Titanium chassis, Williams engine, superlight gearing system… no, it’s not an F1 car but the new Brompton P-Line folding bike.
Up until today, Brompton only had one electric folding bike (opens in new tab), the Electric C-Line (C is for classic). But now, with the launch of the new Electric P-Line the iconic UK brand is claiming that “this bike is performance, folded and unfolded."
Brompton (opens in new tab)says the new bike weighs from 12.7kg or 15.6kg including the detachable battery pack - almost 2kg lighter than the existing Electric C-Line.
The new machine is also the first Brompton Electric to feature the all-new superlight four-speed gearing system which has only been specced on the non-electric T Line (titanium) and P Line models up to now (two-speed and six-speed are the gearing options available with the existing Electric C-Line.
It comes with what Brompton calls a “3D-metallic finish in Storm Grey or Midnight Black” and, as with all Brompton bikes, is powder-coated at the paint facility in the Brompton London factory using environmentally-friendly powders and energy from 100% renewable sources.
To put some numbers on its performance, the Brompton Electric P-Line moves at speeds of up to 25kph (the maximum permitted in the UK) with three levels of power assist. The smart torque sensor in the bottom bracket makes your ride smooth, stable and efficient, according to Brompton.
A single charge will take you as far as 70 kilometres, says Brompton, and when it comes to charging, you can do it anywhere there's a plug socket, since the 2.9kg battery pack is removable.
It takes a bit of practice and ideally you won’t do that on a crowded platform, but once you’ve got it down the bike folds in less than 20 seconds.
The dual-locking seatpost means you can steer the folded bike by the saddle. It also has larger, lighter Advanced Roller Wheels according to Brompton, which allow you the bike to glide from street to building. And there’s the Brompton-engineered Roller Rack (optional). The 341g Brompton-engineered Roller Rack (optional) is designed around centre of gravity to minimise the feeling of weight, with the aim of making the folded bike feel like a super light suitcase.
Along with the single gear lever for shifting, the Electric P-Line comes with Brompton Advance Suspension block as standard, which is mounted between the main and rear frames.
As for the motor, it’s a custom-made electric system developed with Williams Advanced Engineering. The 250kWh hub motor does the legwork via three levels of smart pedal assist and kicks in (smoothly) using a sensor in the bottom bracket.
As you’d expect, there’s a Brompton Electric app that’s on IOS or Android that connects to the bike with Bluetooth. If you mount your phone as a dashboard on the bars, you can ontrol your power mode, maximise battery life, extend your range and more. You can also charge your phone as you ride with the battery pack USB port.
All Brompton Electric folding bikes are hand-built and quality-assured by the brand’s teams in London and Sheffield. Each bike comes with a seven-year frame warranty and a three-year electric system warranty.
And finally - according to Brompton, one of its bikes takes 6.2 tonnes less carbon than a car to make and 42 folded Brompton bikes can be parked in the space it takes to park one car.
Of course it's still much cheaper than a car, but it's fair to say the gap is closing. The existing Brompton Electric C-Line costs just short of £3,000, but the Electric P-Line smashes through the £3K/$3K barrier:
Brompton Electric P-Line Urban £3,695/$4,700
Brompton Electric P-Line Urban with Roller Frame £3,775/$4,810
Check out Brompton's website (opens in new tab) for full details and specs.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
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