It's a common dilemma for people living in small spaces and who also happen to own a bike: where and how to store this relatively bulky piece of equipment. Carrying a full-sized bike around on public transport is a hassle. Some possible solutions include using an accessory that helps the bike fold flat, or getting a folding bike. Of course, there are some disadvantages to conventional folding bikes: often, their wheels are smaller, they're heavy and their ride can feel a bit strange compared to a full-sized vehicle.
Aiming to address these issues, Toronto-based designer, maker and software developer Peter Boutakis has created a folding bike prototype that does away with all the disadvantages typical to folding bikes, creating what may be one of the safest, smallest and lightest folding bikes around. Check out the Helix in action:
The keystone to the Helix's design is its helical hinges, upon which the two 24-inch wheels pivot on, to either side of the one-piece body frame, to rest between the cranks. After folding the handlebars and pedals and lowering the seat, the entire unit will now measure 23 by 25 by 9 inches (584 x 635 x 229 mm) -- only a bit larger than the wheels.
Best of all, the wheels are still active while the whole bike is folded, meaning that it can be conveniently wheeled around, and when resting, it can stand up by itself. The Helix weighs only 21 pounds (9.5 kilograms), which is very light for a folding bike. Boutakis is aiming to handweld the Helix in Canada out of corrosion-resistant, lightweight and durable titanium.
The Helix will be seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter starting in early March 2015 (priced at USD $1,199, retail will be USD $1,499). For more info, check out Helix's website, and let us know what you think of this folding bike prototype.