I have a job coming up that will last a year or so and require me to be in an office a couple of days a week.
This seems like a good enough excuse to buy a brompton (probs on btw) and stick it in the boot of the car or park n ride to provide more options for getting to the office.
Whats the one to go for?
I notice they’ve updated the gears. I’m thinking M3L or M6L and a bag whatevers the most popular bag it doesnt need to carry a laptop more likely general clutter, cheese sandwichs hats etc.Posted 5 years ago
2, 3 and 6 speed all have their positives and drawbacks. Wouldn’t say any one is best, depends what you want. Go six speed if you’ve got anything hilly, I’ve got a two speed which is perfect for London but can be a pain out in the sticks.
I’ve got an S bag which is probabaly a bit big for your needs. Luggage block system is very good though.
Bromptons are great.Posted 5 years ago
I’d go for the M3L over the M6L – gear range is fine, and it’s a bit simpler. The M1E will be lighter and simpler still if you can cope with one gear.
I’m fit and flexible but preferred M-type over S-type handlebars for town riding, but I never treat my commute as exercise or try and go particularly quickly.
Make sure you get mudguards and also the high-spec Schwalbe tyres, as I’ve never owned a bike where mending a puncture is such a faff.
Whatever you buy you’ll be able to sell it after a year and recoup most of the cost.Posted 5 years ago
In the spirit of “recommend what you have yourself “, my M3L.
Enough gears for a few hills, but nice and simple. Mudguards are a must, as are Marathons, IMHO.
More smiles per mile than any of my other bike’s. As integrated transport, given your use case, they’re perfect!Posted 5 years ago
I use mine to ride 5 miles into my office (and then put it under my desk) or into town to get to meetings. I have a S2L Ti with a SON front hub and M+M lights.Posted 5 years ago
Its light(ish), about fast enough, and robust enough to ride every day with a front bag in ordinary work clothes.
Love mine, and I don’t commute. I went for the S3L as it had a longer stem them swapped the flats for cut down mtb risers which put the bars right where I need them. Had mine 3 years and all it has needed in that time has been brake blocks and tyres. I think it’s great to ride.Posted 5 years ago
Brompton dealer I purchased mine from had a four different versions to try with differing bars, gears etc. Well worth making time to visit one if you’re unsure of what you want.
After riding them all I plumped for a S2L. Live in a flat area and the lowest gear of the three speed was too low, spinning like in the granny ring (remember those?) so wasn’t worth the extra weight and cost.
As mentioned before mudguards and marathons are a must. As is the luggage block.Posted 5 years ago
I do about 2,500 to 3,000 miles a year on mine. In 7 years I’ve replaced the chain, rear cogs, and tyres twice, and the chainset, wheels, brakes and pedals once. Brake blocks last about 6 months or so.Posted 5 years ago
I’m currently using Marathon Plus – which are massively wooden feeling and draggy but (crosses fingers) pretty reliable – its a commute bike, I want reliability.
The dynamo hub and lights are great – they’re set up to turn on automatically when its dark, so I don’t even need to do anything.
I’ve an M6L. I live in a fairly flat area and don’t tend to ride more than 5 miles at a time but would still plump for the 6 speed as it gives you flexibility. Mine is more for avoiding traffic at peak times and popping out to the shops.Posted 5 years ago
I’m on an S2L as well (with the handlebar replaced by a Flat Tracker and a Satori bsr extension) because I didn’t want the weight and faff of the gear hubs. I’m mostly on the flat, but I’ve been over the South Downs on it fine, so it’s not like it doesn’t work on hills.
Dissenting slightly: I find getting the rear wheel out of the 2-speed is pretty easy and I’ve yet to find a problem with the Brompton tyres. (Though I might get the Schwalbe 365s when the time comes.) Mudguards, obviously. And while I’m a dynohub evangelist, I think the resulting low-down position of the lights is a bad thing, so I use battery lights (well, Fly12/6 cameras usually) on the bars and under the seat where they’re more easily seen.Posted 5 years ago
I’ve just spotted my auto-complete catapostrophe.
