What started as an ambitious Kickstarter project by a London-based designer and keen cyclist, Petre Craciun has now transformed into reality. The British motorsport and advanced technology business Prodrive, has refined the design and re-engineered key components to ready the bike for volume production.
The bike named Hummingbird, weighs merely 6.7 kg which makes it the lightest folding bike in the world. Additionally, the bike’s frame, fork and seat post is made using carbon fibre, further reducing the weight of the bike.
Apart from that, the Hummingbird has a unique and simple folding mechanism in which the trailing arm pivots around the crank. Unlike other folding bikes, this ensures the chain always remains in tension, even when fully folded. It also allows the bike to be wheeled along the ground when folded.
“Most folding bikes are at least 12kg, which is a lot to carry up and down stairs or on and off trains,” said Craciun. “I wanted to design something really different, not only half the weight of existing folding bikes, but a product with distinctive styling that would be eye-catching, instantly recognisable and something people would be proud to be seen riding.”
Hummingbird will be offered in two different models, a single-speed and a five-speed. The five-speeder will have an internal hub unit from SRAM or Sturmey-Archer, controlled by a grip shifter. Buyers will also be given the option to choose between 16 or 20-inch wheels.
David Richards, Chairman of Prodrive, said: “We are always looking for interesting and innovative projects where Prodrive can inject its technical and engineering expertise. Since I first met Petre last year and saw his concept it’s taken us about 12 months to bring it to fruition. The Hummingbird combines all the key attributes of style, innovation and technical excellence that Prodrive stands for and we’re very proud of the end result.”
Prodrive will produce the first test bikes in October.
The Hummingbird is expected to be priced between US$2,650 and $2,875 and will be available for purchase some time early next year.