Nigel Marris, Bristol

1st time on a Brompton. Pleasantly surprised. Great facility, great bike. Found it easy to use and return. Worked out folding action fairly easily. Will definitely use it again.

Jeff Barrie and friends

Myself and my friends have had some great boys-only challenges and adventures-including going up and done the Caen Hill locks on a canal boat in one morning!

As we are all engineers, we harked on about Brunel and his achievements-from there 'The Brunel Great Western Challenge' was born! We wanted to visit as many Brunel sites as possible in one day.

We would start at Bristol, with Temple Meads station, a bacon sandwich at the Brunel Butty and a pass over or under the Clifton Suspension Bridge. We would then proceed to Swindon on the Great Western Railway and then London. Our ride would end with a well-deserved Steak and beer at Brunel Sq, Bath.

But how would we be able to visit all the Brunel sites in Bristol in one morning? By Brompton of course! On a rather chilly Saturday morning, 10 gentlemen in Victorian engineer finery we collected their bikes from the Temple Meads Dock, unfolded them and went off on a Bristol Adventure!

We utilised many of the city's cycle lanes and quiet streets to get to the harbour side-we did have to be careful going over the train tracks but we reached our first destination-the Brunel Buttery-for a sandwich, tea and quote from Rolts biography of Brunel. We then proceeded to the SS Great Britain and then a leisurely cycle to the avon gorge-where Clifton suspension bridge is. We had a brief stop at Mudocks Deli for a picture with 'Brunel on a Brompton' then full steam ahead to Temple Meads to return the bikes!

In Swindon we visited the STEAM museum, passing by the Railway village and going under the tunnel. We had some lunch then it was all aboard to London.

Cycling around in London was sadly not as fun and enjoyable as Bristol-but we did stop at Buckingham Palace (Brunel had quite critical views on the design of Buckingham 'house') and paid a visit to Rothwithe tunnel.

The Bromptons performed beautifully and we got some interesting looks, beeps and waves from Bristol folk! I personally would love to have my own Brompton for exploring-but I'm sure many people can use the Brompton dock for their own Bristolian Brunel adventure!

Jeff Barrie and friends Brompton adventure

David Pegler, Guildford

David hired a bike for the day from the Guildford dock, find out about his adventure on his blog.

David Pegler (Guildford) testimonial

Colin Wojtowycz, Warrington

Hired a Brompton last Friday to test it out and it has already made a difference to my daily commute by saving me 20 minutes a day and incorporating exercise into my daily routine which makes me feel healthier. I found the bike is great as it fits nicely behind my desk, at home and on the train. The hire scheme is easy to use as well.

Neil Shaw, Southampton

Hired a Brompton for a couple of days to try one out. Loved it!

Mary Ann Coupland, Norwich

I travelled from Norwich to Bristol Temple Meads by train but still needed to have transport to get me to my friends house 9 miles away on day 1 and from Bath back to Temple Meads on day 3. The Brompton bike system is absolutely brilliant AND I found all the Sustrans cycle routes that I needed very easily. Folding and unfolding was much easier than expected and apart from torrential rain along the Bath to Bristol railway route I could not have had a better experience. Well done!

Shaun Lundy, Greenwich University

Shaun Lundy (Greenwich University)

Loving the Brompton, thanks for the great service :-)

Freddy Howden, GlaxoSmithKline (Brentford)

My experiences with the Brompton Dock have been excellent. The whole process is straight forwards starting with the online registration which only takes a couple of minutes.

I reserve the bike’s online and then receive a text message with the code needed to take out the Brompton. It’s very convenient having the Dock on site as the bikes can be used for so many things, I have used them to cycle home and will be taking one out shortly for a weekend away!

Pearce Stoke, Dublin (Whittington Hospital)

Pearce Stoke (Whittington) testimonial

Well I suppose my 'story' began a week before I set off for London. I was travelling from Dublin to visit some friends for a birthday party on Friday. When discussing where to stay on Saturday night a friend suggested; "Don't stay anywhere, do the Dunwich Dynamo". I'd never heard of the Dunwich Dynamo, but I discovered it was a 130 mile over night ride from London to Dunwich on the coast. Caution be damned. 

Friday came. Gatwick to Whittington Hospital via trains and tubes was no fun. The weather that week was pretty spectacular so when I finally made it to the dock I was really pleased to get a bike. I love cycling in London and I'm very familiar with it, but I'd never rode (or folded) a Brompton before. It's incredibly easy and probably took me less than 30 seconds each time. Less as I got better. 

I partied, and partook in plenty party drinks, but by 8 the following evening (after many steaks) I headed up to Hackney Fields (meeting two really friendly dudes who were actually from Dunwich, and were doing the Dynamo as a return journey). Needless to say, everyone was really nice and friendly. I even met a couple from my very own hometown in Dublin. Other 'Bromptoneers' approached me to chat, and I had to confess that I had been a Bromptoneer less than 24 hours.

