reference documents, etc., or my overnight bag with clothes, toiletries, blah blah blah... a savings of 2 to 3 lb would be less than 1% of the total weight (including me) that I'm moving. Not surprisingly, the reality is not quite as effortless as Brompton portrays on it shiny advertisements.
I will repeat your logic here. Wheel size difference of 2 or 3 inches would make less than 1% of total energy consumption during I'm moving. Fold size differences of 20 or 30 cubic inches would be less than 1% of my office volume.
Then why do we need Helix bike at all?
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