The story of how Brompton, the iconic folding bicycle that you can take anywhere—and that can take you anywhere—grew from a small cult bike company to a multimillion-dollar business
Lightweight, compact, distinctively styled, and now, electric: The Brompton isn’t the only folding bicycle—or even the first. But everyone who has been on one will enthusiastically testify to its marvelous design (virtually unchanged over decades) and the particular joy of riding it.
Will Butler-Adams, CEO of Brompton Bicycles, has been at the company for twenty years. Initially, he worked as an engineer for Andrew Ritchie, the bike’s brilliant inventor and the business’s founder, before taking the helm in 2008. Butler-Adams’s heartfelt mission is to grow and promote sustainable urban transportation and to improve city-dwellers’ lives everywhere.
Under his leadership, Brompton has grown from making a few hundred bikes a year to over 90,000, with revenue of $130 million. But progress hasn’t always been easy: There have been boardroom struggles, supply-chain problems, and conflicts with founder Andrew Ritchie. In The Brompton, Butler-Adams brings to life what it means to grow a company to global scale. He also tells the stories of the people who make the Brompton and the people who ride it. And he explains how customers all around the world fell in love with a brand that never set out to be a brand.