Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Contortionist Folding Bike Rolls Up Smaller Than a Wheel Gallery
There’s a reason you don’t see too many people toting around folding bikes; many have small wheels that make for an uncomfortable ride, and the ones that don’t tend to be too clunky when folded up. Enter the Contortionist, a sleek folding bike that uses full-size 26 inch wheels. Designed by Dominic Hargreaves, a student at the Royal College of Art in London, the bike contains pivots in its frame and a lockable universal joint in the front fork that let it roll up to an ultra-compact size that fits within the width of its wheels!
The Contortionist features an aluminum frame, chunky mountain bike tires, and a unique design where the front and rear wheels are slightly misaligned to make folding easier. Once the bike is folded up, the wheels rotate so that it can be easily wheeled along. In designing the bike Dominic Hargreaves decided to eschew messy chains altogether and opt for an internal hydraulic system that uses oil pumped through tubes in the frame to spin the back wheel.
The design was shortlisted for a James Dyson Award, and could go on sale for as little as $675, since all of the bike’s pieces can be mass produced in a normal bike factory. Hargreaves is already in talks with potential production partners. If he wins the $17,000 Dyson award, this slick folding bike may be on the market soon!