|Brompton H6L dyno, Brooks, racing green: $1974|
The bikes and most of the special components are made in England, and there are many customization options, including all of the options we like here at Bikes for the Rest of Us: fenders, dynamo hub and lights, rear rack and a front bag or basket. Most are sold with a unique 6 speed drivetrain which combines a 3-speed internal gear hub with a tiny 2-speed derailleur.
Bromptons are also designed with surprisingly quick handling and a slightly leaned-forward position. This combined with small wheels, which accelerate quickly and light weight make it handle more like a road bike than a traditional city bike. The frame is meant to accomodate a range of riders, so taller people will have a more leaned-forward posture, and shorter riders are a little more upright. This can be partially counteracted by different handlebar options.
But the complete bike at the top of the page with 6 speeds, dynamo hub, lights, fender and the addition of a rack is under $2000. The most basic model is just over $1400.
For people in some cities, bike sharing systems, and access for full-size bikes on buses and trains, have made folding bikes less essential for multi-modal trips, but they can still be the perfect solution for some people, so it is no surprise that Clever Cycles in Portland has trouble keeping Bromptons in stock.