We set off. Now 200+ km on a small wheeled folding bike was going to be a challenge, especially overnight, carrying my 'weekend bag' on my back, and no bottle cages for water. Still, the Brompton did have a dynamo, which was awesome when I was way out in the darkest countryside with not a sinner to be seen except for the occasional blinking red light of another distant rider.

Coffee and Snickers bars fuelled me. Prayers, vigilant eyes, and the occasional bunnyhop saved me and my bike from punctures. At dawn rain came. The sign posts were wildly optomistic (5 miles was 10 miles, etc.). But soon I was rolling down the hill into Dunwich. Just before 7am. I got a couple of full English breakfasts, a coffee and a snooze. I hung around for a couple of hours watching other riders arrive, enjoying the little village, the beach and the carnival atmosphere of the whole place. 

By 9 it was time to leave and I began the climb back up to the nearest train station. I even passed that same Irish couple I met at the start and I tried to shout words of encouragement. 

At the train station; Well, at this time there was about 100 cyclists and bikes. Loading took a while and a transfer at Ipswich would have been trickier if it wasn't for the Brompton's fold. I put it under my seat. The cycle from Liverpool Street to Whittington Hospital was actually rather easy... certainly easier than saying goodbye to my trusty stead. She will be missed. 

All in all, I rode more than 150 miles in 3 days. Which cost me about 10p a mile. Which is bonkers value. The bike was amazing and I was very impressed by how little 'ride' was sacrificed for the fold. Not once did I have to adjust the fold nuts, and while I knew the bike would be great around town, I was shocked by how well it performed outside of its area of expertise. I averaged 20kph across the night ride, which I'm pretty amazed by. I think a lot of people on the ride were too. I got plenty of encouragement, questions, and looks of surprise. 

So that's the story. I had an amazing time and I'll continue to use Brompton Dock and recommend it to everyone. Next; buy my own Brompton for Dublin. 

Andy Liggins, Peterborough

Andy Liggins (Peterborough) testimonial

I had signed up for the Prudential Ride London months ago and also registered as a ride marshall. My role was to accompany one of the many public rides into central London from the outer Boroughs. 

My patch was Peckham/Southwark and given I live one hour north of London, I decided to pick up a Brompton from the Dock at the station in Peterborough and then use that throughout the day. The bike was much easier to get on / off the train (compared to my friends whose bikes had to be booked on to the train and required a platform assistant to load, etc) and coped admirably with the cycle from King's Cross to Peckham (note to self - print off a better map next time...) and then back into central London. I also knew I could have taken the bike on the tube if I had needed to.

There were many other Brompton bikes in evidence on the Free Ride, which was an 8 mile course on closed roads, stretching from the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace. As I had previously found, the Brompton was great, easy to ride and manoeuvrable. I probably cycled 20-25 miles during the day.

Olly Frankland, Exeter

I have been thinking about buying a Brompton for a while and this is a good way to try it while I make my mind up. A couple of weeks ago I had a business meeting forty minutes walk from Bristol station, the fact that I could use my membership to pick up a bike at Bristol Temple Meads was very handy.

Cristine Barao, Philippines (Ealing)

Cristine Barao, Philippines (Ealing) testimonial

I highly recommend Brompton Dock because I have tried and tested it. Although, this was the first time I have biked for roughly 30 miles, uphill and downhill, gravel, stones, asphalt roads, cement and bricks… the Brompton bike never let me down. Despite the different modes of transport I used on my journey from London to Wales; bus, tube, trains, I enjoyed my adventure because I knew I could rely on the bike to work seamlessly with all of them.

I am just really grateful that I was able to compete in the Welsh Open Memory Championships because the people I have met along the way. Without them, it would not have been possible for me to break a national record. 

Thank you Brompton Dock for helping me get there!

Philip Jacoby, Peterborough

Hired a bike for the first time today, great bike, great scheme and thank you for putting such a good idea into practice!

Deborah Helsdon, Ealing

Overall Summary : I have found Brompton bikes to be good quality product and a pleasure to use. I would love my own Brompton bike but sadly cant quite afford the £1,000 price tag at the moment. In the mean time the dock offers me an affordable option. Its finally allowed me to link up cycling with all forms of public transport which I've been wishing for for years. Allowing more of us to be able to take bicycles on public transport can only be a good thing.  Any scheme that encourages a more flexible use of public transport and helps reduce the number of cars on the road, has to be part of the way forward in London. I hope to see more of the Brompton Docks around London and the UK in the near future

Website : Very simple, easy to navigate and understand. Uncluttered. v good.

Cost : Has been set at a very affordable level which allows longer term usage. Having the two types of membership for occasional and regular usage is good to have the choice of. I chose the regular membership for £45, as its cheaper for me longer term.

