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Folding bikes can be a handy addition to your commute. If you're looking for one, know that each kind folds a little differently.

Bromptons are nice and compact, but how do you make this thing rideable?

First: grab the handlebars and swing them up and out of this clasp.

First: grab the handlebars and swing them up and out of this clasp.

Swing them all the way up, and you'll find a little clamp to hold them up there. Make sure the clamp sits straight and tighten it down with the black handle.

Swing them all the way up, and you'll find a little clamp to hold them up there. Make sure the clamp sits straight and tighten it down with the black handle.

Next: we'll pull the seat up. The seat post holds the folded bike together, so you can't do much until it's extended. Open the clamp and pull up on the seat.

Next: we'll pull the seat up. The seat post holds the folded bike together, so you can't do much until it's extended. Open the clamp and pull up on the seat.

Take a moment to sight down the saddle nose, to make sure it's pointing straight forward. In my experience, it's super annoying to ride with the saddle nose even slightly askew.

Take a moment to sight down the saddle nose, to make sure it's pointing straight forward. In my experience, it's super annoying to ride with the saddle nose even slightly askew.

Get a feel for about how high the saddle needs to be. It takes a lot of tweaking at first, but you start to learn what it looks like when it's pretty close.

Get a feel for about how high the saddle needs to be. It takes a lot of tweaking at first, but you start to learn what it looks like when it's pretty close.

Clamp it!

Clamp it!

Clamp it! (Note that the previous step is easier when not trying to film it.)

Clamp it! (Note that the previous step is easier when not trying to film it.)

Finally: if you've got a folding left pedal, unfold it now.

Finally: if you've got a folding left pedal, unfold it now.

Voila! You're free to speed about the city at will. (Some people unfold the front and back wheels together in one swift heft, but I find that gets the chain tangled fairly frequently.)

Voila! You're free to speed about the city at will. (Some people unfold the front and back wheels together in one swift heft, but I find that gets the chain tangled fairly frequently.)

Once you're ready to refold, push this lever to release the rear wheel, pick up the bike butt to swing it under, and reverse the whole process.

Once you're ready to refold, push this lever to release the rear wheel, pick up the bike butt to swing it under, and reverse the whole process.

  • 1 Brompton folding bicycle