Known Issues & Problems with Brompton Products + Help, Solutions & Fixes

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
No ebike is perfect, this is a thread dedicated to sharing known issues or problems with electric bikes from Brompton as well as any help and solutions you know of. Sometimes that means a DIY fix and other times it can mean a recall, software update or part replacement by a dealer.

Please be respectful and constructive with feedback, this is not a space for hate speech. In many cases, representatives from the company will see feedback and use it to improve their product. In the end, the goal is to enjoy riding and help each other go further and be safer.
 

IAD-YYZ

New Member
Nightmare Experience with E-Brompton so far: I received my e-Brompton in early May. It seemed to work fine up until I returned it to the shop for it's 100-mile check-up. After that, it was a series of problems -- first with battery not engaging (could not get battery light to level 1,2, or 3) - or if it occasionally did, it would stop working with no warning and no apparent conditions. (Yes, I know how to properly install the battery -- it's not operator error).

I returned it to the dealer and was met with 2 weeks of silence. After repeated calls, finally the dealer offered an opinion that the battery was faulty and ordered a new one. More waiting. I started to offer my own troubleshooting steps. To prove it was battery, why didnt dealer just loan me a battery from one of his demo bikes? He did - and it worked sporadically. Any small bump would cause fault codes and no power - but then it would self-correct for a short time, only to fail repeatedly.

So I offered my next troubleshooting step (that a dealer should have offered). Why not replace the front wheel/motor assembly from the demo bike as well. Ah... that was a success. That configuration has worked well with the demo battery and demo motor.

I begged for him to order a new motor as well. After many calls, he said Brompton wasnt approving that action. In the meantime, the new battery arrived. I installed. No luck. Couldnt go to level 1,2,3 power.

So now here we are - almost three months later. To my surprise, dealer now says new motor has arrived -- but he is too busy and doesn't know when he will be able to install. Really? I spent about $7,000 there (my partner has another e-Brompton - that has mainly been ok -- except motor gives off clicking noise under higher load. I'm not mentally prepared to fight that one too).

A really bad experience - and still not resolved. Not happy with Brompton and really not happy with dealer. Am i being unfair?

thanks for listening
 
Last edited:

IAD-YYZ

New Member
Hi -- I wrote the same note as above to Brompton - and things moved quickly after that. The dealer installed a new battery and a new motor assembly -- and that fixed it. Despite my experience, I still believe e-bromptons are amazing bikes. The are so portable. We keep 2 in the trunk (boot) on the ready. These have to be the lightest e-bikes on the market. It wouldn't be difficult to ride even if the battery dies. thanks for listening
 

David2020

New Member
I owned a three speed Brompton not electric for some years, fantastic bike I used it daily to get around London, illness stoped my daily cycling.
With the Covid 19 Attack, I no longer wanted to use the London underground, on looking at options I discovered the Brompton E bike.

I purchased one at a cost of £3025. The Brompton E bike has problems that need addressing, I have wrote to Brompton expressing my concerns.
problems are all related to the electric motor, Battery/brain and controller.

After four weeks the bike would cut out for no reason all the battery indicator lights would turn off and then it would return to life, not good when entering a busy junction.
The bike was returned to a Brompton Junction store where a firmware Update and system reset were carried out. The bike was great for the next two weeks.
Then further motor issues started, the bike completely failed, motor fault lights were present.
On turning the power off and back on the bike would run again for around a mile and then the problem would repeat, at the same time the motor got louder and louder sounding as though a bearing had gone dry and as though it had started to break apart.
The bike was again returned to Brompton Junction, this time a new motor and controller were fitted.

i recommenced Brompton to a work colleague who then also purchased the same bike, after four weeks his bike was returned to Brompton Junction and a new motor was fitted, his problems were similar but the motor on his bike was also making a loud clicking noise. He is yet to forgive me for recommending Brompton to him.

Reading IAD-YYZ experience, and listening to Brompton, I was informed that the battery and motor have to be paired to each other, all System updates are done through the USB port of the battery.

i contacted Brompton customer services, I was told they are aware of the issues with the motor and are working on resolving this, they also stated that the bikes are fairly new and teething issues are to be expected, sales began in 2017 it’s now 2020 and problems still exist!

Brompton Junction Covent Garden have been fantastic attending to the issues quickly and providing free loan bikes whilst repairing mine.
They have listened to my complaints and frustrations and apologised for problems I am encountering on behalf of Brompton.

i will update this once I receive a reply from Brompton to the Letter I sent them.

Brompton are a great company making fantastic folding bikes, they are now being let down by faulty motors and electrics.
in turn they are letting down their customers and employees by selling a product with known issues.

I have another Brompton on order for a family member, fair to say this is not electric and I am considering cancelling this order due to the problems I am encountering.

come on Brompton you spent years building a reputation don’t let faulty components spoil it.

Re- Ann M comment, when a bike fails unexpectedly and in the case of a e bike loses the power the rider is expecting it becomes very very dangerous.
 

IAD-YYZ

New Member
David -- thanks for responding to this forum. I had thought i was alone in my problem. Your issues with motor cutting out repeatedly were common for me.

Gee - now after about 60 miles on the new motor, it has developed the infamous loud clicking sound. Looks like the adventure isnt over yet. Will head to the dealer.

I do think Brompton is a good company (we have 2 other non motor versions in the other town we live) -- but seems it might be time for a reboot on e-brompton and re-engineer to version 2.0?

