This question is for current OR past Brompton owners.

I am considering purchasing a Brompton because

  • hype about its quality built
  • compact
  • simply looks awesome!

About me: 6ft, 145lbs. (182cm and 66 kilograms)

I plan to carry 20-30 pounds (9-14 kilograms) extra ( work supplies, groceries)

Ideally, I want it to be my commuter bicycle. I bike approximately 4 days a wk to work, 7 miles one way.

[Those who own(ed) a Brompton can you speak on your experience on its durability, and maintenance upkeep.]

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    I understand you want to focus on Brompton as a brand, but this site considers specific product things to be off topic. Allowing answers about generic folding bikes would make it more general, and more long-term useful. Otherwise the question might be better asked on a brompton-specific site. – Criggie Jul 6 '18 at 3:43
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    Thanks! Can you send me the link to the policy you're talking about ? – Gabriel Panduro Jr Jul 6 '18 at 3:49
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    Do you actually need a folding bike? If you don't need something that folds, a non-folding bike is probably more suited to your needs. Folding designs have a lot of compromises (riding position, comfort, ride quality from the small wheels, weight, gearing etc.). – David Richerby Jul 6 '18 at 8:37
  • @DavidRicherby have you owned folding bikes? – Gabriel Panduro Jr Jul 6 '18 at 13:07
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    I have never owned a Brompton, to expensive for my purse, but I know people who have one. You are not out of range tall or heavy. But do test ride for seat and adjustment options for your build/riding style. 7 miles is long enough that you want a bike that really fits. It can be a Brompton, but I would only buy an expensive folding bike if you need the folding qualities of it, transport or storage. For the same money you can get a good quality non folding bike. – Willeke Jul 6 '18 at 18:50

I have a Brompton and it’s a great bike. It really shines in three circumstances:

  • mixed mode commuting where you might ride for a bit then fold it up and take it on a bus, car, or, train and then unfold and ride again at your destination

  • in commutes where there’s no safe storage so you have to fold it up and put it under your work desk or you want to keep your bike in your tiny London flat

  • for trips where whatever you want to carry can fit in the front bag, which can be quite capacious

As a regular commuter, it’s ok but:

  • there’s limited gearing range even on the six speed
  • the six speed with the high handlebars is the most comfortable but that configuration of Brompton is actually quite heavy for its size
  • the smaller wheels will make cobblestones feel larger
  • there is space for a rack and panniers but they’re not the best as any sort of panniers interferes with folding
  • thieves know that Bromptons are expensive.

I commuted for a while on my B. It was just a 3 mile commute on flat ground so the two speed was fine. My previous town was known for bike thieves so always having my B with me, even into grocery stores on my way back home wasn’t a problem.

However, my regular commuter which is a 1970s mixte road bike is all-round better as a commuter. It’s lighter, faster, more comfortable, has better gears, and most importantly, I’m not constantly worried if it’ll get stolen or rained on.

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  • As to the build quality, Bromptons are well built in terms of folding bikes. I also have a Dahon at my parents house and the build quality is much better on the B, albeit at triple the price. But for $1200 you can also get a really well built touring bike - or four good beater commuter bikes. – RoboKaren Jul 7 '18 at 12:56
  • thank you! I think it's the hype and ingenuity of the Brompton that appeals to me. I have a touring/commuter bicycle already but I would ideally want a bicycle that's convenient but also capable of withstanding loads for grocery trips and camping. – Gabriel Panduro Jr Jul 7 '18 at 22:12
  • If you have the budget to buy a brompton, there's nothing wrong with them. Maintenance may need specialised parts rather than generics, which means increased running cost. Similar to BMW spare parts vs a cheap Ford spare parts or OEM/repro parts. – Criggie Jul 8 '18 at 1:02

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