Thin bike - space saving skinny bike for city spaces + video

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

by Tony Farrelly   August 19, 2010  

Thin bike screen grab.jpg

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.

10 user comments

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Nice but not exactly a new idea. The Airnimal Joey and Mike Burrows' 2D bike are both made for narrow spaces.

posted by MikeyF [3 posts]
19th August 2010 - 16:04

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He goes, "I designed it last year." Followed by saying all the individual parts were already made by other companies.

Thinking

posted by David French [49 posts]
19th August 2010 - 17:11

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Thats pretty ace. My bikes take up loads of room in my flat and for a commuting bike would be brilliant. As for did he design it who really cares, its a good idea and if it means that its possible to buy a thin bike i for one would be impressed. I just hope you can get it as a fixxie

posted by miffed [163 posts]
19th August 2010 - 17:54

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David French wrote:
He goes, "I designed it last year." Followed by saying all the individual parts were already made by other companies.

Thinking


yes, got to say I did think 'designing' was maybe stretching things a tad, but fair dos for putting both those things together on one bike, as I said in piece the Schindelhauer doesn't look that different to the one we saw at Eurobike but hey! Let's be generous Smile

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
19th August 2010 - 18:05

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As far as I can see miffed there's nothing to stop you turning your current bike into a thin…ish (maybe a slim) bike, you can't retrofit the belt but that only adds cleanliness in to the mix, there's a link in the story to the Speedlifter faq page, think you can buy one of the stems direct and you should be able to source a pair of folding pedals fairly easily. If you do, send us a pic

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
19th August 2010 - 18:14

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Designed or not, it's a helluva a lot more useful to a heck of a lot more people than the Copenhagen Wheel

Darned if I do…

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posted by Mr Sock [153 posts]
19th August 2010 - 18:27

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Looks like a ghost bike... Sad

posted by scook94 [40 posts]
23rd August 2010 - 22:07

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yeah, apparently that occurred to him too afterwards, but it was too late + the range of colours on the Schindelhauers I saw on their stand at Eurobike ran from white to ball burnished alu to, er that's it. So maybe he didn't have much choice. I'd have gone the ball burnished route myself though

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
23rd August 2010 - 22:29

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Another silly solution in search of a problem. As some who lives in a third floor flat with three bike I know that this is not the solution, what we really need is more secure cycle parking at ground level.

posted by Kim [147 posts]
24th August 2010 - 10:06

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An alternative solution that is not quite so convenient (but a lot better if your stem is almost slammed) is to get a 28.6mm steerer clamp and put it under your stem.

28.6mm steerer clamps are quite hard to find but it is possible to get a 28.6mm seat-tube clamp and file away the flange that normally sits on the top of the seat tube so that the inside is flush.

To fit it, insert under the stem, adjust your headset, and then tighten the bolt on the collar and then the stem bolts.

When you need to twist your bars, loosen the bolts that tighten the stem to the steerer tube, and twist your stem out of the way. It is not necessary therefore to adjust your headset.

I think I read this on Sheldon Brown. It is great for touring when your bike has to be packed down.

posted by Pub bike [68 posts]
4th December 2014 - 17:25

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