Two brompton bicycles

Brompton A Line vs C Line: The main differences to know


Quick Answer: The Brompton A Line is a simple, easy-to-use bike with a white frame and 3 gears. It’s great for beginners. The C Line has more choices. You can pick different handlebars and gears. It comes in three styles: Urban for city riding, Utility for everyday use, and Explore for adventures.

Mat Stuckey, Commuter Bikes Writer

Choosing the right bike for commuting often leads you to Brompton, a brand known for compact, foldable, and city-friendly bikes.

Brompton’s A-Line and C-Line models stand out with their unique features, catering to different types of commuters.

This article explores the features of these Brompton models to help you decide which one suits your commuting needs the best.

So read on and learn more about what each model has to offer and find the right Brompton bike for your daily commute.

Brompton Bicycle Range Overview

A Line Model: Basic Choice

  • Price: £950
  • Gears: 3 speed system
  • Handlebar: Mid rise
  • Extras: Standard frame and folding mechanism

C Line Model: Versatile Choice

  • Price: Starting from £1,195 (Electric versions available)
  • Gears: 2 speed, 3 speed, or 6 speed options
  • Handlebar: Multiple options, gear levers
  • Seatpost: Various lengths available
  • Extras: Mudguards and luggage carriers included, similar frame and folding mechanism as A Line

Key Takeaways:

  • The A Line is a straightforward, budget friendly option.
  • The C Line offers more customisation and additional features, including electric versions.
  • Other models cater to specific needs like lighter weight or electric assistance.

Brompton A Line: Your Entry to Seamless Urban Mobility

Delve into the realm of foldable urban mobility with the Brompton A Line. This entry-level folding bike embodies the essence of Brompton’s renowned engineering, offering a streamlined, user-friendly riding experience. The A Line is a nod to simplicity, ensuring a straightforward transition into the compact, foldable bike culture for newcomers and veteran cyclists alike.

A Line Range Explained:

The Brompton A Line is your quintessential companion for urban commuting, embodying the spirit of practicality and ease of use. Here’s a glimpse into what makes this model a hallmark of simplicity and reliability in Brompton’s folding bike range:

  • Gear System:
    • 3 Speed: An intuitive gear range making it effortless to adapt to city terrains, whether it’s cruising along flat roads or conquering gentle inclines.
  • Handlebar:
    • Mid Rise: Provides a relaxed, upright riding position fostering comfort on those daily commutes or leisurely weekend rides.
  • Folding Mechanism:
    • Compact Brompton Fold: Embraces Brompton’s signature folding mechanism, making it a breeze to fold, carry, and store, even in the tightest of spaces.
  • Frame Material:
    • Robust Steel Frame: Crafted with a robust steel frame, the A is designed to endure the rigours of daily urban cycling while retaining a manageable weight for easy handling.

A Line: The Basic, No Frills Brompton

The A Line is devoid of complexities, making it a breeze for anyone to hop on and ride. It’s the epitome of Brompton’s promise to provide a compact, reliable, and user-friendly folding bike. It’s not just a bike; it’s your gateway to hassle free urban commuting.

  • Weight: Lightweight design ensures ease of portability and manoeuvrability.
  • Reliability: High quality components synonymous with Brompton’s brand ensure a smooth ride and longevity.

Your Everyday Companion

Whether you’re navigating the daily urban commute or exploring quaint town trails over the weekend, the Brompton A Line stands as a reliable companion. With its simple 3 speed gear system, comfortable mid rise handlebar, and durable frame, it caters to the essential needs of everyday cycling.

Finding the Right Brompton A Line for You

The Brompton A Line is tailored for those seeking simplicity, reliability, and the compact convenience that comes with a folding bike. It’s your entry into a world where mobility meets compact design, encapsulating the basic yet essential features needed for everyday urban cycling.

Brompton C Line: Your Gateway to Versatile City Riding

Unveiling the Brompton C Line, a hallmark of versatility in the folding bike domain. This line, emanating from the reputable Brompton Bicycle brand, reflects a harmonious blend of flexibility and design, tailoring to a spectrum of cyclist needs and urban commuting demands.

