After much speculation since Eurobike last summer, Brompton has unveiled bikes with 12-speed gearing across its T Line, Electric P Line, P Line, and Electric C Line models. Before you envision a 12-speed cassette on this tiny folding bike, we must start by saying that is not what these new models will come with.
The update – which essentially doubles the current max offering of six gears – will combine the existing three-speed hub and four-speed derailleur for more gear range but maintain the same compact folding bike design. Thus, there isn't anything massively groundbreaking going on here - the existing C Line Explore already combines a 3-speed hub with a two-speed mech - rather Brompton has built on what it already knew works.
The way Brompton has increased the number of gears is by pairing the 3-speed Sturmey-Archer hub with a lightweight 4-speed derailleur originally designed for the ultralight titanium T Line. The front hub is weather-sealed, which should ensure durability and minimal maintenance.
Everything is controlled by two shifters; the right shifter manages the hub gear and the left controls the derailleur. Critics have said this might make the shifting overly complicated - we will wait and see to get our hands on a test bike before judging that.
The various new Brompton 12-Speed options are available now through Brompton dealers and on the Brompton website and are priced as follows:
The new 12-speed models will offer a wider gear ratio - almost as large as that of an 11-speed road bike. The 11T to 18T rear sprockets paired with a 50T chainring in the new 12-speed setup will give you a range of 402% (the 6-speed gives 302%), with gear inches from 29.4 to 118.2.
Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.