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Simple clever design points to urban bikes of the (near) future

Here's one of those ideas that's so simple and yet so clever you wonder why no-one has thought of it before*, the Thin Bike. It's the brainchild of of Treehugger founder Graham Hill and it's designed to help those, particularly city dwellers, who have to accommodate bikes in confined spaces, but anybody who parks their bike in a hallway would find it useful too. We'll let Graham explain the concept in the video below.

Graham, who's other bike is a Strida wanted a bike that was faster and more fun to ride, but which again didn't take up too much space in his sixth floor apartment. He got in touch with German bike maker Schindelhauer who specialise in fixed and singlespeed machines, (we saw them at Eurobike last year) and asked them to custom build him something.

At first sight the resulting looks pretty close to the Schindelhauer belt drive but it has a few extra refinements that turn it in to the Thin Bike – well two, a really cool Speedlifter rotating stem and some MKS folding pedals which immediately turn the bike into a much slimmer storable package. Because it's oil free the Gates Belt drive adds extra in-house friendliness meaning you can park the bike up in a hallway or wherever without he belt side against the wall without fear of marking it - which is the problem with a chain driven bike… the downside there is of course that that the chain and more particularly the chainset are likely to leave their marks on unwary passers by.

As he explained to Treehugger, Graham had been working on his own design for a rotating stem when the guys at Schindelhauer found the Speedlifer and suggested that.

Given that all of the parts that make the thin bike, thin, are available off the shelf and the Speedlifter is retrofittable it will be interesting so see how long it takes other bike companies to come up with their own thin bikes - who knows maybe some already have? We'll be on the look out at Eurobike when cycle companies from across the world get together to show off their wares.

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.