The three-bike range was launched at yesterday's opening of London's Cycle 2004 show. Jon Whyte is an ex-Formula 1 designer, famous for the PRST-1 Whyte MTB. Marin importer ATB Sales is producing Whyte's folding bikes under the Mezzo brand name.

MTB designer Jon Whyte produces folding bike range

Mezzo is Italian for ‘half’.

Folding bike afficiandos made a beeline for the Mezzo stand at Cycle 2004.

Jonathan Boyce of London bike shop Two Wheels Good, a Brompton and Dahon stockist, told he was "very impressed" by the bikes displayed at the Business Design Centre Show. Makers of other folding bikes also said they were impressed.

Edward Donald, PR manager at Brompton, said:

"It’s good to see another British supplier of quality folding bikes. The design is very interesting. The whole market will benefit from more suppliers."

Jon Whyte said: "I spent eight to nine times more time on the development of this project than the work I did on the Whyte mountain bikes."

These MTBs were famous for Whyte’s innovative Plus Four front forks, developed in 1999.

ATB Sales Ltd. has been working on the Mezzo project for two years.

The Mezzo bikes will be available in January. ATB Sales Ltd. will be offering the bikes to its Marin UK stockist network first. About 90 of ATB’s 180 Marin dealers signed up as Mezzo stockists at last week’s dealer roadshow.

The top-end D-9 with folding-bike specific Shimano Capreo shifters costs £645 for the anodised-frame versio. The I-4 Shimano Inter-4 internal hub gear model will retail for £595.

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