C Line Range Explained:

The Brompton C Line is not just a folding bike; it’s a companion for the urban adventurer, the diligent commuter, and the weekend explorer. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what makes the C Line a go to choice for those seeking a blend of convenience and performance in a folding bicycle.

  • Speed Variants:
    • 2 Speed: Ideal for the flat urban sprawl, ensuring a light, hassle free ride.
    • 3 Speed: Offers a balanced gear range for tackling a mix of terrains.
    • 6 Speed: The choice for the undulating landscape, providing a wide gear range to conquer hills and speed along flat roads.
  • Available with Three Types of Handlebar Options:
    • M type: The classic choice for an upright, comfortable riding stance.
    • S type: For those seeking a sportier, more aerodynamic position.
    • H type: A slightly higher handlebar for those preferring an elevated grip.
  • Seatpost Lengths:
    • Standard: Suits most riders, offering a balanced position.
    • Extended: For the taller riders, ensuring a comfortable, natural riding posture.
  • Additional Features:
    • Mudguards and Luggage Carriers: Standard on all C Line models, these features ensure practicality meets style.
    • Robust Steel Frame: The C Line retains Brompton’s signature steel frame, ensuring durability while maintaining a manageable weight.
    • Precision Drawn Heat Treated Steel Tubing: With hand brazing and selected auto-brazed joints, the craftsmanship is palpable.

Electric C Line: The Future of Urban Commuting

Venture into the electric realm with the Electric C Line range. Embellished with a pedal-assist motor, it’s not just a bike; it’s your new urban escape vehicle. The Electric C Line models retain all the customizable features of the traditional C Line, with the added benefit of electric assist, making city riding a breeze.

C Line Models: Urban, Utility, and Explore

  • C Line Urban: Tailored for the city-savvy rider, the Urban model is your weekday workhorse and weekend wanderer.
  • C Line Utility: When functionality meets design, the Utility model shines, equipped for everyday errands and unexpected adventures.
  • C Line Explore: For the restless explorer, this model is ready for days in the saddle, discovering the unseen corners of your city.

Finding the Right Brompton C Line for You

With an array of options in speed, handlebar design, and seatpost lengths, the Brompton C Line beckons to all riders ready to embrace the fold and unfold rhythm of urban cycling.

Brompton says, “Your city, your bike.” The C Line epitomises this mantra, offering a folding bike that morphs to fit your lifestyle, your pace, and your urban landscape. Seek out a Brompton retailer, test ride the C Line, and find your perfect urban companion.

Frame and Folding Mechanism Similarities

Whether you choose the Brompton A Line or C Line, you can expect similar frame designs and folding mechanisms that make these bikes compact and easy to transport.

Both models feature Brompton’s renowned steel frame, known for its durability and strength. The frame is intelligently designed to provide excellent stability and ride quality, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable cycling experience.

The folding mechanism of the Brompton A Line and C Line is also identical, allowing for quick and hassle free folding.

With just a few simple steps, you can effortlessly fold your bike into a compact size, perfect for storing in small spaces or taking on public transportation.

This convenience makes the Brompton folding bikes incredibly versatile and suitable for urban commuting, weekend getaways, and even international travel.

In addition to their frame and folding mechanism similarities, both the A Line and C Line models feature Brompton’s patented rear triangle design, ensuring optimal rigidity and stability during rides.

This design not only enhances the bikes’ overall performance but also contributes to their sleek and elegant look.

Whether you’re zipping through city streets or exploring scenic countryside routes, you can trust that your Brompton bike will deliver a smooth and enjoyable ride.

Brompton A LineBrompton C Line
Steel frameSteel frame
Quick and easy folding mechanismQuick and easy folding mechanism
Patented rear triangle designPatented rear triangle design
Gearing OptionsSingle-Speed, three speed, six speed

Brompton C Line: Mudguards and Luggage Carriers as Standard

One notable advantage of choosing a Brompton C Line model is that it comes with mudguards and a front carrier block as standard, providing added practicality and convenience for your daily commute or longer adventures.

The inclusion of mudguards ensures that you stay protected from splashes and debris, keeping your clothes clean and dry even on wet roads. This is especially important during the unpredictable British weather.

