Who knew you could rent a Brompton from a vending machine? I found this is Croydon, UK, during a cold visit. The project started in 2011 and, Brompton Bike Hire is a sister company to Brompton Bicycle. Since then, a steady expansion. There are currently over 40 docking bays across England. Bromptons have always been the popular folding bike. Funded by private enterprise, it is a clear alternative to the city bikes – and might be a slightly better bike.