London commute folding bike advice pls

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  • London commute folding bike advice pls
  • aP
    Member

    Brompton is the best folding bike, not necessarily the best riding bike.
    However for London commuting its probably the best package. The front bags are surprisingly useful.

    shermer75
    Member

    If you have the budget, then a Brompton. If you don’t, then a second hand Brompton!! I have an ‘S’ model which felt much more ‘right’ to me, and a two speed which is a lot lighter then three or six speed (no geared hub). Firm suspension yes, mudguards definitely yes, now think maybe I would have preferred a rack I’ve gone off having a sweaty back.

    creedy
    Member

    Hmmm the sweaty back is def to be avoided! Evans doing interest free on bromptons. Took a while to persuade the wife that’ its not just an excuse to get another bike! Spreadsheets were involved!!

    rewski
    Member

    Dahon Jetsream P8

    shermer75
    Member

    Haha! πŸ™‚

    T1000
    Member

    I’ve had Bromptons, Birdy’s and Dahon’s which are all good bikes

    if its about the commute (and fold size is a major issue then a Bromton takes a lot of beating especially using the bag system zero faff compared to the competitors) price premium for bromptons.. the dynamo hub option is excellent…

    Birdy (superb bikes ride better than bromptons)… but expensive and every one will think your an architect or work in marketing…

    Dahon (the high performance ones are v nice and fast) racks not as good…. not as durable

    saying that none of the folders I’v had have been asnything to rave about they’re usefull tools to get to work thats all….

    rootes1
    Member

    Brompton def best all round.

    Packs neat, good spares availability, luggage is excellent

    iconic london bike

    I have had two and did Lejog on one.

    Must admit if you are a hard user of them, then some of the parts wear out quickly/ are poor quality

    but latest ones have proper brake levers, cranks and rims.

    for me best bet would be an 2speed S with an S bag ( i can get a laptop plus site ppe in and a hard hat straped to the front) or ‘basket’ which is usegful to dump stuff in

    plus get marathon tyre option from the off.

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    Looked at everything. Bought a Brompton.

    IME 2-speed is fine for London (think slightly tall-geared singlespeed with a bail-out gear for hills) and it’s usefully lighter for when you have to carry it up station staircases and the like. I preferred the S-bars too.

    You can get a surprising amount in an S bag, a laptop up to 15″, rain gear, lunch and usual office crap with space to pick up a few bits of shopping on the way home. The bag systems is expensive for what it is but really effective. Extra weight up front stops the tendency to want to wheelie away from the line too.

    creedy
    Member

    Rootes exactly what I’ll be carrying. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon piedi di formaggio
    Subscriber

    Brompton, Dynamo hub, bag for front.

    Don’t bother with a rack, it’s too small and too close to your feet for anything much bigger than a lunch box (I’ve got one, it never gets used, just adds weight).

    as you will be on a train, compact fold is the primary concern, nothing gets close to the Brompton

    T1000
    Member

    [plus get marathon tyre option from the off] this is V good advice…..

    don’t go for the Kojaks (theyre fast but…as they seem to use a lot of flint in the gravel in the parks in london and it rips them to pieces….)

    creedy
    Member

    Cheers fellas. Exactly the advice was looking for. Got complete bike spec! It’s great when this forum works.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    2 x rat bikes?

    creedy
    Member

    Start a job in Kensington travelling from Watford. Will be looking to bike to station then bike from euston to job. Really looking at brompton or cheaper equivalent. Also will have work gear with so looking a a larger pack and water proofs. Basically suggestions on all πŸ™‚ thanks in advance

    rootes1
    Member

    Creedy,

    officially you can not use anything bigger than and S Bag on a S brompton (ones with straigh handle cars) as the frames on the bigger bags (C and T etc) fouls the bike…

    BUT I did try a bigger bag but with an S frame – that work, if a little saggy

    The luggage system is very flexible, I only have to carry laptop + ppe (inc size 12 boots!) once/twice a week..

