Folder by
Mikuláš Novotný

| 23 comments
 

Unlike other folding bicycles, this one by Czech designer Mikuláš Novotný has full-size wheels and can be rolled home rather than carried.

Folder by Mikuláš Novotný

The 26-inch wheels of Folder are nearly twice the size of those usually seen on folding bicycles, and can still roll along when the bicycle is folded up.

"Thanks to this solution, you don't have to carry the folded bike," the designer explained to Dezeen. "Just grab the saddle and pull it beside you with one hand."

The larger tyres also make the bicycle easier to steer and safer on bumpy roads.

Novotný came up with the design while studying at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.

Folder by Mikulas Novotny

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Folder by Mikuláš Novotný

Photographs are by Matej Cincera.

Here's some more information from the designer:


Folder is a folding city bicycle with 26-inch tyres. It's greatest advantage is that it keeps its mobility even after folding. Within a minute it can be transformed into a compact barrow Which you can take with you to the underground, bus, tram, elevator or wherever you want.

Due to its large wheels, it is also possible to take the bicycle up and down stairs just by pulling. This function is enabled by its unique construction and a number of innovative solutions. The folding system is based on turning the back structure around the seat post and turning the fork around its shoulder. Finally both wheel hubs are joined and fixed by a central plug. There are three quick-releases to be opened and closed.
The diameters of the folded bike are 106 x 28 x 75 centimetres.

During the design process I concentrated on the simplicity and reliability of the final product. The frame of the prototype is made from chromium-molybdenum thin-wall tubes, which are cheap, everlasting and easily reparable. As for brakes, there is a one - eventually two - disc brake system. In addition, it's possible to lock up Folder by pulling a lock through the both wheels and frame.

This new kind of city folding bike was designed as part of a project at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, and is the result of my reflections on movement in the city by self-power.

  • http://twitter.com/shigekzishihara @shigekzishihara

    I seriously want to have this bike. When it will come to the market?

    • AC88

      It’s already on the market: http://www.montaguebikes.com/swissbike-x50-mounta

      • Mackey

        I think this is a very worthy development on the Montague idea. Being able to roll the bike is huge. I do think there is further development to be done on the rear braking and proper mudguards (possibly a chain guard) but on the whole: BRAVO!

        Can I also give the designer hearty praise and admiration for going to the effort to produce a ridable prototype and not just doing a shiny rendering.

  • http://michaelschoner.de Michael

    Developing the American Montague bike a step further… no need to take out the front wheel. http://www.montaguebikes.com/ Nice and clean! Respect! How do you tension the chain?

    • http://mikulasnovotny.tumblr.com Mikulas Novotny

      Thanks. Just by turning and tightening eccentric BB.

    • Arthur

      I’m guessing it has an eccentric bottom bracket for chain tension. One of the best proper sized folding bikes I’ve seen.

  • http://michaelschoner.de Michael

    I want one! Hope you get it into production soon!

  • Norman Foster

    Brilliant.

    • GodLovesATrier

      Lord Foster, any jobs going? Will do architecture for food.

  • http://michaelschoner.de Michael

    Ah, ya, the bottom bracket! Solid! Nice choice of colours too (the red dots).

  • maurocalderone

    How much does it cost?

  • http://www.cma-u.com chris moller

    Alex Moulton proved 50 years ago that small wheel bikes with high pressure tyres and suspension give better results. Why use big wheels when the turning moment, centre of gravity and resistance is greater? A low frame such as the 1962 Moulton or many folding bikes such as Bromptons, Dahans etc have low centre of gravity for comfort and safety. While is is wonderful to see well thought through designs beautifully built, why not build on the solid research that has been thoroughly tested and proven? For those that don’t know this watch… http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-85228700

    • robert

      The video is private – can you give another link?

  • JeffK

    Super tight. Put it on kickstarter and it will surely be a hit.

  • Greg R

    Love the design. It looks really modern. You can’t beat this blue folding bike idea for simplicity though: https://vimeo.com/35845538

    • Charlie

      That is awesome. Actually much better than OP.

      Hope Norm reads this.

      Chapeau.

  • MichaelR

    Although it’s compact, it’s not as compact and seems pointless.

  • ggg

    Great solution and a nice design. A second brake should definitely be a rear hub coaster brake, thus no ugly cables or hydraulic hoses screwing up the clean lines, in addition making the folding exercise more time consuming/difficult.

  • http://twitter.com/bikes2fold @bikes2fold

    It looks very logical and clean – respect for the beautiful design, but I’m afraid that it’s not suitable for daily use: no way to attach mudguards and the folded bike is much to big. Why always this fear of small wheels: ever ridden a Brompton or a Moulton?

  • Paul

    Mudguards are easily mountable to the seatpost. By your logic, half of the MTB frames produced today would be unsuitable for "daily use". Small wheels = slow. Big wheels = much faster.

    • john

      That is not correct. Look at Sir Alex Moulton’s bikes in the 60s. They won the world championship against the full-sized wheels and later on the organizers banned small wheels entering the competition. But anyway this bike is nice as a way of folding and in a picture (thumbs up), but it could be very hard to make it for a daily use.

  • Charlie

    Clever piece of detailing.

    Dahon have produced similar.

  • Hans de Nie

    I have not yet seen the perfect folding bicycle. But a combination of the above bike and this one https://vimeo.com/35845538 would come very close.