At 6 feet 2 inches I'm taller than the average rider, so before my first commute on a Brompton folding bike I was pretty sure that I would feel like a I was in a circus act. I imagined myself in one of those old cartoons, an elephant on a unicycle, tipping back and fourth on a high wire, totally out of control. Not exactly the way I like to feel when riding a folding bike through New York City streets. Well, I was relieved to find that my paranoid delusions were quite off the mark.
If you're a taller rider, you're probably wondering if the Brompton folding bike will fit you. You certainly don't want to be an elephant on a tightrope! In fact, you want a folding bike that fits you perfectly and is comfortable to ride in every way. Brompton folding bikes are designed to accommodate riders of many different body types, but just as with regular bikes, there is no way to know if a folding bike will fit you until you ride it. If a test ride is not a viable option for you, you're in luck. This article outlines some of the features that make the Brompton folding bike ideal for taller riders.
The perfect fit depends entirely on your riding style. A racing bike with the right dimensions won't feel right for a rider who likes sitting upright. Accordingly, Brompton folding bikes have several features which allow you to tailor them to your needs. Before we get into it though, it is important to realize a simple truth: you can't make a folding bike feel exactly like a regular bike. Its dimensions are different, its construction is different, its intended use is different. Folding bikes are still very comfortable and enjoyable to ride, but because they are designed for convenience and portability, they don't have all of the characteristics of a regular bike. That said, let's take a look at what makes the Brompton folding bike one of the more comfortable folding bikes, especially for taller riders.
When it comes to fitting a bike to your body, seat post height is crucial. Many folding bikes trade off seat post length in order to reduce the size of the folded bike. The Brompton folding bike on the other hand has an optional telescopic seat post. This seat post extends an additional 7 inches, making the overall distance from the seat to the pedal at its lowest point 40 inches. This is more than enough for me (6 feet 2 inches), but some very tall riders may not be able to get a full pedal stroke. If your taller than 6 feet 2 inches your best bet is to come in for a test ride. That way you can be sure of a proper fit.
The other important dimension is handlebar height. The handlebars of a Brompton folding bike cannot be adjusted up and down, rather there are 3 types of handlebars which cater to riders of different styles. The S-type handlebars are straight and flat. They are the lightest and have the smallest profile, but they do not offer any rise. Tall riders who like a racing stance will like these, but for those looking for a regular stance, the classic M-type bar would be better. The M-type is about 4 inches taller than the S-type, and is the standard for Brompton folding bikes. The ideal bar for taller riders is a P-type bar. These bars have two grip height options, the upper at 40-3/4 inches and the lower at 34-3/4 inches, giving you the flexibility to move from an upright stance to a lower one if desired.
With several handlebar options and a telescopic seat post, Brompton folding bikes have the flexibility to fit riders of almost any height, especially taller ones. Don't settle for a folding bike that doesn't fit you perfectly. Take a look at the Brompton folding bike, it may just be the perfect folding bike for you.