    Balance Bike Carry:

    Laptop, PPE inc winter padded jacket:

    My Caradice touring bag from by tourer bungied to the S bag frame:

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    I’ve never thought much of the Brompton light options. The hub dynamo is neat and I guess you never need to worry about charging, but a decent set of LED lights weighs next to nothing, gives plenty of warning that they’re going to need charging (or new batteries) and many can just be charged over USB if you’re near a computer.

    Definitely spec the firm suspension block and Marathon Plus tyres if you’re doing a custom order. If you’re tall then see if you need the extended seatpost – it’s FOC to swap on the order. Luggage, etc is the same price if you buy it later.

    bencooper
    Member

    I know someone who carried a cast-iron radiator on the front of his Brompton – about 50kg πŸ˜‰

    bencooper
    Member

    Same bloke, I built him a special one-wheeled trailer for the back of his Brompton. He brought it back a week later, all bent and twisted. He’d tried carrying a fridge freezer on it…

    rootes1
    Member

    Same bloke, I built him a special one-wheeled trailer of rthe back of his Brompton. He brought it back a week later, all bent and twisted. He’d tried carrying a fridge freezer on it.

    bromptons, they do bring out the odd balls ! πŸ˜‰

    bencooper
    Member

    they do bring out the odd balls

    No, any firm saddle will do that.

    The Dynamo is great, especially with the new generation of LED dynamo lights. Battery lights are fine but one more thing to think about. When I next build a non-folding commuter I’ll be fitting a dynamo, even if it’s a wheel swap for winter.

    I’ve carried some big loads on the rear rack but really the only advantage is to make the bike more stable when folded and it’s heavy.

    Front bags are excellent.

    2 speed is probably a good bet.

    Other bikes –
    +1 on Birdy comments above.
    Whyte designed Mezzo folder is a bargain second hand and uses standard parts but the one I rode rattled and had a weird pull on the steering from pedalling.

    Brompton for the win if you’re on the train.

    bikebouy
    Member

    Do you want to ride on it or wobble on it?

    I say that because whilst a Brommie is a good foldie it’s a bit “flexible” (cough) there’s not doubt that they are popular, but really it’s because they’ve carried that name for some years and most think Brompton = Foldie.
    However…
    There are far better bikes out there.
    Tern, Dahon, Birdie to name a few. There are many differing models to suit your type of riding/folding so don’t just miander on off to the Brommie… Take a good look around. I saw a decent looking Ridgeback Foldie in my LBS that could suit your needs, didn’t know they did Foldies.

    I use a Dahon Vitesse 7sp hub. It’s strong, folds neat enough, rides great and doesn’t flex.. I’ve taken the rack off it as I don’t need it and I’ve fitted bar ends on it cos I like riding it fast. I have contemplated sticking some drops on it but maybe that’s a bit too far, I could get some cow bars for it, like off the speedy versions..

    I looked hard and debated long before deciding on my Dahon, wouldn’t change it, wouldn’t buy anything else.

    bencooper
    Member

    I saw a decent looking Ridgeback Foldie in my LBS that could suit your needs, didn’t know they did Foldies.

    They don’t, it’s a rebadged Dahon πŸ˜‰

    Nothing wrong with that, of course. What Dahon used to do is, when they launched a new range of bikes, they used the old jigs to make folders for other companies. Not sure if they still do that.

    Premier Icon piedi di formaggio
    Subscriber

    Lights

    I replaced the standard Brommie front lamp with a Lumotec Lyt N Plus as this is switched and has a Stand light capacitor. Bodged together a bracket to mount it on the bars without fowling the fold. Now have nice bright front & rear lights powered by the Shimano Hub that stay on at traffic lights, etc

    yes, I could get battery LEDs, but I like having lights on the bike all year with the ability to turn on without having to make sure batteries are good

    shermer75
    Member

    Now feeling better about my lack of rack. Have looked into front bag before but been put off by the price (Β£115 inc block) but might well take leap now. Price? Pfft! It’s a Brompton!! πŸ˜‰

    rootes1
    Member

    after using a dynamo on my tourer am planning to fit a SON to my brompton for next winter..

