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Brompton Limited Editions + Design Collaborations @ Perennial Cycle

As anyone who has waited for a B-Spoke or custom ordered Brompton can attest, every Brompton is special. Whether you purchased your bike off the shelf at a dealer like Perennial Cycle, ordered it online at PerennialCycle.com, or developed your own special configuration in the Brompton Bike Builder, your bike was spec’d and assembled part-by-part with the help of many individual eyes and hands. Knowing this, what makes a Brompton Special Edition, well… especially special?

Early Brompton Limited Edition Bikes

Often, a special edition means a partnership with a particular company or designer — that’s how Brompton’s first collaboration came about, when the company joined forces with Tom Dixon in 2010 to create a very limited number of prototypes (more on that below). Many designers have put their mark on Brompton since. On other occasions, Brompton has released limited editions in honor of a specific event or person as they did with the Royal Wedding Brompton in 2011, the first edition with a significant production run made available to a wider market, and the Jubilee Brompton in 2012. In the mid-2000s, Brompton also started a series of editions made to capture the essence of the world’s great cities. After the London Brompton in 2012 and the Barcelona Brompton in 2013, the New York City Brompton arrived last year.

In addition to the NYC Edition, Brompton released multiple special edition bikes and design collaborations in 2017, including a return of the Black Edition and the Nickel Edition. At the close of the year, a fourth run of Black Editions was announced for 2018. As in prior years, a handful of colors are available in select specs. Along with Orange and Black, Turkish Green is back (see below right), and a new Black Lacquer finish is available (below left).

Brompton 2017 and 2018 Black Edition bikes

Special Editions In-Stock (as of 22 Jan. 2018)

Perennial Cycle has multiple new Black Edition bikes in stock for the new year. We are working to list all incoming bikes in our online shop ASAP! Plus, a few Nickel Edition bikes remain from 2017 and are freshly marked down. There’s even one last 2016 Black Edition bike available at a great bargain.

We are also excited to share that we expect a small number of additional CHPT3 Edition Bromptons to arrive this spring, and we still have one 2017 S6E-X in stock and ready to ship or pick up in-store — though who knows how long it will last!

Brompton 2017 Nickel Edition, folded

For more details on the Brompton Special Edition bikes, read on.

Brompton x CHPT3 collaboration with David Millar

Limited + Special Edition Brompton Folding Bikes + Design Collaborations, 2010–2017

Brompton differentiates between Special Editions and Collaborations, mainly because not all collaborations lead to a bicycle. Brompton has developed bags and other accessories with like-minded brands and designers on several occasions, including the Game Bag, a collaboration with Chapman bags. And of course, as noted above, a special edition bike is sometimes the fruit of a collaboration with an outside designer or design team — but not always! We’ve put together a comprehensive look at Brompton Special and Limited Edition bikes and Design Collaborations from 2010 through the close of 2017. If you’re new to Brompton, this will be a step into history. If you’re a long-time fan, consider this a trip down memory lane.

A visual timeline of Brompton Special Editions and Collaborations, 2010–2017

2010

Our timeline begins with Brompton’s collaboration with British designer Tom Dixon. Today, Dixon is known for his lighting designs incorporating reflective surfaces in copper and brass (Minneapolis diners will recognize his work at restaurants like The Bachelor Farmer), so it’s not surprising that Dixon’s take on the Brompton involved a special process of copper plating the bike’s frame. While it never actually produced the bike for the public, Brompton created a small number of prototypes, one of which was displayed at Dixon’s booth as a part of London Design Week 2010. In addition to copper plating, accomplished with a base nickel plating and a finishing touch of an electrophoretic lacquer coating, the prototypes featured Brooks saddles but otherwise varied in specification. The bike pictured in the timeline here is an S2E with a green Brooks saddle and grips. The actual bike suspended above Dixon’s booth in 2010 was even more basic, an M1E fitted with Eazy Wheels and a Brooks B17 Special in honey.

2011

After the Tom Dixon collaboration, Brompton released its first Special Edition in commemoration of the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, who wed on April 29, 2011. Dubbed The British Royal Wedding Brompton, the bike was released in an edition of 300 in 2011 only in East Asian markets. As you can see in our timeline, the bike was an M3L in “Sake White” with special decals featuring William and Catherine’s names as well as their wedding date. A Brooks B17 Special in antique brown and an S Bag with a specially designed, hand-sewn Crown Flap for the occasion finished the look. The S Bag flap featured Prince of Wales check woven from UK-sourced wool.

