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Brompton M6L-X folded
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Brompton M6L-X unfolded
Reviewed by Gwendal Castellan
$1,135 to $3,000+ USD, $1,219 to $3,000+ CAD
The Brompton tested had titanium forks and chain stays, fenders with mud guards, SON hub dynamo with a Busch & Müller LED front lamp, Easywheels and a 25-liter C Bag.
Dimensions folded: 23.03 x 22.24 x 10.63 inches
Weight: 23.54 pounds (10.68 kilograms) without bag
Wheel size: 16 inches
This was the smallest of the bikes tested once folded. When folded, all the parts and cables are cleanly tucked away, making it easy to store under a desk or a restaurant table. It can fit into the allowable checked bag-size suitcase without disassembly. The Easywheels rolling accessory allows the bike to be effortlessly rolled around when folded. The ride was made exceptionally comfortable thanks to a long wheel base and the polyurethane suspension damper between the frame and the back wheel stays. The front bag attachment system is impressive, as it allows the bike to be folded without having to detach it.
Although the six-speed BWR (Brompton Wide Range) hub system is well-suited to climbing hills, the fluidity of the shifting was challenging, as the Sturmey-Archer internal hub's wide range requires a two-speed derailleur to get the even gear spacing. The rider must constantly alternate shifting between the right and the left-hand-side shifter to move up and down the gears incrementally. It took me a while to intuitively remember which shifter I needed to adjust to get to the next gear.
The Brompton M6L-X is both compact and pleasant to ride. It is well-suited to multi-modal commutes and people who don’t have much storage space on either end of their trip. The lightweight and compactness also makes it a very attractive option for the airline or train traveler.
Brompton bikes have evolved over the past 30 years to a point where they have achieved a tried and tested good folding design. That said, the cyclist who is used to riding bikes where all the parts are standardized and interchangeable will need to take some time to get used to all the Brompton-specific parts. But, in time, all that fades into the background and it is only the functionality of this bike that you notice. Taking the time to have a salesperson walk you through the order in which to fold and unfold each part will really speed up the learning curve. Or check out this video: youtu.be/Fni9VmNRHPA.