The Brompton bike was conceived as a product to help improve city living. It has established itself as the ideal choice for all those who are living or interacting with cities. The bike can be folded to a third of its size in a matter of seconds and is small enough to be taken on all forms of public transport. In fact, 42 Bromptons can fit in one car parking space!
The Brompton bike was first designed by Andrew Ritchie in 1975 opposite the Brompton Oratory in South Kensington, hence the name. The first prototypes were all designed and built in Andrew’s flat and while they were rough and crude, the majority of the key design features were already evident, such as the pivoting rear triangle that allows the rear wheel to fold underneath. Andrew looked for support from various banks and bike manufacturers, but none were willing to support his dream. Julian Vereker, an entrepreneur and the owner of an early Brompton prototype, joined Andrew in 1985 and helped to provide the money which put Brompton into full time production for the first time in 1988. Fast forward to 2016, and Brompton now offers 16.5 million combinations on the bike, every one of which is still made by hand in London.
It is now estimated that there are over 80,000 Brompton bikes in London. Three-time winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the company sells over 45,000 bikes in 44 countries around the world every year. Sales have been growing at a fast rate with the help of Brompton Junction retail stores in London, Barcelona, Munich, Beijing, Milan, Hamburg, Shanghai, Chengdu, Amsterdam, Tokyo and Kobe.