Brompton Bicycle
Featured in Great British Brands 2020
Land, Sea & Sky

Brompton Bicycle

Changing the future of urban transport

As 2020 approaches, anyone would be forgiven for thinking that the gloomy uncertainty associated with Brexit might be sinking the spirits at Brompton Bicycle. Far from it! There is a spring in the step of its staff as the latest innovation, Brompton Electric, developed with Williams Advanced Engineering, rolls off the line.


Andrew Ritchie conceived Brompton in 1975, developing early prototypes in his flat overlooking the Brompton Oratory. Today, with 16 Brompton Junction stores globally, as well as on-demand Brompton Bike Hire across Britain, Brompton bikes have become an increasingly familiar sight in city streets all over the world as the brand goes from strength to strength. Export markets have always been important to Brompton, since customers in traditionally cycling friendly nations, like Germany and the Netherlands, were early adopters of the brand.


Customers in the Far East, from Japan and Korea to Singapore and more recently China, have also fallen for Brompton’s high-quality British engineering, with all frames still being hand-brazed in Brompton’s West London factory.


Brompton is undoubtedly making big inroads into international markets and reaching new consumers. Its increasing popularity was driven initially by passionate owners clubs, from Dubai to Jakarta, and a roster of fun events like the Brompton World Championship races or bike polo in the Sahara desert.

Brompton bikes have become an increasingly familiar sight in city streets all over the world as the brand goes from strength to strength

Brompton Bicycle

The small-wheeled bike is also attracting aficionados via its collaborations, like with British clothing brand Barbour; with ex-pro cyclist David Millar and Japanese social media brand, Line Friends. Actor Owen Wilson, architect Richard Rogers and designer Tom Dixon are among an estimated 300,000 owners globally.


As cities around the world become more congested, mayors are increasingly focusing on how to improve air quality and mobility. Brompton believes passionately in its role as part of a global solution and after a decade of rapid growth is looking forward to the next decade with optimism.


At home, its growing voice will continue to be a force for good in any debate about city mobility, while Brompton is thinking how best to showcase its product during the Tokyo Olympics, given Japan is already a strong market for the brand.


‘The age of the motor car as the primary form of city transport is over,’ explains CEO Will Butler Adams. ‘Individuals are waking up to the damage that a lifetime of being sedentary is doing while governments are recognising their responsibility to make busy urban areas safe and pleasant to move around in.


Bikes are an incredibly efficient and fun way to get around, and the introduction of battery powered cycling opens it up to more people the world over. Our biggest market, by city, is still London but we export over 70 per cent of our bikes and I can’t see why cities like New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and Berlin won’t be full of Bromptons in ten years’ time.’


As Brompton positions itself as the brand capable of providing cities with flexible and clean, solutions to their pollution and congestion problems, its future has never looked rosier.