Brompton Electric Folding Bike Reviews

RickyBikes

Member
Region
USA
The Brompton Electric Folding Bike is an electric folding bike from one of the more iconic folding bike companies in the world. Bromptons have had their same signature design since they launched in London in the 1970’s. They start at $3,550.00 and have a few upgrades available. Bromptons are an item of utility; they’re a function over form ride. Brompton’s electric bike comes in two colors (black and Turkish green), and has both a 2-speed and 6-speed model for an additional $250. This is a class-one electric bike, meaning pedal assist only up to 20mph.

The Brompton Electric Folding Bike came to the US only a couple years ago, so it’s fun to see that Court covered a NYCe Wheels Custom Electric Brompton back in 2014. NYCe Wheels outfitted a traditional Brompton folding bike with a Crystalite motor. You can see that review here!






While I haven't reviewed this electric bike myself, I have covered similar eBikes and I wanted to provide some insights and open things up for your feedback. I hope providing several sources, with varying perspectives, allows everyone to come to their own conclusions. Sometimes short reviews and those created by shops only cover the good aspects and can come off like a commercial, so I've tried to be neutral and objective with these insights:


Pros - things that are considered good:
  • The reason one purchases a Brompton is for its portability and compact folding size. These bikes can go on buses, planes, trains, and automobiles; they are relatively lightweight and can be easily ridden without any pedal assist.
  • Brompton provides two seat options, the narrow, traditional firm seat and a wider seat to accommodate a wider range of riders for a comfortable micro cruise.
  • Brompton’s motor is covered by a two-year warranty, and the battery for two years or 500 charges. They have a 250W in-house produced Brompton motor designed specifically to fit the bike. The 36V 8.55Ah battery has a 20-45 mile range.
  • It’s nice to see a mud guard. The standover micro frame is designed to let people wear a variety of clothes on this bike, so preventing mud or water from being flung is a thoughtful consideration.
  • There are three settings on the internally geared hub., each one providing slightly more power. You can
  • Once the battery bag is attached it will automatically turn on. This is handy since it’s meant to be a portable bike to quickly get one from here to there.
  • Despite its size, Brompton states riders can vary in size from 4’6 to 6’8. Considering how compact and portable it is, that’s a flexible ride for a variety of people.
  • Aesthetically, the bike is what you expect from a Brompton. Any more integration and the bike would be sacrificing some utility for form. This is a functionable, compact bike that zips comfortably and gets commutes quickly.

Cons - tradeoffs, or things that are considered negative:
  • Bromptons are narrow, compact bikes designed to be carried on trains, buses, cars, and stored in small spaces, so riding something so small can feel twitchy at first. Riders of a taller stature like me (I’m 6’3) will take more time getting used to the narrow handlebars and small 16” wheels.
  • The motor is considered noisy, according to Thomas Ricker, emitting a high-pitched whine, and there’s a slight delay before the motor kicks in, once you’ve started pedaling. The power is not terribly intuitive and leaves a bit to be desired.
  • The battery mount is plastic and the battery bag looks odd; it can be noisy when riding on any sort of bumpy terrain like cobblestone streets or brick roads. This may be personal preference, but I’ve ridden bikes with mostly rear hub and mid-drive motors, so the battery weight on the front of the bike, and the front-hub motor might make riders feel like they’re being pulled and limit stability.
  • There is no kickstand. This isn’t surprising since Bromptons are made to be folded down and used to get around; they’re compact, light and portable.
  • The lights offer no visibility during the daytime, and minimal light at night. There’s a reflective striping on the tires which is a handy safety feature, but this bike would benefit from upgraded lights or zipping around during the day.

As always, I welcome feedback and additions to these pros and cons, especially from people who have tried or own the bike. If you see other great video reviews for the Brompton Electric Folding Bike, please share them and I may update this post ongoing so we can get the best perspectives and insights.

Other Sources:
Brompton Electric bike review: remarkably practical - The Verge
 

RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I own this bike in a color that you didn't mention, the blue lacquer finish. I have the M6L. I don't find the motor noisy, but the bike is designed to UK regulations and the motor cuts out at 15.8 mph (according to my Garmin). There is no throttle and it has a torque sensor. There is about a quarter turn of the crank before the motor kicks in. The battery mounts on the luggage mount and is very light. The mount is very solid and doesn't feel like it will break. There is no feeling that the bike is being pulled by the motor, just that it easier to pedal. Front hub motors can slip a little on gravel, but I have only ridden it on pavement so far. The kickstand criticism is unfair because you can just fold the rear wheel under the bike and it will stand on its own. There is no need for a kickstand on a Brompton. All Bromptons, including the non-electric, have twitchy steering, but you won't notice it after the first five minutes. The fold is the same as the non-electric version and it is very small. I can easily fit two Bromptons in the back of my small SUV with lots of room for other stuff. I can't speak to the light as I haven't used it at night yet. I have a B&M light on my non-electric Brompton that works well.

This isn't my bike, but shows the parked position of the Brompton. Just lift up on the seat and the rear wheel will swing out and lock into place again.

Picture2_85.png
 

RickyBikes

Member
Region
USA
I own this bike in a color that you didn't mention, the blue lacquer finish. I have the M6L. I don't find the motor noisy, but the bike is designed to UK regulations and the motor cuts out at 15.8 mph (according to my Garmin). There is no throttle and it has a torque sensor. There is about a quarter turn of the crank before the motor kicks in. The battery mounts on the luggage mount and is very light. The mount is very solid and doesn't feel like it will break. There is no feeling that the bike is being pulled by the motor, just that it easier to pedal. Front hub motors can slip a little on gravel, but I have only ridden it on pavement so far. The kickstand criticism is unfair because you can just fold the rear wheel under the bike and it will stand on its own. There is no need for a kickstand on a Brompton. All Bromptons, including the non-electric, have twitchy steering, but you won't notice it after the first five minutes. The fold is the same as the non-electric version and it is very small. I can easily fit two Bromptons in the back of my small SUV with lots of room for other stuff. I can't speak to the light as I haven't used it at night yet. I have a B&M light on my non-electric Brompton that works well.

This isn't my bike, but shows the parked position of the Brompton. Just lift up on the seat and the rear wheel will swing out and lock into place again.

Picture2_85.png
Thank you for the clarifications! Was the blue lacquer finish an upgraded paint color?