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Student makes bicycle which folds into 26-inch wheel circumference, wins James Dyson Prize

Dominic Hargreaves’s bike, The Contortionist, has been shortlisted for this year’s James Dyson Award for innovation. It may bag the young inventor £10,000. The 24-year-old, from Battersea, London, said he wanted to create a decent folding bike after the one he was using collapsed. “I couldn’t find a folding bicycle I liked,” he added. “I wanted something that could take a bit of punishment and that you could have fun with. “So I made one myself.”

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Johnathan says:

    I am impressed by the folding frame. Unfortunately, it’s not a working bike. I’m sure he’s having trouble making the chain and peddles work with his design, but until he does, it’s just a folding push-scooter.

  2. Will says:

    This isn’t prize winning material. With not drive train to speak of, this is just a really inefficient scooter.

  3. Phillip Torrone says:

    Mr Hargreaves has been in contact with various manufacturers and hopes to get the bike into production soon.

    Competition founder James Dyson said: “The clever bit is how the front wheel can be rotated and repositioned so that the whole of the bike’s frame fits into its circumference.”

    ===============

    1. you do not know the other entries.
    2. read the article and why james dyson thought it was clever.
    3. getting the pedals pedaling is likely easy for folding bike manufacturers to help out with, the clever bit is the rotation.
    4. try and be a little more positive.

  4. mastershake916 says:

    But it’s WAY better than he one that got 2nd last year, which is “a single lever that operates two brakes”, too bad that IT ALREADY EXISTS. The only reason that it won was because it was presented well, it looked cool, and the judges didn’t know bikes.
    This one is much better, but I’ve gotta say that it’s pretty unprofessional not to have it working.

  5. Matt says:

    Removable belt drive.

  6. japroach says:

    I love the motion of that front wheel swinging up.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Located between the rear wheel and the pedal is a hinge. That point stays relative to the rear wheel and to the pedal folded or not.

    If the pin of that hinge were the axle of a gear, then a chain from that gear/hinge to the pedal would stay the same folded or not. Another chain from that axle to the rear wheel would also be the same folded or not. The two loops of bike chain rotate around the axle (hinge pin) as the bike is folded.

  8. F says:

    I think the best drive mechanism would be a shaft. Breaking the shaft would be a lot easier and would limit the mess of a greased chain. I don’t see shaft drive bikes that have a breakable shaft, but shaft drive bicycles do exist.

  9. lungofish says:

    Working drivetrain or not, that’s pretty damn slick.

  10. n3rd says:

    It is an interesting prototype certainly very creative with the rotational mechanisms as mentioned but …

    What I find strange is that it doesn’t even look like it was built in a way to even have a drive train. As if either he didn’t want one or maybe couldnt see a way to make it work so skipped it. I would think that you would design the propulsion mechanism first. Maybe its just the biker in me that sees the need to peddle before the need to carry.

    But still … It doesn’t make sense to design the bullet if you don’t know how to make gun powder.

    1. Tony Karakashian says:

      @n3rd: hmmmm…why does it have to be the same person that designs both? He’s come up with the folding, someone else comes up with the drivetrain…done.

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