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Andrew Ritchie invented the Brompton folding bicycle in 1975 in a flat overlooking the Brompton Oratory in London.
Almost 45 years later, the Brompton B75 commemorated these humble beginnings with its name.
The Brompton B75 is a cut-back version of a standard Brompton. It makes the price of this iconic bike palatable to a wider audience.
- Wheel Size: 16”
- Material: Steel
- No of Gears: 3
- Weight: 25 lbs.
- Weight Capacity: 242.5 lbs. (110 kg)
For their portability and quality of engineering, Bromptons surpass most other folding bikes. Could the Brompton B75 be for you?
The Brompton B75 Compared To Other Standard Brompton Bicycles
Detailed below are some of the ways the B75 differs from standard Brompton bikes.
The frame is the same steel-tubed frame you’ll find on other Brompton bikes. It has a hand-brazed rear frame and part hand-brazed, part auto-brazed main frame. Brompton is thought to use high tensile, mild steel in its frames rather than chromoly.
One thing that distinguishes the B75 frame is that it only comes in “Water Blue”. Standard Bromptons come in a choice of six colors.
Handlebar, Bar Grips, Brakes & Shifters
A significant difference between the Brompton B75 and standard Bromptons is the handlebar. The B75 has a pre-2017 Brompton M-type handlebar with a high-rise design. Modern M-type bars have a shallower low-rise design.
The modern low-rise M-type handlebar has space for Brompton’s integrated gear shifters and brake levers. That feature is missing on the B75, which has older-style, pre-2013 brake levers with reputedly less power and modulation.
Also, the B75 uses shorter slide-on bar grips rather than secure lock-on grips.
Gears & Gear Range
The Brompton B75 comes with a 3-speed Sturmey Archer standard-ratio internal gear hub. It has a relatively small 44t front chainring. This makes the B75 easier to push up hills than some Bromptons.
Standard Bromptons can have 1, 2, 3, or 6 gears. Brompton 6-gear bikes use a blend of 2 derailleur gears and a wide-ratio 3-speed Sturmey Archer hub (2×3). This gives them a 302% gear range, whereas the B75 has a 178% range.
Saddle & Seatpost
Another difference between the B75 and standard Bromptons lies in the saddle and seatpost. There’s no choice of seatpost length, so all riders get an extended seatpost.
The seat on the B75 is a generic Brompton saddle without the clever Pentaclip for stepless angle adjustment.
List Of Differences Between B75 Vs. Other Brompton Bikes
Here are twelve ways the B75 differs from standard Bromptons:
- Frame – same design but limited to one color instead of six.
- Handlebar – high-rise shape instead of low-rise.
- Bar grips – shorter slide-on grips rather than 130mm lock-on.
- Integration – gear shifters and brake levers are not integrated.
- Stopping – brakes allegedly less powerful.
- Gears – B75 limited to 3-gears (biased towards low gears).
- Seatpost – no choice of seatposts.
- Pentaclip saddle adjustment absent.
- Suspension block – different color, thought to be firm.
- No front carrier block for Brompton bags (mount holes present).
- Pedals – no folding pedal.
- No fenders.
Top Features Of The Brompton B75
Below are some of the best features of the Brompton B75.
Hand Brazed Steel Frame
The B75 has a robust construction that could last a lifetime with the right owner. Brompton’s refined steel frames are made in a factory where brazing techniques take 18 months of training to learn.
Video: Inside The Brompton Factory
One of the chief reasons to buy a Brompton is for its compact size when folded. No other folding bike folds this small, thanks to its trifold design and routinely small 16” wheels. The B75 offers this famous benefit despite the reduced cost.
Only the lack of folding pedal and extended seatpost affect the B75’s folded size, either of which can be upgraded/changed. Of course, the extended seat post makes the bike rideable by tall riders and is only a potential downside because there’s no choice.
As a rule of thumb, bikes with small wheels roll less smoothly than those with larger wheels. Brompton helps counteract this with a polyurethane suspension block. This is located between the main and rear bike frames.
