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Old 02-25-15, 02:17 PM   #1
bendembroski
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Helix

As was introduced by bike.gang.uk on another thread, a new titanium folder is due on the market:

Helix - The World's Best Folding Bike

I'm likely to pre-order one, a few factors depending, as it looks like it might suit my needs exactly.

What I like:
  • Plenty of tire choices in the 507 ETRTO -- provided a Big Apple will fit. Kojak? Check. Studded for winter? Check.
  • The fold -- doesn't look as fast my Brompton, but fast enough.
  • Disk Brakes
  • Mounts for fenders and racks
  • Lightweight

Concerns (aside from it being a new company stuff):
  • The tiny chainring -- looks like it's necessary to clear the fold
  • Is the design achievable at that price-point? (Given the costs of Jur's Titanium Swift)
  • Flat Bars. I hate flat bars.

If mated with with a Sturmey-Archer CS-RK3, the chainring would be less of an issue..
It looks like you could fit other bars no problem, but it would make the fold wider.

All in all, a very impressive bike -- if they can get it in at that price...

Also, Hi Bike Forums. I've missed you.
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Old 02-25-15, 02:21 PM   #2
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from the web site's press release...

Helix Folding Bikes introduces the world's best folding bike.

Toronto - February 23 - Helix Folding Bikes (Helix - The World's Best Folding Bike) today announced the
launch of the Helix, the world's best folding bicycle. Helix folds down to the size of its
wheels. It is smaller, lighter, safer and easier to use than any other folding bike in the
world. Helix will be available for pre-order on Kickstarter in early March.
Bikes get stolen. Bikes that are locked up get vandalized or have parts stolen. You can't
take your bike on the subway or train during peak hours. Taking your bike on a trip
leaves little room for anything else. Bikes are awesome, but they are not easy to live
with.
Folding bikes could be the answer, but they come with their own compromises. They
ride funny because they have small wheels and compromised geometry, they're heavy,
they're awkward to use and worst of all, they don't actually fold that small.
We set out to change all of that.

Helix is the world's smallest folding bike - it folds down to the size of its wheels. No
other bike in the world folds so small. Helix's wheels pivot on helical hinges that allow
the front and rear wheels to be folded beside the frame and between the cranks - it is the
most efficient use of space possible. Helix is not only small in width and height, but also
depth, Helix is slightly wider than the crankset. Helix measures 25" x 24" x 9".
Helix will be made out of titanium. Titanium is lightweight, durable, remarkably
corrosion resistant and has excellent ride characteristics. It is an exceptional material for
bicycle manufacturing. Helix will weigh 21 lbs (9.5kg)

A titanium bicycle frame can rival the weight of a high end carbon frame but with a level
of durability that is unparalleled. Folding bikes are constantly being handled; they are
folded, lifted, put in trunks and bags - durability is a necessity.
Helix was designed from the very start with a focus on safety. Helix uses industry first
patent pending pass-through locks to keep the front fork and stem locked in place
extremely rigidly. The locks are spring loaded to prevent wear over the lifespan of the
bike; a secondary safety is in place should the spring loader fail. The design is inherently
safe.

Helix is the easiest folding bike in the world to fold and unfold. Unlike any other folding
bike, Helix can be folded in any order and without having to rotate the pedals. Helix is
easy to fold because the helical pivots guide the wheels to their correct position.
Helix will be handmade in Toronto, Canada. A local hands on approach will ensure
excellent quality. Only the finest materials, machinery and processes will be used to
make sure Helix exceeds our customers expectations.
Helix is a radical departure from conventional bike design. It is unlike any other bicycle
in the world. Helix folds down to the size of its wheels. It is safe, lightweight and easy
to use. Helix is the best folding bike in the world.

Helix will be shipping in late July 2015. It will be available for pre-order on Kickstarter
in early March starting at $1199.

Visit our website today to find out more about Helix and get notified when we launch our
Kickstarter campaign.

Website:
Helix - The World's Best Folding Bike

Video Link:

About Helix Folding Bike Company:
Helix is a bicycle startup in Toronto, Canada. We will be making the worlds best folding
bike in Toronto. Helix is smaller, lighter, safer and easier to use than any other folding
bike in the world. It has big wheels, 9 speeds and a titanium frame. It folds down to the
size of its wheels Helix can be taken on the subway, train and in any car. For more
information please visit: Helix - The World's Best Folding Bike

About the Founder:
Helix was founded by Peter Boutakis, a software developer, machinist, welder, cnc
programmer and avid cyclist. Peter previously worked in the software industry and
successfully founded condocommunities.com a web application for the condominium
industry. He is now working on making bicycles easier to live with by making the best
folding bikes in the world.

Contact Info:
Peter Boutakis
[email protected]
Helix - The World's Best Folding Bike

Last edited by Homebrew01; 01-09-17 at 03:12 PM. Reason: Removed personal info
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Old 02-25-15, 02:27 PM   #3
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From Peter's Bio on the website:

"Peter has worked on various folding bike designs over the past 8 years and has worked with manufacturers in Asia to develop these designs. He can be credited for introducing vertical folding to modern folding bikes."

