Following the annual Active Travel Summit, our new series of NLA Study Tours explored the home of London’s iconic Brompton Bicycle in Greenford.
CEO Will Butler-Adams opened the tour with a brief history of the bike, the design for which has remained fundamentally the same with continual improvement for over 40 years. Butler-Adams says the design of our cities and travel infrastructure is creating a society that makes us miserable - physically and mentally. He welcomed the delegation of built environment professionals to contact him with their thoughts, with the joint aim of changing city living.
The tour followed the bicycle construction from start to finish, beginning with the brazing department where the unique Brompton frame is constructed by 36 skilled brazers.
Our next stop saw the machining of the bike’s four hinge plates, and the creation of the distinctive curve in the crossbar. We gained insight into the new and innovative in-house paint plant - frames are electrostatically powder-coated and cured with heat. This process is making new colour designs possible, some of which already proving extremely popular with consumers.
At the bike assembly lines the tour was treated to a sneak peak of the new electric bike. The bikes assist the rider when their speed drops below 15.5mph, and only act while the rider is pedalling. Further evidence of how this great bicycle invention continues to make cycling more accessible to one and all.
Hosted by Brompton Bicycle
This Study Tour is part of the NLA Transport & Inrastructure programme.
By Sadie Geen, Marketing Manager, NLA