How to travel the world on a Brompton

The first time I set eyes on a Brompton, well over a quarter of a century ago on the Lincolnshire coast, I thought it was a child’s bike. When the owner returned, he took great delight in demonstrating its folding mechanism, untangling the metal tubes and cables. I decided I wanted one but delayed making the purchase until I reached retirement.  Much of the decade since then has been spent travelling solo to well over 100 countries across six continents – with my Brompton in tow. It has accompanied me to 42 European capital cities and several African countries. Unlike conventional road bikes, the great advantage of the Brompton is its portability. When folded,

The Brompton bike has overcome its biggest drawback

Brompton is one of those brands that has Britishness baked into it; it’s the reason why the bike has become a status symbol amongst China’s metropolitan elites and why 75 per cent of Bromptons are exported. But it was always hard to tell whether riders loved the idea of the bike more than its reality. On paper, a folding bike is a no-brainer for city commuters short on space, but packing in so many mechanisms while keeping the bike light has proved more than a little challenging. If you’ve ridden a standard Brompton then – say it quietly – you’ll know that despite their massive success they do have a tiny bit of