*Hangs head in shame*Posted 5 years ago
Hang’s, Shirley?Posted 5 years ago
Top 50 in the BWC2017 on my standard S2L.Posted 5 years ago
Plenty fast enough for crit racing.
I went for S2L and not regretted it, even when I lived on a fairly big hill. There’s quite a weight increase going from 1 or 2 speed (with simple derailleur) to the hub geared ones. The bike builder on their site includes weight now – you have to spend a fortune on lighter bits to offset the hub! Not such a big issue if you won’t be carrying it far though.
Unless you’re a waif then get the harder suspension block – should be a free swap on a factory order, else not expensive to swap later. Try out the different seatpost options if you can – again, think it’s still free to get the longer one on a factory order if you need it.
Agreed on mudguards and the better tyres. Rear rack is useless, get the front luggage block and a bag to put on it.Posted 5 years ago
Your rite, Bez.
😳Posted 5 years ago
I have the Matumura Kohki Scrowave Suspension Spring, which looks super cool, but I have the soft and it’s clearly not really designed for sub 70kg riders as it’s giving me minimal movement at 66kg (the heaviest I’ve ever been)Posted 5 years ago
I have an M3L, I actually had my gearing lowered so that I can pootle along on it more easily. I’m not trying to get anywhere fast on it, and I’m often wearing normal clothes when riding (rather than shorts/lycra). Plus I carry a child on it often so need lower gearing
3 gears is plenty, I often use all three though, I live in London and have 1 hill to get up, it’s not particularly big though. I don’t like standing and pedalling on it as the bars are too narrow, it’s doable, just not as enjoyable as on a proper bike
However it’s a fantastic thing to ride around and do errands on. Luggage block is completely worth it, I have the game bag which I rather like – nicer than the regular brommie bags
Mine is even heavier than normal as I keep an abus bordo lock on it, which isn’t light. But it’s handy to be able to lock it just in case, even though I fold and carry it into wherever I am normally
I have marathon tyres on mine, and the telescopic seatpost. I also bought the cover, has been handy on a couple of occasions – i.e. hiding it
(PS – they now do an electric one)Posted 5 years ago
General opinion seems to be that Bromptons fold the best and quickest, but aren’t the best to ride. I think the best to ride that still folds ok is Birdy. So it depends on how far you have to ride and how quickly you need it to fold.Posted 5 years ago
It’s not just folding that’s more difficult, its bigger and more awkward when folded. I’d love a Birdy as well but wouldnt be without a Brompton now.
Katie and I ride ours a lot together. The lights may be low but I don’t think that affects visibility.
+1 on the Bordo lock. Usually I take fold and take the bike in but sometimes (popping into a shop quickly) it’s easiest to leave outside. Weight is only really an issue when you have to carry it any distance (most likely if using trains)- more often you fold and wheel.
Try the different bar shapes – I think they work differently depending on your height (though Bez’s preference is different to mine and we’re a similar height).Posted 5 years ago
Or maybe an Airnimal?
When I went through the thought process I figured I already have bikes for riding, this was a bike for folding
That said, I actually like riding it. My biggest day on mine has been about 45 milesPosted 5 years ago
Worth noting 20″ wheels are a lot more comfortable to ride on.Posted 5 years ago
t’s not just folding that’s more difficult
folding a Birdy is not more difficult, or much slower (if any)…Posted 5 years ago
record for folding a brompton is 5.1 seconds and a Birdy is 4.9.Posted 5 years ago
Its the difference between catching a train and not catching a train.
if the train is the bullet train and its moving. at full speed.
