I had a Birdy, excellent reputation. 9 speed, small fold, light weight, great ride, the list goes on.
I now have a Brompton. Also excellent reputation. It's heavier, a bit slower, doesn't have the same gearing range, the list goes on.
Convenience won. Sheer all-round convenience. Coupled with the name they made for themselves for the best fold bar none. For folding it beats the Birdy quite far. The ride quality for the Birdy is a bit better, perhaps a lot better, but I also have a bike with unbeatable ride quality, a Swift, which is for fast road riding.
Horses for courses. If folding is what you want, the best one to get is Brompton. Sure it won't win races but that's not what it's for.
As for other companies in this folding game, the advantage that Brompton has built up over the past 30+ years, that is going to be very hard to beat.
Nope. Pick any two. In the (I believe too improbable) event someone does come out with a Brompton beater, it will be expensive. Certainly Dahon have poured years into the effort of coming up with a Brompton beater. The result is the Curl. This, their best effort, is not even in the same class, and they know it - it is not even offered in the West.Quote:
...similar (or better) fold, better parts, better ride and for cheaper.
Chap by the name of Len Rubin crafted a Brompton clone out of titanium and gave it MTB gearing. His idea was to go into business with the idea, but its stratospheric price scared away all but the most well-heeled collectors.
So the MIT is very obviously trying to compete by riding the same wave of success that the Brompton has earned. I think it unlikely that they will compete effectively. Reason? The name Brompton and everything it represents. That's the reason they are so popular in the far east. People buy them and pimp them up. That some of the parts are not of the same quality level as in other cases is quite irrelevant.