The Brompton Folding Bike
This is the Brompton, the folding bike so popular that its riders call themselves “Bromptonauts.” What’s all the fuss about? Its beautiful English design looks distinctive and elegant. Constance Winters of Lovely Bicycle reports that it feels solid and agile on the road.
The steel frames of most Brompton bikes mean that though they’re not quite as light as some other “folders,” they are built to last. They are also very compact—perfect for tucking under a desk or cafe table. At the lighter end is their part-titanium S1E-Xs, which at 20 lbs I could manage on heels without tipping!
Bromptons are definitely one of the priciest folding bikes on the market ($1,329 for the 3-speed M3L from NYCEWheels), especially once you factor in accessories. Since all parts are proprietary, you’d better hope you’re not in too far-flung a place if something breaks. Is it worth it? There definitely seems to be an element of cult enthusiasm to the “Bromptonauts.” But if you fall in love with the design, it just might be.