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Sunday, 5 December, 1999, 01:43 GMT
Dome wheels in street culture
ben riding Ben Wilson proving the bike can be ridden

The culture of customising cycles is about to get a wider audience, with a bike built by a design student to feature in the Millennium Dome in London.

Ben Wilson's artistic creation will be one of the exhibits in the Dome's Journey Zone.

"I've always been interested in street culture, including hip hop, graffiti and skateboarding," he said.

front end Hand-crafted style
"I got to know about the low rider scene in California through magazines where they go into customising their bikes in a big way."

Rideability is not the main aim - his bikes are more pieces of sculpture than urban transport solutions.

"Low riders are really amazing bikes - you basically have to learn to ride all over again," he said.

Ben Wilson not only designs the bikes he builds them himself from scratch - although one of his earlier creations began with a frame bought for 2 at a car boot sale.

They have been sold in England, Belgium, France and Japan.

"I was awarded a scholarship during the second year of my degree course at Manchester to go to the west coast of America for a month, which was inspirational," he said.

He puts his success down to good early advice at Barnet College, north London, where he first studied 3D design.

"I went through a stage of not knowing what I wanted to do, he said.

"The course at Barnet College gave me a broad base which really helped me to start designing."

Having gone on to Manchester Metropolitan University he is currently studying for an MA at the Royal College of Art.

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09 Apr 99 |  The Economy
'On yer bike'

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