The strength and ductility of high-strength concrete (HSC) beams are enhanced through the application of helical reinforcement located in the compression region of the beams. The pitch of the helix is an important parameter controlling the level of strength and ductility enhancement of over-reinforced HSC beams. This paper presents an experimental investigation of the effect of helix pitch on the beam behaviour by testing five helically confined, full-scale beams. The helix pitches were 25, 50, 75, 100 and 160 mm. The cross-section of the beams was 200 × 300 mm, and with a length of 4 m and a clear span of 3.6 m subjected to four-point loading, with emphasis placed on the midspan deflection. The main results indicate that the helix had negligible effect when the helical pitch was 160 mm (helix diameter), the concrete cover spalling-off load increased linearly as the helical pitch increased, and the ultimate load decreased as the helical pitch increased. © 2005 Thomas Telford and fib.