While we were touring the factory and drooling over the Merida bikes we liked very much, we also got a glimpse on Helkama’s models for 2011. Most of them were the usual suspects, their range hasn’t really updated much to my knowledge in the last years. Heavy, solid steel and aluminium bikes for normal people riding to work and everywhere.
There was one bike that caught my attention and looked fun. Once you got over the horrendous color scheme. It’s called the Helkama Helsinki and while it might look like a Jopo, but it’s not. It has 20 inch wheels like a Jopo, a compact frame without a top tube for easy mounting and did we mention the horrendous black and orange paint job on it?
The magic part comes with the angle of the seat post – which affects the position of the saddle and the bottom bracket.It allows a very relaxed and “long” reach riding position, similar to cruiser bikes. It also allows you to easily put your feet on the ground when stopping, which is optimal for urban purposes.
There were a few things I didn’t understand, like the racks on it which seem to be totally pointless, as you can see from the lower photo. Maybe they’re just a concept idea, but a proper basket in the front and a Jopo-like wide rack in the back would make the Helkama Helsinki very expendable and an interesting choice.
I’m glad to see Helkama take up new ideas, but what I really would like to see is to use their experience of building very sturdy bikes for professional use and create a proper, Finnish cargo bike. No info about the price or availability, but if we do, we’ll let you know!