It’s electrifying! It’s time for folding-bike owners to wreak revenge on the Lycra-clad racers who leave you for dust on your morning commute. On July 29, the iconic folding bike manufacturer, Brompton gave the first look of its exclusive e-bike Brompton Electric. I always say there is a huge impact of technology on Business and society. Here’s everything you need to know.
Brompton and Williams Group
Brompton’s folding frames date back to 1975. That was the time Andrew Ritchie built the first one in his flat in London. The company inaugurated its first factory in 1988. Today it manufactures more than 45,000 folding bikes each year, making it the UK’s largest bicycle manufacturer.
For over 40 years, Brompton has been at the core of city transport offering an extremely compact, portable and inter-modal mobility solution.
Developed in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, the brains behind the Williams Martini Racing Formula One team, Brompton Electric is the most technically advanced model to-date.
Going Electric the Brompton way
Till now, electric bikes have often been huge, heavy, and awful, gripping a huge battery awkwardly onto the frame of a regular bike, like an unsightly growth.
The Brompton Electric maintains the iconic style and quality craftsmanship of the Brompton folding bike, but with the added benefits of electric assistance.
The secret lies in the huge amount of technology that’s packed into the bike. While everything looks the same and behaves the same way as the regular bike, the motor sits in the hub of the front wheel, avoiding any complication that might come from the folding action of the back wheel.
Brompton Electric features a 20 Lux Busch & Müller LYT light. The battery also powers these front and backlights. Riders can set this automatic so it will turn your lights on for you when its dark. The bike comes with a USB port for charging your laptop or smartphone while riding.
The Brompton electric folding bike also features a torque and cadence sensor to allow for a smooth, seamless and energy efficient support by measuring your effort to kick in the motorized support. Users can adjust the level of assistance from the motor via controls on the top of the battery. As with all electric bikes, the speed limit is 25kph.
Besides, Brompton has made an appeal by releasing an accompanying smartphone app that lets users track their mileage and customize settings for the bike and service history.
Brompton Electric performance
Brompton electric folding bike design marks something of a departure from current models. The 250W motor is attached to and drives the front wheel, and the battery is in a detachable pack that sits below the handlebars.Williams Advanced Engineering supplied the battery and the motor.
The Brompton Electric motor is far different from a Chinese motor. It is evident from the smooth super low friction front hub which is an excellent visible example of the knowledge and work that has gone into this.
The 300 Wh battery on the new models has the capacity to run for 25-30 miles (40-80 km) per charge depending upon which of the four assistance levels you use.
A five-hour charge using its ‘Standard Charger’ is good for 100 km of riding (the optional Fast charger takes three hours). And if the battery does run out, the low-resistance freewheel allows for a smooth motor-free ride.
Brompton Electric Battery solution
The two-speed bike (excluding battery) weighs 13.4kg and the battery weighs 2.8kg.The bike offers the facility to carry the battery separately thereby reducing the bike’s weight. Besides, the battery can easily be brought to a more convenient location for storage and charging. The set-up also reduces opportunities for theft.
The battery bag is impressively small (1.5-litre) although you can buy a 20-litre version and use it as your work bag.
However, there must be a permanent connection between the battery and the bike. So German partners developed a magnetic connector that can move on the bottom of the bag, meaning it can handle cobbles and potholes without disengaging. The cover over the connector on the bike will keep it clean from magnetic dirt.
Brompton Electric maintenance
Brompton Electric provides a diagnostic kit that works the same way as the car. So the bike shop will plug it in, swap out the parts the same day and away you go. Then they will send the parts to the company so they can work out what really went wrong. This requires a time-span of around three weeks.
Convenience and simplicity
Aimed at city dwellers, Brompton bikes fold up to a third of their size and a seasoned Brompton owner can go from train seat to saddle in about 30 seconds
This foldable Brompton electric bike can easily fit into elevators and its so light weight makes it portable for most people to carry it upstairs as needed.
The vision for the Brompton Electric was to make a product that was as light as possible without sacrificing durability and was extremely compact.
Brompton Electric price and availability
The Brompton Electric is due to arrive in early 2018. Bike with black or white colour, two-or six-speed, and M-shaped handlebar are available. UK residents can reserve one on the Brompton site with a £200 deposit towards the price of £2,595 to £2,755. The company expects to launch Brompton Electric in selective European countries thereafter.
Ingenious Express hopes that more people will get out from under the ground, out of their cars and back onto a bike to rediscover their cities.
It makes riding in the city a complete joy.