Gear selection on the Brompton varies depending on the type of rider, and where the rider is riding. The gear selection ranges from 1 to 6 gear, and every choice is designed to be low maintenance and effective for different situations. The most popular choice by far is the 6 gear, but we’ll take you through every option and tell you why each one could make sense for you.
1 Speed: Much like the joys of riding a fixed gear or single speed bicycle, the 1 speed Brompton takes you back to cycling’s routs of pure simplicity. No shifters, no derailleurs, just a chain and a single gear. The 1 Speed is a city dwellers choice, idea for riding on mostly flat terrain. The single gear makes the bike lightweight, but it does lack some versatility as far as where you can ride it. The stock gearing gives you 75 gear inches, which is actually the most preferred gear ration on full sized fixed and single speed bikes. Light enough where you can get started without killing your knees, but strong enough were you can still hold high speeds with a reasonable pedal cadence. This will be by far the lowest maintenance choice, ideal for short flat commutes.
2 Speed: Some call the two speed the perfect city bike. In NYC, we have lots of riders zipping through towns on 2 speed Bromptons. It keeps things simple, you get a gear for your flat ground riding and a gear for hill climbing. Around here, that climbing gear comes in handy for those bridge hills, and the top gear on the two speed offers plenty of speed! The tougher gear is exactly the same as the 1 speed’s gear, but having the extra lower gear is a game changer, making the bike versatile while still being lightweight. It’s a popular choice for the multimodal commuter who needs something light and fast. Without the weight of an internal gear hub, the 2 speed just over 1 lb lighter than it’s 3 and 6 speed couterparts. Overall the 2 Speed is great for city commuters looking for a lighter lower maintenance Brompton.
3 Speed: If you’ve ever ridden a Citi Bike, or any other bike share bike, it probably had a similar (if not exactly the same) 3 speed internal hub system. That’s because they’re so reliable, and can offer a nice selection of gears while still having a single speed drive train. Bike shares love this because that’s less work to maintain than a traditional derailleur setup, and that’s exactly the same reason people love the 3 speed Brompton! It’s equipped with a Sturmey Archer Brompton Standard Range (BSR) Hub, offering 3 evenly spaced gears. A gear for climbing steep hills, a gear for cruising, and a gear for pushing it fast! The 3 speed makes use of a wider single speed chain, just like the 1 speed, which is built tough and built to last! It provide a bit more versatility than the 2 speed with only a 1 lb weight difference due to the internal gear hub.
6 Speed: This is by far our most popular gear selection from our customers, and it’s simply because it’s the most versatile. The 6 speed gives you 6 evenly spaced gears, that are the same gear range as your average 24 speed hybrid bike. This means you can climb any hill, and pick up lots of speed if you want to. The 6 speed uses a combination of the shifting systems from the 2 speed and 3 speed, beautifully blending them together for a bulletproof and reliable ride. City dwellers may not feel they need 6 gears, but many Brompton riders find themselves riding in all kinds of places since the bike is so easy to travel with, and 6 gears will guarantee that you can enjoy your ride wherever you are. The 6 speed also allows you to be in a proper cadence just about all the time, and the cost increase from the 3 speed is only $80 on a new bike. You get double the gearing for $80! It’s a no brainier for most of our Brompton customers, which is why we keep so many in stock!
The Ultimate Brompton Buyers Guide by NYCeWheels Links:
- Fenders and Rack
- Frame Material
- Handlebar Choice
- Color Options
- After Market Options
- Luggage Options
- Tire Options
- Lighting Options