About this project
Helix is a revolutionary new folding bike that is smaller, lighter, safer and easier to use than any other folding bike in the world.
It has big wheels so it looks, rides and feels like a normal bike, but can fold incredibly small.
You can store it under your desk, take it on the subway, put it in the trunk of your car or pack it in a suitcase — Helix is so compact it can fit almost anywhere.
Helix has a titanium frame, high end components and is designed around the latest bicycle technology. It will be made in Toronto, Canada.
Helix opens up a world of cycling opportunities. It will change the way you commute, travel and live with your bicycle.
The next generation folding bike is here
Folding bikes haven't fundamentally changed in over 30 years. They have small wheels, tiny hinged frames and less than ideal geometry. They ride poorly, are heavy and awkward to use, but worst of all, they don't actually fold that small.
Small wheels are less stable at speed, have higher rolling resistance, less grip and require higher tire pressure that results in a harsher ride.
The use of hinges contributes to creaky and flexible frames that do not perform as well as conventional bikes, require scheduled maintenance and, in some cases, can fail and lead to accidents.
We set out to change all of that
Three years ago we started working on a vision of the perfect folding bike — a bike that is lightweight, durable, rides and feels like a full-size bike, is safe and easy to use and folds incredibly small.
Helix has all the qualities of a performance commuter bicycle, it can be ridden hard and fast. It can handle mixed terrain; everything from city streets to gravel paths. Whether you are commuting, touring, training or just taking it easy, Helix performs the way a real bike should. Remarkably, it can transform, in seconds, to an incredibly small size.
Helix takes a radical departure from conventional bike design. It is unlike any other bicycle in the world.
Helix was designed from the ground up to be the smallest and most compact folding bike in the world. Helix folds down to the size of its wheels.
23" × 26" × 9.5"
Patent pending side-by-side folding puts the wheels beside the frame and between the cranks — it's the most efficient use of space possible. Other folding bikes have smaller wheels but don't fold as small.
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.
20 LBS (9.07 kg)
We've obsessed over every detail to make sure Helix is as light as possible without compromising everyday durability.
Our patent pending spring-loaded locking mechanisms pass through the fork and steerer tubes to create a safer lock. There is a secondary safety in place. The tube-in-tube design is inherently safe; even if the spring actuator fails, there is a physical tube inside the fork and steerer tube that will keep the bike from unfolding while riding.
Our locks solve three major issues that affect current folding bikes:
- their locks require scheduled maintenance or routine observation to ensure they are working correctly
- they only clamp the joint in one location and, as a result, there is always play from the unclamped sides
- they can fail at the hinge plates due to the combination of play and elevated stresses at the weld joint
Our locks use a spring loader to consistently achieve a high clamping force with the optimal tension and will further tension as play is introduced when riding begins.
Secondly, they distribute the clamping force over a much larger surface area so that there are no stress peaks and are far less likely to catastrophically fail – equal to or even better than a conventional bike.
Finally, they expand in all directions creating a rigid play-free joint in 360 degrees.
In addition to our patent pending locking devices on the steerer and fork, Helix also uses a swingarm style pivot to fold the rear wheel. It is extremely rigid, it can handle forces equal to that of a conventional bike and lends itself well to the stresses of performance riding.
SAFER - Pass-through locking design with secondary safety ensures a worry free ride
MORE RIGID - Spring loaded locking device compensates for wear so Helix always feels solid
ONE-PIECE FRAME - Side-by-side folding allows for a one-piece hinge-free frame that won't flex or creak while pedaling
EASIER TO USE
We designed Helix to be easy to use.
The combination of side-by-side folding and our patent pending helical hinges allow Helix to be folded with ease. Once folded, it can be rolled on its own wheels and has an integrated stand for when you stop. The locking devices use a simple toggle to engage and disengage.
FOLDS IN ANY ORDER - The rear wheel, front wheel and handlebar can be folded in any order
PEDALS WON'T GET IN THE WAY - No need to rotate pedals — Helix's wheels fit right in between them
ROLLS WHEN FOLDED - Helix is easy to carry and even easier to roll
Titanium is currently seeing a resurgence in bicycle manufacturing. This is in part due to titanium's exceptional ride quality, but also it's simplicity and beauty.
