What is a folding bicycle? What is Brompton?


What is a folding bicycle?

The folding world first of all classifies bicycles as:

Why is it wonderful?

Because unlike "normal" bicycles, a folder can be:

Not convinced yet? With a folder, you can:

And why not?

Pro's & con's of small wheeled bicycles

Wheels cannot be folded, and you need two of them, so if you want a somewhat compact folder, it has to sail on small wheels. Admitted, the ordinary big bicycle wheel:

But, on the other hand:

Hub vs. derailleur gears

While we're comparing things, some trade-offs of hub (or bottom bracket) and derailleur gears, both in relation to the ultimately simple fixed sprocket:
Hub gears Derailleur gears
  • cannot easily change gears while slow or stopped (neither can thieves)
  • regular maintenance required (cleaning, lubrification)
  • exposed, fragile mechanical parts
  • hard to encapsulate the drivetrain
    (but that seems impossible on a folder anyway)
  • possible to tune gear ratio's by choosing chainrings and sprockets

What is a Brompton?

Brompton is an English brand of folders. They have a few models that are variations on a patented frame. It makes the most compact folded package on the market, yet a very roadworthy bicycle. Therefore it is considered the best folding bicycle (as opposed to folding bicycle).