Good things turned into small pack­ages

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - Neil Dowl­ing

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.

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