We reviewed the original Brompton Electric back in July 2021 and found it to be a nice e-bike but due to its design found its weight a bit of an issue – it took a lot of effort to lift and carry around for example, when negotiating train station steps or storing it into a car’s boot.
Brompton’s answer is the Electric P Line, which the company claims is lighter, faster, and even more portable than its original offering. Since our last review, they’ve also launched an accompanying mobile app. So, how does it compare to its predecessor?
Brompton Electric P Line: Price, Competition & Design
The original Brompton, first launched in 1975, remains a masterpiece of design. It can’t be underestimated just how impressive it is to have created a bike so beautiful and so functional that has stood the test of time.
The Electric P Line retains that functional genius and the ability to be folded down to just a third of its full size. Sadly though, electrifying a Brompton does require some compromises in terms of the look of the bike. The additional wiring takes away from the aesthetic and has to be routed in a rather ugly fashion to retain the iconic folding mechanism synonymous with all Brompton models.
The folding mechanism also explains Brompton’s decision to incorporate the motor into the hub of the front wheel and the battery into a detachable bag that sits on the handlebars. These are inspired choices.
The motor is placed close enough to the ground that it doesn’t impact the ride experience and the handlebar bag has enough storage capacity to carry the battery charger, a water bottle, a wallet, and keys. The battery is also much easier than those on other e-bikes to remove and reattach which is a big plus for those needing to recharge it away from the bike.
The Electric P Line weighs in at just 12.7kg without the battery, approximately 3kg lighter than the original Brompton Electric. It retails from £3,695 and upwards meaning it is very much located in the premium folding e-bike segment. That places it in competition with the likes of the GoCycle G4 and the HummingBird Multispeed.
Brompton Electric P Line: Performance
Before turning the pedals we recommend new Brompton owners first spend a little bit of time practicing how to collapse their new ride. Brompton has two excellent videos showing how to fold and unfold the bike.
At first, it can be a little tricky and if you don’t get it exactly right then the weight of the front wheel will quickly see the Electric P Line collapse to one side. However, once you’ve mastered it you’ll be able to confidently transfer between a full-sized bike and a stable compact package in less than 30 seconds.
In terms of ride performance, the Electric P Line is very similar to the original Brompton Electric. With four gears, a responsive smart torque sensor, and Brompton’s advance suspension lock supplied as standard, it’s a joy to ride. The in-built lights promise hassle-free commuting as it’ll always be ready to go. And the knowledge it can be taken on public transport, bundled into the back of a taxi, or loaded into the boot of the car gives confidence it easily be taken just about anywhere.
The 250W hub motor provides enough power to tackle the steepest hills and great acceleration up to its max assisted speed of 15.5mph. Meanwhile, the 300Wh battery offers up to 70km of range which is more than ample for the city riding it is designed for. Unusually for an e-bike, it comes equipped with rim brakes rather than discs but with its lightweight design, this doesn’t create any problems.
It’s not the fastest e-bike on the market when rolling downhill and there is a lot of road buzz when navigating potholes or poorly maintained roads, but that’s inevitable with any bike opting to sport 16” tyres.
Indeed, you won’t notice too much difference between this and the original Brompton Electric when out on the road. Both bikes opt for a front hub motor design, meaning the handlebar feels top-heavier and less easy to control over full-sized offerings; add in that there’s no front or rear suspension either, and it results in a rather jagged riding experience.
However, it’s those brief moments when the bike needs to be lifted or carried when the benefits of the Electric P line become instantly apparent. It’s certainly much kinder on tired arms over the original Brompton Electric thanks to the lighter Titanium rear frame and other lightweight components.
The other new addition is the accompanying mobile app which adds to an improved ride experience. It’s useful as, unlike most e-bikes, the Brompton does not have any form of in-built digital display on the handlebars. It means you’ll need to factor in the cost of a phone mount such as the Brompton Quad Lock, but it’s a worthwhile investment.
The app connects to the bike and battery pack via Bluetooth. While riding it displays the current speed and allows the rider to easily switch between the three available levels of assistance. Thereby eliminating the need to use the harder-to-reach controls on the top of the handlebar bag itself.
The app does everything you need it to but does feel rather basic and limited compared to what is offered by other brands such as Specialized. Hopefully, Brompton will continue to add more functionality over time. For example, it would be great to be able to control the in-built lights, to track average speed, current distance, estimated remaining range, and calories burnt. It would also be good to incorporate a ride history or to at least auto-sync with the likes of Strava, for riders wishing to track their journeys and mileage over time.
Totally EV’s Verdict on the Brompton Electric P Line
For many, it will be difficult to get beyond the hefty price tag. However, the Electric P Line is undoubtedly a genuine improvement on what was already a very good bike. If you’re spending serious money on an electric Brompton then this is the model to go for. Your back and arms will thank you when the time comes for it to be carried! The seven-year frame warranty and three-year electrical warranty also help to justify the investment.
Easy to ride, store and charge, it delivers on its promise of being a fun bike that can be taken anywhere. That makes it a great choice for commuters and those that otherwise wouldn’t have the space for an e-bike.
As before though, we’d encourage readers to consider if the journeys they’re likely to do on a Brompton really require the help of a battery. If not, and they have the space, then for the same budget they may be better looking at investing in the original non-electrified Brompton and a dedicated full-size e-Bike, instead.
Brompton Electric P Line Specs – as reviewed
- Steel Brompton main frame, front frame, handlebar support and pin
- Brompton Electric Steel Fork
- New Brompton Superlight Advance Rear Frame – Ti
- Brompton Mid and High Handlebars
- Brompton Electric Front Wheel
- Brompton Electric Superlight Advance 4 Speed Rear Wheel
- Tubolito inner tubes
- Continental Contact Urban Folding Tyres
- Brompton 4 Speed Shifter
- Brompton Advance 4 Speed Sprocket Set – 11,13,15 and 18 tooth
- Brompton Superlight Advance Chain
- Brompton Advance 4 Speed Derailleur
- Brompton Advance Derailleur Chain Tensioner
- Brompton Chainset 54 Tooth
- Brompton Electric Bottom Bracket
- Brompton Superlight Saddle
- Brompton Superlight Pentaclip
- Brompton Seatpost
- Brompton Aluminium Hinge Clamp Levers, Seat Clamp & Rear Frame Clip Set
- Brompton Superlight Grips
- Brompton Folding Pedals
- Brompton Front Mudguard and Superlight Advance Rear Mudguards
- Brompton Advance Suspension Block
- Brompton Advance Roller Wheels
- Brompton Front and Rear Brakes
- Brompton Superlight Headset
- Brompton Advance Roller Frame – optional
- Brompton Essentials Bag