Curious to get any other experiences out there.

thanks
 

David2020

New Member
Hi IAD-YYZ

you are definitely not alone, what surprises me is there is a lack of forums with complaints regarding the electrics on these bikes.
i searched for information prior to purchasing and found no negative comments regarding these bikes.
when I visited the Brompton junction store workshop they had many in for repair. One in the bike stand had the same issues as mine, the mechanic said he would do both at the same time.

like you I believe that Brompton are a good company, down side with the electric bike is reliability for the premium charged.
A standard Six speed bike would have cost me around £1450 with premium paint colour, the e bike without additional bag Is a further £1475,
over double the cost for what so far as only been a constant inconvenience.

My original Brompton had no faults and only needed to go to the store for a yearly service.

My work colleague and myself purchased our bikes in late May 2020, his motor failed after four weeks, mine between 6-7 weeks, his commute is Nearly double mine, mile for mile both bikes have failed at a similar distance.

These numbers may assist:
Brompton Factory / head office 0044 208 232 8484
Brompton Junction Covent Garden 0044 207 836 5700 ask for the workshop.

Williams advance Engineering were involved in the development of the Brompton motors and electrics and I am going to contact them regarding the issues I have.
Their website is worth a visit, Wae.com Brompton bike information can be found on their website under Electrification, here you will find the year they were employed to assist in the development using their expertise!!

Hope you get yours sorted quickly.
 

IAD-YYZ

New Member
Hi David

Thanks for moral support. I too am surprised there is not more internet traffic on this issue. We can't be the only ones.

My motor clicking noise started up today after 15 minutes - and then after a brief stop - magically disappeared. Makes trouble-shooting really difficult. I recorded the noise from yesterday's ride.

Appreciate the phone number for the Brompton mother ship. I wont trouble your dealer - since I'm USA/Canada based.

good luck
Steve
 

IAD-YYZ

New Member
Brompton has decided they will replace the motor. The clicking noise internal to the motor has not gone away in several days of riding.

I appreciate that Brompton stands behind their products.
 

Blacky

New Member
Hi,
I bought my electric Brompton end of August this year in Antwerp (Belgium) in a well-known i-bike store and suddenly when I was cycling yesterday (I was with my caravan on a cycling weekend) the motor stopped working. Very annoying because I continued my trip (30 km - up and down around Brussels) without electric support.
I worked but I was very tired 😅
Now I found the following info on the Brompton site:
https://brompton.zendesk.com/hc/en-...iables-That-Affect-The-Brompton-Electric-Bike
They speak of calibration the first 30 seconds when you turn the battery on.
The dealer never gave me this information.
Next week Tuesday I have an appointment with my dealer to address this issue.
On the other hand I found also info that you can not ride on a somewhat rougher road while this is also dangerous for the motor.
Thanks for your feedback,
Walter
 

David2020

New Member
Hi,
I bought my electric Brompton end of August this year in Antwerp (Belgium) in a well-known i-bike store and suddenly when I was cycling yesterday (I was with my caravan on a cycling weekend) the motor stopped working. Very annoying because I continued my trip (30 km - up and down around Brussels) without electric support.
I worked but I was very tired 😅
Now I found the following info on the Brompton site:
https://brompton.zendesk.com/hc/en-...iables-That-Affect-The-Brompton-Electric-Bike
They speak of calibration the first 30 seconds when you turn the battery on.
The dealer never gave me this information.
Next week Tuesday I have an appointment with my dealer to address this issue.
On the other hand I found also info that you can not ride on a somewhat rougher road while this is also dangerous for the motor.
Thanks for your feedback,
Walter
Hi Walter
i too was not told by the dealer to wait 30 seconds, the battery will turn off on a uneven surface but should turn back on.
This was the start of my issues, Brompton reset the bike. But the real problems then started. I have now had the motor changed and for the last three weeks I have had no issues. No cut outs no Motor clicking etc. Brompton also issued notification last week of a new firmware update, mine is booked in for this in two weeks time. There is a Facebook group Brompton Electric Owners may be worth a visit, this is a private group just request to join. Lots of owners on here.
when the bike is operating as it should it’s a Brompton to love, a remarkable piece of engineering trouble is when stops, it’s just scrap metal and a inconvenience to its owner and back to the shop again.
Can not fault customer service at Brompton Junction or Brompton they will help. Brompton however know of the motor issues and need to get this permanently resolved and fast. Have not heard of similar complaints about Go Cycle Bikes.
 

IAD-YYZ

New Member
Hi Blacky

My tale of woe is above with repeated failures and the annoying clicking sound.

Brompton replaced motor and battery - and all has been great for about 500 miles. Based on new stable set-up: I sometimes do the 30 second pause at the beginning - sometimes not. I have found it does NOT seem to make a difference. I've always taken a good number of bumps and it doesnt turn off. We've done various rides on rails-to-trails with packed dirt/gravel and it's been fine.

Just keep working with Brompton -- even make noise about getting new motor if problem persists. There is hope.
 

Blacky

New Member
So nice to hear this.
Because if I’m honest I love the bike very much even without battery.
But I will buy a normal e-bike to for bigger tours.
Which brand name and model would you recommend me?
Have a nice Sunday- here in Brussels the weather is marvellous.
Walter
 

IAD-YYZ

New Member
Hi Walter

Not sure how you define bigger tour -- but e-Brompton should take you 40+ kms (in battery level 1). Now that motor is sorted, I can see doing longer trips reliably. I like lighter weight of brompton compared to other e-bikes.

Beautiful day in Wash DC suburbs too. Had planned to be in Belgium/Denmark this summer -- but pandemic had other ideas.
Be well.