Downtube mini compared to the Brompton folding bike

There is a new generation of folding bikes on the market and Downtube is proud to be one of the leaders in folding bike design and performance. Gone are the days when folding bikes weighed a ton, were hard to pedal and steer, took way too long to fold, and would, much to the chagrin of the rider, often collapse. Now, folding bikes offer huge benefits to the serious and not-so-serious rider. Public Transport allows them on board for free, you can store them in the trunk of your car or other small storage space to avoid theft, and they don’t take up a lot of room if you store one in your house or office.

Choosing a Folding Bike

Some people worry that the small wheels on a folding bike will give an unstable ride and are harder to ride because of low gear ratios. In actuality folding bikes tend to be more agile than standard bicycles. They have the added value that almost every family member can ride the same bike with only minimal adjustments. Perhaps a high quality folding bike is just what you need.

Which folding bike is best for you?

Brompton bikes are the smallest folding bikes in the world. They are definitely very cool - as are so many things from Britain. These bikes have developed an excellent reputation for quality over the years; however, they have had some issues that might turn you away from them: not enough gear options, less than perfect brakes, a recall on their axles, and difficulty with fitting. It’s time for us to brag. Downtube has none of these potential problems. While our Mini is slightly bigger than a Brompton, if you remove the seat post it is almost the same size. If you really need the smallest possible folding bike you won’t go wrong with a Brompton; however, if cost and flexibility are factors in your search for the best bike for you, it would be wise to look at our Mini. A Downtube Mini costs about half as much as a Brompton, provides a complete gear range, uses high quality brakes, has a lighter aluminum frame, and gives you the option of a carbon belt drive to help keep everything clean. Isn’t that delightful!

Check out the comparison table below to see which bike is the best fit for you. Happy riding!


  Brompton Downtube mini (Shimano 8sp)
Frame Material Steel Aluminium
Drivetrain inefficient 3sp hub efficient 8sp internal hub
Rack and Bag interfaces Yes Yes
Cranks lower quality Cold forged
Pedals folding folding
Folded size Super Compact Compact
Brake Quality Old Style Caliper Excellent V brakes
Fits inside a regulation size suitcase Yes Yes
Frame protector (bar from below to protect frame) No Yes
Weight 28 24.5
Use Standard Bike parts No Yes


starts at $1300 around $700