Brompton Electric P-Line Urban review - the nippy ride that's an acquired taste, at best

Brompton's new app makes its electric bikes easier to use and has - maybe - converted this sceptic

Brompton Elctric P Line commuter tech week opener
(Image credit: Rob Spedding)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Brompton is a brilliant folding bike, of that there's no doubt. Add in power and, for many, it'll be the perfect urban mobility machine. The ride, though, is an acquired taste, with the power boost adding extra responsiveness to an already very nippy machine. The separate battery unit feels dated compared to more modern integrated solutions and while the control app is a welcome addition, it just isn't as easy to use as a bar-mounted controller.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Smooth, instant power

  • +

    Legendary folding prowess

  • +

    Roller cage adds to portability

  • +

    Simple app

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Average range

  • -

    You have to decouple bike and battery to fold and carry

  • -

    Have to remove hand from bar to change power settings

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

If you've found a guide to the best folding bikes anywhere on the worldwide web that doesn't include Brompton, then congratulations. It's fair to say that the bikes from this esteemed UK brand are seen as the benchmark for self-powered multi-modal two-wheeled transportation and, as a result, appear on every list I've ever seen (or been involved in compiling).

It's the same story if you Ask Jeeves (Google it, kids...) to find you the best electric folding bike. A powered Brompton will be towards the top of the page. Our own guide is a case in point with the Brompton Electric C-Line, first introduced in 2018, still sitting pretty.

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Content Director

Rob has been Content Director of Cycling Weekly - and stablemates Bikeperfect, and MBR - since May 2021. Before that he spent two years in similar role at Bikeradar, which followed 12-years as Editor-in-chief of Cycling Plus magazine and eight years at Runner's World. In his time as a cycling journalist he's ridden from London to Paris at least twice, London to Bristol once, completed the Fred Whitton Challenge, L'Etape du Tour and Maratona dles Dolomites. He's also jumped into the broom-wagon at La Marmotte and Oetzaler Radmarathon.