Brompton has entered the e-bike market with the announcement of its new Brompton Electric, a familiar-looking folder based on the brand’s classic design, with an added 250W front hub motor and a battery bag which sits on the front of the bike.
The bike folds to the same size as a non-powered Brompton, with an additional 1.5L battery bag that can be carried as a shoulder bag when it’s not on the bike. The battery also features a USB charging port for mobile devices A larger 20L bag is also available if you want to carry more stuff around.
The Brompton Electric has four modes, ranging from no assistance, through to a high level of assistance. With a claimed range of between 25-50 miles, the bike should have enough juice for even the lengthiest of urban commutes.
Despite the slightly unusual placement of the motor on the front wheel — unusual at least for a production e-bike, where the motor is usually based around the bottom bracket — this is not a throttle-controlled system. Like most others on the market, the bike includes a “smart, integrated torque and cadence sensor” to control the levels of assistance provided. The battery also powers a set of Busch & Müller LYT lights for year round, hassle-free running.
Another mark of the bike is its simplicity of use. The engineers at Brompton put in the hours of thought so the rider doesn’t have to. The decision to put the 300Wh battery – which allows for a range of 25-50 miles – in a separate bag rather than on the frame not only keeps the essential Brompton fold intact, it also allows the battery to be charged away from the bike and for it to be removed when the bike is being carried to help spread weight (the two-speed bike weighs 13.4kg, the battery 2.8kg).
The battery bag itself clips on and off as easily as any Brompton bag, but that is the result of a great deal of work.
Most users will never know the hours that went into developing a cover that can be flipped out of the way by the battery bag as it is fitted, but it’s the sort of detail that delights and is absolutely consistent with the Brompton ethos. It will make your life easier, without you even realising it.