Having tried taking the bus, train, and driving his 25-mile congested commute to University, Student Mark Sanders needed a quicker option. So, he set about using his final university project as an opportunity to design a solution to his problem. Little did he know his design would cement his career as an inventor and see him launch his business – MAS Design at just 23 years old.
Having realised a folding bike would be the most practical mode of transport, one he would could take on the train to bookend his journey, he started searching for one that would be suitable.
“Bikes are just the perfect ‘human amplifiers’ and are right on this cusp between structures and design. Folding bikes make using public transport door-to-door, freeing people who are otherwise trapped into car use and helping those who need to link several transports.
Having considered buying a folding bike to take on the train or bus I couldn’t find one that was affordable, fun, simple and light… in short I couldn’t find one that was at all appealing.”
So, what did Mark do? He designed his own! While facing initial opposition from his tutor who said: “The bike has been around for 100 years, what makes you think you can do anything new and innovative?” But, thriving on a challenge Mark was determined to prove him wrong and developed the ‘Strida’ bike.
Using a unique triangular frame the Strida bike can be quickly and easily folded in just two simple steps, but crucially, unlike other conventional folding bikes which are heavy and awkward to carry on public transport, the Strida can be wheeled along when folded.
Having settled on a viable design, Mark needed to prove its effectiveness and deliberately left his prototype in the university studio for other students to use, and they did! But, the big question, did Mark prove his tutor wrong? YES! In fact, that same tutor would become his biggest champion.
33 years on both MAS Design and the Strida are still going strong. It’s now one of the world’s most popular folding bikes. Since launching his career with the Strida Mark has worked on many other bike related projects and designed for some of the UK’s most famous household brands including Joseph Joseph. You might not know his name but no doubt at some point you’ve used one of his products.