Friday, December 3, 2010

The Brompton by EcoVelo

The Brompton is my first folding bicycle and hence, like any first born, it holds a very special place in my stable. I was very intrigued to study EcoVelo's very comprehensive report on the advantages of a folding bike, especially its space savings which enable foldies to do multi-modal commuting seamlessly.

EcoVelo focused on the Brompton and its article is perhaps one of the best review of any bike I've read covering its history, design, performance, built quality and even options available. Add to that EcoVelo's award winning pics and it makes for an absolutely satisfying and informative read. The reviewer who owns 3 Bromptons has this to say.

"While there are other interesting folding bikes on the market that offer viable alternatives to the Brompton, in my view there’s yet to be another folder that brings together a clean, compact fold and excellent ride quality in such a compelling way."

I largely agree that it must be one of the best foldies around today despite it being over 20 years old. It has many committed devotees worldwide and their zeal is almost cult-like. That speaks volumes to its brilliant design and of course, the piece de resistance - its superb compact folded package. At my last Mandurah 50km ride, I took my Brompton and it had no problems keeping up with a Dahon Speed Pro, a KHS MTB with slicks and a Giant Hybrid despite its limited gearing.

However, there are different foldies out there that are more accomplished in other areas such as performance, handling, brakes, rider fit and comfort and most importantly for me, the ability to carry panniers for touring. That said, if you only can have one folder, do largely commuting and folded size is critical, I too would choose the Brompton and that has nothing to do with it being my "first born".

Note: 1st 3 pics courtesy of EcoVelo.

Update 4 Dec: Vik in his blog The Lazy Randonneur, posted a story about a guy who toured the Pacific Coast 1000km on his Brompton.

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