The Brompton Bicycle Thread
Posted by: Richard Dane on 21 August 2018
Yesterday I unbagged and unfolded my Brompton and realised that while we've had the odd mention or short thread in the past, we haven't really had a proper Brompton Bicycle thread on the forum. Considering Julian Vereker's involvement in Brompton, I decided it's time to see what interest there is in this iconic bike amongst Naim fellow owners.
I'd like to start this thread off by focusing on the link between Naim Audio and Brompton and quoting a passage from the start of Chapter 4 of David Henshaw's 2009 book, Brompton Bicycle (Hopefully David does not mind), where he introduces Julian to the story;
"He had a fine ear for music, but couldn't play himself, something that might have been a frustration for anyone else, but Julian turned to recording live music for friends. In echoes of Andrew Ritchie [Brompton founder & Inventor] and the folding bike, he was appalled by the quality of commercial amplifiers, and in time-honoured tradition, set about making something better. This quest to reproduce music with the utmost fidelity was to be the driving force behind Naim Audio, then and now.
At a time when the Japanese electronics giants were cutting a swathe through the global audio industry, Naim was (and remains) a remarkable enigma. A small British company, with headquarters in Salisbury, Wiltshire, Naim was able to compete with the big global players through the sheer quality of its products. Julian Vereker went on to add a classical music label, again applying the very highest standards to the genre.
A successful businessman by the age of 40, he had no need to get involved in new projects, and could have sat back to enjoy his growing wealth. But Julian was a born salesman, and he was also a perfectionist. That desire to champion the best product in its class made him a natural Brompton ally, and just what the company needed in the mid-1980s. Vereker also had a passion for sailing, commissioning and designing several yachts, and it was whilst cruising in northern France in 1982 that he first came across the Brompton."
If you would like to read more then I can highly recommend David Henshaw's book. It's published by Excellent Books (great name) and is very affordable at just £12.00. Oh, and the author dedicates the book to Julian Vereker.
So here's my own Brompton - an orange and black Mark 4 M3L that's around 10 years old and standard apart from a Brooks leather saddle. She doesn't get used as much as I would like these days, but is always handy in certain situations. For example, next week I need to take one of the cars to the garage for a service. The garage is near Rye so it'll take the Brompton with me and take a ride around Rye Harbour and the bird sanctuary while its being done. It's a great bike to ride, and has a much bigger bike "feel" than you expect. I can quite understand the appeal (sometimes with a fervour bordering on love) that many owners feel for their Bromptons. It's always something of an occasion when you get to unfold the bike and clip it all together and then set off on a ride.
So who else here is either a past or current Brompton owner?