In cities and towns across the globe, people are embracing a different way to commute to work, beat the traffic, and get fit all at the same time. This is the exciting world of folding bikes. Brompton didn’t invent cycling to work, but they did reinvent it with their folding bikes.
Here’s all you need to know about folding bikes and how you can test a Brompton before you buy one.
Brompton is a British bike maker based in London since 1975. They specialise in making folding bikes primarily for city use. All of their frames are handmade in London where each bike is made with decades of skill, craft, and experience. They’re folding bike innovators who have changed how people use and view folding bikes over the recent decades by constantly looking to improve with each new model.
Brompton has a cult following within the cycling world. Those who ride them love them and it’s easy to see why. First and foremost, Brompton bikes use a folding system that makes storing them inside your apartment or at the office so much easier and safer than locking them up outside. Hop off your bike when you get to work or the train and it quickly folds down into a neat and easy to carry package.
Made in London, Bromptons are also very high-quality bikes that are made with lightweight materials and premium components. This makes them so much fun to cycle through the city streets on – you’ll even look forward to your commute! Much like top-shelf parts on a road bike or mountain bike, these components can make all the difference.
Versatility is a huge part of what makes a Brompton so great. They’re perfect for going in and out of work, but they’re so compact you can bring on trips away on the train or even find a local Brompton cycling group and head out on long rides with other owners. Plus you can customise your bike with a great selection of colours
Brompton makes a total of six folding bikes – four traditional folding bikes and two electric folding bikes – here’s a look at each model to help you find the one that’s right for you.
A Line is Brompton’s original folding bike and it’s also their most affordable. As well as using Brompton’s famous folding system, the other standout feature of the Brompton A Line is its three-speed internal hub gear system. This allows for smooth and efficient shifting between gears, making it easier to tackle any hills that you come across. The A Line brings you from A to B in the most simple way.
If you live in a particularly hilly city, you may want to try the C Line instead as it comes with up to six gears. Brompton’s most versatile workhorse. The 6 speed model (Explore) is made for riders who go further than most. If you only need 2 gears, the Urban model is the best suited bike for you. The C Line is available in nine colours and also gets a spec bump over the A Line.
Sometimes we need a little bit of help to make that long ride more manageable or hills more doable, that’s where a little boost from an e-bike can help and Brompton make two models. Brompton electric test rides are also available from our office.
The Electric C Line takes an already proven bike and adds a 250kWh hub with three levels of pedal assist. In the saddle, this means you can reach speeds of 25km/h and go wherever you want with its 70km range. Plug the 300wh battery in when you’re at work or at home and you’ll be all set for your next ride – the battery fully charges in just four hours. The 6 speed model (Explore) comes is designed for riders with longer commutes, while the 2 speed (Urban) model comes in a bit lighter.
The Brompton P Line is designed for more experienced and performance-driven cyclists. One of the main differences between the P Line and C Line is the gearing options and geometry, the P Line has four gears, allowing for a precise and efficient ride. The P Line has a slightly longer wheelbase and lower handlebar position, making it more aerodynamic and suitable for faster riders.
The lightest Brompton ever. With almost all parts either refined or completely new designed, this is the most premium, lightweight and fastest Brompton out there. A full titanium main and rear frame, carbon parts and other lightweight components, brings the weight of this product to only 7.45 kg. Gearing options are single speed or 4 speed.
Brompton says it themselves, “’You don’t get Brompton until you get a Brompton.” And we agree. The best way to see if folding bikes are for you is to test ride a Brompton as the smaller sized wheels and frame design can take a little bit of getting used to. If there’s one bike you should really try before you buy, this is it.
Thankfully, we’ve got lots of Bromptons for rent on our website and you can even drop by our offices and pick one up. Our bike test ride service is really great way of making sure that a Brompton is the right bike for you before parting with your cash. If you rent one from ListNRide, you’ll also get a voucher that reduces the price of the bike if you do decide to buy it after your test ride.
Folding bikes have been around for a while now, but it’s only recently that they’ve exploded in popularity. With that said, there are still some things that people are unsure of. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of folding bikes.
Locking up your bike out of view in the city can be a worrying experience, there’s no knowing who might walk by and fancy taking your bike home with them. Even with a top-quality lock, bikes can still be stolen. This is where a Brompton shines. Instead of leaving it locked up outside the café, just fold it up and carry it inside with you – easy!
We’re all trying to be a bit greener and reduce our carbon footprint, a folding bike makes it much more accessible to do so. Lots of Brompton riders have swapped the drive into the city for a cycle instead, and plenty even cycle to the train station, zip into the city, and cycle to the office. It’s less stress, less cost, and less impact on the environment.
Bromptons are brilliantly adaptable. Yes, they’re primarily designed for cycling around the city, but with the help of a few accessories, they become tools for exploration. Bags that are easily attached to the front carrier block which is directly attached to the main frame. Bags that are easily attached to the frame store all that you need for big trips away, while upgraded wheelsets and saddles make longer rides more comfortable.
Folding bikes are slow. Well, not quite, the speed of a folding bike depends on lots of things, such as the model, components, and the effort of the rider. The smaller wheels can slightly affect speed on long rides, but it also makes them incredibly nimble and easy to navigate through traffic.
Folding bikes can be heavier than some bikes. Okay, this one can be true, particularly when compared to high-end road bikes. A Brompton may weigh heavier than a carbon race bike, but the most important thing is how it feels while riding it. Rent a Brompton from us and see why the weight isn’t that important on a bike that’s specifically been made for navigating the city’s streets. If weight is a deal breaker for you, the T Line weighs just 7.45kg which is lighter than a lot of commuter bikes out there.
We can see why you’d think this, after all the folding hinge is another potential point of failure that other bikes don’t have. But this is Brompton that we’re talking about, they’ve been perfecting their craft and their patented folding mechanism for decades now. Other folding bikes might have poor reliability, but Bromptons don’t. They’ve been ridden around the world and there are die-hard Brompton fans that use them for bikepacking or on cycling holidays.
Brompton has become a popular brand across the world and Brompton owners are extremely proud of what they ride which has created strong Brompton communities. As well as joining a Brompton cycling club, there’s a great collection of Brompton Owner Stories that you can read over. See how a New York barber uses his Brompton for his mobile barber business, how a Melbourne design store delivers their orders by Brompton, and how a Malaysian mother now spends more time with her kids instead of being stuck in traffic.
Popular route mapping app Komoot hosts a fantastic collection of routes across the globe that are best suited to riding on your Brompton. Explore the buzzing streets of Palermo, see the incredible architecture of Barcelona, or rent a Brompton from our office and see why so many people love Berlin.
Deutsche Bahn, the German railway company who is already partnering with us on the DB bike rental project, has also launched a partnership with Brompton to offer the best multimodal bike + train option to commute. For just 41 euros a month for a year, you can use public transport in all German cities and regional trains, and get your own Brompton bike.
Before you sign up for this yearly subscription, come and have a Brompton test ride with us.
Folding bikes are so much more than meets the eye. They solve plenty of day-to-day issues around commuting and also offer a new way to explore on the weekends. There’s only so much that you can learn about a bike online, nothing compares to riding one to see if it’s a good fit for you.
With us, you can try before you buy and even get a discount if you decide to purchase one. Just pick your city and rent a Brompton with ListNRide. Last but not least, your rental bike is covered in EEA by our partner insurance Laka.
See you at the next Brompton cycling club ride!