Titanium is a very durable material with a fatigue life greater than that of aluminum, carbon and even steel. Titanium is able to handle years of heavy usage that far exceed the limits of other materials. Folding bikes are constantly being handled; they are folded, lifted, and put into trunks and bags — durability is a necessity.
Titanium will not rust or corrode and is extremely hard, making titanium frames very resistant to scratches and dings that come with daily wear. Unlike aluminum and carbon fiber, a well-built titanium frame can last forever.
Titanium is remarkably light. A titanium tube of similar strength weighs approximately 40% less than steel. A titanium frame can rival the weight of a high end carbon frame, but with a level of durability and ride quality that is unparalleled.
Making folding bikes is more difficult than conventional bikes. There are only a handful of Asian bicycle manufacturers that have the skill set and experience to do it properly.
Helix is very different from other bikes, even folding bikes. A product like Helix needs close attention to detail to be manufactured successfully and we believe the only way to do it is locally, with our designers and engineers overseeing the process in person everyday.
We won't be building Helix alone, we'll be working closely with experts in bicycle design and manufacturing to ensure Helix is a success.
Helix was designed to use the latest advances in bicycle technology. Thru-axles, centerlock rotors, dual piston brake calipers, direct mount chainring, shadow-tech clutched derailleur - they all contribute to an exceptional riding experience.
Every single component was carefully chosen for it's weight, reliability and innovative features. Even the screws and nuts are either stainless steel, aluminum or titanium - nothing has been overlooked.
Helix will be available in 3 specs: single speed, 10 speed derailleur and 11 speed internal gear hub.
Helix's specifications are subject to change. We are optimizing our design and as a result we may change components to meet a certain weight, reliability or spacing requirement. We are committed to the very highest quality components and if we do change, it will be with an equivalent quality component.
Helix will support a range of bicycle accessories such as mud guards, racks, lights and more.
All specs will include the following:
- Frame, fork and swingarm: 3Al-2.5V CWSR titanium (grade 9)
- Headset: TBA (Internal, press-fit cup)
- Stem: Helix (31.8mm bar diameter, 35mm reach)
- Handlebar: TBA (31.8mm clamp diameter, 580mm width)
- Brake Levers: TBA
- Cables: Internally Routed
- Crankset: SRAM S1000 Direct Mount (GXP, 165mm)
- Chainring: Wolf Tooth Components 42t
- Seatpost: Helix (400mm)
- Saddle: Fabric Scoop Elite Radius (142mm x 282mm)
- Seatclamp: Helix
- Brake Calipers: TRP Spyre
- Brake Rotors: Shimano SLX Front RT66, Rear RT67 (160mm)
- Front Hub: TBA (32h)
- Rims: TBA
- Tires: Kenda Kwest 24" x 1.5" (ETRTO 40-507)
- Maximum Weight Limit: 250 lbs (113 kg)
- Recommended rider height range: 5' - 6'4"
- Folded Dimensions: 23" x 26" x 9.5"
Additionally, the specific drivetrain options are:
- Rear Hub: Shimano Zee M640 135mm x 12mm thru-axle, 32 hole
- Rear Sprocket: 18t (can be replaced with a cassette to change to 9, 10 or 11 speed)
- Chain Tensioner: Shimano Alfine CT-S500L
- Approximate Weight: 20 lbs (9.07 kg)
- Shifter: Shimano Zee M640 Rapid Fire
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Zee M640 Shadow+ 10 Speed
- Rear Hub: Shimano Zee M640 135mm x 12mm thru-axle, 32 hole
- Cassette: Shimano SLX HG81 10 Speed (11-36t)
- Approximate Weight: 21.1 lbs (9.57 kg)
11 Speed Shimano Alfine
- Rear Hub: Alfine SG-S700-L
- Chain Tensioner: Shimano Alfine CT-S500L
- Approximate Weight: 23.7 lbs (10.75 kg)
Helix will ship with a 42t front chainring. Combined with 165mm crank arms and 24" wheels, this provides the equivalent gear range of a typical performance commuter bicycle.
