Fastest Folding Bike? Brompton NYC Review

Unfold it, then pedal quickly to 25mph. This hinge-equipped city bike is among the speediest ever built.

Brompton NYC folding bike review

Founded in 1975, Brompton Bicycle Ltd. is the U.K.’s largest manufacturer of bicycles. It builds bikes specifically for city-dwellers; they have a unique design that folds the frame and stows the wheels into a compact package.

Brompton NYC folding bike review

Released in January, the NYC Edition is the preeminent folding-bike manufacturer’s entry into the burgeoning quick-bike market. It has all the space-saving practicality of the brand’s other folding bikes, but with specific features that target speed-minded riders.

Check out our video review below.


While fixies may still reign among messengers, the NYC is a step above its broad commuter line to a more nimble, performance-oriented street bike.

Review: Brompton NYC Edition

Most Bromptons are stripped-down models buyers customize with a range of options, from gears, to tires, to handlebars, colors, and more. These are built to specifications and delivered from the company.

Built-in lights, reflective accents, and mini-bullhorn handlebars add gritty city flavor to Brompton’s typically refined aesthetic.

Brompton NYC folding bike review

The NYC Edition is a pre-designed build specifically made for navigating the cities. This bike is set up with components already available from Brompton combined with some new features.

What’s new: The NYC has a built-in rear light on the saddle, Ergon grips with bar ends, reflective decals on the frame, and lime-green elements on the drivetrain. As a bonus, this bike comes with a matching roll-top shoulder bag.

Brompton NYC folding bike review

What’s not: Features included but not unique to the NYC are S-type straight bars, Kojack tires, clip-in lights, and front luggage holster.

The whole package comes together to give this bike a more aggressive stance, fast ride, and urban-friendly design.

Brompton NYC folding bike review

I rode the NYC around the Twin Cities day and night and found it surprisingly nimble. The straight bars mimic the feel of a racey messenger bike, and the treadless tires roll quickly across pavement.

Three lights — two in rear, one in front — and reflective sidewalls and frame accents make the ride feel safe on dark streets.

Options And Price

Brompton offers two models of the NYC: 2-speed and 6-speed, both with Sturmey Archer internal hub.

I tested the 2-speed and loved it. For flat city riding, I can’t imagine needing six gears. I recommend looking at the 6-speed if your commute is hilly.

Brompton NYC folding bike review

The 2-speed that I tested costs $1,754 and weighs a Tic Tac shy of 24 lbs. The 6-speed has all the same features, retails for $1,894, and weighs about 25.5 lbs.

As a bonus, there is an entire NYC-themed product line to accompany the bike. The NYC-Edition design, both bike and apparel, is part of Brompton’ s collaboration with reflective apparel brand, Vespertine NYC.  Accessories, including knit hats, scarves, and shoelaces, are 100-percent merino wool and have reflective accents.

Brompton Folding Design

The same elegant foldability graces the NYC Edition. For those who have not tried a folding bike, the process is simple, but specific:

1. Pull the lever under the seat post to unlock the rear triangle and lock the bike in “kickstand mode.”Brompton NYC folding bike review

2. Unscrew a bracket and sweep the front of the bike back and hook it to the chainstay.

Brompton NYC folding bike review

3. Slide the seat tube down to lock the bike in folded mode.

Brompton NYC folding bike review

4. Unscrew the bracket that holds the head tube and fold until it locks.

brompton NYC folding bike review

Done! The whole process takes less than a minute.

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By

Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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