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Brompton or a light hybrid for commuting with not so great knees

Hello All,

I am thinking of getting a light hybrid - something like boardman HYB 8.8 (10.5 kg?) for commuting. I read that brompton H type may also be quite good. I do not really care about the fold; just that it is quick and does not result in me exerting a lot of knee pressure. I suffer from some light knee damage which causes knee pain quite often.

It would be interesting to know what people's thoughts are.


  • Surely what will reduce pressure on your knees is gearing that keeps your cadence high on the gradients you typically encounter, while ensuring the saddle height and fore-aft position is correct.

    So for example on a triple chainring setup, avoiding the use of the largest ring unless travelling downhill.
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Yes. Look at your gearing. Novice cyclists often use way too hard a gear and pedal slowly. This gives more pressure on the knee.

    Look at pro cyclists and they spin the pedals more.

    Bromptons are lots of fun - you can get them with 6 gears but the real delight is taking the bike with you. Much less likely to get nicked.
  • 6 speed titanium Brompton... Easy on the knees and ultra cool...


    Best Weather Bike - Time ZXRS
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  • @alistaird At tad bit too expensive - the titanium version. I am liking the idea, though.
  • I have knee issues (mostly caused by them colliding with kerbs at 60MPH, and losing).
    I have moved to a very short armed crank, 165mm. Between this and a bike fit has fixed any issues cycling.
    Even if I go to a 170mm crank the problem reappears.
    Might be worth trying.
  • @denis992 Very important point. I did consider this sometime ago. I think I will make it a point to get short cranks this time. Thanks
  • How far and how hilly? I have a Brompton, I would say anything longer than 5-6 miles you are probably better off with another bike. Equally, if you have hills, then you are better off with another bike... but if it's relatively short and relatively flat, then you can't beat a Brompton
    left the forum March 2023
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