Sizing and Geometry
A) Seat tube
length: 338 mm / 13.3 in
B) Effective top tube length: 590 mm / 23.2 in
C) Actual top tube length: 590 mm / 23.2 in
D) Head angle: 73 deg
E) Seat tube angle: 77 deg
F) Standover height (centre): 671 mm / 26.4 in
G) Head tube length: 100 mm / 3.9 in
H) Wheelbase: 1066 mm / 42 in
I) Chainstay length: 411 mm / 16.2 in
J) Bottom bracket height: 308 mm / 12.1 in
K) Trail: 70 mm / 2.8 in
L) Frame reach: 435 mm / 17.1 in
M) Frame stack: 672 mm / 26.5 in
N) Handlebar height: 980 mm / 38.6 in
O) Seat post height to pedal spindle: 932 mm / 36.7 in max | 580 mm / 22.8 in min
It is possible that the final product will vary by a small amount from our original specifications for weight and size.
- Single Speed: 1575 CAD (approx 1200 USD, 1055 Euro)
- 10 Speed Derailleur: 1700 CAD (approx 1300 USD, 1140 Euro)
- 11 Speed Shimano Alfine: 2110 CAD (approx 1600 USD, 1415 Euro)
- Volume discount available for backers who pledge for two of more Helix bikes with the same spec
We will ship from Toronto, Canada to anywhere around the world. All Helix bicycles will come pre-tuned and ready to ride. However, we ask that you take it to your local bicycle shop for inspection prior to your first ride.
All units will be carefully packed and shipped in a custom reusable ~28"x25"x12" box with form fitting high-density foam for maximum protection. All orders will include Canada Post online parcel tracking and insurance.
Canada: 55 CAD. Package will be sent via Canada Post Expedited Parcel for 1-3 day delivery once shipped.
United States: 110 CAD. Package will be sent via Canada Post Expedited Parcel for 2-5 day delivery once shipped.
Rest of world: 198 CAD. Package will be sent via Canada Post International Parcel Surface. Additional duties/taxes may apply depending on your destination country.
Helix will be covered by a 10 year limited warranty. For more details, please see the warranty section of our website.
Our claims of smaller, lighter, safer or easier to use are based on our research of other folding bikes on the market (specifically, folding bikes that have wheels of at least 16"), we haven't found anything smaller, lighter, safer or easier to use. (Folded size is based on volume, L x W x H). That doesn't mean that as we move forward with production, those claims will remain unchallenged. What is true of the market one day, may not be true the next.
Risks and challenges
We've partnered with an expert manufacturer with over 30 years of experience that will help us manufacture our titanium frames. We're making Helix in a dedicated facility created for the sole purpose of manufacturing one bike – Helix. Unlike overseas manufacturing, we won't be competing with other bicycle companies for engineering and floor time. This alone should ensure we can confidently predict and meet our deadlines.
Furthermore, we have estimated conservatively for lead times on our components and materials. However this is one area that is out of our control and could possibly cause delays. If this happens we will be sure to keep you informed and work to quickly solve the problem.
Naturally, there may be issues that arise during manufacturing. Currently we cannot foresee anything that would jeopardize the project. Our team is made up of experts in their respective fields who are prepared to meet any challenge.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Helix will be compatible with many off the shelf bicycle components. There are however some limitations due to the fact that Helix folds so small and has significantly tighter clearances than regular bicycles.
The area of most limitation is the crankset. Only specific cranksets will work and there will be a limit as to how large of a front chainring you can use due to the clearance between the chainline and chainstay. Also, it is not possible to use a front derailleur. With that said, some very high quality cranksets are compatible.
The other limitation is brakes, Helix has limited clearance between the front and rear wheels when folded. We have only tested TRP Spyre and Spyke brake calipers, but we believe that Rever will work as well. These are all dual piston mechanical disc brakes and are highly regarded. Hydraulic brakes have not been tested, but some models may work. Brake rotor max size is 160mm.
The maximum tire width is 1.5". Cockpit is for the most part unlimited. Helix will us a standard seatpost diameter. Rims, hubs, spokes, chains, cassettes, derailleur's including electronic shifting are all for the most part compatible.