Location : Ealing Bdway station is a great location as its good for mainline tube and buses. This makes is accessible to reach to collect bike and good for use on all sorts of public transport. Improvements would be having more locations to drop off and pick up around London and Greater London. Also Greater London doesn't currently have the advantage of the Borris Bikes available outside train stations etc for us to connect up the start and ends of our commutes. This finally offers us living in non-central areas an ability to link up our commutes and journeys using a bike wherever it can help speed up getting us from A to B

The Product : The bike rides really well. In fact i was very surprised how well it rides given the small size of the wheels. However its fast enough and comfortable. Its a very different riding position to a normal bike but i found it took me only a few minutes to get used to this. Pretty impressed with its ride-ability. The website demos clearly how to fold and unfold the bike (as well as in pictures at the dock), and i had no problems doing this, although it still takes me more than 10 seconds as i still need to think about it a bit! One thing that did surprise me a little was how heavy it was to carry when folded. On my first attempt to take it on the tube, i had to change to the northern line which involved quite a long walk underground, which nearly made my arm drop off. I have since fed this back to Brompton and i was shown how  you can just roll it like a trolly when you are on very flat ground (eg underground corridors). I hope they will put this advice on the website as not realising this could put people off using it on the tube. I've tried this out and it really works a treat!

The Service : I found the mobile-text bike reservation system fast and easy to useI did have one glitch when returning a bike to the dock with a puncture. However, the lady on the line that I spoke to was very helpful and sorted it out v quickly. Apart from that my experience has been glitch free so far.

What I use Brompton Dock for : I use the dock for a variety of uses as follows:
 I sometimes use it to get to work near T5. The bike saves me a good 15 min  walk to Boston Manor tube station. And then when i get to Heathrow it saves me up to 20 mins waiting for the staff bus to take me to the office. This is is significantly faster that using 100% public transport as its the changes (waiting for buses) that really add so much time to my journey. I normally cycle to work the whole way on my full size bike, but the Brompton is a great option for me when its heavily raining or I'm feeling a bit under the weather. I would love a dock at heathrow airport. Would be great for airport workers, and could take the pressure of overcrowded staff parking in the area? The World's Favourite Airline doesn't currently implement the cycle to work scheme, so there could be a lot of people in BA alone who would benefit from use of a dock at the airport...

I also travel to Brighton on weekends very often. I love to take my bike with me on the train as Brighton is a town that is very suited to cycling around! However occasionally I get caught short when returning home on a Sunday with those dreaded rail replacement services. This means i either have to abandon my bicycle somewhere in Brighton or else go a very long winded route home which takes hours and hours..... A folding bike option on those rail replacement weekends allows me to use the train still rather than driving, without too much disruption.

On weekends away sea kayaking I have to take my car due to carrying boats on the roof. Taking a folding bike in the boot of the car allows me to nip around locally on the bike when I arrive at the end of a long drive. I'm normally sick of driving when i arrive and its much more enjoyable to not have to rely on the car for zipping around when i get to the destination. Sadly I cant fit a Brompton in the hatch of my sea kayak, but might think in the future about taking it out in a Canadian canoe when I meander down the Thames down to Twickenham one evening this summer.

I live in a small flat and its also great for me to have the option of an extra (folding) bike I can fit in my flat for when a friend comes over to stay. That way we can both zip around locally on our bikes without having to faff with waiting around for buses.

Francis Prendiville, Manchester

Collecting it was fab! At Piccadilly there was a woman who was doing the
maintenance on the bikes and she was so kind and showed me how to fold and
unfold and how to use the bike dock keypad etc, how cool is that! Top team
you've got! Pass it on.

Phil Ridland, Bristol

Recently hired a Brompton from Bristol Temple Meads. Wonderful idea and very simple to use. Cheers!

Andre Tyndall, Manchester

I'm loving the bike. I've wanted to get my hands on one for years because I just refused to spend nearly a £1000 on something I was unsure of. Now that I know that it is as good as it’s cracked up to be I will probably rent one for a couple of months until I can afford to buy one. Not only am I convinced that I now want one but I also feel a lot more confident in being able to order a custom  b-spoke bike. The whole experience has been so much more conducive to me riding a Brompton and eventually buying one rather than some nervous bike shop manager reluctant to let me take one out for a test ride unless I gave him my "first born" as security. I hope you pass my comments on to Brompton; and I know it might all sound a bit gushy but I'm just passionate about cycling (it just makes me happy) and the more people who take it up the better.

Danny Jones, Manchester

Picked bike up this AM and all good. First time on a Brompton and really enjoying it, despite the rain!

Richard Anderson, Guildford

Brompton Dock has transformed my commute!  Due to an office move my commute had gone from 1:20 hours to 1:40 and it was driving me nuts.  I tried the Brompton Dock as I didn't want to shell out for a new bike just for it to become yet another garage relic that was never used.

It turned out that Clapham Junction to High street Kensington is an simple 15-20 min ride!  I should have done something like this years ago.  I have reduced my commute by 25 mins each way, no longer have to hang around at Clapham waiting for connections, lost weight (7 lbs), feel much fitter, and paid for the bike hire in the savings made in my season ticket. It's kind of win win win.  The bikes are really well maintained and are a joy to ride so I'm not sure I'd ever actually buy one of my own.  I never thought I'd be so enthused by a bike and certainly not a Brompton but I am.  It's brilliant!!

I do keep getting stopped by people asking about the bikes and I am heavily pushing the service as I think it's perfect.  Hopefully some of them will come your way.