Since these Guardian and Sky News articles came out nearly a month ago, several of you have emailed me to mention the Contortionist folding bike by designer Dominic Hargreaves. I saw a link on Twitter around that time and retweeted it there, but for some reason I also thought that I had mentioned it on the blog. Looking back though, apparently I never did (I have confused myself in that way a few times since I started using Twitter… I guess I need to start organizing the links that I plan to post a little better). Oh well, no matter…the Contortionist is a pretty interesting design and is still worth a mention here on Bicycle Design.
The 24-year-old Hargreaves designed the bike as his final Master’s degree project at the Royal College of Art in London. The design that he came up with, which features an aluminum frame that can fold to fit within the circumference of the 26-inch wheels, is now a finalist for a James Dyson Award. Well, maybe “fold” is not the right word to use. As the Guardian article describes, the frame “rolls up rather than folds up using an ingenious set of pivots”. Watch the video to see what they mean. Hargreaves is currently talking to manufacturers about getting the design into production, so you may see it on the market sometime soon…whether it wins the Dyson award or not.
Take a look at the news section of Hargreaves’ website to see additional pictures of the bike, both folded and unfolded (or should I say rolled and unrolled). You can also see a few of his other bike related projects if you explore his site a bit. If you still want to find out more about the Contortionist, check out these posts from Wired, Inhabit, Core 77, and Treehugger. The Treehugger post in particular already has a discussion underway about the design in the comments section.