Brompton Alternatives: Best Budget Folding Bikes under £500 [Top 5 in 2021]

When you think of folding bikes, Brompton is likely the brand that comes to mind first.

Brompton bikes are well known for being among the best in the folding bike market and it is no wonder that people love this brand of bike. Each one comes with a patented folding design that ensures they are compact and easy to carry, super lightweight bikes. On top of this, each one is handmade to a high standard right here in the UK.

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However, all of these fantastic features do come at a cost – a high price tag. You are typically going to pay more than a thousand pound for a Brompton bike. So, it is no wonder that it may make a lot more fiscal sense to look for a cheap Brompton bike or for the best Brompton folding bike alternatives.

We have done the hard work for you and have trawled through the best cheap folding bikes for sale so that you can choose the best one for you.

NOTE: This page may contains affiliate links, meaning I may receive commissions for purchases made through those links, at no cost to you. This helps to keep the wheels of Discerning Cyclist turning.

What Is the Cheapest Brompton Bike?

As mentioned already a Brompton bike will normally set you back over £1000 and for an electric version, you would have to pay well over £2000. However, not all of their bikes are priced quite this high as they do have a couple of “entry-level” models. So, let’s start out our list of best budget folding bikes with the cheapest Brompton bike available.

Brompton B75 Folding Bike (£745)

This is a “cheap” Brompton bike that comes in at less than £1000 but still contains all the features you would expect for this market leader in folding bikes.

Made with a steel frame and fork for stability and durability this bike still manages to be lightweight at just 11.6kgs.

It might be a cheaper alternative to the higher-priced Brompton Bikes but it still comes with the Brompton patented folding design so that you can fold up this bike and carry it wherever you need it.

  • Folds up to a compact size so you can easily carry it on and off public transport, pop it in the car or store it at home or in the office.
  • 3-speed gear system to make your ride a little easier and more comfortable.
  • This is a lightweight bike at just 11.6kgs. Perfect for commuting and carrying.
  • Folded size is 56 x 58 x 27cm. A great size that is easy to store both at home and in the office

Best Alternatives to a Brompton Bike

If even the cheapest Brompton bike is still out of your price range then we have some great foldable bicycles for you to consider. Keep reading to find out which are the best folding bikes available in the UK.

Best Budget Folding Bike:

Ecosmo 20” Lightweight Alloy Folding City Bike (Price not available)

The Ecosmo is a fantastic contender for the best cheap folding bike. It is built with a lightweight aluminium frame and at under £300 is great value for money. A sleek black and red design just adds to the appeal of this bike. For a starter folding bike, you can’t go too far wrong at this price.

The benefits of this bike include:

  • Super lightweight at just 12kgs.
  • Aluminium frame allows for a lightweight design that is still sturdy and stable to ride.
  • Comes with 7-speed Shimano gear system.
  • The bike is adjustable at both the stem and handlebar.
  • Made with a patented folding design and lock – safe and secure.
ECOSMO 20" Lightweight Alloy Folding City Bike Bicycle,12kg - 20AF09BL
  • Lightweight Alluminium Frame, bike only 12Kg
  • 7 Speed SHIMANO Gears, 20"x1.35 KENDA Tyre
  • Adjustable handlebar & stem

Best Affordable Folding Bike under £500:

Ecosmo 16” Lightweight Alloy Folding Bike (£279.99)

Another contender for the best budget folding bike is another one by Ecosmo. This is a slightly smaller version than the 20” version which makes it easy to carry at just 12kgs. The folding design is easy to use and should take no more than a minute to foldaway which is perfect for a quick dash to the train, fold up the bike and then finish your commute to work.

