The Brompton Folding Bike Guide contains information about:
*How to choose a Brompton
*The Brompton gearing system
*The different handlebar styles
*Is a titanium model worth it?
*The different model options
*Customizing your Brompton
As the proud owner of a Brompton M6R my thoughts and feelings are from my experience. In my mind the Brompton is the best folding bike available; the fold is very compact, they are easy and fun to ride and I think they look fantastic.
The most popular make of folding bike and arguably the best is the Brompton, which is a British bike made in London. The current best selling Brompton at the moment is the Brompton M3L which is the classic Brompton design, but fully up to date. Brompton folding bikes now outsell any other make of bike manufactured in the UK today. This is amazing especially when you consider that they are the most expensive, especially when you opt for the Brompton Superlight range.
If you like the idea of a folding bike, then the Brompton is one of the best makes out there. It is true that they are certainly not the cheapest, lightest or fastest, but for quality and design they are streets above the rest.
This becomes evident when you look at the second hand prices of Brompton Bikes, they really do keep their value. If you don’t believe me have a look at Ebay.co.uk and search for ‘Brompton Folding Bike’, then go over to the advanced section and click the box that says ‘show completed listings only’. The results now shown are all the bikes that have finished auctions. The ones that sold have their prices in green and the ones that didn’t sell have their prices in red. At the time of writing (April 2013) the cheapest Brompton I could find sold for £396; this was an 8-year old six speed model in reasonable condition. The second cheapest one was a rather rare five speed model from 1993, which has just sold for £435. Not a bad price for a 20-year old bike is it?
My reason for choosing a Brompton is purely the fact that I love the design of them and I love riding them. The fact that a Brompton can fold into such a small space means that it is easy to get the bike to where you want to ride it. In the first two weeks of owning my Brompton I rode it in five different counties in England and, within the following two months, used it in France and Spain too.
The history of the Brompton is a story in itself. It begins with Andrew Ritchie designing and constructing the first prototypes in his flat in South Kensington, which overlooks the Brompton Oratory, to Brompton’s current position as the UK’s largest bicycle manufacturer. Brompton have won many industry awards along the way. In 2009 Andrew Ritchie received the Prince Phillip Designer’s Prize. The Prince then visited the Brompton factory in 2010. Clearly Brompton is a great example of British Industry.
Brompton are constantly improving their models, components and manufacturing processes, but all the time the basic design remains unchanged. To me this is a sign of a good design, one that was basically correct to begin with.
Brompton products are expensive, but the quality is superb. To maintain quality Brompton have not opted for saving money by outsourcing any work overseas, but have kept almost everything in the West London factory. By having the majority of the components made in their own factory, stringent quality control can be maintained. I believe one job that is not done in the factory now is the painting of the bicycle frames, which is done in Wales.