If you want to build a custom Brompton folding bike from scratch and see changes in price and weight reflected in real time you should check out our custom built Brompton folding bike tool.
Being comfortable on a folding bike, or any bike, is all about the seat (or saddle if you want). You just won't be happy if your saddle doesn't fit you right. So isn't it nice that you can fit any saddle you want onto your Brompton folding bike? It may not seem like a big deal but some folding bikes can only accept propriety seats designed and built by the company. Why? I dunno, save weight maybe? Regardless you want to pick the right seat for your Brompton folding bike right? So let's get started.
There are 4 options when custom building a Brompton folding bike. You can get no seat, which means you also do not get the penta-clip hardware to attach a saddle. You can get the Brompton unisex seat which fits everyone nicely and is a very satisfactory seat. And you can get a Brooks B-17 Champion Special leather seat. This is my personal favorite and that of pretty much everyone else here at NYCeWheels. Let's take a look at each of these Brompton saddle options.
If you choose to go with no saddle you'll have to provide your own saddle and saddle hardware. This may be a good option for you if you are going to transfer the seat from your old bike to your Brompton. The penta-clip is pretty nice though because it allows you to get step-less saddle adjustment. In other words you don't have settle with one of the notches in the adjustment hardware. With the penta-clip you can dial in the perfect setting, fine tuning it over time.
The standard Brompton folding bike saddle is the most popular option. This is probably because it feels great when you're riding, offers good cushioning, and fits almost everyone's needs. Also, many people choose to go with the standard Brompton seat even if they plan to use their own saddle because they get the penta-clip included and can use the Brompton saddle on their old bike or as a backup.
With a Brooks saddle you're getting one of the finest, most beautiful looking (in my humble opinion) seats you can buy. The hand hammered rivets and gorgeous leather add an air of distinction to any bike, especially an English one like the Brompton folding bike. But looks aren't all, the Brooks is also one of the most comfortable bike seats out there. Why? Because it is smooth, stays cool, allows ventilation, and molds to your sit bones fitting you perfectly. Normal saddles with foam and gel may seem like they would be more comfortable than leather but the fact is these saddles do not support your weight as well and little pockets of gel and foam push up into you (if you know what I mean). This leads to uncomfortable spots and rubbing, not fun. A Brooks supports you without pushing up into you. In this way it allows your legs to move freely and reduces friction that causes irritation.
All that said, seats and saddles come down to personal preference and comfort. Consider what you like and how you like to ride and if you need help get in touch with us for more.