    only thing not so sure about is the headlight being so low especially with a bag on the front, my mount the light higher up

    rootes1
    Member

    I think if you use a rear rack and the bag the fold is compromised as you have to take the bag off to do the 1st fold..

    can’t see the point of having rack for any other necessary reason (yes slighlty easier to wheel and slightly more stable.. but not needed)

    shermer.. Β£115 for the brompton versions makes the Β£205 for the ortlieb bag + block look a bargain!

    shermer75
    Member

    Haha good point! πŸ™‚

    creedy
    Member

    Thanks to everyone’s input on this. Anyway brompton bought and sat nicely next to my stumpy and my cross pro. 2 speed matt black with mudguards. Couldn’t bring myself to spend 100 quid on a bag but will prob end up getting one. What really sold it was a lad arrived at the shop on one grinning from ear to ear. He’s just rode from the west end to hendon. Said it was one of the most fun rides he’d had. That was before I said I was buying one. Then I started grinning.
    Cheers all

    creedy
    Member

    Oh and also bought the misses a bike so she can’t moan about how many bikes I’ve got!!

    rootes1
    Member

    ^ pink brompton for the wife?

    welcome to the club brompton!

    Premier Icon jsinglet
    Subscriber

    I got some Eazy Wheels for mine, makes dragging it around the station a lot easier:

    http://www.brompton.co.uk/our-bikes/bike-explorer/part/104/eazy-wheels

    I got a set of 2 + the rubber bung for my S-type.

    Premier Icon piedi di formaggio
    Subscriber

    This is my Lumotec light mounted on the bars for a higher light position.

    The toggle switch on the side is my own addition to the light itself as the switch on the back is a bit fragile.

    It’s bolted onto a plate that slips in the gap of the handlebar clamp and is squished by a sing washer to ensure that it stays put and the clamp can still hold the bars properly


    Brompton light bodgery by -Cheesyfeet-, on Flickr

    EDIT: Brookes grips as well for a much nicer looking/feeling grab point on the bars too

    creedy
    Member

    Couldn’t stretch to two bromptons just any entry level mtb for tootling round the park and such πŸ™‚ as she said ‘well it’s the right colour and that’s the most important thing’! Changing the bar and stem to try and take some weight off the front end as the fork shaped thing at the front must use lead in it somewhere!! πŸ˜‰

    only thing not so sure about is the headlight being so low especially with a bag on the front, my mount the light higher up

    Katie and I have both got them. It’s fine at that height – lights enough of the road to see by and visible from a long distance. It’s out of the way, doesn’t get knocked and the bag sits safely above it. Very tight fit on my retrofitted LED light but better fit on katie’s as we made a jig to bend the bracket rather than just putting it in a vice and hitting it with a hammer….

    ave looked into front bag before but been put off by the price (Β£115 inc block) but might well take leap now

    Do it – the bag on the Brommie is really good. Fits with the whole, normal clothes, no sweaty back thing. I like the Carradice one myself. The basket seemed useful at first but isn’t very secure – stuff can bounce out of it.

    rootes1
    Member

    Si,

    i have no doubt the std light mount is fine for lighting the road, but in central london key issue is not lighting the road but having other road users see you, think handlbar location is better for this especially if you have a very loaded front bag

    Si

    Honestly – I thought the same at first but I’ve regularly ridden with Katie and looked back to see how effective the lights are. The front light isn’t obscured by the bag at all from any distance beyond a couple of metres (ie any distance at which it’s going to make a difference) and the height isn’t a problem at all.

    Even the standard halogen bulb is more than bright enough to be seen by. Brighter lights don’t really help much in London – generally people riding with hugely overspecced off road lights are no more visible than those with much more modest kit – it’s still only light from a single point. What they do tend to do is dazzle other road users (including cyclists) which kills any night vision you have..

    Next step is to increase the visible area and that’s better done with reflectives than anything else.

    rootes1
    Member

    good points,

    i will give it go this winter.

Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)

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