We recently had the Brompton foldable bike in for review here at T3 Towers, and must say, we really enjoyed it.
For those unaware of Brompton bikes, they're perhaps the ultimate commuter bike, capable of folding into a reasonably portable size, then picked up and carried around. The company started in 1975, and its design hasn't changed too much since that time.
Here are five reasons we think you should consider a Brompton…
1. Brompton bikes are surprisingly enjoyable to ride
They may look silly with their little wheels and tall seat, but these bikes are surprisingly easy to ride. Not even the cobblestone streets outside our office can hinder it (although, they could eventually shake a filling out).
We had a model with six gears, which made acceleration, especially up hills, extremely easy.
Of course, you can't quite ride it like a normal bike - it doesn't like jumping off curbs and doing wheelies. But they're so well geared, that with a following wind, you can outpace many riders on full-sized steeds. Although we should warn you that does NOT go down well with some, more hardcore cyclists.
For such a compact thing, you can't complain.
2. They're easy to fold and unfold… Once you get the hang of it
As soon as we got the Brompton and it out the box, we spent and hour trying to work out how to unfold it. This is how we got on:
Sure, we could have read the instructions or watched a YouTube video, but where's the fun in that?
After a few days we were flicking it open with a deft movement of the wrist in a matter of, ooh, seconds.
Once collapsed you can carry it, or roll it around. But be warned, even the lightest model weighs 9.6 kg, and that's not light. It's also quite bulky, and not ideal on a packed commuter train (although still obviously better than a full-sized bike).
3. They're less likely to get stolen
Because they can be folded up so easily, instead of leaving them padlocked to a fence or bike rack, you can simply take it with you wherever you go. We had ours sitting under a desk most of the day.
The only problem thenis if you're forgetful, and leave it in Starbucks or whatever.
4. Bromptons can be custom made for you
Buying off the shelf is so boring. Brompton offers a tonne of personalisation options - so the bike will match your aesthetic and riding style.
You can select the colour, handlebar shape, gearbox, frame material, mudguards, saddle. Pretty much any part of the bike.
5. Every Brompton is proudly made in Britain
Proud of its heritage, Brompton has been based in London since the company was conceived. Every bike is hand-brazed by skilled craftsmen, who also add their unique 'signature' to the bikes.
Price: from £785
Weight: Between 9.6 kg and 13.6 kg
Size folded: 585mm high x 565mm long x 270mm wide