Best Brompton Weight Savings for Price
Once you’ve fallen in love with a Brompton, it’s hard not to customize it to your own liking. Oftentimes that means trying to make your B just a little bit lighter. Lots and lots of options. Both from Brompton-corporate as well as a number of independent aftermarket companies.
STARTING WEIGHT OF (MOST) BROMPTONS:
Most stock Bromptons come out of the box at about 25 pounds. With millions (literally) of different Brompton configurations, weights vary between about 20 to 28 pounds.
On the lighter side, an S1E-titanium (unfortunately, the 1-speed Brompton configuration was discontinued, beginning in 2021), with Schwalbe’s lightweight Kojak tires, and no luggage carrier block. According to Brompton’s bike-builder page, tips the scales at 20.72 pounds. Swap-out the saddle, seat-post, and bottom bracket for some lighter-weight alternatives and you’re quickly under 20 pounds.
How about a Who-Cares-Comfort-Is-King Brompton? For this gentleman farmer’s pick, let’s go with an H6R with a telescopic seat post, Schwalbe’s standard Marathon tires, Shutter Precision’s dynamo lighting system, and a Brook’s B-17 saddle. That hefty-B will weigh-in at 29.27 pounds.
As with many folding bikes, a lot of us have those because we like to take them where you can’t easily take other bikes. That means carrying them, sometimes a lot. Even at an average weight of 25 pounds, shaving off a few ounces can make a noticeable difference during those repetitive carry-a-bike moments.
As with many things bicycle, lighter weight often mean expensive. Sometimes very expensive. For example, a Ti Parts Workshop crankset is $749. An even more jaw-dropping example? How about a custom carbon handlebar stem for $1,730?
The focus of this post, however, is to limit the damage on the wallet.
BEST BROMPTON WEIGHT-SAVING MODIFICATIONS FOR THE BUCK?!
The following modifications dropped almost two pounds from an M6L (29.5 ounces, to be exact). That’s a noticeable amount of weight you won’t have to lug up and down the steps to your home or office.
Let’s get started!
1. Saddle. If you already have a lighter-weight saddle from another bike, this modification might be as close to “free” as you’re going to get. The stock Brompton saddle is 13.4 ounces. I had an older Specialized Phenom mountain bike saddle that I used (8.9 ounces) in place of the Brompton saddle for a quick and free savings of 4.5 ounces.
2. Mudguards. Yes, you’re going to get more wet if you’re out in the rain. Spoiler -alert: you’re still going to get wet in the rain even if you don’t remove the mudguards. A nice weight savings of 11.4 ounces. Cost = FREE!
3. Reflectors. Weight savings, 2.7 ounces. Please remember, you won’t have reflectors if you removed them, so be extra safe and vigilant. Cost = FREE!
4. Chainring Guard. Weight savings, 1.5 ounces. Not much, but every ounce counts! Cost = FREE!
5. Bottom Bracket. This one’s not free. And you might need some help from a local bike shop to get this swapped-out. As bottom brackets go, Brompton’s is quite robust, but also a bit heavy, weighing-in at 8.6 ounces. A Ti Parts bottom bracket, which includes super-smooth ceramic bearings, has a purported weight of 5 ounces. Any component that can be upgraded while also reducing the weight, by almost half, is a good deal (again, relatively speaking). Cost = about $225 for the Ti Parts bottom bracket, plus the labor to have that installed.
6. Seatpost. Again, not free. However, as with the bottom bracket, a fairly nice bang-for-the-buck with regard to upgrading the component while also saving some considerable ounces. The stock standard-length Brompton seatpost is a whopping 14.6 ounces. A reputable titanium alternative, such as that offered by Ti Parts, is not only a little longer (about an inch) than the standard-length Brompton post, but it weighs only 8.8 ounces. In both cases, those weights include the Brompton rubber bung. What’s more, this modification doesn’t require a bike mechanic. Simply slide-out the stock seatpost from the bottom-side of the bike, then slide-in the replacement seatpost from the same direction. Cost = about $260.
Those are the low-hanging fruit of weight-shaving a Brompton. Want more? The sky is almost the limit. As are some of the prices for those lighter-weight components. Great sources for aftermarket components include Ti Parts Workshop, NOV Design, and Brompfication.