How To Easily Fold A Brompton Bike

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How to easily fold a Brompton bike! The Brompton folding bike, with it’s small wheels and exceptional fold has been a great city companion.

I’ve been able to bring it everywhere. Such as to the grocery store. To restaurants and cafe’s. And even on public transportation.

The Brompton folding bike is easy to fold, but for many it’s still a complicated process. I think the process of how to fold a Brompton bike becomes confusing to many, due to the following reasons.

  • Many so-called experts on social media show different ways to fold the Brompton bike.
  • New Brompton owners don’t learn the proper way before attempting it.
  • Too many people watch videos on YouTube with improper demonstrations.
  • They don’t practice the fold before attempting to board public transportation, therefore looking foolish.

It’s because of the following reasons, that I decided to explain the proper way to fold and unfold the Brompton bike. And then provide a video at the end by Clever Cycles, on how to properly fold a Brompton bike.

I fold my Brompton bike slightly different than Clever Cycles, but both ways will still make the process much easier for you.

Here’s how to properly fold a Brompton bike

The first step to folding your Brompton is to become familiar with the various folding mechanisms.

Every Brompton folds into three parts. There’s the rear triangle that swings underneath the frame. A hinge clamp on the main frame. And a handlebar hinge and clamp. When all these parts are folded, unlike other folding bicycles, the seatpost holds everything together.

Clever Cycles likes to stand on the left side while performing the fold, while I like to stand on the right side. You can try it both ways to see which one is more comfortable for you.

Step-by-step instructions on how to fold

Step 1- Swing the rear wheel underneath the frame

Swing the rear wheel underneath the frame. Stand on the left side of the Brompton. Turn the handlbars slightly to the left. Position your pedals to where your folding pedal is pointing towards the front of the bike.

Then reach down with your right hand, and undo the locking mechanism at the rear of the bike. Lift the rear of the bike so that the rear wheel swings underneath the bike.

Step 2- Unclamp the main frame

Undo the hinge clamp on the main frame. Grip the handlebar stem, just above the clamp. Lift and sweep the front of the bike.

NOTE: Make sure that the axle hook rests on the chainstay.

Step 3- Unclamp the handlebars

Unclamp the handlebars. Loosen the handlebar clamp and let the handlebars swing closed.

Step 4- Lower the seat pillar

Lower the seat pillar. Release the seat pillar clamp, and fully lower the seat pillar.

Step 5- Fold the left pedal

Fold the left pedal. Close the folding pedal by pushing upward in the center of the pedal.

NOTE: It’s important to do this step last, or when you swing the frame underneath, the paint will get scratched badly.

Now your Brompton’s fully folded. You can carry it or roll it wherever you need to go.

With practice, the following five steps will flow together into one fluid motion.

Step-by-step instructions on how to un-fold

Step 1- Unfold the folding pedal

Unfold the folding pedal.

NOTE: It’s important to do this step first, or when you swing the frame from underneath, the paint will get scratched badly.

Step 2- Raise the seat pillar

Raise the seat pillar.

Step 3- Clamp the handlebars

Clamp the handlebars. Reach down with your left hand and raise the handlebars into position, using a sweeping motion.

Once the handlebars are in place, spin the clamp closed until it is finger tight.

Step 4- Clamp the main frame

Clamp the main frame. Grip the handlebar stem, just above the clamp with your left hand.

Lift the stem slightly so that the wheel catch clears the frame. Then with a sweeping motion, bring the front wheel around.

NOTE: Make sure that the front wheel is at a slight angle. Remember that the front wheel will always point forward. 

Then tighten the clamp.

Step 5- Swing the rear wheel out

Swing the rear wheel out. Lift the rear of the bike with the saddle. And then swing the rear wheel into place.

NOTE: You will hear a click when the rear locks into place.

Now you’re ready to ride.

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