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Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Wednesday, 14 July 2010 15:25 UK
A Leicester designer invents a 'bendy bicycle'
Kevins' folding bike
Young designer Kevin Scott has developed a revolutionary folding bicycle

A young designer from Leicester has been awarded a £500 prize at the New Designer of the Year Awards.

Kevin Scott, a De Montfort University student, has developed a novel folding bicycle that can be wrapped around a lamp post and then locked to itself.

The bike was in competition alongside hundreds of other designs by the UK's top design universities.

The graduate now hopes to use the prize to fully develop the prototype and generate some major interest in it.

Kevin, who is originally from West Lothian in Scotland, came up with the design for the bicycle to promote urban commuting and to tackle the problem of the lack of city centre cycling facilities with a specific focus on cycle security.

The revolutionary bike allows the user to utilise any object, a lamp post or sign post, making it a highly secure locking area for the bicycle.

Kevins' folding bike
The next stage will be to spend the money from the prize for further development and to fully achieve the functionality in the prototype
Kevin Scott, DMU designer

Kevin built the bike from scratch and is currently a prototype.

"The prototype was built to showcase the design that I came up with. It is based on a standard geometry diamond framed mountain bike but has increased functionality of the folding tube mechanism."

The bicycle folds around the lamp post by using an individually profiled handle, so that only the handle supplied with the cycle can be used to re-tension the bike, giving it added security.

"All you have to do is release the tension in the cables, which runs through the series of sections, and the bike springs apart. It is then able to wrap round objects."

Bicycle security issues

Andy Salkeld, Cycling Officer for Leicester City Council, agrees that security is a big issue for bikes.

"There has been a big rise in cycle theft in the city centre over the past 12-18 months.

"This is off the back of a significant increase in cycling in general, there's been an almost 80% rise in people cycling in the city."

Andy believes it is a fantastic design concept.

"What I really like about it is it's approach to making the bike fully secure. Even if you could get the bike off the post you would not be able to ride it away, which would stop people from stealing it."

Kevin won second prize at the prestigious awards held in London and is excited about the future of the product.

"The next stage will be to spend the money from the prize for further development and to fully achieve the functionality in the prototype.

"Hopefully with a lot more development work and some major interest in it, we could soon be seeing this bike in shops up and down the country."

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