A product designer who gave up his day job eight years ago to create a new compact folding bicycle is finally ready to take it to production.
It has taken Stuart Lambert, of Beechwood Avenue, Deal, five prototypes and £250,000 to reach the final design of his first model – the SF-1A.
What makes it different to other folding bicycles, he says, is that it is assembled by hand and is designed for the performance as well as its size.
He is now ready to launch the model, priced at £1,500, with a crowdfunding platform Kickstarter campaign, where people pay for the item up-front.
“It’s all about the ride,” he said.
“It’s a folding bike equipped with great components with the ride and feel of a full-sized bicycle.
“It’s a great combination because folding bicycles make life easier and can expand people’s horizon when mixed with various transport systems.”
Almost a decade ago, Mr Lambert realised working as a product designer for leading design agencies in London and Milan wasn’t for him.
As a keen cyclist, he set himself a new challenge starting up his bike business, Crosshead.
He spent the first four years in Greenwich before moving to factory space in Minters Industrial Estate, Deal. He has thanked Steve and Debbie Hambrook of AMC Ltd for providing him with the space and their support and advice in developing his business.
With the help of design engineer Alex Kalogroulis he has created a bike with 20in wheels and 10 speed gears, making it suitable for the novice and enthusiast alike.
It folds down to a third of its original size, making it easy to store, carry and use on a variety of journeys.
Mr Lambert said: “The fold method is unique to us. It’s easy to achieve once practised a few times and folds in about 20 seconds.
“The principle is that both the front and rear wheels fold towards each other, ending up side-by-side with no unsightly catches.”
He hopes to produce 200 bikes by the end of the year with a long term aim of going global.
To find out more go to www.crosshead.com