Japan's two-second folding bicycle
While folding bicycles have been around for a while now, this new variation can be folded with a swiftness and elegance never seen before. The 2-second slide-folding bicycle was designed to be folded quickly while you are walking. Once folded, the rider can push the bicycle along with ease much like one would push a wheel-barrow.
This amazing little bike has a half-folding frame design that uses a swing hinge in the middle. And while this idea is not an original one (half-folded bicycles are nothing new), Mr. Asawa's has created a mid-fold variation that is a rare combination of compactness and convenience. The locked frame hinge is released by pulling a lever on the left handlebar, at which point you can swing the rear wheel forward in line with the front.
The bicycle's creator is Makoto Asawa, a retired man from Matsumoto City in Nagano prefecture. His intention was to create a bicycle that could fit in a small elevator. (Note: Keep in mind here that a small elevator in Japan is not much bigger than a large refrigerator!)
Folding bicycles have proven very popular in Japan, particular in urban areas where space is at a premium. Riders need to be able to store their bicycles in small areas at home or at the office. And if one intends to bring your bicycle on the underground, a folding bicycle is a must. Some of the more compact folding bikes can even be stored in train station lockers!
The 2-second folding bicycle is set to hit the streets in February, with a 24-inch version selling for 42800 yen (or approximately US$475).
Have a look at the news clip below (Japanese language) to see the 2-second folding bike in action.
Source: Live on.