Wow! Finally a bike design that functions as well as it looks.
Rann Xeroxx
I think they should make a custom backpack or sling bag for it and sell it with it. It would give a better feel of why this would be useful to people as it would allow you to carry it via mass transit and ride the bike the last mile.
So where does a 24" tire fit inside a 23" space? I'd also like to see a detailed video demonstrating the folding and locking. Those slots cut in the fork and steering tube are a bit concerning.
Dax Wagner
$1500?? Why do bike makers insist on pricing these folding bikes as much as a small, used car on Craigslist? Adding hinges can't make it that expensive.
Another bike, another stupid price. Where does $1,500 come from - when you look at the individual components? It doesn't make any sense.
Freyr Gunnar
"Helix bike is claimed to fold smaller than any other […] 584 x 635 x 229 mm"
Brompton is "585mm high x 545mm long x 270mm wide".
The Helix having 24" wheels, it's hard to believe it could fold smaller than the 16"-wheeled Brompton, but it does look like a good project. It just needs fenders/mudguards and a luggage block in the front to clip bags à la Brompton, which is super convenient:
Dax Wagner > $1500?? Why do bike makers insist on pricing these folding bikes as much as a small, used car on Craigslist?
Making a good folder isn't as easy as people think. Besides, it must withstand daily fodling/unfolding, which is where the cheap ones show their price.
> Adding hinges can't make it that expensive.
A good folder costs upward of $1K. Besides, this bikes is made of titanium (for weight) and has disk brakes.
Of course, you're not gonna go off-roading with this, but as a city transporter it works. I do wonder what the weight limit of the rider would be though.
Making it totable in a back pack might get dangerous in the confines of a people space like a sidewalk or subway. One wrong move and you could hurt somebody. Carrying it like a briefcase is much better. This lightweight titanium folder has a lot going for it, and for 15 hundred bucks it can be worth it, more so if the price goes down with increased production.
Germano Pecoraro Designer
The idea of a bicycle frame that folds out on itself is excellent, but I have some doubts about the rigidity of the whole. The cost? It 'significant
The rider needs a helmet!
Peter Boutakis
Thanks to gizmag for the excellent article, and thanks to the readers for your comments!
I wanted to respond to a few of the points that were brought up:
"So where does a 24" tire fit inside a 23" space?" Good question. Bicycle industry wheel sizes are mostly inaccurate. This is because many different tires sizes can fit on the same rim. In our case we are using a 1.5" wide tire on a 20" dia rim (bead seat diameter), which brings the overall diameter to about 23". If we used a bigger tire, such as a 2.25", the diameter would increase. To try and keep it simple, the bike industry calls it a 24" wheel. Regardless, you may notice that the seat is still slightly higher than the wheels, this will be the same height for production making the height 23" as claimed. Source:
About the slot on the fork and steerer tube: The fork and steerer are of adequate thickness and the slots are not at high stress points. We've done extensive simulation and real world testing and have confirmed it is strong and safe.
About the weight: Our claim of 21lbs is total bicycle weight including pedals. It is common for bicycle companies to post weights without pedals, which may or may not be the case here. Without an actual hands-on review of either bike, the numbers are just manufacturers claims. Even so, the author brings up a valid point and we hope to make good on our claim for production!
About the price: Folding bikes are generally more expensive because of the hinges and locks. Helix will be made out of titanium, which is significantly more expensive than steel, aluminum and carbon. With that said, it is still very competitively priced in comparison to other titanium bikes, folding or not.
About world's smallest claim: Based on the numbers provided for the Brompton (585mm x 545mm x 270mm or 23" x 21.5" x 10.6"), the total volume would be 5241.7”. Helix is 5175”. The main differentiator being the width measurement, helix is slightly thinner, this makes it easy to get through doors and other tight paces where height is less of an issue.
About rigidity: Rigidity will be one of our biggest selling points. Helix uses a patent pending tube-in-tube locking device that is very rigid.
About accessories: Helix will have mounts for mud guards, racks, lights and more. There will be a unique carrying option as well, but it will be available after our first production run. Stay tuned!