Brompton’s folding bike is the ‘Goldilocks’ gold standard says their design supremo Leave a comment

Brompton recently released the T Line, which is a more or less complete reinvention of the Brompton folding bike, done in titanium. A complete reinvention, that is, apart from the core look and design of the bicycle. That’s no surprise. I’ve been to Brompton’s HQ, and there, they keep an early prototype of the bike, done by inventor and company founder Andrew Ritchie. While it looks decidedly rough – as you would expect for a prototype knocked up in the 1970s in a former landscape gardener’s flat – the main elements of the Brompton’s scaled-down-bike look and hinged design are clearly visible.

So when I sat down to talk to Brompton’s Chief Design and Engineering Officer Will Carleysmith, I felt obliged to ask if the brand ever considered starting again from scratch and, so to speak, reinventing the wheel. The Brompton folds beautifully and is way more enjoyable to ride than you would expect, to look at it. However there is no getting away from the fact that it does look decidedly odd. Full disclosure: I also once rode one gently off of a kerb into the road, where its front wheel fell into and through the grate of a storm drain, which pretty comprehensively destroyed it. 

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