Frequently asked questions

 

What is the max/min rider height and weight?

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.

Given the current spec, the saddle height can be raised or lowered to the appropriate height to accommodate a 5' - 6'4" rider. The saddle can also move forwards and backwards. The seatpost also has a 20mm setback that can be reversed to achieve a 20mm forward position. 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 400mm and the steerer tube diameter is 28.6mm.

Can I customize Helix?

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 use 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!

Can Helix be converted to electric assist?

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 early 2017. Helix should only be used with pedal assist type electric conversion not exceeding 250w. Any other type of electric conversion will void the warranty.

Will Helix have mounts for mudguards, racks and water bottles? What about other accessories?

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 2017.

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.

Will there be a carrying case or bag for Helix?

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 2017.

Is the single sided fork safe?

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.

Can I buy Helix as a frame only?

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.

What are the differences between the three models?

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.

What is the gear range of each model?

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 here.

Can Helix fit into a suitcase?

Yes, Helix can fit into a commonly available standard large size suitcase with dimensions of: 21.5" x 10.5" x 27". To get Helix's 23" wheels to fit into 21.5", you must deflate the tires. We also recommend removing the pedals and the saddle when transporting Helix in a suitcase. We will be posting an example of a compatible suitcase on our website soon.

How much will Helix cost?

Please see pricing here.

What countries do you ship to?

Helix will ship worldwide.

How much will shipping cost?

Shipping will cost between $50 - $150 USD depending on your location.

What is the frame geometry?

Frame geometry information is available here. It can be expected to match that of a medium size performance commuter.

How can a bike with 24'' wheels fold to a height of 23''?

Many different tires sizes can fit on the same rim. For example, in our case we use a 1.5" wide tire on a ERTRO 507 rim (approx 20"), which brings the overall diameter to about 23". If we used a wider tire, such as a 2.25", the diameter would increase even more. To try and keep things simple, the bicycle industry calls it a 24" wheel. For more information on bicycle industry tire sizing please visit: http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

Will the single speed version be upgradeable to 10 speed or higher? Can I switch between the different drivetrain options?

Yes, the single speed version will use the same hub as the 10 speed, a Formula CL-142A 142mm x 12mm thru-axle with a single sprocket and spacers. You will be able to remove the sprocket and add a cassette of your choice and additioanlly add a derailleur, shifter and cable.

Helix uses interchangeable dropouts which makes it possible to change between the different drivetrain options.

Will there be a belt drive option?

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.