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Which Brompton is right for me?

When looking to buy your first Brompton, “which one?” is the most important question to get right.

To help customers determine which model will suit them best, we prefer to ask you to come into our store and test ride our demo Bromptons. But what if you live too far away? What if Coronavirus has you stuck at home?

The basic guidelines on how to choose which model will be best for you are as follows:

  1. Choose your riding position
  2. Choose your gearing
  3. Choose between Rear Rack, Mudguards or nothing at all

Determining the model code of your ideal Brompton using the above guide above works just fine if you’re ‘average’. (If you aren’t familiar with Brompton model codes, have a quick read of our previous blog post.)

But what if you’re not average?

Here are four examples customers you may be able to relate to:

“Ashley”
When it comes to buying slacks, Ashley knows they will always, 100% of the time, need to be taken up. A lot. We’re talking more than a quick hemming job here.

When Ashley is considering which riding position (i.e. handlebar height) will be most suitable, they also need to keep in mind that their saddle height will be shorter than ‘average’. An S-type Brompton will give Ashley the same riding position as an ‘average’ person would enjoy on an M or H type Brompton because they don't need their saddle as high as an 'average' person would.

“Brooke”
Brooke is seriously considering wearing a helmet 24/7 because everything - especially door lintels - are built too low.

Long legs might turn heads, but when it comes to turning pedals a cramped cockpit is the last thing you need. With a telescopic seatpost and a M-type Brompton, we can assist Brooke find an ergonomic fit - similar to what an ‘average’ person would enjoy on an S-type Brompton.

“Cassidy”
Although roughly average in height, Cassidy is worried about one or two hills - and the number of years it’s been (decades, in fact) since last riding a bike. Cassidy isn’t a “young thing” any more and a few body parts aren’t as flexible as they used to be.

Riding a Bromptons is like, well, riding a bike. Once you’ve learnt how to ride - even if that was decades ago - it doesn’t take long for the muscles to remember what to do. Regaining your bike skills and confidence just takes a bit of regular practice.

Cassidy will start out with the seatpost a little lower than the height it “should” be at, so they can put their feet flat on the ground while still in the saddle, but at a stop. Their riding position at this stage is a little more upright than what it will be later, once the saddle height creeps up in line with Cassidy's regained confidence. Many riders who experience stiffness in the neck, shoulders, wrists, lower back (etc) often find a more upright riding position more comfortable.

To assist with the ‘one or two hills’ Cassidy should consider a Brompton with 6 gears - we’d recommend one with reduced gearing (-12%). This will give them plenty of lower (easier) gears to help them up hills, as well as comfortable cruising options.

“Dani”
‘Light and fast’ are Dani’s only requirements. Hills are something other people get worried about.

If Dani enjoys arriving (anywhere) clean, then an S2L is the way to go. If dirt doesn’t matter, then an S2E.

Going one step further, Dani might consider a “superlight Brompton” - these models combine the classic steel brazed main frame with a titanium ("Ti") front fork, rear triangle and a few other Ti components.

Q: Why not a single speed Brompton?
A: That’s certainly an option for anyone who wants it. Keep in mind that a single speed Brompton will not have the perfect elliptic chainline as on a regular single speed/fixed gear bike thanks to the chain tensioner.  Weighing only ~190g more than a single speed and with the benefit of an easier gear for hills, most of our customers choose a 2 speed Brompton when they want ‘light and fast’.

What now?

If you're still not sure, that’s ok - we can all relate to being 'not average' in some aspect. Why not send us an email, or give us a call, and we’ll help you through all the options.

Figured out what will suit you? Great! Head over to our online store and start shopping! Send us an email if you don't see exactly what you want; we can either get it in (if it's a handlebar height + colour) or make it for you (if it's gearing or accessories).

Either way, you can enjoy riding your new Brompton in no time!