Question: Did you know there is a titanium Brompton? For some people that question sparks a bit of magic in their eye and they suddenly realize the Brompton will work for them. There are two different crowds here: those who have trouble lifting weight and those who just want the lightest folding bike they can get for performance reasons. Both find the titanium Brompton a great option among lightweight folding bikes.
You see, for most people the Brompton is easy to lift and maneuver, but for some people making it lighter by about 2 pounds makes a big difference. It means the difference between easily carrying it up the stairs or struggling a bit. It means the difference between lifting it into the trunk of their car by themselves or getting someone to lift it for them. Or, even if they can lift it a few times, repeatedly carrying it is just too much without taking some weight off. For these people a lightweight folding bike is a necessity and the titanium Brompton is a great option.
Racers and road bikers like to go fast. They want to lightest and most high performance of everything. For these people, choosing the right folding bike is a matter of finding the one that feels most like a road bike and then making it as lightweight as possible. The Brompton was designed as a folding commuter bike and not necessarily a go-fast folding bike. It is very compact and easy to fold but, with 16 inch wheels, not quite as fast as some folding bikes. A lot can be done to make it more high performance though, and a titanium frame usually goes along with eliminating fenders, mudguards, hub dynamos, and other extra weights.
Is a titanium Brompton all that much lighter than a normal Brompton? Opting for titanium frame components will reduce the weight of any Brompton model by 1.76 lbs. On a S1E that means you'll get as low as 19.5 lbs. On a Brompton with more options the weight will increase. For example: a P6R with rack, fenders, hub dynamo and standard seat weighs about 27 lbs, the same bike in titanium would weigh around 25.5 lbs.
Is a titanium Brompton fully titanium? No. Titanium is only used in the rear frame, the front fork, and the folding pedal bolt. Titanium is not used for the main frame, handlebars, or hinges. Steel is still used here in order to keep a rigid connection between handlebars and pedals. I've heard rumors of an all titanium Brompton sometime in the future, though nothing substantial.
So now you have some facts on the titanium Brompton. It's a very lightweight folding bike, great for people who need to cut down on weight to make the Brompton design work for them. To really see how adding titanium to a Brompton will effect weight and price I recommend using our custom Brompton folding bike tool. Remember, the Brompton is already a lightweight folding bike, but with titanium it can get even lighter.