Brompton Bikes Review — The Best Folding Bikes in the World?

Overview of Brompton Bikes: Iconic Folding Bikes Made for Urban Commuters

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Brompton has little to no competition when it comes to folding bikes purposefully built for urban commuters. They are London-made, lightweight, cleverly designed, and as practical as foldable bikes can be. 

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Brompton bikes are the ultimate solution to the first-mile and last-mile problems that city-based commuters face. These are tiny and quirky-looking machines that have a huge following all around the world.

Over the years, the name ‘Brompton’ has become almost synonymous with the concept of folding bikes.

Bromptons fold smaller than any other folding bike

That’s because Bromptons fold smaller than any other folding bike, they’re lightweight and easy to carry and store, and designed with incredible attention to detail and focus on practicality.

Riding a Brompton bike takes some getting used to, but most people quickly fall in love with its 16″ wheels, small footprint, and fun riding experience.


Overview of the Company

The logo of Brompton BikesBrompton’s rich and successful story began in 1975 in London. Andrew Richy, the founder of the company, began designing a folding bike in his apartment overlooking the Brompton Oratory.

The first prototype saw the light of day in 1977, but this was a very crude version of today’s Brompton. The official production began in 1981 and by 1987, Brompton was already awarded the coveted Best Product Award at the Cyclex event held at Olympia, London.

A Brompton is as London as a double decker bus, the London Underground, Big Ben, and The LondonEye – all innovative, excellent and enduring.

Brompton bikes are still made in London today, at the rate of 45,000 units per year. The frames are hand brazed by skilled craftsmen at the London factory, built from lightweight steel or titanium tubes. Complete bikes consist of around 1,200 individual parts, 80% of which are proprietary to Brompton.

Despite years of innovation and more than 45 years of tweaks and upgrades, all Brompton bikes stay true to the original design created by Andrew Ritchie in 1975.

Learn More on    See All Brompton Models on REI

Brompton’s Bike Range Explained

Brompton Folding Bike

Brompton’s lineup consists of standard folding bikes, superlight folding bikes, and electric folding bikes.

The UK brand offers folding bikes in four categories that differ in terms of frame materials, gears, weight, and accessories. These are:

  • A-Line: These are simple, affordable, and streamlined bikes with 3-speed drivetrains, steel frames, and minimal accessories.
  • C-Line: Classic Brompton bikes with steel frames, 2, 3, or 6 gears, numerous accessories, and lots of colors to choose from.
  • P-Line: Lightweight and performance models with steel/titanium framesets, slightly higher pricing, 4 gears, and more advanced features.
  • T-Line: Ultralight titanium Brompton bikes costing $5,000+ and weighing around 16 lb.

The A-Line and C-Line models are made will all-steel frames, P-Line models have steel frames and titanium forks, whereas T-Line ultralight models have titanium front and rear forks. There are also electric Brompton bikes that have motors and batteries and provide pedal assistance.

According to the company, taking into consideration the frame materials, colors, components, and accessories, a Brompton bike can have 16,982,784 unique configurations.

Here are some of the most important options to keep in mind when choosing your ideal Brompton.



Brompton bikes come with three types of handlebars, each of which suits different riders and riding styles.

Low: A sporty ride position that puts you lower on the bike to reduce air drag.

Mid: A middle-ground between Low-type and High-type handlebars. A good all-around position that suits most riders.

High: Ideal for riders who prefer a more upright riding position.


All Brompton bikes come with one of four available gear combinations that riders can choose from based on the terrain in their area:

  • Single-speed
  • 2-speed
  • 3-speed
  • 4-speed
  • 6-speed
  • 12-speed

This way, all riders can choose a drivetrain option that suits them the best. The 12-speed models are the most versatile, but they are almost 2lbs heavier than the single-speed builds, so choose this option only if there are hills in your area.



The final piece of the puzzle is the accessory combinations. Depending on which model you choose, you’ll get different combinations of accessories and different options for future upgrades.

The A-Line has no accessories, so it is the simples, lightest, and most affordable.

The C-Line and P-Line models come with folding pedals, front carriers, and fenders, and you can also retrofit a rear rack and dynamo or battery lights.

Finally, the ultralight T-Line only comes with folding pedals, but you can upgrade it and install fenders, battery lighting, and a rear rack with rollers.


Brompton Bikes Lineup

A-Line Brompton Bikes

A-Line Brompton Bikes

  • Steel frame
  • Minimal accessories
  • 3 gears

Brompton A-Line has the most affordable and most basic models the brand makes.

