- Relatively lightweight
- Folding action
- Little more expensive than the standard lightweight models from Brompton
Price as reviewed:
British brand Brompton is one of those great engineering companies that seem to do everything right. Seemingly teaming up with David Millar for its latest version of the Brompton X CHPT3 was the right thing to do also.
Brompton has been around since 1975 and its main stable is a steel made folding bike for the city commuters. So riders who are nipping between meetings, or making that last part of the journey super quick, after taking that rush hour train, bus or tube home.
Brompton has modernised too. Working with titanium parts to bring its bikes in the same form but much lighter, with its Superlight version knocking at least a kilo gram off the steel version. The Brompton X CHPT3 goes one step further by knocking that weight down some more.
The brand also has an E-Brompton, which we’ve tested already.
I’ve been riding the latest version of the Brompton X CHPT3 and I must say, I’m rather taken by it.
Now, despite my social media suggesting I can’t fold the Brompton up quickly, I can. I’ve managed to get this down to 10 seconds, roughly. A bit better than I did in Tech of the Month. Once you get the technique down, folding or unfolding a Brompton is pretty satisfying. And whilst I don’t live in the centre of London and work all the way out in Farnborough, Hampshire, to get a direct train to work it is a 15 minute cycle, plus another five minute ride the other end.
The convenience of not taking a complete bike in the very busy Surbiton train station at peak times makes life so much less stressful and not having to wait and catch a bus either end cuts my commute time down to well under the hour.
So what is different here compared to the standard version? And what do you get for your extra outlay?
First of all, it’s around two kilo grams lighter than the standard version, sitting just above 10kg, which does make a world of difference – especially when carrying the bike once folded around town. I’ve always admired those who carry their usual work day bag and a standard Brompton, you need some strength!
That saving is down to a titanium rear end, along with a titanium fork. It brings the ride to life and the Brompton X CHPT3 does nip around easily and is very enjoyable to chuck around. Brompton say that it has give the Brompton X CHPT3 a racing ‘suspension’ insert at the rear as well to tighten up the handling compared to its normal range.
These two things alone seem to give the bike a stable ride feel with the Brompton X CHPT3 feeling longer in terms of wheel base, but from our measurements there isn’t any real difference. Compared to the steel version, it isn’t twitchy up front and I felt more comfortable chucking this bike around.
That will partly be down to the S-Type handlebar, which is flat, and gives a lower riding position that’ll help handling be a little more measured.
Everything else is a little superficial but it does all add up to help make the bike what it is. Fabric Scoop titanium railed saddle, Schwalbe One 35mm tan side wall tyres and the Fabric Dual textured grips are all ‘nice to have’.
This version has six speeds, two sprockets and three internal hub gears. That spread means most, if not all, types of riding you do on this bike is covered. Even a bit of climbing is possible and getting out of the saddle is easy enough despite the tiny wheels.
This bike was a limited run of 1000 initial bikes, which can still be found online. Hopefully some more will be made available!
At £1990 it is the most expensive bike of the lot from Brompton and I’m wondering if that outlay is worth it against the rest of the range. Colour scheme, ride and finish touches work very well together and if you did spend that kind of money, you wouldn’t be disappointed.
Out of all the Brompton's I've been lucky enough to ride, this one is my favourite. It has subtle differences which help to improve its ride but overall it's the weight saving that makes this bike better and more fun to ride.
Frame: Steel and Titanium