General opinion seems to be that Bromptons fold the best and quickest, but aren’t the best to ride
That’s my experience. They’re pretty grim to ride IMO, but they are very small when folded.Posted 5 years ago
When I worked for Transport for London I had a titanium brompton. We also went to the pub at lunchtimes on Fridays. The glory days.Posted 5 years ago
Thanks all some interesting points. CFH I used the bike builder and selected the same colour scheme!
The alternative option is probably a £350 Halford folder. I do want it to fit neatly in the boot of the car though and it will pretty much live there so the size is important. I’ll try some out at the weekend. taPosted 5 years ago
CFH I used the bike builder and selected the same colour scheme!
Red grips and matching red and black Fizik Arione Ti as well?
The alternative option is probably a £350 Halford folder
Would you like each ride to sound like a Stockhausen symphony and handle like a drunk pig on stilts?Posted 5 years ago
There’s something niche yet popularist about a Brompton though, more than other folding bikes
I’ve had way more conversations with randoms about my Brompton than all of my other bikes combinedPosted 5 years ago
Brompton’s aren’t niche!Posted 5 years ago
They’re pretty grim to ride IMO
I found that fitting a wider bar and a stem extension made it ride much more like a normal bike. It’s inevitably still a little small-wheel-twitchy when cornering, but changing the cockpit made a big difference to comfort and stability.
Posted 5 years ago
I was about to ask how they are for freaks of nature (I’m also 6’5″), but Bez’s link has answered the question! 😉Posted 5 years ago
I’ve just spotted my auto-complete catapostrophe.
*Hangs head in shame*
Self imposed forum ban for 3 days is appropriate.Posted 5 years ago
I’d say they’re pretty niche. Niche doesn’t mean there aren’t many of them, but if you have a need to fill that niche, Brompton’s are a likely candidate to fill itPosted 5 years ago
General opinion seems to be that Bromptons fold the best and quickest, but aren’t the best to ride. I think the best to ride that still folds ok is Birdy. So it depends on how far you have to ride and how quickly you need it to fold.
Funny thing is, a lot of what I do to Bromptons is to make them more like the Birdy – adding disc brakes, better gearing and sometimes fatter tyres:
Saw a couple touring on their Bromptons on Dartmoor the other weekend. They’d got pretty big rucksacks sitting on top of the rear racks (upright) and were going downhill at well over 30mph. Much respect…Posted 5 years ago
If you stick a bit of wood through the saddle rails, you can hang a rucksack shoulder straps from it – I’ve seen that quite a bit.Posted 5 years ago
S2LX. Best folding bike by far and the only one you choose to fold. Sadly a couple of kilos too heavy, so anything to keep the weight down.
I had a six speed, but really liked t Brompton rear deraileur best. If choosing again I’d go as light as possible. Forget the rear rack but get the luggage block. The mudguards crack and stain with water. Get black ones or none.
I did the Dunwich Dynamo on mine in six hours with clipless pedals and a slightly rotate handlebar. They can be pretty fast with the Kevlar tyres.
I’ve also had an Airnimal Rhino. Too much pfaff to fold, but was my introduction to off road riding. Surprisingly capable.
If looking again, I’d get a Bike Friday for transportable road bike, but as I said, the Brompton is the best always-with-me-ready-to-ride bike. I rode mine on the M40 once when it was shut for six hours and I was just behind the closure!Posted 5 years ago
I have the marathon plus on the back, marathon on the front. Just upgraded the chainring to 46, i think, it was 53 and a nightmare. Also the firm suspension block. Look on gummy theres loads, but they do hold their value.
Mines never seen the rain as when it rains i go on the bus.Posted 5 years ago
@BenCooper that bike is all sorts of awesome. Drooling.
Brompton’s are impressively fast – i’ve left guys on road bikes in my dust many times. They don’t like it at all….
Kills my knees riding long distances though.Posted 5 years ago
Currently deciding on a spec – S3L looking favourite so far,are the Shimano hub dynamo lights any good?Posted 5 years ago
The topic ‘Brompton Curious’ is closed to new replies.
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