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How to Fold and Unfold a Brompton Bicycle

  • Saturday 15 / 03 / 2014 0
How to Fold and Unfold a Brompton Bicycle

We love introducing people to Brompton folding bikes in person, but we often ship them to customers who may never have touched one, in places without any local dealer. While folding and unfolding and simple adjustments aren't hard, the first time can be a little daunting, so we worked with Russ & Laura from The Path Less Pedaled to create this instructional video with our newest staff member Amy. We think they all did a great job! For extra added authenticity, Amy had never touched a Brompton herself a few days before the shoot, but she looks like a pro! And so will you. Some people get competitive!

Congratulations on buying your Brompton. This video is going to show you everything you need to know about getting your Brompton ready for its first ride. When you first get your Brompton you’ll need a multi-tool to make a few adjustments. When you open the box, this is what you’ll find: your Brompton, a hinge clamp, a manual, and a saddle. Before we do anything, let’s take a look at the various parts of the Brompton: handlebar, seat pillar, seat pillar quick-release clamp, front wheel, rear wheel, rear triangle, and hinge. The first step after you’ve unboxed your Brompton is to attach the hinge clamps. Simply screw the bolt into the frame with the aluminum clamp opening facing the frame. You want to thread it only part way. Let’s install your saddle now. Simply place the saddle on the seat pillar and tighten the bolt on the penta clip. If you have a telescoping or extending seat pillar, you’ll need to first undo both quick release clamps, then insert the short section of seat post and close the quick-release clamps.

Unfolding Your Brompton

Now we’re ready to unfold your Brompton. To begin, stand on the left side of the bike, which is the same as the folding pedal. This will make unfolding process a lot easier. Think of folding and unfolding your Brompton as a five-step process.

Step 1: Unfold the folding pedal.

Step 2: Raise the seat pillar.

Step 3: Clamp handlebars. Reach down with your left hand and raise the handlebar into position using a sweeping motion. Once the handlebars are in place, spin the clamp closed so that it is finger tight.

Step 4: Clamp mainframe. Grip the handlebar stem just above the clamp with your left hand. Lift the stem slightly so the wheel catch clears the frame. Then, with a sweeping motion, bring the front wheel around. Make sure that the front wheel is at a slight angle. Remember that the front wheel will always point forward. Then tighten the clamp.

Step 5: Swing the rear wheel out. Lift the rear of the bike with the saddle and swing the rear wheel into place. You will hear a click when it locks into place. Now you’re ready to ride. Now let’s go over how to fold your Brompton.

Folding Your Brompton

Step 1: Swing the rear wheel under. Stand on the left side of the Brompton, turn the handlebar slightly to the left and position your pedals so the folding pedal is pointed towards the front of the bike. Reach down with your right hand and undo the locking mechanism at the rear of the bike. Lift the rear of the bike so the wheel swings under the bike.

Step 2: Unclamp the mainframe. Undo the hinge clamp from the mainframe. Grip the handlebar stem just above the clamp with the palm of your left facing back towards you. Lift and sweep the front of the bike and make sure that the axle hook rests on the chainstay.

Step 3: Unclamp the handlebars. Loosen the handlebar clamp and let the handlebar swing closed.

Step 4: Lower the seat pillar. Release the seat pillar clamp and fully lower the seat pillar.

Step 5: Fold the pedal. Close the folding pedal by pushing upward in the center of the pedal.

Now your Brompton’s fully folded. You can carry it or roll it with you. With practice, these five steps will roll together into one fluid motion.

Extra Bonus Pro Tips

To help your Brompton fit better, there are a few adjustments you can make. You can rotate the handlebars slightly forward and backward to fine-tune the reach of your bike. You can also adjust the saddle fore and aft on the rails or flip the penta clip to push the saddle back even further. One of the tricks to owning a Brompton is figuring out how much seat post to pull out for your height. A good starting point is to raise a saddle so that when it is flush under your arm you can just reach the center of the cranks. This will give you a good starting point for saddle height. One feature of the Brompton is that you can use it as a shopping cart, if you have a Brompton front bag. We hope you enjoyed this video. Now get out there and ride. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your Brompton.

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