This is a simple folding bike with just three gears and minimal accessories. That makes it ideal for riders who live in flat(ish) areas and want to get from point A to point B as fast as possible.

The Mid-type handlebar is moderate and puts you in a comfortable riding position that translates to an enjoyable commuting experience. The three gears give you just enough versatility for flat sections and modest hills.

This Brompton folding bike has no accessories whatsoever. The upside to that is that the Brompton A-Line weighs just 25 lb, though that still makes it the heaviest on offer.

The overall package offers excellent value for the money, especially considering the 7-year warranty on the frame and the affordable price tag.

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C-Line Brompton Bikes

C-Line Brompton Bikes

  • Steel frames
  • 2, 3, or 6 gears
  • Mudguards, lights, and front carrier blosks

The C-Line has by far some of Brompton’s most popular and best-selling models to date.

It’s available in numerous versions and colorways, including electric, and numerous Special Editions with unique colors and features.

You can choose which handlebar type you want to have (low, mid, or high), customizing the riding position to your needs.

All C-Line models come with folding pedals, fenders, and a front carrier block, so you’re pretty much ready to commute on it year-round.

When it comes to the gears, the models feature internal rear hub gearboxes with 2, 3, or 6 gears, allowing you to choose the model that fits the terrain in your area.

All C-Line frames are made from steel and the bikes weigh from 24.8 lb and up, so they are slightly lighter than A-Line models despite all the additional accessories.

You also get battery-powered front lights with most of the models, so what else is there to ask for?

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P-Line Brompton Bikes

P-Line Brompton Bikes

  • 12 gears
  • Mudguards and folding pedals
  • Titanium and steel frames

The P-Line models are similar to the C-Line models, but one big difference is the addition of titanium.

Just like the C-Line models above, the P-Line comes in a large number of iterations, including Electric options, all titanium and titanium/steel builds.

The lowest-priced model costs $3,2500 and gets you 12 gears, mudguards, front carrier block, and built-in reflectors. Therefore, this is another excellent commuter that feels comfortable in different surroundings and conditions.

The standard Brompton P-Line weighs around 23 lb, whereas the all-titanium model weighs only 17 lb. Even though the standard version is one of the heavier Brompton models, it’s still quite manageable and compact.

We recommend the P-Line Brompton folding bikes if you want a versatile and practical urban commuter with lots of gears and a super-light saddle.

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T-Line Brompton Bikes

T-Line Brompton Bikes

  • Single-speed, 4-speed, or 12-speed
  • Titanium frame
  • Fully equipped

This is without a doubt one of the fastest and lightest Brompton folding bikes you can get. If you often find yourself in a rush to get to work in the morning, you should consider getting the T-Line models.

As you may guess from the name, this model features a lightweight titanium frame, but it also comes with a 1-speed, 4-speed, or 12-speed drivetrain, and accessories. It’s similar to the P-Line models that we talked about above, but it offers a more sporty ride feel.

Another upside of this build is the weight, as it is the lightest Brompton model, tipping the scales at just 16-17 lb. Once you fold it into a 25.3” x 23” x 10.6” package, you should be able to carry it with little effort.

Like all premium Brompton models, the T-Line also boasts a lightweight saddle that’s suitable for all-weather riding.

You should consider this model if you like riding fast, staying in flow with the traffic, and you don’t shy away from hills.

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Brompton Electric Bikes

Brompton Electric Bike

Brompton’s electric bike lineup is pretty diverse, consisting of e-bikes with different gear options, handlebars, and accessories.

See our guide on how to choose an electric bike, to find the best option.

However, what all Brompton electric models have in common is a narrow front hub motor designed in conjunction with the F1 maker Williams. Together with a removable 300Wh battery, it will assist you up to 15 mph.

The battery sits on the front mount designed to hold a front pannier and detaches with one click. This way, you can still easily fold your electric Brompton, carry it in one hand, or store it in a corner.

Keep in mind that the electric models are heavier than the standard models and tip the scales at:

  • 2-speed: 30 lbs (36 lbs total with battery)
  • 6-speed: 32 lbs (38 lbs total with battery)


According to the company, the 300Wh capacity translates to 20-45 miles (30-70km) of range, depending on how you ride. Brompton e-bikes also have a USB port to charge portable devices that will further drain the battery.

