Frame winner

A final-year student at Brighton University has won a top design award for finding a way to stop bikes crashing to the ground when leant against walls.

A final-year student at Brighton University has won a top design award for finding a way to stop bikes crashing to the ground when they are leaning against walls.

Jamie Douglas has designed the Ninety Bicycle with a 90o rotating handlebar that flattens the bike’s profile into a single linear form, making it more secure when propped up.

Douglas said: ‘The idea came to me after three years of living in student accommodation and bashing into handlebars of bikes propped up in narrow corridors. I collected quite a few bruises. The new design tucks the handlebars flat. It prevents many collisions and stops bikes falling over. I ride the bike all the time and it works.’

The Ninety Bicycle, which bridges the gap between folding and fixed frames, also includes a new security system – a lock concealed inside the seatpost that complements the chain guard. It doubles as a D-frame locking device.

Douglas, who comes from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, won the New Designs Virgin Atlantic Airways Red Hot Design Award at the New Designers 2009 exhibition in London. Along with the award, Douglas won a placement with Virgin Atlantic’s team designing a new cabin, plus two Virgin flight tickets.

The judges described the product design graduate as a designer with flare and one ‘focused on improving the user experience and making life better’.

Dr Tim Katz, of the School of Environment and Technology, said: ‘Jamie and all other students put on an excellent show. They were among 2,500 design graduates and definitely held their own amongst the best in the country.’