Joanie, you must stop reading the Guardian, dear, you'll get spots.
I've got a Mezzo, had a Brompton and while they are good, the bottom of the range Dahons & Oyamas I owned were as much fun, rolled slightly better, were half the price and didn't shake my eyeballs out. Price does not always equal pleasure, as the one-legged archbishop said to the folding bike dealer.
"I left it in my back yard and it went rusty."
Oh God, NO!!!!! Not RUST! Noooo!
Trubble with Guardian writers is that they think the laws of physics don't apply to them. :-) I was astonished to see both 'stainless' steel brake cables on my MTB rust into the 'stainless' brake noodles at the weekend, depriving me of brakes and instead, substituting an unwanted tree/Snafu interface.
Noodles aren't cheap, y'know. I remember when you could get.....
Also from the Guardrain: 'Great British Design Favourites'
Includes the toenail clipper, the Spork, and Venereal Disease: Oh, and the Brompton. Post-rationalise this:
"The Brompton bike perfectly balances beauty and functionality. It's breathtaking to fold and it has a handsome line. I love it. It's immensely stable and flexible and robust and simple – there are no extra little design tweaks. It works. I use it every day.
You have to have a philosophy when you design. The enemy is a lack of consistency. Britain has a particular engineering style, and when I post-rationalise my work I place it in this industrial tradition. My design process begins in a team: you need to talk, to meet, to exchange ideas. All creativity comes from cities, and London, today, is an especially creative place. In my youth, Britain was blind to art and design. Now there's been a revolution, aided by Nicholas Serota and Charles Saatchi, and London has become the art centre of the world.
What is great design? Well, you can see a clear path from 6,000 year-old-Syrian tablets or stone tools to Apple's iPad: though the stone axe may have been made to kill an animal, and the iPad is consciously beautiful, both are tools for living. As is a building. Buildings have social, political and functional elements; elements that you see continued over thousands of years. The worst designs are pretentious: ones that are decorative and ornate but don't fit the performance. When a lack of functionality and lack of content come together, that's when you get something you really don't want."