Brompton, the London-based company famed for its folding bicycles, is rolling out a raft of upgrades and improvements designed to increase the comfort of riders.
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The company, which states its design philosophy is to create "useful, functional products that delight the user", has reviewed the fit and ergonomics of the cockpit of its bikes and developed a number of changes designed to improve the ride feel — including a new bar shape and integrated under-bar shifters.
"We are always working to make our bikes easier to use and more fun to ride," comments Brompton’s chief design and engineering officer Will Carleysmith. "As ever the challenge is to do this within the tight size requirements of the folded bike and deliver something that is tough and will give years of service. To create a new set of controls that provide great ergonomics and feel in a super compact form we 3D printed and tested 25 iterations of gear shifter prototype and drove the final new mechanisms through 16 million gear shifts on our durability rigs."
Updates to handlebars, shifters and more
Handlebar shapes have been updated, increasing the stem length which results in a more relaxed geometry, increased grip area and, Brompton says, a stiffer and more modern looking bar. Gear shifters have now been moved to below the bar and mounted on the brake lever, as has the bell, bringing all these controls closer together and therefore easier to operate.
There are also new lock-on grips which are the lightest available on the market according to Brompton, weighing in at a reported 42g, which will be fitted to M, S and H type handlebars.
Brompton has also collaborated with light and computer manufacturer Cateye to develop a new custom mount for the Cateye USB-rechargeable Rapid Mini Light.
The updates aren't confined to the cockpit, however, and include a wider saddle option meaning riders can now choose between a standard 147mm saddle and a wide 167mm option.
Of course, the colour palette for Brompton Bikes has always been a signature element of the brand and fans will be interested to hear that two new colours have been added: a grey and a red. Another good piece of news for anyone considering buying a Brompton is that the company has now levelled the price of all standard colours, allowing customers to mix and match the various parts such as frame and rear triangle
The first bike to feature this new improved cockpit is the limited Brompton Black Edition. Standard Brompton bikes featuring the updates are available for order now.