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Fortune+2008+-+Reinventing+Guess+What

Fortune+2008+-+Reinventing+Guess+What - Forbes.com Magazine...

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Revolutionaries Parmy Olson 03.10.08, 12:00 AM ET A British engineer has come up with a collapsible wheel. Duncan Fitzsimons is a tinkerer. When he was 5 he put together Lego spaceships in seconds. When he was 15 he made a wooden rocking chair. At 26 Fitzsimons has decided to reinvent the wheel. Standing in his London workshop, Fitzsimons picks up the bicycle wheel he designed and pushes on the sides. In one smooth movement it collapses, inflated tire and all, into an oblong shape the length and width of a skateboard. After three years of modifications and scores of prototypes Fitzsimons has come up with the world's first collapsible bike wheel, aimed at couriers or commuters who might need to throw a folding bike into a trunk or overhead compartment. Fitzsimons' design uses two cleverly engineered hinged spokes that collapse on each other with a flick of a lever on the axle, or lock into place when the wheel is round. If not locked properly, the lever stops the wheel from turning, so it won't suddenly cave in when bearing a rider.
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