New Compact Folding Bicycle Is A Leading Contestant For The James Dyson Award

I wonder what it's like to be James Dyson. That guy can't go anywhere without having his mind race about the inherent flaws in everything around him and the tweaks needed to make them better. Hell, he can't even take a pee without having to fix something. A blessing and a curse, I'd imagine.

Regardless of what you think about 400 MPH hand dryers and double-priced vaccums, inspiring innovation within a population of would-be inventors is a very positive concept. The James Dyson Award contest does just that and one of this year's top contestants demonstrates how much this hoard of unknowns has to offer.

The Contortionist, designed by 24-year-old design student Dominic Hargreaves, is a unique folding bicycle that folds down so that the frame fits between the wheels. The package is only as high as the wheels, which are a full-size set of 26s, like the ones on your mountain bike, instead of the tiny, awkward wheels typical of folding bikes. The resulting package is slim and easy to transport onto the bus or into the office without sacrificing performance on the road. Once folded, you can pull the bike by its wheels like a Samsonite upright, making it very easy to roll from place to place.

While Hargreaves awaits the verdict on the Dyson Award (his project is on the short list), interest among manufacturers is brewing and its quite possible The Contortionist will make its way into production. Three companies are reportedly interested in manufacturing it. The price tag has been estimated at $700, but currently that price is quite rough.

For a closer look, check out the following video of the bike:

Via: Uncooped and DVICE

Aug 5, 2009
by Anonymous


Even if it does rather stall my attempts to do the same thing.

What i like is the symmetry when folded, such that it can be wheeled easily.

One thing not too clear, even from the video, how does the drivetrain work?

I can't see how the pedal motion gets to the wheel. Doesn't look to be a chain, and if it was a shaft it would need to be very flexible to go down the frame, especially when folded.

Aug 5, 2009
by Anonymous

29er ?

He should move the seat post mount a few inches so that you could put 29er (700c) wheels on, if you want. That would increase commuter tire options. The beauty of disc brakes is that you could then use either wheel size. That's my input, if the designer/manufacturer ever asks. :-p

- DonB

Aug 5, 2009
by Anonymous

I don't think there is any

I don't think there is any drive train. He never pedals in the video. Must not have worked out that part....

Aug 6, 2009
by Anonymous


.... really spiffy for downhill.

Uphill... not so much?

That kinda restricts its value a tad.

Surely it can't be up for an award without such a significant 'kink' ironed out.

I have tons of ideas on the drawing board that are great... except for the 'actually working' bit.

Aug 6, 2009
by Anonymous



Oct 30, 2009
by Anonymous

cool bike

i have developed electric bike that u dont have 2 recharge, because it does not have batteries and no it is not solar. no hassles always has power 2 go its amazing