Choosing the right tire for your Brompton folding bike is an important way to ensure you get the ride you expect. For example: Brompton's kevlar tire won't feel the same as a Schwalbe Kojak tire. They just roll differently on the road. It's not hard to pick the right tire once you know what's what, and by the end of this article you'll know more than most about Brompton folding bike tires. So lets dive in and get to know what makes one Brompton folding bike tire different from the next.
There are differences in materials and design which make one tire faster or more durable than another. With Brompton folding bike tires there are a few options to choose from. The first is a tire designed by the creator of the Brompton folding bike. It may seem odd that a folding bike company would designed their own tires, but the engineers were not satisfied with anything on the market, and so they built their own tire with the specific demands upon a 16 inch wheel in mind.
The Brompton tire is fast and relatively light, with decent puncture protection and reflective sidewalls. The kevlar version of the Brompton tire provides a much higher degree of puncture resistance and is a good bet for regular commuters. You can tell the difference between a Brompton tire and a Brompton kevlar tire by the colored strip on the side wall: yellow for regular, green for kevlar. For the Brompton purist there is no other tire. The next step up in durability is the Schwalbe Marathon.
At our shop based in New York City, we get people riding folding commuter bikes through some very rough streets. With that in mind, most of our Brompton folding bikes are equipped with Schwalbe Marathon tires. These tires have a bit more meat than the Brompton tire and can withstand the beating of New York's city streets better than any other. A different rubber composition and tread pattern make the Schwalbe Marathon one very grippy Brompton folding bike tire for all weather riding. This durability comes at the price of being a little slower and a little heavier. If you'll be commuting every day, rain or shine, on more demanding terrain you'll need a tire like the Schwalbe Marathon, built to take the abuse. This tire is also great for folding bike travel. If you're into racing your folding bike on the side however, you should consider the Schwalbe Kojak Brompton folding bike tire instead.
When people race Brompton folding bikes, you see the Kojak name on their tires. These Brompton folding bike tires are light, fast, and slick. If you want your Brompton folding bike to stay ahead of the pack, you'll want to have Kojaks. There is some puncture resistance, but the trade off for speed is a vulnerability. You can still commute on these, but you'll have to be much more careful about riding over road debris.
Spend a few moments considering how you'll be riding before choosing a Brompton folding bike tire. The rougher the terrain and the harder you ride the more likely you'll be happy with a Brompton kevlar or Schwalbe Marathon tire. If you're into racing or go-fast leisure riding you should consider a lighter faster tire like the Kojak. Whatever you decide to do, riding your Brompton folding bike is sure to be a blast.
Play with options and figure out exactly what you want from your Brompton folding bike. Use our custom Brompton folding bike tool to help, it makes building the perfect Brompton folding bike quick and easy.