Hmmm... I wonder what Mr. Ritchie, The fine folks at Bike Friday, and Mr. Reich would say about that claim.
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Old 02-25-15, 02:45 PM   #4
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This design is easily in "why didn't I think of that before?" category for many folding bike designers. Or has it been done before? Lefty fork used for foldie.
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Old 02-25-15, 02:54 PM   #5
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This design is easily in "why didn't I think of that before?" category for many folding bike designers. Or has it been done before? Lefty fork used for foldie.
Pacific IFmode and IFmove.
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Old 02-25-15, 02:58 PM   #6
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Pacific IFmode and IFmove.
Too bad they didn't apply it on their new Reach, but focused on making the front suspension as complicated as it can be.
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Old 02-25-15, 03:52 PM   #7
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This looks very good, I wish the exaggerations and inaccuracies would not have happened... smallest fold, 1st vertical fold, folds to size of wheels, lightest folder, safest?, easiest, etc etc... that detracts a lot.

I wish him success at that price point. I am wondering about the quality of the other parts... factoring in the price of the frame, and some profit (probably way less that 100% margin), I can't see any but the bottom of the range componentry. Which actually may be very good, because if you wanted to upgrade, then you wouldn't want to have spent much on the installed stuff.

The wheels look a bit smaller than 26".

I am guessing that is the heavily discounted kickstart price.

He will quickly also discover that folding bikes are a small niche, and this bike will be a small niche in a niche. But it does look a lot better than all the other ones that have come and gone over the years.
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Old 02-25-15, 03:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
This looks very good, I wish the exaggerations and inaccuracies would not have happened... smallest fold, 1st vertical fold, folds to size of wheels, lightest folder, safest?, easiest, etc etc... that detracts a lot.

I wish him success at that price point. I am wondering about the quality of the other parts... factoring in the price of the frame, and some profit (probably way less that 100% margin), I can't see any but the bottom of the range componentry. Which actually may be very good, because if you wanted to upgrade, then you wouldn't want to have spent much on the installed stuff.

The wheels look a bit smaller than 26".

I am guessing that is the heavily discounted kickstart price.

He will quickly also discover that folding bikes are a small niche, and this bike will be a small niche in a niche. But it does look a lot better than all the other ones that have come and gone over the years.
I tend to agree with all of the above. The wheels are 24" -- 507 ETRTO. The funny thing is, when I first looked at it, by thought was, I wonder if you could fit 406's on it? The bottom bracket looks high enough that you probably could...

Now that I think about it, going to 406 Wheels might help solve the chainring size issue?
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Old 02-25-15, 04:42 PM   #9
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Now that my initial excitement has subsided, I'm going to take a more hold-off, wait and see approach with this one.

Besides the hyperbole already addressed, I think tire clearance is going to be an issue on the 'seat stays'.

I should really just get on board with one of Jur's frames...
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Old 02-25-15, 08:33 PM   #10
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Certainly an interesting bike, though it probably wouldn't be comfortably "carry-able" by someone below 5'9.

At 5'7, carrying a Brompton by the saddle is already near the limit for me without having to uncomfortably bend my arms. It doesn't look like there's many other places to wrap one's hand around other than its saddle. I can't imagine it'd be fun carrying that up a flight of stairs if you're not too tall.
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Old 02-25-15, 08:40 PM   #11
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Bike Gang posted this on Facebook and Bromptonites are hating on it. What's wrong with more choice? I like that someone is challenging Brompton with a small fold.

I showed my daughter the video and her response was that it wasn't the typical clown bike. She is NOT a folder fan. That styling aspect alone could be a big advantage for the builders.
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Old 02-26-15, 09:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendembroski View Post
Now that my initial excitement has subsided, I'm going to take a more hold-off, wait and see approach with this one.

Besides the hyperbole already addressed, I think tire clearance is going to be an issue on the 'seat stays'.

I should really just get on board with one of Jur's frames...

kickstarter or worse that Asian like ..... yeah right .. that yellow electric bike for 500 bucks comes to mind ... I think the guys got 300000 bucks and now are looking for a motor and battery besides all the other good stuff ... a total dsaster and many many folks got burnt.

Its one thing to built a prototype.... than the real work begins ...
finding supplier to deliver the needed parts to built the bike
how about a product liability insurance ?
distribution channels ?
and and and ..

lets say I would want to have a no nonsense folding bike being built with my MODERATE ideas . even I who is in the biz fro the last 40 or so years need a hefty amount of cash to even get started ... somebody has 250000 dlr laying around ?
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Old 02-26-15, 10:14 AM   #13
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Yes. It is a though thing to bring a product to market. I'm waiting to see if Mr. Boutakis replies to my emails (or shows up on this forum).


When I saw the yellow e-bike, I instantly thought their claims weren't possible. This design appears more viable, and could answer a lot of my wants in a folding bike. Certainly, some of his claims aren't helping the credibility of his project from the perspective of a potential backer... At least this is on Kickstarter instead of Indiegogo.


