Brompton has created its lightest bike ever, the T Line, weighing just 7.45kg.
The product of three years of research and development, the brand said it brought its fold to life in titanium by forging new construction techniques, designing over 150 components and building a dedicated factory in order to create the ultra-light bike.
At the new facility in Sheffield, the frame is precision-engineered in titanium, then orbital and tig-welded for strength. In London, the T Line is finished with new componentry and ‘tuned for the city’.
Will Carleysmith, chief design and engineering officer at Brompton, said: “The only thing that has been carried over from our classic model is the brake system. Everything else has been finessed, pared back, upgraded. We have gone over this entire product in the minutest detail, looking for every single gram we can find to save on weight.
“What we’ve ended up with in T Line is the sense that when you leave the house you can go anywhere. All of those shared environments you experience when exploring a city, the bike is not going to be a burden, and you can do whatever you want with ease. That’s a pretty amazing feeling!”
The new, patent-pending drivetrain is designed to sit inside the bike’s fold. The carbon crankset gives greater power transfer, said Brompton, and the 60g derailleur delivers smooth shifting in a small package.
The T Line also has a steel-armoured carbon seat post. Brompton’s design engineers have developed a new process to reinforce the limitations of carbon with 0.3mm steel armour, and the result is a super light seat post that can take the abrasion of the fold, 110kg load and all-weather riding, said the brand.
Paul Williams, chief operations officer, explained the challenges Brompton overcame to create T Line: “Whilst titanium ore is a relatively abundant material, turning it into something usable for bike manufacture takes an extraordinary amount of effort.
“It proves worth it though, as it has the highest strength to density ratio of any metallic element, along with great impact strength and corrosion resistance, making it the perfect material to create the ultimate lightweight folding bike, able to withstand the punishing impacts of the city.
He continued: “Working with titanium takes a high level of knowledge, experience and diligence, so finding the right partner who shared our vision and belief in what could be achieved with Titanium was critical. Our relationship with C W Fletcher, based in Sheffield started over 7 years ago and they have a long history in manufacturing going back over 100 years.
“With them, we built Brompton Fletcher, a dedicated company with a purpose-built production facility and skilled team able to work with this demanding material and fabricate these fantastic titanium frames.”
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The new Brompton T Line is exclusively available via a ballot system on Brompton.com and through selected Brompton Junction stores in London, New York, Shanghai, Singapore and Paris. The bike will be available in two specifications, each with the option of a low and mid-rise handlebar fit: