It’s safe to say that anyone who has ever bought a folding bike did so out of necessity; no sane person would buy a folding bike over a standard one unless they absolutely had to. To achieve their desired purpose, folding bikes are notorious for having smaller wheels that make riding less comfortable, being almost as heavy as a normal bike, and worst of all not usually being that much more compact when folded. And while one may expect an elegant reinvention of this concept to come from one of the bike-friendly European countries known for their design prowess (e.g. Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands), a new contender from Canada of all places has devised a bike that miraculously solves all the outstanding issues of a conventional model.
The Helix folding bike was developed around the idea of making a folding bike people will actually want to buy. It uses full size wheels, has a titanium frame that makes it lightweight, and despite its larger wheels is able to fold to a volume smaller than any models on the market today. This may sound farfetched, but watching the video for their Kickstarter (which has shattered its $90,000 goal by well over a million USD) one is left in awe at how sleek and simple its folding mechanism is, with the flexibility of a yoga master circus contortionist and Stretch Armstrong combined.
Words really fail to describe it, so I encourage you to just take the 3 minutes necessary and watch it (after reading the end of this article of course). The bike in riding mode would be hard to distinguish from a regular one, coming in single speed, 10 speed and 11 speed models, and yet the whole assemblage weighs only 20 lbs. And when even that is too heavy, it can be easily rolled around in its folded form. To reach this peak level of quality, the designers have pledged to manufacture the entire bike in Canada so that they can oversee every step of the process. Their campaign estimates deliveries to backers sometime in March, so it’s unclear when it will be available to the general public, but with 4 days left to go at the time of the writing of this article, it’s clear that the Helix is a folding bike a cyclist will actually want to use.