The carrier block, on the other hand, offer a secure and convenient solution for carrying your essentials. Whether you need to transport groceries, work documents, or even a change of clothes, the built in block provides a simple attachment of a luggage bag, giving ample space and stability.

No more struggling with extra bags or worrying about balancing your belongings while you ride.

With these standard features, the Brompton C Line models are ready to take on any journey, whether it’s a quick trip to the office or a leisurely weekend adventure.

You can confidently navigate through bustling city streets or venture into the countryside, knowing that your bike is equipped to handle whatever you need to bring along.

Plus, the added convenience means you can truly enjoy the ride without unnecessary burdens.

Standard FeaturesBrompton C Line
Luggage CarriersYes
Frame OptionsBespoke steel frame
Gearing OptionsTwo-speed, Three-speed, Six-speed
Handlebar OptionsM, H, or S type
Seatpost LengthsStandard or extended

Pricing and Range Options

When it comes to pricing, the Brompton A Line is priced at £950, while the C Line range starts from £1,195, offering more options and features for those willing to invest more.

Additionally, the C Line range also includes electric versions, adding an extra level of convenience and versatility.

If you’re looking for a basic folding bike without any extra frills, the A Line is a great option. It’s a 3 speed bike with a mid rise handlebar, perfect for everyday commuting or leisurely rides.

On the other hand, the C Line offers a wider range of options to suit different preferences and riding styles. With 2 speed, 3 speed, and 6 speed options, you can choose the gearing that best matches your needs.

The C Line also comes with different handlebar options, allowing you to customise your riding position for maximum comfort.

And if you’re someone who frequently carries luggage or rides in wet conditions, the C Line models have mudguards and luggage carriers as standard features, adding practicality and convenience to your rides.

Bike ModelPricingAvailable Options
Brompton A Line£9503 speed gear system, mid rise handlebar
Brompton C LineStarting from £1,1952 speed, 3 speed, and 6 speed options, various handlebar options, mudguards and luggage carriers as standard
Brompton C Line ElectricStarting from £1,195Electric assistance, pedal assist motor

Brompton’s Signature Features: Beyond the Fold

Brompton bicycles aren’t just about compact folding; they encapsulate a range of features that cater to the urban commuter’s needs, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable riding experience.

Here are some notable features that set Brompton bikes apart:

Touch Points: Tailored for Comfort

Brompton pays meticulous attention to the rider’s touchpoints. Whether it’s the handlebar, saddle, or grips, each component is designed to provide a comfortable interaction between the rider and the bike.

  • Handlebars: Brompton offers different handlebar types to suit various riding styles.
  • Saddle: Whether you prefer a sporty or more cushioned saddle, Brompton has got you covered.
  • Grips: Ergonomic grips ensure a comfortable hold, reducing fatigue on longer rides.

Lighting and Dynamo Systems: Illuminate Your Path

Safely navigate through any lighting condition with Brompton’s lighting and dynamo systems. The hub dynamo ensures that your lights are always ready when you need them, without the hassle of charging or replacing batteries.

  • Hub Dynamo: Generates power as you pedal, keeping your lights powered at all times.
  • Integrated Lighting: Front and rear lights are integrated for maximum visibility and safety.

Superlight Option: Lighter and Faster

For those looking to shave off some weight for a swifter commute or easier carry, Brompton’s Superlight option is the answer. With a frame made from a titanium and steel blend, it’s significantly lighter without compromising on strength or durability.

  • Titanium Frame: Reduces the weight while maintaining the structural integrity of the bike.

Luggage Solutions: Carry Your World with You

Brompton offers a variety of luggage solutions that seamlessly integrate with the bike frame. From front-mounted bags to rear carriers, carrying your essentials has never been easier.

  • Front Mounted Bags: Easily accessible and doesn’t affect the bike’s handling.
  • Rear Carriers: Ideal for heavier loads and equipped with bungee cords to keep everything in place.

Mudguards and Fenders: A Clean Ride

No one likes arriving with splashes up their back. Brompton’s mudguards and fenders ensure a clean ride even through puddles and rainy weather. Still might be worth picking up some easy waterproof trousers though, UK weather can be grim!

