F1 innovator to design folding bike

John Barnard, introducer of the first composite chassis to F1, is working with a furniture maker to produce a folding bike
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Design Week reports that furniture designer Terence Woodgate and Formula One composites specialist John Barnard working together on a folding bicycle.

Earlier this year the two worked on a designer table made from composites, called the Surface table.

Design Week said the bike design was still in its conceptual stage, but that the pair will be talking to potential manufacturers "in the next couple of weeks".

The bike is intended for urban use by commuters. Although there is no indication of price, Woodgate said "the bike will certainly be high-end."

He said the London congestion charge and environmental concerns are motivating demand for folding bikes.

Woodgate and Barnard's objective is to create a lighter, more efficient and cleaner fold-up bike.

"We want to make sure that people can't trap their fingers in hinges, that there is no dirty chain exposed and that mud guards are fitted so you don't get a line up your back," said Woodgate.

The design will make extensive use of carbon fibre, the preferred material of Barnard, who introduced the first carbon-fibre monocoque design to McLaren and Ferrari Formula One cars.

The design may feature Gates' carbon belt drives.

Barnard is currently technical director for Team KR, a motorcycle team that compete in the Moto GP series. He is widely regarded as one of the great technical innovators in Formula One.

Formula One designers are no strangers to bicycles. Whyte bikes were created by F1 designer Jon Whyte.

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