Folding bikes

  • How to fold and unfold a Brompton bicycle

    We love introducing people to Brompton folding bikes in person, but we often ship them to customers who may never have touched one, in places without any local dealer. While folding and unfolding and simple adjustments aren't hard, the first time can be a little daunting, so we worked with Russ & Laura from The Path Less Pedaled to create this instructional video with our newest staff member Amy. We think they all did a great job! For extra added authenticity, Amy had never touched a Brompton herself a few days before the shoot, but she looks like a pro! And so will you.

    Some people get competitive!

  • Win a free Brompton folding bike

    Brompton Bicycle Shipment

    Get two Brompton bicycles for the price of one!* Tag yourself and a friend in this photo on Facebook of a recent 54-bike Brompton shipment, together with a comment naming which Amtrak route you'd most like to carry your Bromptons aboard, to enter our drawing. On New Years Day, we’ll select one winner to receive two Bromptons for the price of one.

    Use our Brompton configuration tool to learn about what options work best for the type of riding you do. While Brompton touring is just one reason a Brompton might be the only bike you'll ever need, this recent announcement by Amtrak may smooth train travel with a folding bike.

    * Free second Brompton must be of equal or lesser value to first (purchased) one. Limited to in-stock Brompton bikes. We will contact winner directly via Facebook, so please make sure to like us.

  • Visit Portland to check out Brompton folding bikes

    When we opened in 2007, we were Oregon's first Brompton dealer. In a product lineup heavy on very big bikes, the little tiny Brompton seemed an outlier. They fit in some of our bigger bikes' front racks, and on planes, as carry-on luggage. P1010593 We carried Brompton because our personal experience of them going back to 2000 made us believers. It's a good thing we had that personal commitment as a bolster, because for the first few years we didn't turn much of a profit, especially relative to conventional bikes requiring less suspension of disbelief to buy, or even try.

    A small number of early adopters told their friends, who told theirs, and so on. A very healthy number of people who rented Bromptons went on to buy them. Every year the product got even better, especially in 2009 with the rollout of wide-range gearing. Some inspirational Brompton stories appeared.

    And then something happened. In about 2011, the sales curve of Bromptons came to resemble a hockey stick. BOOM! It seemed like one day to the next, Bromptons stopped being something we had to sell with actual salesmanship, testimony and demonstration, and became something customers walked in announcing they had come to buy. We began to struggle to keep stocks up. We still do. Fine problems to have! Bromptons have since become absolutely crucial to the continued growth of our business, a nice validation of the "do what you love; the money will follow" chestnut.

    These days we ship quite a few Bromptons outside Portland. They ship easily and cheaply. While that helps us out especially in the slow months, we miss out on meeting our customers, and you miss out on the level of service that we can provide only in person, wrench in hand, with you riding. It still amazes us how profoundly a few fit adjustments and part swaps can make to the feel of Bromptons. Sure there's only one frame size, but the things adjust in saddle heights over a range of almost 18", with cockpit lengths varying over 11"! When we ship a Brompton without benefit of fitting, we just have to hope customers explore the relevant parts of these ranges on their own.

    Out-of-towners: we invite you to Portland to check out Bromptons (or any bike you're thinking of having us ship). It's is a great place to visit, anytime but especially between May and October. We've partnered with the fantastic RiverPlace Hotel, an easy walk and easier pedal over the Hawthorne Bridge from us, to offer 20% off their best normal rate for your room. Just book online and enter the code "RPC" when making your reservations. Don't rent a car: rent a Brompton while you're here, and if you proceed to buy one we'll comp the cost of the rental, up to a week's worth. Appease your husband's or girlfriend's objections to your bike junket with a romantic dinner or three; we don't have a discount on that lined up, but we can make recommendations.

  • New Brompton H-types, plus configuration tool enhancements

    Brompton folding bikes have evolved very slowly, steadily and deliberately over three decades into the most refined bikes of their kind. They don't pursue novelty for its own sake, and most improvements are retrofittable to previous models. While Brompton uses a high number of proprietary parts, these parts or compatible successors tend to be available as service replacements for at least a decade. The last major revisions to Brompton frames occurred in 2004. That's why it's kind of a big deal that there's now a new one: the H-type.


    H-types resemble the most popular M-type, but the grips are 2.5" higher. Yes that's all, but if you're tall, or just prefer a more upright ride than Bromptons have previously offered, it's huge. The higher stem clamp also means a greater range of fore-aft adjustment than before. The changed fit possibilities have a bigger effect on handling than you might guess, with a cascade of newly appropriate saddle choices to boot. The folded package is no larger or less tidy than before, naturally. Do you have a Brompton already that you wish were more upright? We can convert it to an H type.

    We expect to receive 9 H-types this week, nicely equipped. Stop in and give one a go!

    We are pleased to announce some changes to our online custom Brompton configuration tool, too. In addition to representing the new H-type, we have now added several non-factory options in saddles, pedals, grips, and lighting, reflecting the most popular substitutions and upgrades we perform at Clever Cycles.

    Lightest Brompton Ever Lightest Brompton Ever

    In exchange for testing the latest revision of the tool, we'll take $100 off any custom Brompton ordered before January 31, 2012 that originates using the new tool.

    This is a limited time offer, applying only to new orders originating with a request for quotation generated by the tool. In exchange for the discount, we would appreciate any feedback about your experience using the tool. Just place your comments in the appropriate field when you submit your configuration. Each configuration submission enters you to win the 1/8in scale mini Brompton ($300 value) model pictured right (limit one entry per customer). We'll contact the winner via email once the testing period is over on February 1. Start your configuration and enter now!

  • Introducing Tern folding bikes

    Yesterday we received our first shipment of the new Tern folding bikes. We'll stock at least 6 of the 22 models in the 2012 lineup, with prices spanning from under $500 to over $2K. We're just getting to know these bikes in detail now, but are already confident that they'll appeal to a broad set of people for whom we haven't always had just the right bike.

    We're excited to introduce these bikes to Portland, just as we did Brompton folding bikes in 2007. Over the last few years Bromptons have become common sights in town, and a cornerstone of our business, but it's also true that we have referred many customers elsewhere for folding bikes that aren't Bromptons, whether for reasons of price, function, feel or style. Brompton remains unrivaled in the compact robustness of its fold (and arguably in a few more ways), but what if you want bigger wheels, or 3 bikes for the price of one Brompton, or you find hydroformed aluminum sexier than brazed steel? What if you want speeds that go to 11? (It's one faster, isn't it?) It's OK: now we have something for you too.

    Tern is a new brand, but its bikes may look familiar if you know Dahon, which has been the largest maker of folding bikes worldwide. Tern is run by Josh Hon, son of David Hon, the founding head of Dahon. Unfortunately the intra-family story here is not happy, with the two companies engaged in legal warfare over who rightly controls what. Meanwhile, shipping is nine-tenths of the law, and Tern is shipping bikes we like for their emphasis on urban utility, ride quality, long-term toughness and serviceability. Tern's offerings look to us like a tight cut of the best Dahon has offered, improved with special attention to the hinges and other critical parts, backed by an organization with refreshing awareness of the hazards of too many base models, made of too many special parts, too often changing, with too-thin a service infrastructure. Plus: cooler paint and graphics.

    Check our new Tern product page for key details of the models we've ordered. Better yet, ride on over, give them a spin, and tell us what you think: we're learning!

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