Brompton Bicycle – First Impressions

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For quite a while I had been considering on investing in a folding bicycle. One of the main reasons I wanted to buy this type over a regular full-sized bicycle is the convenience to take your bicycle anywhere with very little hassle.  The thought of having a compact bicycle that is easy to transport, functional and sturdy were features very appealing as a commuter from Long Island to the city. I had researched into many different companies before deciding to choose Brompton.

Before choosing the type of bicycle you want, it is important to visit a bike shop to view and take the bicycle in question for a test spin. With the convenience of the internet these days, some people are lazy to go into a bike shop to get a closer and hands-on look of the bicycle they want to invest in. Yes, the reviews online of the bicycles may help you make a decision, but without testing the bicycle before purchasing, you are flying blind. When visiting the bike shop to investigate what bicycle is perfect for you, there is always staff around to answer your questions or help suggest a model that would perfectly fit your lifestyle and budget.

Brompton bikes in NYC

Brompton bike NYC

Last year I came across NYCeWheels during Summer Streets in Manhattan. My eyes were instantly caught by the Brompton. I was intrigued by the amazing construction and design of the bicycle. It is quite impressive how it takes only a couple of clips and hinges to bring the bicycle from folded to the riding position. The folded position of the Brompton bicycles is very striking in how compact the fold is in comparison to their competition. The bicycle can be easily carried or towed using the small rollers. The weight of the bicycle is significantly lighter than a full-sized bicycle, therefore making it easier to carry up and down flights of stairs.

My friends and I were able to take the Brompton bicycles for a spin down Lafayette Street for a few blocks. I was impressed with the speed that the bicycle provided without adding extra effort to pedal. The bicycle easily kept up or even passed by the regular full-sized bicycles. I also enjoyed the smooth transition in gear shift of the bicycle.

Traveling to London this past May I saw many bike commuters using Brompton bicycles as their means of transport. I was excited to return to New York to go for one of NYCeWheels’ free Brompton bike tours. The bike tour, led by Jack from NYCeWheels, was fun getting to ride next to the East River and going around Randall’s Island. My favorite part was going through the section of Hells Gate that has impressive arches and the perfect place for a photo op.

A Brompton of my own

This past September I picked up my very own custom Brompton bicycle from NYCeWheels after ordering it online using the helpful video based custom Brompton folding bike builder. In the videos Peter gives a very detailed explanation to each part and accessory you can select for the bicycle. At the shop Steve gave me a refresher on how to fold the bicycle and I was off.

It has been just about under two months since I had the Brompton bicycle, and I have been loving it ever since. My Brompton is a P3E with a claret main frame and cobalt blue extremities. I like that the P-type handlebars give you the option from an upright cruising position as well as a more aerodynamic position for those long straightaway stretches.  I also have a Brooks B-17S Ladies Saddle that I am currently breaking in. It is slowly softening and building character. Now that I have the Brompton, I have been biking more often than before. So far I have biked about 113 miles enjoying the waterfront views on both the east and west sides of Manhattan as well as bike paths in Long Island every week.

I am looking forward to taking my Brompton when I travel out of state or on bike tours. Next summer I am hoping that I will have a chance to return to Maine’s Acadia National Park to ride the Brompton on the carriage roads. I did not have a chance to finish since my group was half beginner bikers who felt fatigued about three-fourths of the way on the trail. I am also currently training myself to do the TD Five Boro as my first bike tour. Riding the Brompton bicycle is fun, great for the commute and for leisure rides. I would highly suggest it for the biker that is looking for a great quality folding bike.

-Tracy Dong

Click here to order your own Brompton folding bicycle!