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Brompton’s 12-speed possibility makes its foldable bikes much more versatile

Adding gears is one way to help a traditional or electric bike pick up speed or tackle greater distances without running out of puff. That’s a little trickier on a folding bike, but Brompton has found a way. The new Brompton 12-speed option doubles the number of gears compared to the old line-up, by pairing a 3-speed hub with a 4-speed derailleur.

That combo should put Brompton’s light and portable folders on par with some full-size commuter and hybrid bikes for how much effort is required to get from home to the office. The firm’s most popular lines, including the T Line, P Line, Electric P Line and Electric C Line, are all getting 12-speed options.

According to Brompton the weather-sealed Sturmey-Archer hub is “nigh-on indestructible” and can deliver years of service with next to no maintenance.

Meanwhile, the 4-speed derailleur comes from the titanium frame T Line. It weighs just 60g and is placed carefully out of harm’s way when the bike is folded up, rather than worn on the outside. It’s controlled with a shifter on the left handlebar, while one on the right manages the hub-gear.

The lightest of the new bunch is the T Line Explore 12-speed, which weighs in from 8.8kg. It’ll set you back £4725. The P Line Explore 12-speed is a slightly heavier 10.5kg, but a much more wallet-friendly £2450.

Electric models start with the Electric C Line Explore 12-speed, a 17.3kg foldable that costs £3150. The lighter Electric P Line Explore 12-speed weighs 16.3kg with battery, and will retail for £3895. There’s no word yet on pricing for other territories.

Brompton’s C Line Explore, C Line Urban and A Line models, meanwhile, will keep their original drivetrains.

The new 12-speed line-up is available to order now, from authorised retailers and directly through the Brompton website.

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