Comparing Birdy Folding Bikes and Bromptons

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Comparing Birdy Folding Bikes and Bromptons

These two high end folding bikes are similar in many way and very different in others. At first glance they appear to be about the same general price and weight. They both fold small, the Brompton a bit smaller, but still each is relatively compact. How do the Brompton and Birdy folding bike compare to one another?

Relative dimensions (viewed from the side):

  • Brompton folding bikes - 23in tall x 22.2in wide x 10.6in deep (~5412 cubic inches)
  • Birdy folding bikes - 21in tall x 30in wide x 15.4in deep (~9702 cubic inches)
  • The Brompton is about 55% the volume of a Birdy folding bike when folded. That could be a deal breaker for some but its not so bad. It's tough to show up the worlds most compact folding bike.

Which's the fastest to fold?

  • Brompton folding bikes - 10 to 15 seconds
  • Birdy folding bikes - 15 to 20 seconds
  • The Brompton folds around 5 seconds quicker than the Birdy, not bad Birdy!

How about weight?

  • Brompton folding bikes - As little as 19.5 lbs for titanium Bromptons and 22 to 25 lbs for steel bikes
  • Birdy folding bikes - Between 22 and 26 lbs, titanium Birdys are rare outside of Japan (though we have one hanging on our ceiling!)
  • Steel Bromptons and aluminum Birdys fall in the same weight range. Stock titanium Bromptons can get a bit lighter.

How do they ride?

  • The Brompton's steel frame and rear suspension make for a pretty good ride though 16 inch wheels and a hard nosed (unsuspended) front end make it a bit rougher. A practical commuter bike at heart.
  • Birdy folding bikes have front and rear suspension and 18 inch wheels to smooth out the bumps. That along with a hinge-less main frame for offer the rider a stiffer ride. The Birdy is a fast road bike at heart, a performance folding bike.
  • I've ridden my steel Brompton M6L 150 miles in one day with no problem. The Birdy's hinge-less aluminum main frame gives it a better power transfer rate with less flex under heavy pedaling. Either folding bike is good for everyday use but the Birdy is geared more towards going fast whereas the Brompton is meant to be the ultimate folding commuter bike.

Summing it all up:

  • The Brompton folding bike is all around more portable and user friendly but is not as fast.
  • The Birdy folding bike is a stiffer ride that leans more towards fast road riding but cannot quite match the portability of the Brompton. It's compact but not that compact.

That covers the basics, the rest is up to you. How will you decide which of these two top of the line folding bikes is right for you? Well you could also go over our Birdy folding bike FAQ page but I'd print this page out and then just go down the list and rate each bullet in terms of how much it's worth to you from 1 to 5. In the end you can tally up the scores and the bike with more points is your ideal bike. Of course one may be more or less expensive but in the end you should go with what your happiest with. Good luck!