Helios Bars Blog

Biking Startup / HAXLR8R 2013 – Blogging From SF to China, And Back.

Introducing “Blackline”: The Bike of The Future

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Yesterday we revealed a sneak-peak of our long-time collaboration with MNML and Method Bicycle; an urban smartbike called “Blackline“. Today, we’re ready to reveal the whole project in hi-res:

Introducing Blackline



Video by PCD Productions

Blackline is currently competing in the Oregon Manifest Bike Design Contest for a mass production run via Fuji Bikes. If you like our vision, & want to see cycling revolutionized– please VOTE FOR US in the contest! It’s really easy to do: click the link, watch the first 15 seconds of every video in order to unlock voting, then scroll to the top & cast your vote!

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Here are some more details from the official press release:

Inspired by the City of Broad Shoulders, the BLACKLINE bicycle has a strong spirit and is ready for just about anything. It takes its name from Chicago’s iconic elevated train lines that run throughout the city, non-stop. While the ‘L’ will get you from station to station, the BLACKLINE is the ride that gives you the freedom to get everywhere in between.

Tough yet refined, this bike has just the right amount of street savvy. A custom Helios smart handlebar with integrated LED headlight and side blinkers utilize GPS enabled turn-by-turn navigation to help you safely navigate the urban grid. Once you reach your destination, the bike’s location can be securely tracked using a connected smartphone app.

The virtually maintenance-free drive train utilizes a sealed 3-speed SRAM hub, originally designed to endure the extreme conditions of rural Africa. It’s driven by a nearly indestructible belt drive able to withstand everything from the daily commute to the harshest winters.

The BLACKLINE’s multi-configure cargo system discreetly stores a U-lock and features removable waterproof panniers with stow-away shoulder straps so you can tote your gear from place to place. Balloon tires smooth out your ride, won’t slow you down, and lessen the worry of roadside repairs during pothole season. The BLACKLINE’s bold yet simplified frame has a singular, angled 2” tube, which makes dismounting your ride a little easier in stop-and-go traffic. And thanks to the lessons from Ferris Bueller, it features a ready-for-anything cargo system that can be configured to help get you to lunch, a museum, the ballpark, a street festival, or anywhere the wind blows in the Windy City.

Crafted for the individual who prefers life on two wheels, the BLACKLINE is the ultimate urban utility bike.

And here are some high resolution photos of Blackline:

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CHI-BLACKLINE-Integrated-LED-headlight-and-side-indicators-featuring-hands-free-turn-by-turn-navigation-blinkers-1160x730

CHI-BLACKLINE-SRAM-sealed-internal-3-speed-kick-back-hub-developed-for-the-World-Bicycle-Relief-program-1160x730

CHI-BLACKLINE-Tool-free-12-inch-rear-rack-with-pannier-mounts-1160x730

CHI-BLACKLINE-Custom-design-Terrazign-grab-and-go-waterproof-panniers-with-stow-away-messenger-style-shoulder-straps-1160x730

Major thanks to MNML & Method Bicycle for inviting us to be a part of this project and believing in us enough to integrate our technology into their design! You guys rock. <3 And shoutout to Colossi Cycling for the amazing one-off bars– you guys killed it!

Our First Smartbike! (Helios x MNML x Method)

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Reaching our grand vision of a smartbike is extremely important to us. So is refining our Helios platform for easy integration in all types of products. That’s why we’ve spent the last several months collaborating on a smartbike with some of the greatest minds in biking & design:

The Chicago Team (minus Helios)

We dubbed our first smartbike one-off as “Blackline,” and we’ve just now entered it into the Oregon Manifest Bike Design Project. This is the leading bike design project at the moment, and we feel like we’re ready to take on the competition!

Learn more about the Oregon Manifest contest on FastCo >>>

The winner of the competition will receive a mass production run of their bike, courtesy of industry veteran Fuji Bikes (they’ve been in the biz for 111 years now!). Voting will start tomorrow, and we’ll be blasting the link out so you all can support us. In the meantime, check out the collection of photos below, chronicling our journey from concept to launch party:


blackline smartbike



Stay tuned for the voting link. If you liked this post, please share it on FB / Twitter 🙂

Now one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Brilliant Companies!

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We’re proud to announce that Helios has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Brilliant Companies! Check us out in the latest issue, on page 62:

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Written by admin

June 11th, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Updates

Video: Tony Rides Around SF

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In the new Helios commercial, Tony rides around San Francisco with a Helios Bars prototype. He explains a big part of our team’s vision, as well as everything we hope to achieve with our product. Check it out!

Thanks to Progressive Insurance for the awesome coverage!

Written by admin

September 23rd, 2013 at 11:14 am

Posted in Updates

Helios Wins “Best Bootstrap” Award At SXSW In Las Vegas!

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This last week we attended the first-ever SXSW in Las Vegas, and pitched Helios on the V2Venture pitch competition stage. We beat out hundreds of other startups and took home the Best Bootstrap award!

On top of that, we got to meet & connect with other amazing startups from San Francisco, such as GlowingPlant, and we had the opportunity to meet & pitch Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos), one of our longtime idols!

More info: http://sxswv2v.com/news/v2venture-2013-winners-announced

SXSW Best Bootstrapped

Written by admin

August 18th, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Posted in Updates

Helios Bars Status Page

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Introducing the new Helios Bars development status page! The status page keeps our backers up-to-date with the most recent Helios Bars developments. This way you know exactly what we’re working on, and what to expect from us. Check it out now:

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Written by admin

August 8th, 2013 at 8:21 am

Posted in Updates

Helios iPhone Wallpapers!

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We whipped up some dope-tastic iPhone wallpapers for all the Helios supporters! Thank you so much for your support & patience! We’ll have another blog post / update out within the next week to tell you how things are progressing. In the meantime, enjoy the wallpapers:

You can also download a .ZIP of all our wallpapers here.

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July 23rd, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Updates

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We LOVE you guys.

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THANK YOU for all the amazing support during our Kickstarter campaign! We couldn’t have done it without all your help. We can’t wait to see Helios Bars in the wild (aka on the streets!). Stay tuned for big things…

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Written by admin

June 20th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Posted in Updates

Gear Up, We’re Launching!

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We’re launching on Kickstarter tomorrow! Thanks to everyone who’s helped us along the way. We hope to deliver an amazing product & make you guys proud. Stay tuned for the Kickstarter link.

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May 21st, 2013 at 12:34 am

Posted in Updates

Helios Booth At Maker Faire San Mateo 2013

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The Bay Area Maker Faire was a blast. We got to meet so many awesome people, and had our first opportunity to show off Helios Bars to the public. The reactions and feedback were incredible! Look out for a blog post with some cool photos coming soon. In the meantime, check out our Maker Faire Editor’s Choice Award!

Written by admin

May 21st, 2013 at 12:20 am

Posted in Updates