So, you're not certain what type of Brompton folding bike you have? (And what's more, why does it even matter?)
Well, most of the time it doesn't matter - as long as you're happy and comfortable riding your Brommie! But there are certainly times when you may be asked (booking a service, talking to another Brompton owner, recommending one to a friend) or if you're looking to buy, and then it's handy to know what your steed actually is!
Most Bromptons have a model code consisting of three parts:
- Handlebar height
Firstly, let's look at handlebar heights:
Until recently there have been four to choose from:
- S = Short/straight/sporty
- M = Medium
- P = 'Pretzel' (discontinued from March 2019)
- H = High
Can't spot the difference between the M and H bars? It's not actually the handlebars themselves, but the handlebar stem, as highlighted in the comparison below:
Next is gearing.
Bromptons are available in a choice of 1, 2, 3 and 6 gears. The easiest way to spot how many gears a Brompton is set up with is to look at the handlebars.
- Single speed = no gear shifters ;)
- 2 speed = LH shifter
- 3 speed = RH shifter
- 6 speed = both LH & RH shifters
The shifters pictured above are the current 'under bar' shifters. Bromptons made prior to 2017 were fitted with 'over bar' (aka 'bunny ear') shifters, as shown on this 6 speed below.
The final part to deciphering your model code relates to mudguards.
- E = no mudgards (or fenders, as some refer to them as)
- L = fitted with mudguards
- R = fitted with mudguards and rear rack
So there you have it. You now know that if you have a Brompton with medium height handlebars, 6 gears and mudguards, it's model type is an M6L!
But wait! There's more!
There are also Bromptons called Superlight which means they have Titanium front and rear forks (and a few other components). In the picture below you can easily spot the unpainted grey titanium forks on the left hand Brompton, whereas the Brompton on the right is a full-steel model.
That's the models decoded! So - what are you riding? :)