bromptonWe all have know that the bicycle is probably the best invention since the wheel. Just the simple joy of riding it and all the different ways you can use it.

In the year that the “Prince Philip Designers Prize” turns 50 the Brompton or rather its dad inventor Andrew Ritchie got the award. Bloody good show, what what :)

Andrew have really won the war on folding bikes. Its fast to and easy to pack down and a great little thing to ride around town on your small trips. Pack it up in our car, under the stairs and within seconds it is ready to put a smile on your face when zoom around town. I even have hear that someone did ride on it from Lands Ends to John O’Groats !!!

The Brompton, wholly manufactured at the company’s factory in Brentford, sells in more than 30 countries, driving a successful business that has grown by 25% for the last three years.

The bike’s success is based on the ingenuity of its folding mechanism, its balance of functionality, durability and comfort, and a consistent 30-year commitment to refining the product and its 1,200 parts – many of which are unique to Brompton.

Ritchie, an engineering graduate, started designing the Brompton in the mid-1970s after seeing an early version of the Bickerton folding bicycle. ‘I’d had a folding bike in mind, and this was evidence that it could be done,’ he said. An initial design was finished within months, but it took more than a decade of development and looking for investment before the Brompton was ready for full production in 1987. ‘There were eureka moments, but it was mostly a lot of patience and waiting for muse to work,’ recalls Ritchie.

Click here to read the full article over at the Design Council.