Some people are fair weather cyclists and some people will ride through a thunderstorm. We've all heard you can't please everyone, but the folks at Brompton folding bikes try their hardest to do just that. Compared to other folding bike manufacturers they may seem to lack in variety on the surface, but where other companies focus on producing many wildly different folding bikes, Brompton focuses on taking the Brompton folding bike design and making it infinitely customizable.
Along with choosing from 3 different Brompton folding bike handlebars and setting yourself up with the right Brompton folding bike tires, choosing whether or not you want a rack and fenders is one of the most important parts of customizing your Brompton folding bike. And just like with the handlebars and tires, it's not as complex a choice as it seems at first. Let's take a look at each model to figure out what Brompton folding bike version works best for you.
The E for Empty which denotes this version of the Brompton is not meant to detract from it in any way. It simply means there are neither fenders nor a rack. The E version is not only the cheapest option it is also the lightest, fastest, and cleanest looking. On the other hand, the E bike is less stable when folded (the Brompton usually rests on its rear fender), won't protect you and your clothing from water and mud on the road, and in line with its lightweight appeal it does not come with a air pump.
People usually choose the E type for its slick look and lower price tag, though the weight savings is nothing to scoff at either. For leisure riders and fair weather cyclists this is the ideal Brompton folding bike. If you're looking for even further weight savings check out the titanium Brompton.
L Bromptons have fenders with mudguards. This adds a bit of weight and price to the bike, but it's well worth it. Even if you don't plan on riding your Brompton folding bike in the rain, you will occasionally find yourself either caught in it or riding through puddles the day after. Fenders are a practical option which most people are very happy with in the end.
The R Brompton has a rack and fenders. I call the R bike the ultimate Brompton folding bike because it is ready for anything. The fenders keep you clean and dry while the rack provides plenty of extra storage space should the need arise. The Brompton rear rack can easily hold 20 lbs of luggage and folds right under with the rear wheel to double as a very stable flat surface on which to park the bike.
R Bromptons are the most direct decedents of the original Brompton folding bike and remain true to the no task too big mentality. People tackle everything form fully loaded tours to daily errands with these folding bikes. With the addition of Eazy wheels and a front basket the R Brompton can be rolled along half folded like a shopping cart, a popular way to go light grocery shopping. Having a rack makes the Brompton folding bike more stable and easier to roll when folded.
Be sure to think carefully about how you will be using your Brompton folding bike. You don't want to end up trying to race a bike meant to carry cargo or tour on a bike without fenders and a rack. Use our custom Brompton folding bike tool to play with options and juggle features. It's sure to help you build your perfect Brompton folding bike.