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How Brompton’s New Folding E-Bike Could Improve Accessibility to Cycling

By Charlotte Murray

It’s official, e-bikes are taking off. Look up the frequency of the search term ‘electric bike’ on search engines over the last few years and you can see a definite sharp rise.

And it’s easy to see why. You can get all the benefits of being outside and moving your body but with a little help. For some, they’re an entrance into cycling, for others, it can take them further than their fitness allows or enable them to carry on cycling when their legs aren’t quite as strong as they once were.

The thing with e-bikes though is they’re not exactly light or easy to transport. It can put people off using them, despite their endless benefits for those who might not be fit or able to ride a bike. That being said, they are increasingly visible on cycle paths, commuter routes and on mountain bike trails.

So, for those that could benefit from a little extra power, Brompton’s new P line could fit the bill. Weighing in at 12.7 kg without its battery (and around 15.6 kg with it), this is dramatically lighter than the average electric bike, which comes in around 25 kg – not exactly something you want to haul onto the train with you every day.


The British manufacturer invented the Brompton after deciding that there must be an easier way to move around the city. This theory continues today, and it extends to everyone – in that everyone should be able to move around their city easily.

People begin to ride bikes in so many different ways and for so many different reasons. Whether that’s as a child on local trails, as part of a sports club at university, as a way of getting from A to B, to lessen their impact on the environment or just to save money on buying a car. However, there’s still a large portion of society that doesn’t ride bikes. Cycling UK statistics tell us that 66% of people never ride a bike. So having more ways that people can enter into cycling or make it easier for them to choose to ride a bike can only be a positive thing.

The Brompton P line, as we’ve said, is much lighter, and therefore more efficient. A lightweight titanium bike frame can make cycling feel like a breeze and also adds around 30 km to the bike’s range, which almost doubles the amount of time needed in between charges.

With convenience being a huge factor in a person’s decision over whether to cycle or drive, knowing that they will be able to make it to their destination without charging their bike is a great feature. Not to mention that they’ll have barely broken a sweat!

Bike hire stations aren’t particularly new. Nextbike has been developing smart bike sharing schemes since 2004. But recently, Brompton have built their own bike hire stations from which people can rent a Brompton from a day to a month. With the price of a bike often being a barrier to cycling for some, having the opportunity to test-ride a bike offers a little more reassurance. They’re a huge investment, so someone may be more likely to eventually purchase a bike if they’ve tried it first. You then get £150 back from hire fees on the purchase of a new Brompton (or £250 for an electric Brompton) should you eventually decide to buy one. Though we can’t imagine these smart new electric bikes making it into their share schemes just yet!

There aren’t many statistics out there yet on how the electric bike boom is affecting rates of cycling with the effects of the pandemic still hanging around. But I suspect they’ve been a positive influence. There are case studies out there of people who had no desire to ride a bike previously but the electric bike offered, in some ways, a simpler solution without all the sweating, Lycra and sports gels that seemingly come along with them. Of course, we know that it isn’t true but it helps to have an alternative offering.

Whatever your opinion on e-bikes is, there’s no doubt they’re doing the general population a world of good. So, the next time one whizzes past you on a lung-busting climb, just be glad that they’re out there.