Franke Bearings helps develop foldable bike

Longridge-based Franke Bearings has helped create a new 'penny farthing' style folding electric bike which was unveiled at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The company collaborated with Dorset-based inventors, Cyclopic, on the prototype which is planned to made available for sale this summer.

Over the 12 month project, Franke helped to develop a solution tailored precisely to support the six-speed bike which is powered by an electric drive system.

Featuring a large front and smaller rear wheel without spokes, the design allows the wheels to snap inside one another in five seconds and weighing approximately 15kg.

Phil Worden, managing director of Franke Bearing, said: "It’s fantastic to work on such an innovative project and wire race bearings are ideal for use in the Cyclopic prototype as they can handle high speeds and high torque loadings.

"Not only are they extraordinarily compact and fit snug in even the tiniest mounting spaces, their compact form and free material section of mating structures permit the construction of lightweight designs which is exactly what Cyclopic is trying to achieve."

The enthusiasm and generous technological support given by the Franke team has kept us driven and inspired.

Alan Rallings, director of Cyclopic, commented: "The enthusiasm and generous technological support given by the Franke team has kept us driven and inspired our R&D team at Cyclopic Ltd.

"This support has led us to receive very positive feedback from showcasing our folding E-bike concept. Potential customers have been reassured that at the core of the design are the highest quality and most technically advanced bearings, on the market."

Franke Bearings Ltd of Longridge is part of Franke GmbH, the company which invented the wire race bearing in 1934. Today Franke acts as a specialist for customised designed bearings and linear systems all over the world. The headquarters in Aalen, Germany, employ more than 250 people.