WHAT IS A FOLDING BIKE?
It is always a good practice to start any write-up with the basics, so the readers are on same page. Folding Bike as the name suggests is a bicycle that can be folded into a compact form and facilitate transport and storage. They are easy to carry and help you even in longer commutes which are partially covered using public transport. You can carry them inside your apartment, park them outside your cabin and take them on road vacation with you! They are smaller in size and hence portable which makes them favorable choice among kids and elders!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS COMPARED TO OTHER BIKES?
- No risk of stealing: You can carry your bike along with you. It is like your briefcase which is always in your hand. Bikes get stolen when they are parked at public parking. You know very well that the lock and chain hardly protect your bike from getting stolen. How many of you have lost at least one bike in your lifetime? There will be plenty of us!
- You can save yourself from rain pour: If the rain catches you during your ride, you can take public transport for rest of your journey and carry your folded bike along. This means you don’t have to get wet or face rejections by several buses on carrying your bulky mountain bike.
- Your anytime companion: Many a times you want to enjoy the weather while on the way back to home but since you took bus in the morning, you can’t opt to ride. You can carry foldable bike with you at all days. It is weather resistant, in other words, you can carry them on any day without worrying about unexpected weather. You can choose to toss foldable bike in the trunk of your car and drive wherever you want! You can ride off into the sunset with your folding bike.
- You can participate in BYB events: There are many bike marathons where you have to carry your own bike. It is little inconvenient to carry your mountain bike at such events. Foldable bikes are inconvenient. You can carry them to the event and in case you are tired in mid marathon, you can take a turn towards your anytime! It is fun!
- It will make you look cool: The range of folding bikes is expanding which means people across the globe are accepting it as a mode of transport. It really makes you look cool as you set an eco-friendly example for your colleagues.
- It saves you time and money: You can save lot of time and money on your daily commute with folding bikes. They make you independent as you don’t have to wait for train in queue. If you are running behind your schedule, folding bike will assist you reach in time. Small wheelers can accelerate faster.
FOLDING BIKE BUYING GUIDE: WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING A FOLDABLE BIKE
Brompton, brand from UK is known for iconic folding bikes across the globe. The brand offers variety of bikes in different colors and features. The bikes are made to complement people of all age group and heights. Before we give you a walk through of the Brompton models available, here is a guide to understand bit about bikes.
Handlebars: the handlebars of the Brompton bikes are M, H, S or P shapes as described below. The image is also provided for quick understanding.
- M type: These are classic handlebars which are not too upright or sporty. These bikes are great for daily commutes.
- H Type: These are M handlebars for taller riders with 60mm higher stem. H type provides more upright ride and comfort for taller riders.
- S Type: these are flat and sporty handlebars offering more grip and responsive ride. These are made for those who like adventure and cutting through the traffic.
- P type: These handlebars provide grip for riders who want to sit upright and race and also to those who want a comfortable and leisure ride. The butterfly designed handlebar offers the required flexibility and several grip positions for all types of riding.
Gears: the number next to the handle type represent the gears. For instance, M6 model is 6 gears. You can choose to pick the number of gears based on the pace that you want to handle.
- 1 speed are the basic bicycles for simple and flat city rides
- 2 speed gear helps in cruising and setting off to hills
- 3 speed offers a robust enclosed hub gear suitable for everyday cycling to low and high terrains
- 6 speed is an all rounder for those who want to go on longer rides and challenging inclines
Mudguards: The alphabet next to the gear count represents mudguards. The presence and absence of mudguards can also be decided by you. ‘E’ represents no mudguards, rack or pump, ‘L’ represents mudguards but no rack, ‘R’ represents mudguard and rear rack.
Now that you must have got a fair bit of idea on what are foldable bikes and what the benefits are, let us look at 5 best Brompton bikes which are creating a buzz in the market.
The list of the 5 best Brompton folding bikes
This bike is made in London for making life of city commuters easy. It can be folded or unfolded in mere 20 seconds. This model has steel frame which makes them long lasting. They are durable and rust resistant. With compact size and puncture resistant tyres, this model is build to last. This Brompton model is called a milestone machine. With excellent ride quality, this model is available in variety of colors. The company takes proud in architecture of this model. With adequate wheel size, this non-electric bike is also winning hearts in this era. The levers lock shut automatically when the bike is folded for smooth and soft transition. With reliable bolt mechanism, you can be assured that bike would always stay locked, no matter how it is lifted. With a weight of less than 12 kgs, this bike offers great grip.
