Power To The Pedal

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Retrofit Folding Handlebars

by Joe Wentworth
Co-authors:

To increase the number of cyclists, we need to remove as many hurdles as possible. Two major problems with urban cycling are bike storage and security, both of which are addressed by my retrofit folding handlebar design.

The design of the handlebars allows the effective storage width of a standard bicycle to be dramatically reduced. In addition the handlebars, in their folded position, form a steering lock, when the bike is lent against a wall or post this steering lock eliminate the infuriating turning of the front wheel. The steering lock also provides additional security when parked outside.

By simply replacing the handlebars of your existing full size bike it can be made slimmer than most folding bikes at a fraction of the cost and keeps the efficiency of large wheels. Additionally this helps reduce waste by extending the useful life of your old bike.

The reduced width and increased stability make hallway storage hassle free. The advantage of hallway storage is both increased security and convenience. It allows for speedy departure which will significantly increase the frequency the bike is used. The slimmer profile also allows more bikes to be stored in a given space e.g. sheds or when transported by car.

The careful design of the bars has included a profiled detail within the hinge allow for a solid locking with zero play and are indistinguishable form a conventional bar when riding. The bars are extremely simple to use, a single lever operates two quick release bolts allowing the handlebars to be folded or unfolded in a couple of seconds. To ensure fail safe operation the hinges have been designed in such a way that if the quick release were to disengage accidentally the bike can still be safety controlled.

To ensure compatibility with the maximum number of available bikes, the bars have a standard 1” centre and can be fitted to both front loading and pinch bolt stems. Together this allows them to be used on over 85% of existing bikes.

In cities across the world millions of bikes are either not being used or creating an annoyance due to the difficulty of storage. The simple replacement of the handlebars can rectify key problems associated with cycling and enhance the usability of an existing bike.