A bundle of Brompton riders
Break at The Brompton Cemetry
Our Bromptons all parked while we had lunch
The only silver Brompton in the world?
This bag I like and want.
All boxed with their address labels and ready to go.
Final stages in the factory
Interesting sport shoes for summer
Bromptons with Brooks, a good combination
Yesterday I took up my invitation to take part in the 2011 BWC Launch Ride and visit to the Brompton factory. It was a great day out.
We had a group ride starting from the Mall outside Buckingham Palace. There were about 100 riders and we were escorted by Brompton staff through South West London, (Kensington and Chelsea). The route took us past ‘Brompton’ landmarks, The Brompton Oratory, The Brompton Hospital and The Brompton Cemetery were we stopped for a short break. (None of the landmarks are connected to the Brompton bike factory.
We had a final ride along the river to Kew, home of the Brompton factory. Our Bromptons were tagged and parked and we were given drink and a hot lunch. After the 14 mile ride the wine gave me wobbly legs.
Then came the tour around the factory.
Some facts I can recall:
The factory is operational at the weekends.
To keep up with the demand they have moved to assembly line production.
The turn around for an order is now three weeks.
70 percent of the bikes made at the factory are for export.
Staff get given a Brompton when they join. This must be returned when they leave, but they get a discount to buy one.
The quality control is extremely high. Every aspect of assembly is tracked.
Different countries have different demands for the colours.
Sales of Bromptons are on the rise in Holland.
They still use the old style saddles but only as a marker that the bike will receive a custom saddle.
The steel joints are built to withstand knocks and falls.
The bike is tested to it’s breaking point to ensure it can withstand knocks and falls
There are only two matt Raw lacquer (The Bronze colour) Bromptons in the world.
There is only one Nickel (Silver) Brompton.
Brompton are open to regular colour changes and additions.
Black it still the most popular colour.
It is cheaper to buy a new Brompton than get your old one re-sprayed a new colour.
The Brompton Pods (the cases that allow you to safely pack the bike for long distance travel) will be back in production in the new year.
They don’t give away bikes to celebrities. Everyone must buy their bike.
While I loved the ride and trip around the factory. (Think Willy Wonker Chocolate Factory but without Johnny Depp.) The really best part was meeting other Brompton owners and swapping information and stories. Loved it!
Lots of interesting talk about the Brompton bags. I will look again at the C bag but while they have improved the T bag (the Touring Pannier by giving it a yellow lining they have not changed the carry strap. It is still too thin and with no padding.
Ed, with the S Type Brompton with very stylish Brooks handles and Brooks saddle. Ed told me that the London School of Economics has secure bike parking for students that requires access through three swipe card doors.
Adrian, with his 2 speed M Type Brompton that gets him through traffic from Liverpool Street Station to The Strand each day.
Jane who had rented two tone (Aqua and Yellow) Brompton for the day for £20. She had her own much loved 6 year old Brompton stolen a week ago. She is upset about the loss but looking forward to choosing a new Brompton.
Sun, with a her very new one month old red M Type Brompton that she got from Evans after a short delay.
Ms ‘Stylish Hat over a Helmet’. Brought her hat from Bobbins with her Titanium Brompton. She said she had no regrets about spending the extra money to get a lighter bike.
Mr ‘Interesting Sport Shoes.’ He got his shoes from a recent seasonal sale at
I was so inspired by the ride and the day out that I said I would sign up for the BWC in August. (It may have been the wine talking.)
It was also so nice to meet people who had read this blog and I am very glad to have helped in any bike related decision.
Oh yes. Big big thank you to Brompton staff.