Brompton Bike Hire x Paris Olympics Launch

Brompton Bike Hire partnered with Absolute Design to drive their international expansion, starting with France as the first market outside the United Kingdom.

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Our mission was to upgrade their app to support multiple languages, currency conversion, and modernise its underlying technology to ensure a successful global rollout.


A British icon since 1986, the Brompton folding bicycle holds a special place in cycling folklore and is now Britain's leading bicycle manufacturer by volume, producing around 50,000 bicycles every year. 

Brompton Bike Hire's app has transformed urban commuting, providing a seamless, eco-friendly, and convenient bike rental solution. With intuitive features like effortless bike location and access, as well as a network of strategically placed "Docks," riders can enjoy a leisurely ride and return their bike with ease. Already popular with locals and tourists alike and the Paris Olympics launch positions Brompton as a global leader in sustainable urban transport.


  • Multi-Currency and Multilingual Support: In anticipation of the Paris Olympics roll out, we've expanded the app to support multiple currencies and languages, catering to a global audience.
  • Intuitive Reservation System: The streamlined booking process allows users to reserve a bike in seconds, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
  • Real-Time Bike Availability: The app displays up-to-the-minute bike availability at all docks, empowering users to plan their journeys efficiently.
  • Secure Locking Mechanism: The innovative locking technology ensures the safety and security of both the bikes and users' peace of mind.


Our primary objective was to update and enhance the Brompton Bike Hire app to meet the demands of a growing user base and expand their reach internationally.

We aimed to:

  • Upgrade the underlying technology: Transitioning from an outdated framework to October CMS 3.6, ensuring enhanced security, performance, and maintainability.
  • Implement multi-currency and multilingual support: To accommodate a global user base and cater to the needs of international events like the 2024 Paris Olympics.
  • Streamline the user experience: Simplifying the booking and payment processes for even greater convenience.
  • Maintain extensibility: All text displayed in the app has been abstracted to allow for additional languages to be added with ease.


The upgraded Brompton Bike Hire app has delivered numerous performance enhancements:

Technology Stack:

  • Modernisation: The backend architecture was migrated from an outdated October CMS 1.0 Beta (based on Laravel 5 with PHP 5.6) to the latest October CMS 3.6, leveraging Laravel 9 and PHP 8.2. This upgrade provides a robust foundation for future development and ensures compatibility with current web standards.
  • Package Upgrades: Several key packages were updated to their latest versions (e.g. php-amqplib, phpoffice/phpspreadsheet, endroid/qr-code, onfido/api-php-client). This not only improves functionality but also addresses potential security vulnerabilities in older versions. This also makes it easier to maintain and improves stability.
  • Discontinued Packages: Obsolete packages were replaced or removed (e.g. october/system, illuminate/html, cweagans/composer-patches) to streamline the codebase and reduce dependencies.

Performance Optimisation:

  • PHP Upgrade: Upgrading from PHP 5.6 to PHP 8.2 significantly improves performance due to the inherent optimisations in newer PHP versions.
  • Server Upgrade: The server environment was upgraded to Alma Linux/CentOS 9 and PHP 8.3, providing a more efficient and secure runtime environment for the application.


  • Framework Upgrade: October CMS 3.6, built on Laravel 9, is designed with scalability in mind. Its modular architecture and adherence to modern development principles make it easier to add new features and handle increased user traffic which is anticipated with the roll out for the Paris Olympics.

Security Enhancements:

  • Framework and Package Upgrades: Upgrading to the latest versions of October CMS and associated packages automatically patches known security vulnerabilities present in older versions.
  • PHP Upgrade: PHP 8.2 includes security fixes and improvements over older versions.
  • Server Upgrade: A modern server environment like Alma Linux/CentOS 9 allows for stricter security configurations and access controls.
  • Onfido Integration: The use of the latest onfido/api-php-client incorporates enhanced identity verification measures, contributing to overall security of the app.

Our commitment to technical excellence is evident in the app's fast response times, reliability across various devices, and seamless integration with the dock infrastructure.


The upgraded app is set to launch ahead of the Paris Olympics, strategically targeting the massive influx of potential users. Several factors make this an ideal launchpad for international expansion:

  • Increased demand: With an estimated 15 million visitors expected during the Olympics, many of whom will seek convenient and affordable transportation options, Brompton Bike Hire is perfectly positioned to meet this demand. Their compact, foldable bikes are ideal for navigating Paris's bustling streets.
  • Positive publicity: The global spotlight on the Olympics provides unparalleled brand exposure. Brompton Bike Hire is investing £250,000 in a multi-channel marketing campaign, including paid content, media partnerships, and reseller channels, to maximise this opportunity.
  • Long-term growth: The Olympics offer a unique springboard to establish a lasting presence in Paris. By building brand awareness and fostering customer loyalty during this high-profile event, Brompton Bike Hire can pave the way for sustained growth in the French market and beyond.
  • Partnering: Alongside the customer-facing app, a secondary app was developed for Parisian dealers, enabling them to hire and return bikes on behalf of customers, facilitating longer-term sales conversations.

As part of the legacy for the Games, the Ministry of Transport committed to building at least 415km of cycle routes around Paris before the Olympics. This ambitious plan, part of Paris's 2024-2030 Climate Plan to transform the city into a sustainable metropolis, creates an ideal environment for Brompton Bike Hire's eco-friendly solution to flourish.


Brompton Bike Hire's app stands out due to its:

  • Commitment to sustainability: Promoting eco-friendly transportation options and reducing urban congestion.
  • Adaptability to global markets: Supporting multiple languages and currencies, making it truly accessible worldwide.
  • Focus on user experience: Prioritising intuitive design, seamless functionality, and a delightful user journey.

The Brompton Bike Hire app is more than just a bike rental tool – it's a catalyst for positive change in urban mobility. We’re proud to have created a product that empowers individuals to explore cities sustainably, conveniently, and enjoyably.


Brompton Bike Hire, renowned for its iconic folding bikes, partnered with Absolute Design to propel its international expansion. The first stop Paris, with the 2024 Olympics as a strategic launchpad.

The upgraded Brompton Bike Hire app now offers a seamless, multilingual, and multi-currency experience, catering to both locals and the expected influx of international visitors during the Games. The app's user-friendly features, like real-time bike availability and secure locking mechanisms, have already made it a favourite among users.

To ensure a successful global launch, Absolute Design modernised the app's technology. Key upgrades included transitioning to October CMS 3.6, leveraging Laravel 9 and PHP 8.2, and updating various packages for enhanced performance and security.

The result is a scalable, robust app ready for a global audience.

Brompton Bike Hire's commitment to sustainability aligns perfectly with Paris's own environmental goals. The city's ambitious expansion of cycle routes creates an ideal landscape for the app to flourish, offering both residents and visitors an eco-friendly way to explore.


As well as native apps for iPhone and Android we deliver solutions that can be deployed across platforms from a single codebase utilising frameworks such as React and Gatsby.

For a no obligation, highly accurate estimate and timeline please contact us.

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