‘You can’t have your cake and eat it’, so the old saying goes. For example, when it comes to commuting, you must either go by public transport using buses and trains or be self-reliant and get to work under your own steam, driving, walking or cycling. Never the twain shall meet… at least, not according to conventional wisdom. But there’s nothing conventional about the wisdom that has created Brompton — the world’s most famous folding bike — and when it comes to commuting, Brompton owners really can have the best of both worlds. Brompton CEO Will Butler-Adams talks us through the benefits of this folding marvel.
Cycle commuting has so many benefits — improved health, saving money, enhanced productivity, more efficient time management – but sometimes you might not want to ride the whole way. Perhaps it’s raining in the morning and you’ve got an early meeting where you want to look your best. Or maybe you’re staying late at work, it’s cold and dark and you just don’t want to cycle home. With a Brompton, whatever situation you face, it’s no problem. Because of Brompton’s uniquely fast folding mechanism, simply flip the rear wheel over and push or carry it with you onto the train, bus, Tube or taxi. Then get pedalling again when you fancy. And if you want to ride even further than normal some days, well, the Brompton is built to encourage that, too.
Urban cycling has all the potential to be just as enjoyable as pedalling in the countryside — there are almost limitless opportunities to discover parks, canals, hidden cafes and simply explore your city. The Brompton has been designed specifically to make town cycling massively enjoyable: it is fast and manoeuvrable, while retaining the kind of stability and ride experience normally associated with big-wheeled bikes. Whether you’re planning to nip through narrow back lanes, take to paths and tracks, or even cruise at speed on bigger roads, the Brompton can handle every part of your daily route.
The benefits of the Brompton’s bijou folding form don’t end when you reach home. City life is characterised by the fact that living space is restricted. If you live in an apartment or flat and you’re lucky, you might be able to store a full-size bike in a hallway or outside in a yard or garden, but often it’s not ideal. Full-size bikes stored inside tend to get in the way and obstruct entrances and exits. Meanwhile bikes, stored outside are liable to get affected by the weather or be targeted by thieves. With a Brompton, you have none of these problems – simply fold it and store it in a cupboard. Also, these benefits don’t just apply at home. If your workplace has no secure cycle parking, you can keep your Brompton under your desk. Or if you’re meeting someone at the pub and you don’t want to risk leaving your bike outside, just take it in with you. Your Brompton can go pretty much anywhere.
Because Brompton understands its bikes are a life tool, the ultimate utilitarian machine, and an everyday workhorse, it has been built to withstand the knocks of daily use. In a sense, the fact it is a folding bike means there has had to be some compromises in its design. To offset that, Brompton has always been uncompromising in its build quality. Brompton knows its models have to be bombproof, and the hundreds of thousands of Brompton owners around the world will pay testament to the fact it is more than capable of living up to its reputation as a rare icon of reliability in a world littered with unpredictability.
As well as the highest quality materials and component choices, many of the benefits of a Brompton are thanks to its unique design. And while the Brompton fundamentals remain the same, specific details are improving all the time. All parts are designed especially for or manufactured by Brompton to optimise the fold and the ride. Of course, that makes things trickier for Brompton than for other bike brands who use off-the-shelf components, but it’s also the reason for Brompton’s success. Every time Brompton creates a new part, it spends days, weeks, months or even years perfecting it so that it improves the bike’s performance. If you then have 10 or 20 such details all helping the bike’s performance even just a little, imagine how much more delightful the end result is compared to its rivals.