Brompton: Small is beautiful

Brompton: Small is beautiful

Brompton: Small is beautiful

Bikes come in all shapes and sizes, with designs refined for their intended use, from super-light carbon race bikes for flying up mountain roads to sturdy downhill rigs for sending it on the way back down. Folding bikes are a relative newcomer to the party, solving the 'where can I put my bike?' conundrum, and while popular with commuters, they're also adept at longer journeys and even a little light touring.

Brompton, proudly based in London since 1975, are the market leader, and with good reason. They have always had one intention: to increase your sense of independence and freedom, no matter how crowded your life. They're ingeniously designed and surprisingly rewarding to ride.

There are a lot of very sound reasons for investing in a folding bike. They're convenient, packing down so you really can take them anywhere, squeezing in the boot of the car or on a train. If you live in a flat where space is at a premium and the suggestion of placing a bike in the hallway is greeted with frowns, a bike you can store in a cupboard is a no-brainer. And because it's inside, it's safe, secure and ready to go at a moment's notice.

At a time when we're all becoming more environmentally aware, a folding bike will allow you to top up your green points. You can easily combine different forms of transport for the most energy-efficient journeys, which will most likely be quicker than sitting in the traffic jam. Nip past all the cars, jump on the train, and ride to the pub quicker - that's a win in our book. Because a folding bike is so versatile you'll find that you use it more and find more opportunities to replace carbon heavy journeys.

They are also the solution to any worries you might have about security - it's so easy to take a folding bike with you that no longer will you need to leave it at the mercy of local scallywags while you grab the milk.

Brompton bikes come in a huge variety of styles with numerous colour options, gearing choices, handlebar styles, available with steel and titanium frames and with plenty of optional extras like mudguards, suspension and lights. But one constant is the way they ride - just like a normal bike. For nipping around the urban jungle there's nothing better suited.

Touring in style

A folding bike will allow you to really expand your horizons if you're after a little riding while on holiday. They're small enough for most airlines to count them as standard luggage, removing the pesky - and increasingly expensive - bulky luggage handling fees, or popping into the boot alongside the bucket and spade. They allow you to combine riding with bus and train journeys on your cycling days out, and because they're so easy to fold up and carry you don't need to worry about where to leave them while you visit the sights.

Brompton have even collaborated with modern-day cycling tsar David Millar to create the limited edition Brompton CHPT3, specifically designed for David to use when he visits cities around the world. If it's good enough for a former professional cyclist, it's good enough for us.

Come on down and have a chat about your ideal Brompton. One test ride - and one test fold - and you'll be convinced, just like us, that small really is beautiful.

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