This is far and away the most important choice when it comes to building your Brompton. The handlebar heights on a Brompton are fixed heights, meaning they cannot be adjusted. The 4 handlebar options offered by Brompton each cater to a specific type of riding style, so there’s something for everyone! We’ll break down each handlebar so help you choose the right one.
S Type: The S handlebar features a straight handlebar, very much like a traditional hybrid or mountain bike. The S can stand for “sport” or “short” depending on the rider, but it is the lowest of the 4 handlebar positions that Brompton offers. The S bar is preferred by those who like to ride fast, or for shorter folks looking for the most comfortable ride. If you’re below 5’5″, the S will be a comfortable ride and keep you in a nice heads up position. For most, the S bar is great if you’re coming off of a road bike, or used to riding bikes that have you put some weight on your hands and keep you in a more forward and aerodynamic position. The total length of the bar is 935 mm, and the S is the lightest handlebar setup, but is also the only bar that is limited in luggage selection due to the larger bags interfering with cables. If you’re looking to load a big front bag, you might want to go with the M type. We recommend the S for those looking for a fast sporty ride to tackle those city sprints through traffic.
M Type: The M handlebar is far and away the most popular handlebar that Brompton offers. It’s a medium upright riding position that is preferred among most commuters. The M handlebar for most people strikes a nice middle ground in terms of upright riding, vs forward leaning riding. It allows you to cruise comfortably when you want to, but also get in an aerodynamic position when you need to pick up some speed. For shorter folks this bar may feel a bit too upright depending on your preference, and vise versa for taller folks above 6’3″ causing you to be too lent over. The semi-upright position strikes a perfect balance for most, and is an all around joy to ride. For most people, if you’re having trouble deciding, the M handlebar is always a safe choice. It is 1015 mm in height, and is the most popular choice among Brompton riders around the world.
H Type: The H might look exactly like the M at first glance, but it offers a totally different ride characteristic. The H adds another 2 inches of extension from below and above the folding joint, giving it the most upright riding position of all the Brompton handlebars. You’ll be riding heads up at all times, and it is extremely comfortable to cruise around on. For folks struggling with back pains, or for those who just want something as comfortable as possible, the H is a great way to go! Taller folks might find this bar to have the same effect as the M, but for most this will feel just like riding that classic beach cruiser down the boardwalk with a smile on your face. This handlebar brings most of your weight onto the saddle, and goes great with the Brompton wide saddle or a Brooks saddle. The H is 1072 mm in height.
P Type: This is definitely the most unique bar that Brompton offers. It features a butterfly style handlebar and is the only Brompton handlebar that offers multiple riding positions. The higher end of the bar is 1033 mm in height, and the lowest position is 880 mm in height, giving you the effect of having the M and the S handlebar all on one bike! It was designed mostly for touring, where you’ll be spending lots of time in the saddle, allowing you to avoid pains in your hands by switching positions every now and then. It is a great option for those looking to tour long distances (yes, you can tour 100’s a miles on a Brompton no problem) or for those commuters who want a touch of versatility in their ride. The lower position does not have brakes, so ride with caution when using it. Naturally because of the large bar, the P type is the heaviest of the handlebars, but the weight differences between them all is very marginal.
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