Bicycles

Brompton redesigns iconic folding bike for lightweight city riding

Brompton redesigns iconic fold...
At just 7.45 kg, the T Line folding city bike is reported to be the lightest Brompton ever
At just 7.45 kg, the T Line folding city bike is reported to be the lightest Brompton ever
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At just 7.45 kg, the T Line folding city bike is reported to be the lightest Brompton ever
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At just 7.45 kg, the T Line folding city bike is reported to be the lightest Brompton ever
The T Line features a new lightweight drivetrain that sits inside the fold
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The T Line features a new lightweight drivetrain that sits inside the fold
A redesigned folding mechanism includes self-aligning hinges and a spring-loaded handlebar catch
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A redesigned folding mechanism includes self-aligning hinges and a spring-loaded handlebar catch
The titanium frames are fabricated at a purpose-built production facility in Sheffield before being shipped to London, where the T Line bikes are assembled
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The titanium frames are fabricated at a purpose-built production facility in Sheffield before being shipped to London, where the T Line bikes are assembled
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Brompton has reworked its iconic folding bike design for what the company says is its lightest model ever. Thanks to the T Line's titanium frame, a new drivetrain and carbon fiber components, the finished bike comes in some 37 percent lighter than an original all-steel Brompton.

After three years of research and development, Brompton reckons that just about every part of the design has been "finessed, pared back, upgraded." In fact, about the only thing that's trickled through from the classic Bromptons is the brake system.

"We have gone over this entire product in the minutest detail, looking for every single gram we can find to save on weight," said the company's Will Carleysmith. "What we’ve ended up with in T Line is the sense that when you leave the house you can go anywhere. All of those shared environments you experience when exploring a city, the bike is not going to be a burden, and you can do whatever you want with ease. That’s a pretty amazing feeling!"

And that total weight? The T line tips the scales at just 7.45 kg (16.4 lb), not the lightest folding bike we've covered but it is a full 2 kg lighter than Brompton's recently launched P Line bikes.

The titanium frames are fabricated at a purpose-built production facility in Sheffield before being shipped to London, where the T Line bikes are assembled
The titanium frames are fabricated at a purpose-built production facility in Sheffield before being shipped to London, where the T Line bikes are assembled

For the Grade 9 titanium frame, Brompton partnered with engineering firm C W Fletcher to form a new company – Brompton Fletcher – and build a new production facility in Sheffield. The orbital and tig-welded frames are then shipped to London where Brompton adds in the other componentry and tunes the finished bike for city riding.

The T Line bike comes in two flavors, the single-speed One model and the Urban bike with a 60-g (2.1-oz) four-speed derailleur, each featuring a brand new patent-pending drivetrain that sits inside the fold.

The folding mechanism here is also different to other bikes in the company's range, sporting new self-aligning hinges, a spring-loaded handlebar catch, and a larger an "easy grab" carbon saddle with integrated nose handle. Brompton hasn't actually revealed folded dimensions for this model, but a P Line bike folds down to 645 x 585 x 270 mm (25.3 x 23 x 10.6 in) so we expect the new model to be about the same.

Rather than use a full carbon seatpost, which the company says wouldn't be up to the task of daily folding bike use, Brompton's engineers have come up with a steel-reinforced carbon design "that can take the abrasion of the fold, 110-kg [242.5-lb] load and all-weather riding."

The T Line features a new lightweight drivetrain that sits inside the fold
The T Line features a new lightweight drivetrain that sits inside the fold

Elsewhere, the T Line comes with a carbon crankset, aluminum pedal set, a titanium bottom bracket, lightweight 16-inch rims wrapped in puncture-resistant Schwalbe tires with 34-g (1.2-oz) polyurethane inner tubes, a one-piece carbon fork and a 560-mm (22-in)-wide carbon handlebar.

The Brompton T Line is available as two models, each with low or mid-rise handlebar options. The One version is priced at US$4,795 while the Urban bike costs $4,995. The video below has more.

T Line. This is Brompton Reinvented.

Product page: Brompton T Line

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5 comments
5 comments
PAV
Wow, so cool, and so expensive!
Nelson Hyde Chick
Anyone that would pay the asking price for this bike has more money than sense.
StanislawZolczynski
Expensive but for somebody driving his Bentley or Cayenne the price shouldn`t be the problem not to have in his trunk.
Oirinth
You'd think with a price tag that high they might have managed to fit internal cabling to make it easier to stow away when folded
Glen Aldridge
A full re-design could have included bringing the Brompton into the 21st century instead of re-making the same bike with lighter components. When you move up to $4 & $5,000. folding bikes you better have something very special & this doesn't seem in the same league as a GoCycle GX4 or even a United clone with Internal cabling, hydraulic disc brakes, 11 speed alfine hub, leather accessories, rear rack & Schwalbe Marathon tires - For $1500.!!!!