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Brompton Folding Bicycle

This is a Folding Bicycle. It was designed by Andrew Ritchie. We acquired it in 2016. Its medium is assembled bent, brazed and lacquered tubular steel (frame) and titanium (mudguards), synthetic (saddle), molded rubber and kevlar (tires). It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Recently there has been heightened interest in folding bicycles as a way to address urban transportation and environmental issues. The Brompton bike, which can be folded in a simple 4-step operation, owes its durability to robust design and craftsmanship. Rather than being welded, the frame's joints are brazed, a process that consists of a broad heating of the base metal area, allowing the filler metal to be drawn through the entire joint, resulting in a stronger connection.

This object was donated by Brompton Bicycle.

  • Folding Fork, ca. 1790
  • silver, gold.
  • The Robert L. Metzenberg Collection, gift of Eleanor L. Metzenberg.
  • 1985-103-266

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

  • VeloPlus Wheelchair Transport, 2016
  • steel frame with standard bicycle parts and components.
  • Courtesy of Bike-On/Spinov8 Distribution Center, Warwick, Rhode Island, USA.
  • MOBILITY.020

Cite this object as

Brompton Folding Bicycle; Designed by Andrew Ritchie ; assembled bent, brazed and lacquered tubular steel (frame) and titanium (mudguards), synthetic (saddle), molded rubber and kevlar (tires); 2016-19-1

We have 1 video that features Brompton Folding Bicycle.

Brompton Bicycle: Production Process

Brompton Bicycle: Production Process in its London Factory

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making | Breaking: New Arrivals.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Brompton Folding Bicycle |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 February 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>