For those who don't know a Brompton is a famous brand of compact folding bikes that are handmade in West London.
The attractions to me are as follows:
- Build quality is exceptional - this bike will last a lifetime
- The fold is more compact than any other folding bike out there
- The appeal of taking the bike anywhere, stick it in the boot of your car, plane, train, etc.
- Although a slightly more 'twitchy' ride (small wheels) they can be quite nippy
- Classic design and great accessories - expensive but very functional (the 'Apple' of the folding bike world)
- I would love to enter the Brompton World Championships events that are held around the world
- Not just used for a 5km commute. Many Brompton lovers take them touring and complete 1,000km+ a year
As I expect you have noticed it sounds like I am hooked. To be honest I haven't ridden one yet and given the cost (£850 - £1,500) I need to before making a firm decision. If I did love it, my thought would be to sell my singlespeed commuter bike and finance the balance with the Ride2Work scheme, which is fortunately available though my Company. The demand is currently so great that to get a new 'Bespoke Brompton' you are looking at anywhere from a 6-10 week build. You can buy them through a number of cycle retailers, Evans Cycles probably being the biggest, however they only keep a limited stock and there are so many colours and types to chose from. Even the second-hand Brompton bikes are typically fetching £350-£800 on eBay, subject to their condition and type, the titanium version even higher.
The best ways to try out a Brompton is either to use a 'Demonstrator' bike, sometimes available via your local bike shop (if they are a dealer). Alternatively, there is an interesting website offering Brompton bikes for hire (similar to Boris bikes in London) - check out:
Brompton Dock - http://www.bromptondock.co.uk/
If, like me, you want to know more about these great bikes then I recommend you take a look at the official Brompton website: http://brompton.com/
Be sure to check out the video for the Brompton World Championship 2013 (held at the Goodwood race track circuit): http://bwc.brompton.co.uk/bwc-2013/?width=865&height=450&mode=crop&anchor=bottomcenter&quality=100
Finally I would highly recommend you check out this great blog: http://www.myorangebrompton.com/
The most recent post, My Orange Brompton travels to Brighton and cycles one of my favourite routes - Undercliff pass and visits Shoreham airport (another one of my favourite places).
|My Orange Brompton - great blog|
|Compact folding bike|