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Is this the lightest folding bike?

Prodrive has launched the Hummingbird lightweight folding bike concept. The design has been refined and components re-engineered to ready the bike for volume production. Prodrive will produce the first test bikes in October with production bikes going on sale early next year.

The Hummingbird weighs just 6.7kg, enabling its manufacturer to claim it to be the lightest folding bike in the world, thanks mainly to its carbon fibre frame, forks and seat post.

The bike was conceived by Petre Craciun, a London-based designer and keen cyclist. He found that existing folding bikes on the market were heavy and unattractive, so decided to design his own.

"Most folding bikes weigh at least 12kg, which is a lot to carry up and down stairs or on and off trains," said Craciun. "I wanted to design something really different, not only half the weight of existing folding bikes, but a product with distinctive styling that would be eye-catching, instantly recognisable and something people would be proud to be seen riding."

Hummingbird has a unigue and simple folding mechanism in which the trailing arm pivots around the crank. Unlike other folding bikes, this ensures the chain always remains in tension, even when fully folded. It also allows the bike to be wheeled along the ground when folded.

The frame was designed and is being manufactured by Prodrive Composites in Milton Keynes with further parts production and final assembly carried out at Prodrive's headguarters in Banbury.

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Title Annotation:DESIGN IDEAS
Publication:Environmental Engineering
Date:Oct 1, 2016
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