One of the newest features that Brompton added to its e-bikes is Bluetooth connectivity that lets you control the assistance via smartphone with a dedicated app and keep track of important stats such as speed, distance, and battery charge.

Related: Best Electric Commuters

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Brompton makes some of the best folding bicycles in the world. The brand focuses on building lightweight bicycles that fold down into small packages that are easy to store and carry around. Brompton uses proprietary, high-quality parts that are practical and last a long time.

Brompton folding bikes stand out from other foldable bikes because they fold down in thirds, whereas most other bikes fold down in half. Brompton bikes are also handmade in London with 80% proprietary parts and are known for being lightweight and extremely well-built.

Brompton folding bikes hold their value quite well, so you will be able to resell yours without losing too much of its original price. To get the highest price, make sure to buy your Brompton from an official dealer and to take good care of it. Service it regularly and replace any worn parts.

Brompton bikes are slightly more expensive than other brands because they are handmade in London. Most commercial brands ship their frames from Asia which reduces costs but sometimes impacts the quality. Brompton folding bikes are made with 1200 parts, 80% of which are proprietary.

One of the biggest advantages that Brompton bikes have is that they fold in thirds rather than in half such as most other folding bikes. In addition to that, a Brompton folding bike weighs 24 lbs. on average, so it’s easy to carry around. They are also handmade in London which guarantees high quality.

Brompton bikes are not made for long-distance rides because of 16″ wheels that make it inefficient for long journeys. These foldable bikes shine the most on moderately long rides in the city, but you can certainly take it on long adventures. People have even traveled around the world on a Brompton.

A Brompton does not have an expiration date. If you take good care of it, service it regularly, lubricate the moving parts and replace any worn parts, it should last for decades. All wearable parts on a Brompton are easily found in any LBS, so there are no excuses not to keep yours in pristine condition.

While a Brompton folding bike won’t win any races, you can definitely ride it pretty fast. Depending on the terrain, you can average anywhere between 10 and 17 mph on a standard commute. If you have strong legs, you can go even faster than that. Downhill, Bromptons can easily break 24-30 mph.

When it comes to quality, weight, practicality, and folding size, Brompton is without a doubt the best folding bike. The only downside is the price since Brompton folding bikes are slightly more expensive than the competition. Though, keep in mind that these are London-made bikes with lots of high-quality proprietary parts.


Final Thoughts About Brompton Folding Bikes

suggestedBrompton is one of the most unique brands in the folding bike niche. It controls a huge part of the manufacturing process of its bicycles which gives it unprecedented control of quality standards and features.

Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Brompton bikes are the go-to choice for millions of urban commuters around the world, including the EU, the USA, and Asia.

Brompton bikes are characterized by having a low weight, small folding dimensions, high-quality proprietary parts, and unmeasured attention to detail.

Some models come at a premium, but the feature-packed spec lists are worth it.

We recommend Brompton to any urban rider who is looking for a stylish and practical solution to their first- and last-mile transit problems.

Learn More on     See All Brompton Models on REI

3 thoughts on “Overview of Brompton Bikes: Iconic Folding Bikes Made for Urban Commuters

  1. It’s not my experience that Brompton is a good quality folding bike in fact it is the worst bike I ever owned, and for now I don’t use it anymore cause I tired of it, there’s always something not right. All the gears almost never work properly, I have a 6 gear one, and never have any of the two systems worked for a long time after maintenance. I don’t see that Brompton is a bike that you can use for decades I use mine daily for 7 years now and it’s about 3 or 4 years now that I thinking of just ditching it. I go to the store for a maintenance yearly, and by now I thing all the parts but the frame is replace a few time but still. Cracked cables is a regular one, sinking seatpost quit frustrating, backlight stopped working a few times, hub dynamo? Never again! Really if you want my advice don’t buy a Brompton, it’s low quality bike with low quality service who use low quality materials. A waste of money.

    1. Hey Bram,
      Very sorry to hear about your bad experience with Brompton.
      Unfortunately, the sad truth is that there is a bad apple in every barrel. It seems to me that this was the case with your Brompton.
      Most people’s experiences are super positive; otherwise, Brompton would not have been that popular and successful for so long.
      Also, yearly maintenance is not enough to keep a bike in good working order. Especially a folding bike with more moving parts that you use daily, as you say you have done for 7 years.
      Some areas need more frequent attention — such as truing the wheels or changing the brake pads.
      Best of luck in the future!

    2. Agree with you. Terrible customer experience. An unsafe bike with the worst customer service I ever met

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