Peter Boutakis' bicycle folds down to the size of its wheels

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Peter Boutakis' Helix bicycle folds down to the size of a wheel

Canadian designer Peter Boutakis claims to have created the world's smallest folding bike, which "folds down to the size of its wheels" (+ movie).

When fully folded down, the Helix bicycle's dimensions are 58 centimetres high, 63.5 centimetres across and 23 centimetres wide.

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"Helix is the world's smallest folding bike," claimed Boutakis. "No other bike in the world folds so small."

"It's not only small in width and height, but also depth," he added. "Helix is only slightly wider than its crankset."

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The front and rear wheels of the Helix are connected to its frame by helical hinges, allowing each to pivot towards the lightweight titanium frame and between the cranks – the component of a bicycle drivetrain that converts pedal power into motion.

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A button positioned underneath the rider's seat is used to unlock the rear wheel from its rigid position so it swings under when lifted, resting to one side of the frame.

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The front wheel is pulled back to the other side of the frame after a lock positioned on the head tube – which supports the handlebars – is released.

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The handlebars also collapse down to one side and the seat is fully lowered to make the bike as compact as possible.

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"Helix was designed from the very start with a focus on safety," said Boutakis in a statement. "Helix uses pass-through locks to keep the front fork and stem locked in place extremely rigidly".

"The locks are spring-loaded to prevent wear over the lifespan of the bike; a secondary safety is in place should the spring loader fail," he added.

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As well as aiming to improve the safety and ride quality of folding bikes, the Canadian inventor also set out to make them more convenient.

"Unlike any other folding bikes, Helix can be folded in any order and without having to rotate the pedals," he explained. "It's easy to fold because the helical pivots guide the wheels to their correct position."

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The bicycle is handmade in Toronto, Canada, and is due to start shipping in late July 2015. It will be available for pre-order on Kickstarter in early March.

Other folding bicycles launched this year include an electric bike that can be carried in a backpack and another that uses a magnet to create the locking system that holds the frame together.