Fine-Tuning Your Custom Brompton: Saddle, Tires & Lighting

After you’ve chosen you preferred handlebar, gearing and rack/fender options, there are more decisions to be made:

  • Select your saddle and seat post height and saddle for best fit and comfort

  • Choose tires and lighting for the desired performance and functionality

SADDLE

Few things are as personal as the choice of saddle on a bicycle. Brompton offers a choice of two widths on their standard saddle: 147mm and 167mm. The wider option will work well for both men and women with the H-hadlebar option, where most of the rider’s weight is distributed to the sit-bones. Women in general may find a more favorable fit with the wider saddle, although many men do as well. With the S-handlebar, most men would likely find the narrower saddle more appropriate.

Fortunately, Brompton offers an upgrade to the Brooks B17 Special saddle, which is a gorgeous piece of craftsmanship in Antique Brown leather with copper finished rails and rivets. The same saddle is offered in men’s and women’s version, and it will conform to your unique contours with use over time, just like a pair of leather boots. It is a worthwhile and highly recommended upgrade.

A Brompton will also easily accept any other saddle you may have in mind.

Seatpost height

  1. Standard seat post will suit riders with an inseam up to 32-33”.

  2. Extended seat post is two inches longer and will accommodate inseams from 33-35”. However, the the folded configuration, this seat post will protrude two inches beyond the frame. This is fine for daily commuting and storing the bike, but it does not work well for packing the Brompton in a travel case. If you require that functionality, and have a long inseam, choose the next option.

  3. Telescopic seat post will also accommodate inseams up to 35”, but this $60 upgrade gives you the ability to completely collapse the telescoping seat post extension into the main tube of the seat post, making the bike as packable as the standard one.

Tires

Our preferred choice, and the one we order for all of our stock bikes, is the $35 Schwalbe Marathon upgrade for its time-tested durability and puncture resistance. Schwalbe Kojaks are a lightweight option that some Brompton owners prefer who are accustomed to more of a road-bike feel. The Kojaks are lighter and work well on superlight bikes if you want to save additional weight.

The standard used by Brompton in the Schwalbe Marathon Racer, which is a fine compromise, and does not add extra cost.

Although Brompton does not offer this option, we do stock Schwalbe Marathon Winter studded tires at Cosmic Bikes for customers who intend to use the bike in all conditions throughout Chicago winter.

Lighting

You can purchase a Brompton with just a reflector set, and use lights you already own or purchase a set you like. Any light set will mount on a Brompton as on any other bike. However, you may find that you have to remove the lights or move them out of the way when the bike is being folded.

If you prefer more streamlined lights, Brompton offers two options:

  • A USB rechargeable battery set, consisting of a Cateye 400 lumen front LED headlight and a rear blinker. These differ from after-market lights in that they come with mounting brackets custom-made for the Brompton, and do not interfere with the folding functionality of the bike. They can easily be removed when not needed, and can be conveniently charged wherever you happen to be.

  • Integrated front and rear lights powered by Shutter Precision Dynamo Hub. This is a fantastic option for commuters, which eliminates the problem of forgetting your lights at home or running out of charge. The LED lamps go on when you start pedaling, and feature a small capacitor that allows the lights to stay on when you pull up to a red light, so that you are always visible on your Brompton.