Good things turned into small packages
IN 1962, the designer of the radical, compact suspension for the original Mini came up with a small, light bicycle that could be taken apart to fit into tight spaces.
Almost 50 years later, Mini has pedalled out its own small bicycle along the same lines as those of Dr Alex Moulton’s bike.
Mini says the bicycle— which, unlike Moulton’s highly successful small-wheeled model, can be folded to fit inside the boot of the car— is expected in dealerships by August and will cost about $800. It gives keen Mini owners the flexibility to park their car and continue by bicycle.
When folded, the 11kg bike can be taken free on public transport.
Mini claims the new bike is made of all highquality components, including a lightweight aluminium frame with a clever folding mechanism, eight gears, 20-inch wheels and a Teflon-
coated chain (so there are no oil stains). Hinged on the crossbar and handlebars, it folds and unfolds in a few seconds. The bicycle seat retracts and the pedals fold up.
Dr Moulton, who is now 91, still owns an original Mini, for which he developed the Hydrolastic and rubber-cone suspension.
He designed his bike with front and rear suspension and small wheels, while Dunlop came up with high-pressure tyres to reduce rolling resistance. The original Moulton bikes are now much sought-after collectors’ items.