2012

The year 2012 brought the Jubilee Brompton in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee (the June 2012 celebration of 60 years as queen) and the London Brompton, a collaboration with designer and illustrator Vic Lee. Together, these bikes were the first two Limited Edition Brompton bicycles to be released at the global level. Each was limited to 500. As my time at Perennial Cycle began in 2012, I remember when we sold our last Vic Lee and a few Jubilee Bromptons! The Jubilee bike was a classic M3L in the colors of the Union Jack and the London Brompton featured Vic Lee’s illustrations in white on an all-black S2L. The Vic Lee shipped with a numbered print, also by the artist, and a custom S Bag with a flap featuring his designs. Similar to the Royal Wedding Brompton, the Jubilee Brompton’s S Bag flap used materials from the UK and a Union Jack design.

2013

In 2013 Brompton added a second city-themed bike to its Limited Edition collection with the Barcelona Brompton, designed in collaboration with multidisciplinary designer David Torrents. The release was limited to 400 S6Ls, each fitted with a matching S Bag, a custom orange Brompton saddle, blue Brompton grips, and custom orange mudguards. Torrents writes that he based the bike’s design concept “on something that is part of the city’s anatomy: the grid of the Eixample district. Eixample is a transitional area between the old Barcelona and its former surrounding towns. Barcelonans are very proud of this district, where aesthetics and functionality meet.”

2014

For 2014, Brompton created limited edition bikes available only through its “Pop-up Factory” at The London Design Festival 2014. Each bike was unique as shoppers were able to choose from five frame colors rather than the usual limit of two. Brompton even released a limited number of colors just for the show, including gold and grey (now a regular part of the color palette). 2014 was also the year Brompton joined forces with Chapman Bags to develop the Game Bag, now a regular part of the bag line-up, and a series of leather goods with luxury British leather good manufacturer Ettinger made available through Brompton Junction shops.

Brompton's pop-up factory at The London Design Festival 2014

2015

As for 2015, the release of the very first Black Edition, detailed on the Shopcast in the run-up to the release, may have kept the Brompton factory a bit too busy for many other releases, save for their collaboration with London design duo Thornback & Peel on a series of hand-printed handkerchiefs featuring illustrations of Brompton bikes.

2016

Brompton “upped the swag factor,” as Momentum Magazine put it at the time, with the launch of the Nickel Edition in 2016. The same year, Brompton marked the occasion of Brooks Endland’s 150th anniversary with the production of 150 Brompton x Brooks Limited Edition bikes. These were available only through Brompton Junction stores and the Brooks B1866 London shop. Another rather limited edition from 2016 was the Brompton World Championship bike, an S6L from a run of only a few hundred bikes sold exclusively through Evans Cycles in the UK and select additional shops.

Branching beyond their UK neighbors, Brompton began another collaboration with Korea-based Line Friends with the release of 50 Line Friends “Brown” Brompton bikes in South Korea. The partnership was so successful that the companies came together again in 2017 for a larger production of the Line Friends “Sally” Brompton in a greater number of markets.

Brompton x Line Friends Sally and Brown

2017

When it comes to special edition bikes, 2017 was the biggest year yet. Brompton launched a new addition to the City Series, the New York City Edition, and celebrated the opening of Brompton Junction Amsterdam with the Nine Streets or “De 9 Straatjes” Edition. A new crop of Nickel Edition bikes arrived along with the 2017 Black Edition, and Brompton teamed up with Barbour, CHPT3, Line Friends, The Cambridge Satchel Company, and Vespertine to develop not just bikes but front bags, apparel, and other accessories. Brompton even opened a Brompton Café at Rough Trade NYC. Special Edition 2017 Brompton bikes

• Brompton x Vespertine New York City Edition, limited run of 1500 (we are SOLD OUT of bikes but still have shoelaces, scarves, and hats)

• Nine Streets “De 9 Straatjes” Edition, available exclusively through Brompton Junction Amsterdam

• Brompton x Barbour Limited Edition (we are SOLD OUT of bikes, but still have the Merton Jacket available in a range of sizes.)

Brompton x CHPT3 Limited Edition, initial run of 500 (we have one S6E-X in stock and ready to ship as of 22 Jan. 2018)

• Brompton x Cambridge Satchel Co. Edition (we are SOLD OUT of bikes but still have Cambridge Satchels available in a range of colors.)

• Brompton x Line Friends “Sally” Edition, available in Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and New York City’s Line Friends store

Brompton x CHPT3 collaboration with David Millar, detail