  • Full Coverage Mudguards: Keep the water and mud away, ensuring a clean ride.

Schwalbe Marathon Racer Tyres

Standard on many models, these tyres offer a great balance of speed, grip, and puncture resistance, making them suitable for a range of urban riding conditions.

Suspension Block: Smooth Sailing Over Bumps

Some Bromptons come with a rear suspension block that helps smooth out the bumps on the road, providing a more comfortable ride.

  • Rear Suspension Block: Absorbs shocks and vibrations, ensuring a smooth ride on rough urban terrains.

Brompton bicycles are more than just a folding bike; they are a compilation of features and details aimed at enhancing the urban cycling experience.

Each aspect, from the lighting to the luggage solutions, is a testament to Brompton’s dedication to providing a bike that’s not only compact but also comfortable, reliable, and ready for the urban jungle.

When selecting a Brompton C Line model, it’s a good idea to consider the various handlebar options available, as well as the customisation of seatpost length, to ensure the perfect fit and riding comfort.

Brompton offers different handlebar styles to suit different riding preferences and body types. Let’s explore the available options:

Handlebar StyleDescription
Upright HandlebarA classic design that provides an upright riding position, promoting better visibility and a more relaxed riding experience with easy access to brake levers.
S Type HandlebarA sportier option that offers a slightly forward-leaning riding position, ideal for those who prefer a more dynamic and aerodynamic riding style.
M Type HandlebarA mid-rise handlebar that strikes a balance between the upright and sporty positions, providing a comfortable and versatile riding experience.
H Type HandlebarA high-rise handlebar that offers the most upright riding position, perfect for riders who prioritise comfort and stability, especially during longer rides.

Once you’ve chosen the handlebar style that suits your riding preference, it’s important to consider the optimal seatpost length for your comfort. Brompton offers various seatpost lengths to accommodate riders of different heights. To determine the right seatpost length, follow these simple steps:

  1. Measure your inseam, or inside leg length, in centimetres.
  2. Refer to Brompton’s seatpost length guide to find the suitable seatpost length for your inseam measurement.
  3. Ensure the seatpost is adjusted to the correct height, allowing for a slight bend in your knee when the pedal is at its lowest position.

By choosing the right handlebar style and seatpost length, you can optimise your riding experience and ensure maximum comfort and control.

Remember, a well fitted bike can enhance your enjoyment and confidence on the road, whether you’re commuting, exploring the city, or embarking on an adventure.

Take the time to find the perfect fit.

Exploring the Electric Options

For those seeking an extra level of convenience and versatility, exploring the electric options within the Brompton C Line range might be the way to go, as they offer electric assistance for easier uphill climbs and longer rides.

The electric bikes in the Brompton C Line range come equipped with a pedal assist motor that provides a boost to your pedalling, making your rides less strenuous and more enjoyable.

One of the key advantages of the electric bikes is their ability to tackle challenging terrains with ease.

Whether you’re facing steep hills or navigating through busy urban streets, the electric assistance provided by these bikes ensures a smooth and effortless ride.

You can say goodbye to struggling up inclines or arriving at your destination exhausted; instead, let the electric motor do the work for you.

The electric options within the Brompton C Line range also offer extended range capabilities, allowing you to go further and explore more.

With electric assistance, you can cover longer distances without worrying about running out of energy. It’s perfect for those who enjoy going on leisurely rides or commuting longer distances.

You’ll be able to experience the joy of cycling without the limitations of physical endurance.

Unlocking the Benefits of Electric Assistance

When you choose an electric bike from the Brompton C Line range, you unlock a range of benefits that enhance your overall riding experience.

Not only do you get the convenience of electric assistance, but you also enjoy the same versatility and options available in the non-electric models.

You can customise your electric bike with different handlebar options and seatpost lengths to achieve the perfect fit for your comfort and riding style.

Benefits of Brompton Electric Bikes
Electric assistance for easier uphill climbs and longer rides
Smoother and more enjoyable rides
Extended range capabilities
Customisation options for optimal comfort
Seamless integration with the Brompton fold

With an electric bike from Brompton, you can effortlessly conquer any terrain, explore new routes, and enjoy the freedom of riding with ease.