Keep in mind any changes may affect the overall folded size, for example, adding drop bars will increase the folded width.
We will post all relevant dimensions to help with customization such as bb shell, steerer and seatpost diameters etc.
We will begin a section on our website to document compatible components. For this reason we advise all backers to wait for delivery and refer to our website before beginning the fun process of customization!
Helix has been designed to accommodate riders between 5' to 6'4" and carry up to 250 lbs (113 kg). There is a large range of adjustability possible to achieve the desired fit.
The saddle height can be raised or lowered to the appropriate height to accommodate a 5' - 6'4" rider based on industry fitting guidelines. The saddle can also move forwards and backwards and also the seatpost has a 20mm setback that can be reversed to further adjust the saddle position forwards or backwards.
The stem has a 20mm rise that can be flipped to achieve a 20mm drop. If any of these adjustments is not enough, it is always possible to replace the stem, seatpost, handlebar and crankarms to achieve a better fit.
The seat post dimensions are 27.2mm x 350mm and the steerer tube diameter is 28.6mm.
An electric conversion can be installed by the end user. Helix has a standard 135mm dropout spacing. We will be testing a few of the more popular electric conversions with Helix and posting the results as we get closer to delivery in 2016. Helix should only be used with pedal assist type electric conversion not exceeding 250w. Any other type of electric conversion will void the warranty.
Yes. Helix will come with mounts for: mudguards, a front and rear rack, bags, trailer and a water bottle. We are working on a complete line of accessories that will complement our design and not interfere with folding or rolling when folded. Availability is mid 2016.
As for other types of accessories such as handlebar mount cycling computers, lights, bells, smartphones, GoPros, even bags and bottles etc, these should all for the most part be compatible with Helix as the handlebar is facing outwards when folded.
Most seatpost mount accessories should also be compatible such as lights, mudguards, bags, racks.
Keep in mind any changes may affect the overall folded size, for example, adding a seatpost rack will increase the folded size. Also, the maximum weight capacity for Helix including rider and all cargo is 250 lbs (113 kg).
We will post all relevant dimensions to help with adding accessories such as handlebar and seatpost diameters.
Due to the fact that the chain length expands and contracts when folding, it is not currently an option. Helix uses a modern chain drive with hollow links that is lightweight, durable and highly efficient.
Yes. A single sided fork can be just as safe or safer than a double, the use of larger diameter tubing and a large tapered axle (25mm to 15mm) makes it very strong and also rigid. They have been used in the bicycle and motorcycle industry for years. Your bicycle pedal and crankarm is a type of "single sided fork", the pedals 9/16" axle and can hold your entire weight.
We plan on offering a cover/bag, a padded softcase and a hardshell travel case that can be used as a trailer as well. These items will be available mid to late 2016.
A frame only option is something that we will consider offering after our Kickstarter campaign ends and we go to production. Helix will be compatible with many off the shelf bicycle components, but there are some limitations due to the fact that Helix folds so small and has significantly tighter clearances than regular bicycles. For this reason we are currently offering Helix as a complete bike only as quite a bit of guidance and testing will be needed to ensure that the desired component will be compatible with Helix. We will begin a section on our website to document compatible components. For more details, please read the above FAQ on customization.
Helix is available in 3 different drivetrain options: a single speed, a 10 speed derailleur, and an 11 speed internal gear hub.
The single speed is best suited for flat, mostly level terrain. It requires little maintenance and has a simple, clean look. It is the lightest of all three models.
The 10 speed derailleur is the highest performance model. It offers a wide range of gears that allow you to climb steep hills and also ride fast. It requires the most maintenance of all three models.
The 11 speed Alfine offers the simplicity, clean look and low maintenance of the single speed with slightly less performance than the 10 speed. The gears are fully enclosed and away from the elements making it a good choice for wet conditions. It is however the heaviest of all three models.
The gear ranges are as follows:
10 speed derailleur: 27.6" to 90.5"
11 speed Alfine: 22" to 89.9"
single speed: 55.3"
More detailed gearing information can be found at http://www.ridehelix.ca/specifications
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