Train+11 miles Folder Commute

cougie uk

Über Member
Cheap bike to leave at the station ? Brompton ?


Über Member
Another vote for a Brompton. Surprisingly capable machines once you’re used to it. I normally commute 16mi with a full size bike but there are times when it’s a one-way journey and use a 2speed Brompton. It’s different but comfortable and only a little slower.
Another plus with a Brompton is it folds small enough to qualify as hand luggage - it will fit in the space between the seats in some carriages.

Carry it in a large black bin liner and train staff won't even realise you have a bike.

Could be handy if the bike/pushchair/large luggage space is full because you won't have to obstruct the aisle - doing that could attract official attention.


Legendary Member
Thought of both of them. I doubt a cheap bike that I didn't mind getting nicked would stand up to 22 miles each day at a decent pace. My cheap BTwin would but I would mind that getting nicked.
A brompton would be ideal if it was just a 1 or 2 mile commute at the far end.
Really?? My longest day in Bulgaria last year was 173km on my Brompton. It travels at about 3kph slower than my carbon gravel bike. People ride round the world on Bromptons.


Tattooed Beat Messiah
I did 8 months of a train and 11 mile Brompton commute.
I never got on with a Brompton. The bike wasn't an enjoyable ride for me, though they can shift at a fair old lick if your engine allows :okay:. I'm no slouch and must admit used to love cruising past commuting roadies, often taking them by complete surprise. :laugh:
In the end I decided to face the wrath of the train inspectors and took my normal bike 4 days of the week. Only once did a jobsworth at a station said I'm not allowed to take the bike on the train. I just said it had a mechanical.
I sold the Brompton on.


Über Member
I'm looking at the possibility of a commute by train on the mainline, then rather than waiting for a branchline service cycling 11miles at a decent speed. The Airnimal Chamelon looks capable of doing this, is there anything else?

Tern Joe is a similar build size to the Chameleon and has a 21 gear option. It's heavy though compared to the chameleon and has big comfy tyres so it depends what you mean by "speed". Brompton's are hellish nippy also.


Casper WY USA
I used to commute to work on one, winding up with about 20 miles round trip. I'd done the same routes for 20 years on a fixie, a SS and a geared mtn bike, with not much difference in time or effort. 2 differences were I could keep the B in the office and it carried cargo more efficiently than the others as the weight in the front bag, carried by the frame , improved the ride. When there was snow and ice I took another bike, though. Now I'm retired I ride 20 miles with no problem on the Brompton, although it's not broken up into going and returning. I have a bunch of bikes of different types but it's my favorite. When I go to Denver, Colorado or Albuquerque, New Mexico, I take it with me to enjoy the fine trails they have there, without having to use a bike rack or impact much on how much luggage will fit in the car.
I can't comment on the mainline station you will be using but I know a handful of people who keep half decent bikes locked up at York station and they have never had one nicked. Security at York station may be better than some but I don't see why a cheap bike wouldn't make an 11 mile commute providing it's kept serviced.


Active Member
The brompton did it for me, 5 months of train & 11 mile cycle either end. Luckily work had a nice shower. Some hilly bits on the route & semed to manage that - tell you what, it was the highlight of my day. I'd say I'd lose maybe 3 mph vs a non folder, but convenience of getting it on a train was also a massive +. The 3spd brompton I ride's 15 years old now so they seem to last, obvoiulsy not so good over potholes etc ...


Über Member
Just had a look at their site. I have to say it loses marks for me because you have to remove the front wheel. There is a fine line between "folding" and "disassembling". I mean - you could just get a road bike and take the wheels off - voila a "folding" bike, and probably not a much bigger footprint than the Chameleon.

In the cold and wet, I don't want to have to faff with refitting the front wheel. Just unfold and go.
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