Helix Preview and Update
Dear Helix Fans,
It has been a very long time since our last update and we have a lot of exciting news to share. We have been hard at work making design adjustments and fine tuning our manufacturing process. Helix has undergone a complete transformation; almost every single detail has been improved. In the last few months we have been acquiring equipment, setting up our factory, placing orders with suppliers and much more. There has been an incredible amount of work that has gone in to starting a bicycle company from scratch but we are almost there.
We had wanted to begin accepting pre-orders August 1st with a delivery of late summer 2016, but due to some delays we will be pushing the order date back slightly. We want to be sure of our production capacity so that we can more accurately forecast your delivery date and avoid any further delays and disappointment.
Pre-orders will now begin November 1st. We are currently on schedule to start delivering our Kickstarter orders late October and production of pre-orders will follow immediately after and will deliver early spring 2017.
Pre-order pricing will be slightly discounted from retail and is as follows:
Single speed $1500
Ten speed derailleur $1600
Eleven speed Shimano Alfine $1900
The above pricing is in USD.
Once again, we apologize for having to move the pre-order date. It has been a monumental task to coordinate all of the various components that go in to starting a bicycle company but we are well on track and are gaining momentum. We do not anticipate any further delays.
With regards to the current status on manufacturing, we have made great progress. Helix will be utilizing the latest manufacturing technologies.
We will be robotically welding Helix in an inert chamber. This process produces consistent and repeatable high quality welds that will last a lifetime.
Helix will also be using modern titanium castings for areas that have increased complexity and multiple feature requirements such as the bottom bracket, swingarm and front end. Titanium castings are extremely high quality and are often used in aerospace and medical applications.
Below is an image of our custom front hub. We decided to make a proprietary hub for a few reasons. First, we needed a better solution for keeping the wheels secured together when folded on all models of Helix. The limiting factor being the different rear axle types, solid axle and thru-axle. The hub now has a 37 mm drive side bearing which houses a special connector that interfaces with the rear wheel securely. In addition to that, the new hub is slimmer allowing us to use a slimmer fork crown design which in turn improves bicycle handling, lowers weight and increases the stiffness of the entire front end.
After a very long wait we are able to show you Helix minus the front fork assembly. The front fork currently has some outstanding IP which we are waiting on. In these pictures you will see many new design features. The highlights include:
- New rear dropouts that have a hooded design which increases weld surface area for a stronger weld.
- An all round tube structure making the rear swingarm very strong and lightweight.
- A swingarm latch that uses a bushing-pin interface which clamps the swingarm at the outermost points creating an extremely laterally stiff frame.
- A bulge in the seat tube. This is for a nylon insert that grips the seat post and also prevents galvanic corrosion between the titanium frame and the aluminum seat post.
- A keyway at the rear of the seat tube for a directional seat post which keeps the seat post aligned perfectly between folding and unfolding.
- An integrated seat post binder. This is now welded on to the frame which is a better solution for a folding bike as the seat is lowered and raised frequently.
- A new and improved helical hinge that is smother operating, longer lasting and impervious to dirt and debris.
- Finally, you will notice the finish on the bike is brushed not blasted. Our final testing is not yet complete but this is likely the finish you will receive. It is generally preferred for its appearance, durability and ease of scratch removal. It is the classic titanium bike look and usually comes at a premium as it would normally require hand finishing.
We are very excited about these design features. We will be sharing the final Helix design with you very soon. Thank you for your support, patience and enthusiasm for Helix.
Peter and The Helix Team