Over the last few decades folding bicycles have come a long way. They ride better than ever, fold much smaller and faster, and the quality has soared to new heights. For urban commuting folding bikes have become the choice for riders of all ages and backgrounds. You can bring them on a bus. Shove them in the trunk of your car. And when you’re finished using them fold them up and bring them into your house. You cannot beat their versatility and convenience.
Folding bicycles are taking over urban commuting
Every year I see more of these foldable machines on the street ridden by students, business people and recreational riders. Bicycle manufacturers realize this and are starting to really put more time and effort to make these folding bikes better each passing year, causing many people to give up their regular sized bicycles and just ride the folding bicycles.
Meet the Brompton folding bicycle
At first it can be very confusing to choose which brand, models and price to pay as there are thousands of different folding bicycles manufactured by a dizzying amount of companies with hundreds added each year. Many of these different brands are very good and reliable but one bicycle manufacturer still stands out as among the best.
Hand brazed and checked for perfection in London, England is the Brompton folding bicycle. When ordering a Brompton folding bicycle you’re allowed to customize the color, gears and handlebars to fit you’re specific riding style and personality. It can take up to four to six weeks to receive one of these beauties but that long wait is well worth it.
Brompton folding bicycles have outstanding quality
Before I bought a Brompton folding bicycle I looked at, read reviews and test rode more models than I care to remember. Most of the folding bicycles that I rode were nice and at times the choice as to which one to buy was confusing but in the end it was the classical Brompton folding bicycle that won. Looking at pictures of the Brompton folding bicycle online was nice but it wasn’t until I actually saw one in person and took it for a spin to really appreciate the quality and amazing look of this folding bicycle.
At first it took a little getting use to the quick responding steering but soon enough I came to appreciate it. It could dodge potholes much faster than my hybrid bicycle and my foot didn’t hit the front wheel while making quick sharp turns. The high quality steel frame absorbs vibrations while the rear suspension block makes bumps virtually unnoticeable. All this sits on top of very high quality wheels and puncture resistant tires that are all brought to a stop with very responsive brakes. And with beefy clamps holding the folding hinges in place this bicycle feels like one big solid peice of steel. There has never been a moment when I was afraid this amazing folding bicycle was going to break or fold up on me while riding.
The model I bought was a demo bike from Nycewheels in New York City in a two speed with sport handlebars. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not so I didn’t want to pay the full price and never ride it. I was use to growing up around and riding full sized bicycles and never thought a folding bicycle would ride as good. Many online reviews mentioned slow speeds, frames as flexy as noodles and crappy components. What I’ve experienced was the opposite.
Brompton folding bicycles can be brought anywhere
In the beginning I was very reluctant to give up my full sized hybrid bicycle because it has twenty four gears compared to the Brompton’s two gears. In my mind I was thinking that it had to be completely impossible to ride up hills or on windy days. What happened instead was completely shocking. A few times when I had to go to the store I bought the Brompton instead seeing there was nowhere to park my regular hybrid bicycle. One time I had to go to the medical center to get some simple blood work and again I took the Brompton folding bicycle. Everyone inside the medical center loved the Brompton including the lady running the place, who insisted that I let her watch me unfold it while she kept everyone waiting for their appointments.
Others times I have brought it to restaurants because I can bring it inside with me instead of locking it to a tree like I did one time with the regular hybrid bicycle. Or the few times I had to leave the regular hybrid bicycle at work due to monstrous rain storms. With the Brompton all I had to do was fold it up and get on the bus or take a ride like I’ve done many times. No more leaving my bicycle or riding home hoping I get there in time before I get soaked.
Brompton folding bicycles have the best fold
The secret with the Brompton folding bicycle is not just it’s quality but also the way it folds. Everyone knows that a Brompton will last many years with some people owing one for over fifteen years. It’s the fold that really sets it apart from the competition. Once you get the hang of the fold it’s fast and easy to unscrew the very reliable hinge clamps and lock it all together when you slide the seatpost down. When all finished folding, the Brompton folding bicycle reminds you of the shape of a box. The fold is nice and tidy with no parts sticking way out, and the derailleur plus chain is covered preventing oil from getting all over your hands and clothes.
Brompton folding bicycles require little maintainence
Another feature that I really like is the simple chain pusher with two speeds that hardly ever needs adjusting. I’ve owned my Brompton two speed for over two years now and I still haven’t had to have it adjusted yet. The hinge clamps that many people consider outdated is another blessing in disguise. All you have to do to unfold the Brompton folding bicycle is unscrew the hinge clamps that never need to be brought into a bicycle shop for adjustment. Simplicity with the gears and the way it folds means there’s way less to go wrong, and that’s why you hear of less problems with the Brompton folding bicycle then with the competition.
There has been many complaints with the paint chipping easy and in a way I have to agree but again, many folding bicycles from different manufacturers have the same problem. Folding bicycles get folded and unfolded a lot and get banged around more while being carried or transported in vehicles. Unlike a regular bicycle the paint is going to be put through a lot more abuse. I ordered touch up paint from Nycewheels and even though it’s not perfect it looks a lot nicer than having chips and missing paint all over the bicycle. Plus the primer was still in good shape so there’s no rust on the bicycle. Then again I never ride my Brompton folding bicycle in the rain.
The Brompton folding bicycle does cost a lot more than most of the competition on average but the quality compared to the cost and the way it rides gives a better value for each dollar spent. Some folding bicycles do cost more or less but they don’t fold as small and tidy as the Brompton and don’t usually last as long. My two speed Brompton handles hills perfectly along with the wind for city commuting and with minimum maintainence. If I was going to go further and need more speed than I’d look into more gears but for now I’m very pleased with my two speed sport Brompton and if I had to do it all over again I’d definitely buy brand new.
Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did.