Yesterday I posted a blog in which I very honestly gave my opinion on the new £385 Brompton Blazer. It would seem that there are several people out there with similar views.
I don't do FaceFriend anymore and never really saw the point of it when I did but a few readers sent me a couple of screenshots of the Brompton Bicycle FaceBook page and some of the comments are less than flattering:
'Stick to the fantastic bikes. These jackets are ugly, square shaped and massively overpriced...'
'I'm not entire comfortable with the notion of Brompton becoming a lifestyle brand. Kind of makes me not want to ride my bike.'
'£385 is an an absolute pisstake!!! More innovation on the bike and less on the lifestyle add-ones please!'
'At the risk of opening up a feminist can of worms why is Brompton lifestyle clothing always targeted at men?'
There were of course some people who said that they liked it however the general theme was not really one where people seemed to be rushing to buy one.
The last quote is very true and I do wonder why half the population is excluded in this type of clothing?
I don't really think that I could be much more of a Brompton fan boy and I can usually be found singing the praises of Brompton bicycles, Brompton the company and what owning a Brompton can do for you wellbeing as well as fitness. However, I did agree with the person in the third quote.
I could be terribly wrong but there has been little in the way of what many people have asked for from Brompton - disc brakes, a lighter bike not costing a fortune, more gears. I remember at the last Brompton World Championships I attended (I doubt I will ever get into another one after this) there was a wall on which you could write down some wishes/suggestions to Brompton. I am almost certain that these appeared on that wall. That was several years ago and none have become a reality. It has been up to Brompton users and specialists to come up with these innovations and surely that is the wrong way round?
It would seem that Brompton have got into the habit of releasing 'Special Edition' bikes in various colours or collaborations with different companies - with bike in various colours. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of evolving the bike. Don't get me wrong, there really isn't a huge amount to improve, such is the genius of the design, but improve it you can.
Some friends have the view that Brompton is going down the lifestyle brand route to justify the cost of the bicycle. Some take the view that Brompton would like to be a luxury brand to justify the cost of the bicycle. I am not sure that I agree with either of these views but I too wish Brompton would focus on the bicycle rather than clothing ranges that no one I know riding a Brompton would be seen dead in. That includes me and on my commute - I am normally wearing a suit!
Stay safe out there people!