Whether you’re commuting, running errands, or simply embarking on leisurely rides, the electric options within the Brompton C Line range provide a reliable and efficient means of transportation without compromising on comfort or style.

Brompton A Line vs C Line: Making Your Decision

Now that you have a better understanding of the main differences and options between the Brompton A Line and C Line models, it’s time to make your decision, keeping in mind your riding style, intended use, and personal preferences.

If you’re looking for a basic folding bike option with a mid rise handlebar and a 3 speed gear system, the Brompton A Line might be the right choice for you.

It’s a reliable and straightforward model that can handle daily commutes and shorter rides with ease. With its compact design, it’s also easy to carry and store when not in use.

On the other hand, if you’re seeking more options and versatility, the Brompton C Line is worth considering.

With different speed options and handlebar choices, you can customise your bike to suit your specific needs and preferences.

The C Line also comes with mudguards and luggage carriers as standard, making it practical for longer rides or commuting in different weather conditions.

When making your decision, it’s essential to think about the terrain you’ll be riding on, the distance you’ll be covering, and your comfort preferences.

Take into account the handlebar and seatpost length options available for the C Line models, as these can significantly impact your riding experience.

Additionally, consider your budget, as the C Line range starts from £1,195, while the A Line is priced at £950. If you’re looking for an electric bike, the C Line range also offers electric options to explore.

Ultimately, the choice between the Brompton A Line and C Line models comes down to your individual preferences and commuting needs.

Whether you prioritise simplicity and affordability or seek more customisation and versatility, Brompton has options to cater to your requirements.

Take your time, weigh the pros and cons, and select the model that will bring you the most joy and convenience on your cycling adventures.

ModelMain FeaturesPrice
Brompton A Line3 speed gear system, mid rise handlebar, basic folding bike option£950
Brompton C LineVariety of speed and handlebar options, mudguards and luggage carriers as standardStarts from £1,195


Q: What is the difference between the Brompton A-Line and C-Line?

A: The main difference between the Brompton A-Line and C-Line is the type of handlebar. The A-Line uses the traditional M-Type handlebar, while the C-Line features a new design called the P-Type handlebar.

Q: What is a folding bike?

A: A folding bike is a bicycle that can be folded into a compact size for easy storage and transportation. It is a convenient option for commuters and travelers.

Q: What is Brompton Fold?

A: Brompton Fold refers to the unique folding mechanism used in Brompton folding bikes. It allows the bike to be folded quickly and easily, making it one of the most compact and portable folding bikes available.

Q: Is the Brompton A-Line an electric bike?

A: No, the Brompton A-Line is not an electric bike. It is a manual folding bike that relies on human power.

Q: What is the Brompton P-Line?

A: The Brompton P-Line refers to the Brompton folding bike models that feature the P-Type handlebar. These models are known for their versatility and comfort.

Q: How does the Brompton P Line differ from the T-Line?

A: The Brompton P-Line and T-Line are both models that feature the P-Type handlebar. The main difference between them lies in the gearing system. The P-Line models typically come with 6-speed hub gears, while the T-Line models have 4-speed hub gears.

Q: What are the features of the Brompton P-Line?

A: The Brompton P-Line models are known for their lightweight design, comfortable riding position, and smooth folding mechanism. They also come with a range of customisation options to suit individual preferences.

Q: Does the Brompton Electric C Line bike assist with pedalling?

A: Yes, it is equipped with a motor and battery that assist with pedalling, providing an effortless and efficient riding experience.

Q: What are the differences between the Brompton C Line and Electric C Line?

A: The main difference between the Brompton C-Line and the Electric C-Line is the power source. The C-Line is a non-electric folding bike, while the Electric C-Line is specifically designed with electric assistance.

Q: What are the best folding bike options available from Brompton?

A: Brompton offers a range of folding bike options, including the A-Line, C-Line, P-Line, and Electric C-Line. The best option depends on individual preferences and intended use, so it is recommended to test ride different models to find the right Brompton for you. 

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