Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Bringley the compact cargo bike by Porterlight Bicycles

Changing the pace from the normal posts here, I thought I'd share one of my new projects with one of my oldest. I started Bicycle Safari as a way of sharing my interest in cool and unusual bicycles I spotted so I wouldn't have to bore the people I was with at the time by going on about them.

Bicycles have always been a big part of my life, and have been a primary means of transport for most of my time as an adult. They've taken me to the shops, to bars, to university, and they've also taken me around a good chunk of the world. My total touring distance now stands at 12,000km with an almost unbroken line of cycling from Bath, UK, to the eastern most border of Kazakhstan.

Porterlight Bicycles out in Kazakhstan
The prototype Bringley out on the Kazakh Steppe
My most recent touring trip, a 5,000km three month epic from Romania to that Chinese border, was extra special for me though as for the first time, I was riding my own bicycle. I don't mean I'd ridden my other tours on a borrowed bike, but for this trip I had physically made my first frame and bike.

Let me introduce you to Bringley, well, first the prototype.

Resting the bicycle by the Black Sea in Turkey
Despite carrying all my camping and touring gear for three months, the prototype cargo bike held up perfectly. Starting out on the smooth tarmac on Turkey's Black Sea coast, and ending up bouncing along unsurfaced back roads in rural Kyrgyzstan. My confidence in the frame grew as the kilometers went by, but I also learned a lot about how a cargo bicycle should work and perform.

Having completed my trip, I flew back to London and started revising my design for this custom cargo bike further. Strengthening some pieces, smoothing out bumps, adding brackets, and getting those angles just right.

After a year in my London workshop, out from a pile of 4130 chromoly tubes emerged.... Porterlight Bicycles and from the new company... Bringley.

Porterlight custom cargo bike made in London
Bringley - a custom cargo bike made in London

A compact cargo bike designed for modern urban living. It's short enough to fit in a domestic lift, and be stored in an apartment, but it's long enough to carry your day-to-day belongings. It can take children to school, the dog to the park, and your weekly food shop home again.

A cargo bike in London makes so much sense. London is a compact city, meaning that the idea of storing your cargo bike outside just doesn't work for most people. By fitting into a lift, and only weighing 18.8kg, Bringley is able to get up to people's flats and is happy living in the hallway, or tucked behind a sofa. Each bike is custom made, so you can use the online bicycle configurator to build your design and make it fit your life.

Porterlight Bicycles - Bringley the cargo bike
Porterlight Bicycles - Bringley the cargo bike
It's been a long journey, also to Kazakhstan, but mostly since I started the Bicycle Safari to share my love of bikes. Five years later I find myself in London, and sharing my love of bicycles in a totally new way. I hope you like it just the same.

1 comment:

  1. After taking a long break you posted.. Good to watch.. anyway nice writing as always..