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Mini shows folding bicycle

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    The highly portable and compact Mini bicycle can easily be stored in the boot or taken on public transport.

IN 1962, the designer of the Hydrolastic and rubber-cone suspension for the original Mini came up with a small, light bicycle that could be taken apart to fit into tight spaces.

Almost 50 years later, Mini has pedalled out its own small bicycle along the same lines as those of Dr Alex Moulton's bike.

Mini says the bicycle - which unlike Moulton's highly successful small-wheeled model, folds up to fit in the boot - is expected in dealerships by August and will cost about $800.

It gives keen Mini owners the flexibility to park the car and continue by bicycle. When folded, the 11kg bike can be taken free of charge on public transport.

Mini claims it's all quality - it's made from high-quality components including eight gears and 20-inch wheels, a teflon-coated chain so there's no oil stains, has a lightweight aluminium frame and has a clever folding mechanism. It can be folded and unfolded in a few seconds with hinges along the crossbar and handlebars. The seat can be retracted and the pedals be folded up.

Dr Moulton (91), who still owns an original Mini, designed his bike with front and rear suspension and small wheels. Dunlop came up with high-pressure tyres to reduce rolling resistance. The original Moulton bikes are now collectors items.

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