Take a look at the benefits below that makes this one of the best foldable bikes under £500

  • Made with a sturdy yet lightweight aluminium frame.
  • The bike weighs just 12kgs.
  • Comes with a 6-speed gear system to make your ride a little easier.
  • Folding and lock design is patented for a safe and convenient to use bicycle.
  • This bike can be folded up to a small size of 87 x 25 x 66cm.
  • Adjustable height handlebar so you can adjust the bike to your comfort.
ECOSMO 16" Lightweight Alloy Folding City Bike Bicycle,6 SP,Dual Disc brakes - 16AF02W
  • Lightweight Alluminium Frame, bike only 12Kg
  • Front and rear Disc Brakes
  • 6 Speed SHIMANO Gears, Folding Pedals

Best Cheap Fold Up Bike under £200:

B’Twin Tilt 120 Folding Bike (£199)

This is a bike designed for commuters and at under £200 it is affordable too. This is the best of the cheapest fold up bikes and is fantastic value for money. Perfectly designed to combine easy riding with convenient and compact design, this bike can be folded or unfolded in 30 seconds. It is still lightweight at just 14.5kg which might not be quite as light as some of the alternatives but at this price, it is well worth the compromise in this area.

  • This bike can cope with a variety of road terrains with its 6-speed gear system.
  • Folds away in just 30 seconds for a convenient and quick change form cycling to travelling on a train or bus. You can even pop it in the car and drive to a park or trail and have a pleasurable bicycle ride at the weekend.
  • The steel frame and fork are both sturdy and stable.
  • Light at just 14.5kgs and can be folded up to 75 x 66 x 36cm. Compact and easy to manoeuvre about.

Best Electric Folding Bike under £1000:

B’Twin Tilt 500 Folding Electric Bike (£749.99)

If you are looking for a bike that offers a little extra in terms of power then you can’t go wrong than with an electric folding bike like this one from Btwin. The electric-assist helps you to ride in comfort without breaking too much of a sweat and at just £749.99, this is a fantastic best value folding bike.

This bike has a similar design to the Tilt 120 that we showcased earlier but it is bigger and heavier due to the need for electric motor and battery. This bike weighs 18.6kgs but this is still relatively lightweight for an electric folding bike and is still a good weight for a commuter bike.

  • We have described this bike as the best affordable folding bike due to the fantastic price for a bicycle that is both electric-assist and folding. This is great value for money that you don’t find in many e-bikes.
  • The battery range is up to 35km so you can travel as far as you need safe in the knowledge you have the electric-assist backup.
  • The 350w motor and 24v battery are built into the frame so it isn’t too obtrusive.
  • The bike is made with an aluminium frame and a steel fork for both a lightweight design and durable bike.
  • Comes with a 6-speed gear system.
  • Can be easily folded and comes with a quick-release function to make your commute as easy and quick as possible.
Super light

A great value, lightweight electric bike available to buy at Decathlon.

What is the Best Brompton Bike Alternative?

So, what is the best affordable folding bike? We have mentioned a few of the cheapest foldable bikes that offer great value for money, good design and some great features and specifications.

If we were to pick one bike for you to consider as a Brompton bike alternative then it would be this one by Btwin.

B’Twin Folding Bike Tilt 500 in Neon Orange (£299.99)

So why do we consider this the best inexpensive folding bike? It is because this is a great value bike that might not be the cheapest folding bike in this list but it is pretty close.

When it comes to intermodal transport what you need is a bike that is both sturdy and lightweight and this bike offers the best of all worlds. This is a bike that is perfect to ride to your train station or bus stop, it can then be folded up to a compact size and is lightweight enough to carry easily.

This bike is comfortable enough to use for pleasure too and it fits perfectly into the boot of a car for you to take on day trips or holidays where you want access to a bike as well as your car.

  • Made with a lightweight and sturdy aluminium frame. The perfect material for an affordable yet sturdy bike.
  • The fork is made from steel to make the design a little more durable.
  • The bike comes with a 7-speed Shimano gear system – perfect to make your ride more comfortable.
  • The bike is equipped with a stand, mudguard, stays, a double chainguard and front and rear lights

You don't find many folding bikes for under £300, so it's safe to say this cheap and cheerful ride is an absolute bargain and a great option for city commuters.