Personally, I like the crowd funding model, provided one goes in knowing the risks.


As to its viability as a profit maker? Who knows.
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Old 02-27-15, 01:11 PM   #14
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Last Kick starter folder was called 'impossible' :-)
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...0/impossible-0

Helix looks better engineered, but as many Kickstarter campaigns, its at a very early stage in the concept to market process.
I hope the designer, Peter Boutakis, chimes in on here, more heads and all that, and, right at the core of his market :-)
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Old 02-27-15, 02:11 PM   #15
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Last Kick starter folder was called 'impossible' :-)
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...0/impossible-0

Helix looks better engineered, but as many Kickstarter campaigns, its at a very early stage in the concept to market process.
I hope the designer, Peter Boutakis, chimes in on here, more heads and all that, and, right at the core of his market :-)
The email I first sent him bounced back. I just sent another letting him know about this thread. Hopefully, he'll show up and say hi.
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Old 02-27-15, 03:49 PM   #16
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The email I first sent him bounced back. I just sent another letting him know about this thread. Hopefully, he'll show up and say hi.
i wounder if this would be even better in a 20" wheel as so many times its been revomend3d on these forums when designers seem determined to compromide fold unnesdarly to accomadate 24 or 26 inch wheels. maybe not on this case?
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Old 02-27-15, 03:57 PM   #17
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I too wondered about wheel size. Most likely an attempt to make the bike less 'clown-like' from a marketing perspective.

Then again, one of the things l like about this design is the apparently long (effective) top-tube. If you are going to make the bike that long anyway, why not use a slightly larger wheel?

Another big question I have is how solid will the folding fork stay after 5 or so years of folding / unfolding?
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Old 02-28-15, 10:57 PM   #18
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I agree with you guys.
Nice design but the ridiculous claims of being the best and smallest (to their limited knowledge) makes this company seem like a bunch of idiots.
If they are that ignorant or just liars then what will their support system be like?I expect BS like that from unethical countries; not Canada.
I also think fat 20" wheels would be better.

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Old 03-01-15, 06:05 PM   #19
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I am extremely curious to see how their kickstarter campaign works out. I think they would be an excellent competitor, hence they would improve the marketplace for all.

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Old 03-01-15, 09:54 PM   #20
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My first reaction was "if it isn't a pig that thinks he's a dog, it's a web designer that thinks he's an engineer!" And so I emailed Mark Sanders, and was informed that he knows the designer and the design is sound. He added that there are a lot of details to work out before a bike goes from this stage to being a finished product.

My second reaction was "wow, a folding titanium bicycle for $1,199! It sounds too good to be true!" Time will tell.The designer has answered all of my emails, and I think I'll support it. I'll be surprised if I get it in July though. My biggest concern is the tire choice; Schwalbe Kojacks come in 24 x 1.5, but Marathons are 1.75.
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Old 03-02-15, 09:11 AM   #21
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The designer has answered all of my emails, and I think I'll support it.
I've yet to hear from him. For me, this is now a situation. I look forward to see if the Kickstarter plays down the hyperbole, and offers more specifics on components.
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Old 03-02-15, 09:22 AM   #22
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Last Kick starter folder was called 'impossible' :-)
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...0/impossible-0

Helix looks better engineered, but as many Kickstarter campaigns, its at a very early stage in the concept to market process.
I hope the designer, Peter Boutakis, chimes in on here, more heads and all that, and, right at the core of his market :-)
Ahhhh i remembered that "impossible" one and apparently it is cancelled. They found out it was impossible for the super cheap price point that they where trying to sell it for. Carbon Fiber and electric motor super foldable escooter for $500 was pretty much impossible from all the discussion we had around here, they stated that it was 3x more expensive in the end! hahah they really needed a business student on the team and they admitted it! And now this team is offering a full titanium bike for $1500 is super cheap considering Ti frames alone are around that price! Just the bromption front and rear triangle is over $900 USD, how are these guys going to give you a full bike? Even our Famous Ti swift was not cheap so that was a good gauge for a custom built bike gram.
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Old 03-02-15, 10:19 AM   #23
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And now this team is offering a full titanium bike for $1500 is super cheap considering Ti frames alone are around that price! Just the bromption front and rear triangle is over $900 USD, how are these guys going to give you a full bike? Even our Famous Ti swift was not cheap so that was a good gauge for a custom built bike gram.
I recall 10 years ago people doubted our ability to offer great bikes at about 50% less than our competitors. I hope these guys can pull it off...no doubt it will not be easy.

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Old 03-02-15, 01:24 PM   #24
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Helix promoter Peter Boutakis has posted a response to some comments/questions about the Helix at:

Helix bike is claimed to fold smaller than any other

-HANK RYAN-
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Old 03-02-15, 02:33 PM   #25
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Math fans is 24 bigger than 16? a bike really cannot fold smaller than It's wheels but the mention of Titanium is getting the saliva flowing, obviously..
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