Brompton is a folding bike maker based in London and it is well-known in the UK as well as Europe for high-quality and compact bikes. The problem is that their products come with a very hefty price and most people can’t afford to buy one.
The Brompton S1E is the lowest-specced and also the most affordable Brompton folding bike. Let’s check it out.
Specifications & Features
- Weight: 22.4 lbs (10.2 kg)
- Folded Dimensions: 22.2″ x 21.5″ x 9.8″ (56.4 x 54.6 x 24.9 cm)
- Speeds: 1
- Gear Ratio: 1 speed std ratio
- Frame: Steel
- Handle bar: S Type
- Suspension: standard
- Tires: Brompton Kevlar
- Wheels: 16″
- Lighting: reflectors only
- Mudguards: optional
- Front/Rear luggage: optional
- Shipping Carton Weight: 27.7 lbs
- Carton Dimensions: 24.5″ x 23″ x 11.5″
Before trying the Brompton, most of my folding bikes have 20-inch wheels and half-folded design. The Brompton S1E is so different as it can be folded to just one-third of its full size. Therefore, the folding/unfolding process is more complicated and time-consuming. Basically you will need to swing the rear wheel under to the parked position, open the clamp on the main frame, swing the front wheel to place against the rear wheel (the front wheel needs to be point forward), fold down the handlebar and attach it to the wheel. The process becomes slower because it takes quite some time to rotate the bolt to open or lock the clamp plates.
The Brompton bike is almost the smallest folding bike I’ve ever used. Even when I place it alongside the compact Dahon Speed Uno, it still looks significantly smaller. If you really need a small and lightweight folding bike, it is hard to beat the Brompton.
In terms of performance, I’m quite surprised with the comfort and riding experience on the small bike. Despite using the small 16-inch wheels, I still feel very comfortable riding the bike for over 30 minutes. The great performance is probably the result of the standard suspension block on top of the rear wheel. If you weigh over 176 lbs or you want a more responsive ride, you can choose the firm suspension block instead.
However, I’m not really satisfied with the transmission of the bike. As compared to Dahon single-speed bikes with 20-inch wheels, the bike is much slower and requires greater force for pedaling. It is almost impossible for me to ride up some low slopes.
- Compact design
- Great customer support
- Smooth and comfortable ride
- Durable components
- A lot of color combinations
- More complicated folding/unfolding process
- Not suitable for speedy rides or climbing hills
I highly recommend the compact bike, especially when you just need to ride in less than 20 minutes.