Both the Brompton A Line and the Brompton C Line are quality folding bikes that will help you get around – but which is right for you?
Brompton is a renowned name in the world of folding bikes, known for their exceptional and innovative designs.
Their A Line and C Line models have gained immense popularity. In this guide, I will compare Brompton A Line and C Line to help you in making an informed decision.
Both Brompton A Line and C Line are folding bikes created specifically for urban commuting, having several similarities yet distinct differences.
Furthermore, both models feature various accessories and customization options that enable you to personalize your bike according to your requirements. With different color options and gear ratios, you can create a bike that is unique to you.
This guide will provide a comprehensive comparison of both models that will aid you in making an informed decision. Whether you are a daily commuter or a weekend rider, the Brompton A Line and C Line are excellent choices for those seeking a high-quality folding bike.
|Brompton A Line||Brompton C Line|
|Micro-alloy steel||Frame||Micro-alloy steel|
|Micro-alloy steel||Fork||Micro-alloy steel|
|3 gears||Gearing||2 gear (Urban)/6 gear (Explore)|
|A Line Mid Handlebar||Handlebar||C Line Short/Mid/High Handlebars|
|645mm (H) x 585mm (W) x 270mm (D) (25.3” x 23” x 10.6”)||Folded Size||645mm (H) x 565mm (W) x 270mm (D) (25.3” x 23” x 10.6”)|
|Brompton 3 speed shifter||Shifters||Brompton 2 and 3 speed Trigger shifters|
|Brompton calipers||Breaks||Brompton Dual Pivot Calipers|
|16″, 28 spoke||Wheels||16″, 28 spoke|
|349 x 35C Schwalbe Marathon Racer||Tyres||349 x 35C Schwalbe Marathon Racer|
|Brompton Extended Chromoly steel tube (Suitable for maximum inside leg 35″/89cm)||Seatpost||Brompton Extended Chromoly steel tube (Suitable for maximum inside leg 35″/89cm)|
|Brompton classic saddle with integrated carrying handle||Saddle||Brompton classic saddle with integrated carrying handle|
|Non-folding composite pedals||Pedals||Brompton Folding left hand and non-folding right-hand pedals|
The Brompton A Line and the Brompton C Line share the same frame, resulting in a very similar appearance. Although the C Line has a few additional features, such as mud flaps, that may slightly alter the classic Brompton look, to the casual observer, both bikes look great as you ride by.
Brompton bikes do have a unique look. The curve of the frame looks smooth, and with slightly larger wheels than other brands which means it avoids that “toy car” look.
If you are looking for a lightweight bike, you may want to go with the Brompton A Line which weighs 11.6kg. However, if you prefer a more robust bike for touring and carrying extra gear, the Brompton C Line at 12.1kg could be a better choice.
Although both bikes have the same steel frame construction, the C Line is designed specifically for touring which makes it sturdier.
Despite the A Line being cheaper, there is no compromise on the quality of materials used as expected from Brompton.
Overall, the difference in weight between the two bikes is only 0.5kg, so it’s not a big factor to consider.
The fundemetal of the ride is the same for the Brompton A Line and C Line.
They have similar frames and tyres, and with only a 0.5kg difference in weight you would be unlikely to spot a difference.
The real differences are in the gear ratios. The C Line model has the option between a 6 gear and a 2 gear option – the gear model (the Explore) is designed as a tourer. this will allow you to switch between a variety of surfaces. From uphill slogs, to mile-after-mile of flat expanse, the C Line Explore will handle them both.
The C Line Urban – with it’s 2 gear option – is ideal for the city streets. Sure you don’t get much of a top speed, but you won’t notice when you’re just getting from your apartment to the subway.
The A Line tries to sit somewhere in the middle. With its 3 gear ratio you will find it handles the urban easy enough, with a bit of support for those longer rides.
If you want a bit of everything then the A Line is for you, however as with any “one-size fits all” model it can feel like a bit of a compromise between two different needs. For me, the specialisation between the C Line Urban and C Line Explore means it wins this round for me.
Verdict: Brompton C Line
If you are familiar with Brompton bikes, you will feel right at home with both the Brompton A Line and the Brompton C Line, as they both utilize the classic “3 Fold” system. To me, this is one of the best folding methods available in the market. Rest assured, you won’t miss a beat with either of these Brompton models.
The C Line does fold up ever so slightly smaller (645mm (H) x 585mm (W) x 270mm (D) for the A Line compared to 645mm (H) x 565mm (W) x 270mm (D) for the C Line), however a 20mm difference in width is unlikely to make a massive difference!
The A Line from Brompton is a “one-size fits all” bike option that is perfect for those who prefer a convenient and easy-to-use bike. This is the reason why it is priced lower compared to other bikes in the range.
However, the downside is that it doesn’t offer any customization options at the moment. It only comes in white color and has classic mid-height handlebars.
Although the A Line model will come by default without mudguards, lights or folding pedals, they can be purchased separately.
On the other hand, if you prefer to have some choice in your bike, then the C Line from Brompton is a better option.
It offers a few options for you to choose from, including the 6 gear and 2 gear options with the “Explore” and “Urban” models, as well as a selection of 9 colors to choose from.
You also get to choose between low, mid, and high handlebar heights. Overall, if you want a customized setup for your bike, the Brompton C Line is the way to go.
Verdict: Brompton C Line
Price and value for money
As a “one size fits all” model, the A Line has the one price of $1150.00. This is extremely competitive amongst the Brompton range, where prices can easily exceed $2000.
The A Line is designed to be the introductory model in the Brompton range, so it is ideal for those new to folding and bikes and are unsure of what they need.
The C Line on the other hand can range from $1550 all the way up to $2500 depending on the model and customization options you choose.
If cost is you main concern then the A Line will provide a fantastic option, but if you’re willing to spend a bit extra then the C Line will give you plenty of bang for your buck.
With the choice between the C Line Urban and the C Line Explore, the C Line models are great for those who know a thing or two about folding bikes and want to get something a bit “extra”.
Verdict: Brompton A Line
If you are looking for a quality entry level folding bike, and you’re not sure what you’ll be using it for then the A Line will be best for you.
However, overall I would recommend the Brompton C Line. With its specialist models, and its customization options, it sits head and shoulders above the A Line.
Choosing between the C Line Explore and the C Line Urban will come down to your personal preference, as well as what you want to get from your bike.