Why The Brompton Electric Bike Could Be The Future of Travel
The Brompton Electric is a fantastic machine, one that can open up options to you that you would not have today on a normal ‘manual’ bike (hereafter referred to as a Standard Brompton, although you can picture your own bike for reference).
What you read below is based on several months of research pre-purchase and my first months of ownership. It's a long read but hopefully I’ve covered every question you might have. As a relatively new product, there are few extensive articles on the bike overall, including owning and using it in the real world.
But before I explain why it's a game changer, first a bit of context.
I’ve been an on/off cyclist since I was 4 years old. I’m not a weekend cyclist, I don’t own any lycra clothing, I’ve never had a ‘racer’. Bikes when I grew up we’re heavy, functional and strong. And strong was the key here as they were meant to be used outside having fun; not being careful not to damage delicate components. You were meant to ride around with your friends exploring, you were meant to do your paper round on them. It wasn’t about speed, it was about practicality and just being outdoors.
35 years later in 2019 I bought a Standard Brompton. Primarily because I finally had enough income to afford one but also because they are immensely practical. I could commute to work with part of the journey on a train. Fold it up and you are good to go. Most importantly, as the bike lives folded in my hallway, it was visible and therefore frequently used (not hidden away out of sight and mind in the shed). I immediately loved it.
It’s so much fun and with a steel frame, it’s a tough little beast. Small wheels make it quick off the lights, and extremely manoeuvrable. And since it’s a small looking bike, no one ever feels threatened by it; cycling in my local park with other pedestrians can get very busy and big fast bikes can be a concern. Not the diminutive Brompton.
My only complaint wasn’t about the bike but about me. I just wasn’t fit enough to do the hilly sections of my commute without needing a shower when I got to work.