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Kwiggle Bike claims world’s most compact folding bike crown


August 30, 2013

The Kwiggle Bike folds down to a compact package

The Kwiggle Bike folds down to a compact package

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One of the main goals for anyone designing a folding bike is to make the bike as compact as possible so it's easier to carry and store when not in use. Karstin Bettin from Hannover, Germany has ticked that box with his Kwiggle Bike. Bettin claims the Kwiggle Bike, which is the result of four years of development, is the most compact folding bike in the world.

The Kwiggle Bike, which Bettin is showing at Eurobike 2013, is an exercise in minimalism that makes use of a number of patented design elements that allow it to fold down to a compact package. Chief among these are a special hinge that enables the bike’s contortionist-like folding capabilities and the placement of the drive cog on the outside of the frame, which allows for greater folding capabilities by keeping the chain out of the way.

Even though the Kwiggle does have a seat, this is more for leaning on than sitting on as the bike puts the rider in an upright position. The “wiggle” in Kwiggle comes from the side-to-side movement of the seat as the rider pedals, which Bettin claims provides a more comfortable ride than a rigid seat would. The bike can support riders weighing up to 100 kg (220 lb).

Despite the upright “seating” position, Bettin claims it is easy to get the bike up to speeds of 25 km/h (15.5 mph), with each revolution of the pedals translating to 4.5 m (14.7 ft) of development. That’s for the single-speed prototype Bettin has on show at Eurobike, but he is working on a model that would have two to six gears and produce 7.5 m (24 ft) of development for each pedal rotation.

The prototype on show at Eurobike rides on 8-inch wheels and folds down to a size of 50 x 40 x 25 cm (19.6 x 15.7 x 9.8 in), which makes it small enough to fit in hand luggage for carrying on a plane. Constructed from aluminum, Bettin also aims to get the weight down from the prototype’s 8 kg (17.6 lb) to 6 kg for the production model.

Bettin also has a model with larger 14-inch wheels in the works, which will fold down to a maximum size of 55 x 40 x 25 cm (21.6 x 15.7 x 9.8 in), although he is aiming to get it even smaller than this. Bettin points out that the production models will also have brakes, which is something the prototype lacked.

Bettin is hoping to release the Kwiggle Bike before the end of the year. Pricing details are still to be ironed out.

Source: Kwiggle Bike

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

I'm curious to know how it fares, because I returned the A-bike after giving it a short ride: It was just too unstable with wheels the same size as the Kwiggle Bike.


Freyr Gunnar

I think that is ingenius. I wish I had that when I visit New York City. It would make getting around a whole lot easier.


It is even dangerous to bike around with such small wheels: all it takes is one very small pothole ...and you go flying. It is rough ride, shaky, unstable...

I do not think it would be practical even for N.Y.

(The potholes there ...I know since I had to lug luggage around after 9/11)

...the wheels are the limiting factors to practicality of a folding bike. I had a 16" and gave up on it. Then I hat two 20" ....and it was still just too shaky and rough. Only Montague paratroopers folding bike with 26" wheels finally made me happy.


Progress, but what I'm really after is a two-second self-inflating bicycle that has full-size wheels, weighs 500g, and fits in my breast pocket. Alternatively a folding bike that's as clever as a few folding fans and goes in a small pocket. But the ideal solution would be a token I can keep in my wallet that swaps itself out for a bike held in store via teleport whenever needed.

Sam Sams

It looks absolutely ridiculous. Only a tockley would be caught dead on that thing.

Bash Prompt

I agree that the tiny wheels would be unstable. My Yikebike with a tiny back wheel never feels stable. How about a video of someone actually riding the Kwiggle?


I agree with Bash Prompt: ridiculous ! Never mind what who might ride it... without any triangulation in the frame, "the 'wiggle' in Kwiggle" will make it unrideable !


This will NOT fit as a carry-on on most airlines.

Check your airline's website.

You will probably be VERRRRY disappointed.

I am sick of so many folding bike manufacturers lying & telling that it will fit as a carry-on.

The only size that you should count on is 9x14x22 (inches) & some small planes won't even allow that.

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