The suspension block on the B75 is white rather than black and is thought to be on the firm side. That being the case, the suspension will significantly reduce “bounce” and help with pedaling efficiency.
The B75 has a 44-tooth chainring, which changes gearing by -12% in comparison to a standard Brompton 50-tooth chainring with the same Sturmey Archer hub.
This gearing makes the B75 more of a climber than a sprinter and will increase your cadence during normal riding. If you only ever ride a Brompton on flat roads, switching to a bigger chainring is possible.
Since the B75 utilizes some older Brompton components, its destiny is rapid extinction. It’s a limited-edition bike. But Bromptons are durable bikes with a theoretically indefinite lifespan. They’re worth a look on the second-hand market.
Brompton B75 Alternatives
There are other bikes you might consider as an alternative to the stylish Brompton B75.
1. Brompton C Line Explore 16” Folding Bike
For a more high-end folding bike, consider the Brompton C Line Explore. This comes in a choice of six colors.
Gear range is one of the biggest differences between this and the B75. With the C Line, you get six gears, comprising two derailleur sprockets and three internal hub gears. These aren’t ordinary gears, as their range exceeds that of many 7-8 speed bikes.
The inclusion of fenders and a rack is another notable difference between the C Line Explore and the B75. You also get the front block adapter for carrying Brompton bags, plus the folding pedal that’s missing on the B75.
What we like
- Gears – wider 302% range from 6 gears.
- Foldable – folding pedal helps the C Line achieve a neater fold.
- Adapter – front block adapter accepts Brompton bags.
- Colors – comes in six distinct colors rather than one.
What We Don’t Like
- Expensive – how much do you want a Brompton?
2. Dahon Mariner D8 20” Folding Bike
Perhaps the best-known bike in the Dahon range is the Dahon Mariner D8 20” Folding Bike. Its price is a fraction lower than that of the Brompton B75. One of the main differences is the aluminum frame on the Mariner D8.
Despite its high-quality aluminum Sonus frame, the Dahon bike is heavier than the Brompton B75. The frame is thicker, and the wheels are bigger. It has a steel fork, too. Plus, there are fenders and a cargo rack.
The Dahon Mariner D8 includes built-in technologies to help it fold and perform well.
What we like
- Inexpensive – cheaper than the B75.
- Frame – double-butted Sonus tubing with flat edges for strength and lightness.
- Tech – ViseGrip and Fusion hinge & performance technologies.
- Complete – comes with fenders and a rack.
What We Don’t Like
- Durability – aluminum has a shelf life.
- Size – won’t fold as small as a Brompton.
3. SoloRock Dash 16” Folding Bike
Not many folding bikes use the same diameter wheels as a Brompton, so the SoloRock Dash 16” Folding Bike emulates the iconic bike that way. This bike is built around an aluminum frame, though, which helps keep it lightweight.
The SoloRock Dash folds to an 11.4” x 29.1”x 22.4” size. Whilst decent, this does not beat the 10.6” x 23” x 22.2” folded size of the Brompton B75. That makes the latter some 1.17 cubic feet smaller when folded.
On the plus side, the SoloRock Dash has 8 gears, a rack, fenders, folding pedals, and a bell. And it’s half the price of a Brompton B75. There’s also a choice of 5 colors.
What we like
- Lightweight – weighs 25 lbs. (similar to the B75).
- Extras – many added features versus few on the B75.
- Price – a more achievable price to many.
What We Don’t Like
- Suspension – likely to be a harsher ride than a Brompton.
Is The Brompton B75 Good?
What we Like
- Durability – a frame that could last for decades if not abused.
- Suspension – helps smooth the ride a little.
- Gearing – smaller 44t chainring makes the B75 suitable for hilly areas.
- Foldability – still folds smaller than almost any known bike.
What We Don’t Like
- Limited – already a rare bike in its original Water Blue incarnation.
Without question, the Brompton B75 is a good bike. We don’t kid ourselves that the price makes it reachable to all. It still costs a chunk of money. But it has that iconic Brompton look, the foldability, and the durability.
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