SPACE folding bike unfolds with a touch


September 28, 2012

The SPACE folding bicycle promises to be both easy to store and comfortable to ride

The SPACE folding bicycle promises to be both easy to store and comfortable to ride

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Folding bicycles are a great idea, in theory. In practice, they often provide a poor riding experience and can be a hassle to stow away. Budapest-based designer Simon Hukaya believes he’s solved both these issues with SPACE – a concept folding bicycle which sports a one-touch unfolding mechanism and 20-inch wheels.

Like other folding bicycles, SPACE is primarily designed to be used as a “last mile” transport solution, folding up neatly when a daily commute necessitates hopping aboard a train, tram, or bus. However, Hukaya states that its 20-inch wheels, which are spaced relatively far apart, allow SPACE to handle better than one might expect from a bike of its type.

The folding mechanism implemented in SPACE consists of a threaded rotation point which pushes the frame out of the original plane and allows the two wheels to come together, while a lock prevents accidental release.

To fold the bicycle, the user presses a button to release the folding mechanism and bring the bike together. To unfold is similarly effortless and involves simply pressing the same button and releasing the two wheels, allowing the resulting momentum to move the bike into the correct shape.

Once duly folded, SPACE measures just 91 x 68 x 47 cm (roughly 35 x 27 x 18 inches) and while in this position, it can also be pulled along by the handlebars to allow easier transportation on foot.

SPACE is still firmly a concept at present, and we've not heard word as to if, or when, Hukaya aims to bring it to market.

Source: Behance via Ecochunk

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

sorry, i still prefer my Brompton. Way smaller and handier. But, i would be nice to see some novelties there. Like electric Bromptons, or new lighter materials...

Stefaan van Damme

The Brompton is the most practical design in folding-bike-land, better than any folding design I've seen up until now, or, at least better built than the copycats out there. It is just the right balance between price and quality, will serve you if maintained for years, because of the strong frame (you don't lose energy in twisting) and with high pressure tires (reduces roll resistance) the difference between a normal bike and the Brompton is negligable. It does not get you dirty like all the mudguard-less bikes (like the bike described here) when rain falls and last but not least, folds into a small package. The design is from the sixties, and Bromptons have been around for nearly half a century now so the concept is mature, no surprises. Only gripe: weight. But then an unobtainium frame would push the price outside of the comfortable quality-price envelope.

Yes, and I don't even get paid by Brompton for saying this s**t.


It is not clear how this is an advantage over existing bikes like Dahon and Brompton, in fact the fact that the seat ends up on the bottom when you are wheeling it is a problem if you want to set it down. The folding mechanism is novel but nowhere near as fast or practical as the Bike Friday Tikit:

Michael Crumpton

"Only" 35x27x18 inches? That's a pretty big footprint, especially if you're going to take it onto a train or bus. I prefer the Strida, which has a folded footprint of only 20x9" and folds almost as quickly, without all the levers and thumbscrews on other folding bikes. Easy to wheel around when folded. Belt drive makes it very low maintenance and very quiet. No need to readjust seat height after each unfold. The Strida is much more than a concept, having been produced for about 25 years now.


The differences between a Brompton and the SPACE cycle are obvious. 1. Since the rider is suspended from above, there is no need conventional frames top tube and seat tube - there is no seat. 2. No pedals, bottom bracket, drivechain or deraileurs eliminates frame torsion/flex caused by the cyclists own pedaling motions. Remember that pedaling action is more or less vertical. A proper ankling motion/technique allows one foot to pull a pedal up as the opposite foot is pushing down for a more efficient pedaling action and minimizes frame flex. Get rid of the pedals and you get rid of 90% of the energy wasted in frame flex.

NK Fro

Adam Williams > In practice, they often provide a poor riding experience and can be a hassle to stow away

If you get the opportunity, try Riese und Müller's Birdy. I've been riding hundreds of km's now, and with its stiff frame, it's perfect for long week-end getaways. It's small enough to be considered hand-luggage on trains.

Because of its unparalleled size when folded, I'll probably end up buying a Brompton too for daily commutes, though, but I find the Birdy better for long rides.

Freyr Gunnar

Oh God. If I see another one of these untested, unridden, unpractical (and usually impossible to actually manufacture or actually ride) 2nd year Industrial Design student renderings presented as a real product I'll sh!t my pants. I'm all for innovation and pushing the envelope but this is just more bollox which will clog up the pages of the gadget/lifesyle mags before fading into oblivion. If the designer had built a mock-up and tried to lead it down a flight of stairs as in the pics he'd have discovered that such a top-heavy folded package falls over. Let's have more real-life and less student wanking.


To Michaelc : Would that be the same 'tikit' that's been recalled for design -- or was it manufacturing -- defects? Hmmmm...

I'd say Birdy or Brompton is the way to go, depending on how often you fold and how far you ride. Road surface could be an additional factor to consider. If you regularly ride on bumpy roads, then maybe the Birdy's full suspension is what you need ?

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