Brompton has announced it will be premiering a new 12-speed drivetrain across its T Line, Electric P Line, P Line and Electric C Line range of compact folding bikes, combining the existing three-speed hub and four-speed derailleur for a greater spread of gearing.
Brompton was able to achieve this by pairing the 3-speed Sturmey-Archer hub with a lightweight 4-speed derailleur originally designed for its ultralight titanium T Line, relying on the right shifter to actuate the hub gear, while the left controls the derailleur.
Additionally, the new 12-speed models will offer a wider gear ratio, offering 11T to 18T cassettes paired with a 50T, resulting in a range of 402%. This means, the lowest hub gear is just over half of the middle and the top gear is just over 1.5× the middle gears.
“It’s something that we noticed in market feedback, especially in hilly cities, we found out in focus groups in cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Shanghai that people use bikes to ride longer distances and steeper inclines, so there was a need for more gears. Their main ask for “a more capable, just as compact,” says Brompton’s senior product manager Rafa Nascimento.
“We found that more than 70% of electric users were asking for more gears, and lower-end folding bikes start with seven gears so there was a competitive aspect too,’ says Nascimento. ‘I think the main benefit is to keep cadence after the motor cuts off [due to speed restrictions], I’m an electric rider and I notice the difference every day how quickly the motor cuts off,” adds senior design engineer Shaun Pirie.
The new Brompton 12-Speed models are available now through Brompton dealers and on the Brompton website, which are priced as follows:
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