Designer rides high on bike of the future

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 August, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 August, 1996, 12:00am

It is an ambitious concept but one that will impress people in countries with large populations - a bicycle that can be dismantled and reassembled as a trolley or goods-carrying tricycle.

'China is my target market. Almost everyone rides there,' said Justin Tsui Ying-kwan, an industrial design student at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

His design won an award in an international design contest in the United States recently.

'My bike has to be affordable and practical.

'It has to be a convertible design that fits the users' mode of living.' The creative 22-year-old and six other second-year students were selected to compete in the Owens Corning's Global Design Challenge. They had to design a 'world bike' made of fibreglass.

The young designer decided to make it simple but innovative, with a flexible structure. Re-connecting a tube to a different joint, or attaching a wheel next to the body, for instance, turns the bike into a trolley or tricycle.

Jane Tong Ching-yin moulded the frame of her bike into a shape that made it more portable. A gap on the crossbar enables the cyclist to haul the bike along on one wheel.

'Young people don't like constraints and limitations. They want freedom, speed and excitement and it is important to make it easy to carry.'