One of the things that intrigues me about folding bikes is that they’re loaded with little details you only notice when you take a close, careful look. Take the horn of this Brompton saddle for example. See the little indents on the underside? Any guess at what they’re for (no Brommie owners, please)? It’s only one among many well thought out details that you’ll find on these, and other, folders.

Factoid: Did you know that each Brompton consists of some 1,200 parts, over three-quarters of which are unique to their bicycles? I don’t know if this is good or bad, but it makes me say a little prayer each day that they’ll stay in business for a very long time (they’re selling bikes as fast as they can make them, so no worries).

20 Responses to “Details”

  • Steve Fuller says:

    For your fingers as you grip the horn of the saddle while rolling your Brompton around?

  • Alan says:


    “For your fingers as you grip the horn of the saddle while rolling your Brompton around?”

    Almost, but not quite… :-)

  • John in Roseburg says:

    For stability when you hang the bike by the nose of the saddle on a hook ?

  • Saddle Up says:

    The carry handle.

  • Donald Bybee says:

    Looks like finger grooves. I would assume for when you fold up the bicycle.
    Sacramento, CA

  • Bob G says:

    My guess on the saddle indents: to grip the saddle during your running start in the Brommie World Championships!

  • Seth Vidal says:

    Isn’t that where you lift up to let the rear wheel flip under?

  • Chris says:

    It must be the handle to carry the bike when it’s folded up. That seems like the natural place to grab it, and kudos to them for making it comfortable if that’s the case.

  • jdmitch says:

    Does it have to do with how you fold it or how you pick it up when folded?

  • jdmitch says:

    … Or for doing mad tricks like hopping curbs and rail slides? ;)

  • Davidg says:

    A handle to carry the bike while collapsed?

  • Ben says:

    For carrying?

    Hope I can tell you with more certainty this evening after I picked up my new RAW/titanium singlespeed Brompton! :)

  • Jukka R. says:


    That´s easy. They act as a handle for carrying the folded Brommie.

  • Alan says:

    Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner (well, multiple winners)! It’s a handle for carrying the bike while it’s folded.

    We leave the handlebar unfolded to use as a handle for rolling the bike along as a cart.

    Thanks all!

  • Bob B says:

    The 900 proprietary parts of the Brompton are a bit unnerving, but it is a classic and quality bicycle.

  • David says:

    If you make a durable product, having proprietary parts helps ensure a follow-on revenue stream in spare parts. It also allows you to optimize the design and potentially reduce the cost of those parts (assuming your volumes are high), so it’s not necessarily bad for the customer. A lot depends on the goals, design skills, and integrity of the manufacturer.

  • jdmitch says:


    If you’re not joking about that RAW/Ti SS Brompton, you realize you HAVE to send Alan pics so he can post them, right?

  • Ben says:


    Not joking… picked it up a couple of hours ago. It was in fact a slightly used one (they do not sell the RAW any more they told me) so I’m first going to clean it and than there will be pictures :)

    At 2/3rds of the prices for a new one I just couldn’t say no :)

  • Philip says:

    I have a brand new Brompton (m3e) and it is a real work of art. I’m also lucky as I live in London (that’s England for all you Americans :-) and only had to wait 6 weeks for delivery. Sometimes life is sweet.

  • Ben says:


    Here’s a quick preview :)

© 2011 EcoVelo™