For lovers of something a little different. Here I present my pimp’d Brompton! Who says they have to be dull and utilitarian?
I have road bikes, mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes, geared, single speed etc, but this one possibly puts the biggest smile on my face because I can take it anywhere. Definitely the best folder, and made in the UK.
Brompton make a great bike, but the components are pretty basic for the money, so, I made a few changes. Been a bit of a labour of love and some trial and error (they don’t use many standard parts bless ‘em!).
Loving the raw finish. Always went for painted before, but this is beautiful. So nice, that I even decided against the titanium front and rear. I can honestly say that the steel rides nicer. Apparently they only let their best frames be raw lacquered as there is no hiding place, so you get a bit more quality reassurance.
I used to use the Brompton S Bag, but the Ortlieb O Bag is so much better padded, waterproof and much cooler!
Now rides, fits and functions better, and ready for commuting in Hong Kong when we move over in a few weeks.
The only thing I didn’t feel the need to change were the brake levers. Finally Brompton have produced some decent factory fit brake levers!
Bars – changed for USE Atom carbon risers (I wanted something wider and a bit taller)
Bar clamp bolt – changed for titanium (won’t rust)
Stem wedge bolt – changed for titanium (won’t rust)
Grips – changed for lock-ons (the original foam grips are useless when wet)
Cables – changed for Nokon Trakpearls (because I had them lying around, and they curve tighter when folded than the standard housing)
Headset – changed for XTR (so much smoother than the Brompton headset, and should last longer)
Handlebar fold clamp bolt – changed for titanium (won’t rust)
Front wheel – changed for Superlight version, and tube changed to Presta (runs much smoother than the standard cup’n’cone version, plus a bit lighter rotating weight)
Clamps – changed for brass with non-spin clamps (from Bromoptification.com. These are brilliant. No more spinning clamps, plus the colour matches the raw finish nicely)
Saddle – changed for Brooks Swift (the original was good, but the Brooks just looks right on a Brompton)
Seatpost – changed for titanium extended length (I needed the extended seatpost, and Brompton no longer make their own titanium version. Plus the clamp is so much better than the Pentaclip)
Chainset – changed for White Industries ENO (I wanted 175 cranks, and a slightly smaller gear, so I fitted a 48 tooth instead of the 53 original)
Bottom Bracket – changed for Shimano 113mm (to accommodate the chainset)
Pedals – changed for XT Trekking pedals (flat 1 side, SPD the other so I can ride normal shoes or cycling shoes depending on the occasion. This does compromise the fold size, but worth the compromise)
Rollers – changed for Brompton Eazywheels (narrower so they don’t clip your heels – seriously, why don’t Brompton just fit these from the factory?)
Rear wheel - bolts and derailleur bolt changed for titanium and tube changed to Presta (won’t rust)