This version of bike makes you feel unstoppable! With 3 gears, it is your companion for daily commute, road trips and night outings. The sleek design and reliable quality make a statement on road with popping color. 70 percent of the parts of Brompton are proprietary which are available at all registered dealerships. This is also steel framed bike with rust free surface. The frame tubes of this bike are exclusively designed for this model. The Brompton model is first and last mile solution to living in crowded metropolis. It is the bike with small wheels but the stability and agility of S3LU is commendable. Also, the handlebar style of this Brompton model offers a more upright position that offers quick handling and make the bike ideal for touring for longer rides.
It belongs to M6 family of Brompton but the model differs from the one detailed above. The gears of Brompton bikes are steady and are preferred over other models cheaper and lighter gears. People think that the chain of foldable bikes get distorted when they are folded or unfolded. However, the chain magically stays put even as you fold and unfold the bike. You can even put a bottle holder in the folding bike to carry for longer distances. Every part of the bike including the less noticeable ones are designed just for this bike. The customized designs ensure the promising functionality of the bikes. These compact bikes are easy and light to carry making them perfect companion to office as well as casual outings.
With a weight of 11.7 kgs, this model is other choice for city savvy people. People who are looking for racing and adventurous bikes that can fold into one-third of its size, then this can be the best choice. The ‘S’ model is ideal for lower, sportier ride position and the ‘H’ model offers a more upright riding position. These models of bikes are tough and can take everything what city throws at them. With sporty architecture, these bikes offer quick handling.
This model is not available on Amazon, however this model with butterfly handle and 6 gears is perfect for short and long rides. These are made for high and low terrains and also support bumpy tracks. The strength and rigidity of the wheels of this model are commendable. The P type handle supports versatility for all types of rides. With 16 inches wheels, this bike offers required acceleration and ideal for city as well as rough and hilly areas riding. With mudguard and rack, this bike is the version which offers an altogether package for riders.
Overall review Brompton
The Brompton bikes are perfect for commuting and socializing. There are numerous models of Brompton bikes impressing the crowd across the globe. There are bikes made of steel and thus rust resistant. On the other hand, there are Superlight models made with a titanium rear fork to save weight. The bikes are safe and efficient to change the world by adopting pollution free habits! Although it is true that foldable bikes are expensive than mountain bikes, but they are worth every penny. The investment in folding bikes never wears down!
While you are making up your mind on investing in Brompton bikes, here are few guiding questions which might be popping in your mind on how to operate the Brompton Bikes.
- How to fold and unfold a Brompton bike?
For folding a bike, start with a back wheel and then fold the front wheel. Lower down the seat and fold the pedal after which fold the handlebars and carry the bike along! To unfold, start in reverse direction. Handlebar, pedal, bring the seat up, open the front wheel and then the back wheel before you start riding. A friendly tip here to lift the bike off the ground and guide the back wheel into position using your foot.
- How to Change gears of Brompton bikes?
For every hub gearon right hand side, there is high and low option i.e., left hand gear. To change the gears sequentially, there is certain mechanism that need to be followed. For up-gearing first, third and fifth gear, left hand gear should be in lower position. Similarly, for up-gearing second, fourth or sixth gear, left hand gear should be in higher position. Right hand gears need to be in lower, middle and high position for first & second, third & fourth, fifth & sixth sets of gears respectively.
- How to pump the Brompton bike tyres?
All Brompton bikes come with pumps. Pumping up the tyres once in a week is enough for a smooth ride. You should not let the tyres deflate and make your ride sluggish and tiring. You can use the DIY pump to inflate the bike easily.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
Yes, Brompton has launched electric version in UK and will soon be available for global procurement.
It takes recorded 20 seconds to fold and unfold a Brompton bike. This can reduce to 6 seconds once you become fastest folder.
Brompton is one of the few brands available which provide range of customization options to suit needs of worldwide customers. Everything from gears, accessories, handlebars to colors can be customized.
Yes, Brompton bikes are low on maintenance. You can pump it once in a week using the pump provided. To keep your bike free from grime and grit, you can wash it in the lawn with liquid shampoo and water. The small areas around the rear wheel need this simple cleaning for excellent ride.
Brompton bikes are efficiently priced across the globe. You can join Brompton clubs on Facebook to get tips and tricks.