The inventor and his bike
Andrew Ritchie was a young engineer who believed in a better way to move around the city. In 1975 in the bedroom of his flat overlooking the Brompton Oratory, he invented a bike with an ingenious 3-part fold. A vehicle that transformed into a small package and could go anywhere with him. A 'magic carpet' for the city.
Customers could choose 3 or 5-speed hub gears. By 1991 Brompton had 56 outlets in the UK and an even bigger export market.
Andrew is pictured (far left) with his team outside Bollo Lane. Mark, 4th from the left, (and his son) still work at Brompton today. He no longer wears a shell suit to work.
Andrew Ritchie engineered a purely functional bike that owners find seriously fun to ride. Since the first official Brompton World Championship in Barcelona in 2006, fans from around the world, including a Tour de France stage winner, have come together for the annual 'strictly no Lycra' race. Prizes are also awarded for the World's Fastest Fold and Best Dressed. In 2019, over 550 riders raced a 16km lap around St James Park in London.
Now, as Technical Director, Andrew focused on engineering. Before stepping down in 2016, a futuristic idea outlined in his original patent was brought to life - a Brompton folding bike with 'an electrical motor'.
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