Brompton Bicycles: Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers

Here at Airedale Springs, we’ve been fortunate enough to manufacture springs and wireforms for a range of exciting pieces of tech since 1945. But one of the most interesting in recent times has been the Brompton Bicycle.

Brompton’s history can be traced back to 1975, when the inventor and founder, Andrew Ritchie, created prototypes of Brompton bikes from his bedroom in South Kensington, London.  Each bike is hand brazed by a skilled craftsman at their London factory. This makes every bike incredibly tough and unique.

The clever design means that the bike can easily be folded or unfolded in under 20 seconds. When folded the bike is locked together in a compact package, which can be carried or towed easily and conveniently stored almost anywhere. The chain and gears are in the centre of the folded package keeping them away from clothing and luggage.

Airedale Springs have been proudly supplying Brompton with springs and wire forms for this very special bicycle since 1987. These 14 components are used in the gears, the frame, the folding mechanism and for retaining the control cables. Over the years the methods used to produce these components has evolved to the point where we are now using the very latest CNC spring and wire forming machines to produce these items.

 

Encouraging Potential Engineers Of The Future

Airedale Springs has been a pivotal partner in the creation of an Industrial Centre of Excellence (ICE) at the Keighley College.  Details of the ICE can be found at http://keighleyice.org.

Many engineering companies in Keighley have been urging the reversal of decisions made years ago when the local college removed all engineering training from its provision.

This programme is supported by Leeds City College, Bradford Council, Oakbank School and a number of respected engineering companies in the Keighley district and is aimed at addressing this problem.

To encourage local schools, pupils, parents and the public to be involved and to promote local engineering training provision, the ICE is putting together a number of portable displays demonstrating the many and varied products manufactured in the district. These displays to be used in schools, libraries, shopping centres etc throughout the Bradford District. 

Airedale Springs has a problem in that many of the components we manufacture are hidden from view in the final assembly, one exception to this is the Bromptom Bicycle.

With the support of Brompton we now have a portable display and a large supporting banner demonstrating the high quality products manufactured to our target audience, the potential engineers of the future.

airedale brompton bike

Our collaboration with Brompton Bicycles has been a great way to generate interest among 14-16 year olds, encouraging them to study apprenticeships so that they can also go on to create innovative technology that makes life a little easier.

If you’d like to learn more about our spring design process or how we can manufacture various springs and wireforms for your company, please don’t hesitate to contact us and speak to a member of our friendly team by calling 01535 643 456. You can also keep up to date with all of our latest news and updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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