A folding bike has small wheels (usually under 20 inches) and a hinged frame that allows it to fold into a much smaller footprint than any other type of bikes. They have moderate amounts of gearing and cargo capacity, and are built for urban dwellers to ride around city centers (although many Brompton afficionados will regale you with stories of touring on their folding steeds). They’re a great solution if you want to ride more but don’t have much room to store a bike or have a complex commute involving buses, trains and the like. They are also a wonderful and liberating accompaniment to international travel.
Brompton bikes come with a gearing system tailor-made for the compact frame design. Its one that ensures the chain will remain on, even when folded. They use a unique combination of internally geared hubs and custom external derailleurs to give riders up to 6 distinct speeds and a surprisingly wide range of gearing ratios. If you will mostly be riding around the city center an internally geared 3 speed may do just fine, if you’re thinking of longer touring or a hilly commute take a look at 6-speed options. The light and fast two speed option is best for flat areas or keen sports cyclists!
Maintaining a folding bike is much like a regular bike. You’ll need to keep it clean, lubricated, and tyres pumped up on a regular basis. When you do need to bring your bike in for regular tuning you’ll want to be sure that your local shop has the specialised knowledge to fix these unique bikes (we have several Brompton wizards on staff here at Bicycle Junction). When parts do need to be replaced they frequently will need to be swapped with parts from the same manufacturer. We highly recommend consulting with your local shop when thinking about replacing or upgrading the parts on your folding bike. Alternately its easy to box and ship your Brompton to us for it’s yearly service.
We currently offer several great electric folding bikes from Tern. they can be a great solution for those looking to ride an ebike but with limited storage. Brompton is currently testing a new (highly anticipated) electrified model, and will be shipping worldwide after testing. Join our newsletter to be in the know when they hit our store.