Brompton bikes are known to be some of the best on the folding bike market, so it is not surprising that people like Brompton. This is the cheapest Brompton bike, coming in at under PS1000, yet it still contains all of the features that you expect from this market leader in folding bikes. It may be a cheaper alternative to Brompton bikes with a higher price tag, but still comes with the patented folding Brompton design, so you can fold up this bike and take it anywhere you need to. The larger wheel size means it does not fold as low as the 16in-wheeled ones, but if you need a bike that rides like a full-sized road bike, takes up very little room, and is happy to quickly fold down to stash in the bus, or a flat, or even in your house, then it is the best foldable bike for the job.

A bike this small is not going to be ideal for longer trips, but if the biking portion of your commute is really short and you want the most portable foldable bike you can get, then the Ecosmo is well worth considering. No, you are not going to get the super-compact folding dimensions you would with a 16- or 20-inch wheel bike, but the bike still packs much smaller than the conventional ones, and it fits in your trunk with ease. Schwalbe and Kenda are the popular manufacturers of smaller-diameter tires for folding bikes, and most will measure 1.75-2 inches wide — offering a good grip level thanks to a higher volume, and therefore an increased contact patch with the pavement, than a conventional road tire. This time around, Vektron has a bit smaller 20-inch wheels, though they are larger than some folding bike models, such as world-renowned, ones that are combined with Schwalbes Big Apple tires, and should offer a truly consistent, comfortable feel on a bike.

It is understandable to suggest a smaller wheel will be less of an improvement in terms of gearing compared with the regular bike, as with the same gearing, that is exactly what is happening. Take, for example, a folding road bike such as the Pocket Rocket, which uses a 53-tooth chain wheel and a nine-tooth cassette cog for 116 gear inches.

While the motor and battery add some weight, something you will notice if you need to carry the Brompton upstairs, at 35-37 pounds (including the battery), it is still one of the lighter electric folding bikes. We have long loved Bromptons as one of the only folding bikes that, according to Brompton, will fit into the overhead compartment on a plane; the e-version of the 16-inch-wheeled bike still folds down to that same tiny size, but it adds a custom-designed 250-watt motor on a removable 300-watt-hour battery pack, offering 25 to 50 miles of riding between charges. A recent addition to the Brompton has been a motor, adding further range and cargo capability to what is already a super-practical bike.

The Brompton has grown immensely popular, selling over 40,000 units every year, making fold-up bicycle manufacturer Brompton the biggest British bicycle maker, thanks to its ingenious process for folding. The globally-recognized, London-based Brompton is the market leader in the industry and makes some of the best folding bikes around. This is almost certainly the type of use-case which makes Brompton, the folding bike manufacturer, the biggest bicycle maker in the UK, selling about 45,000 bikes worldwide each year.

It is not surprising then that looking for the least expensive Brompton bikes, or the best alternatives to the Brompton folding bikes can make much more financial sense. If the Brompton brand does not ring any bells with you, or if even the cheapest Brompton bikes are outside of your price range, there are many other quality folding bikes available under the PS500 mark, which we look at below.

You can even order a custom-built Brompton from Brompton bikes Sydney, with your own colour choices and components: All bikes are built on demand in Bromptons London facility. All are available readily from the maker, as well as from a small number of more utilitarian cycle shops. When you do have to take a folding bike for a routine tune-up, you want to make sure that your local shop has specialized knowledge to service these unique bikes (we have some Brompton wizards on staff here at Bicycle Junction).

We also went through the five main advantages that make the Brompton an awesome folding bike, and possibly the best bike to get your hands on. This Btwin is one of the best folding bikes on the market, particularly if you are on a budget for cycling and that does not allow for a Brompton M6L or a Tern Verge X11. The Aventon Sinch Folding Electric Bike Off-road dimensions mean the Sinch is not the most portable folding bike on this list; at 66 pounds, it takes up almost 17 cubic feet when folded (compared with around 3 cubic feet for a Brompton).

With disc-equipped drag-racing bikes hitting similar – if not heavier – numbers on the scale, it is no argument that Bromptons Lightest Ever is in unusually light territory for a folding bike. With all-titan tube construction, a lighter-than-ever total weight of 7.45kg, and an all-new compact 4-speed drivetrain, the T Line represents one of the biggest new releases in Bromptons history. It is a reinvigorated start to building with titanium for Brompton, and one that we are eager to see the Brompton line of titanium bikes take.The one-off folding bike, the Brompton, was designed and built in London by Andrew Ritchie in his South Kensington flat in 1975, across the road from Bromptons church. My advice, simply put, is to get the Brompton if the folding size is of primary importance and if the budget is no serious limitation.