Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 75 total)
  • Ordering a Brompton – things to consider?
  • Premier Icon Ben_H
    Full Member

    I’m about to order (via Cyclescheme) a Brompton: to accompany me on my 1-2 weekly trips to the railway station and then for onward use in London. The intended routes are mostly flat, so I’m probably going for a singlespeed with M-type bars, guards and a rack. Should I consider anything else? Thanks. 🙂

    Premier Icon CaptainFlashheart
    Free Member

    M3L. Nice and easy off the lights and fast enough to annoy the MAMILs on the Etape du Embankment.

    Pick a colour you like. Front bag clip. Don’t bother with the rear rack or lights.

    Premier Icon Ben_H
    Full Member

    I have pannier bags already – are front bags loads better? Thanks.

    Premier Icon Andy
    Free Member

    S2L is my preference. 2 gears; 1 to accelerate with and one for when up to speed. A bit lighter than the 3 speeds as well. Replaced my handlebars with some 620 risers 45mm high though for £15 from tredz to make a bit more comfy. Yes the front bags that go on the bag clip are excellent.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Full Member

    I found this thread really useful when ordering my Brompton – http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/buying-a-brompton-options

    I’ve since bought the luggage block and game bag, which are excellent. Plus the Brompton IT chair for carting kids around

    I love mine!

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    Personally, I’d opt for a two speed. The extra gear will be helpful and the weight increase is small compared with the SA three speed hub.

    My favourite is the S2LX. I had a six speed with 18% gear reduction. The gearing was great and I rode 200km on it in one go.

    Forget the rear rack.

    Premier Icon simons_nicolai-uk
    Free Member

    Rear rack makes it a lot more stable when folded but adds weight and is rarely any use for carrying anything. It wont take conventional panniers – only a rack top bag – and of course you have to remove that to fold the bike. I’ve carried all sorts of weird things on mine but usually end up knocking heels on them and they’re never very secure. Clip and front bag FTW.

    It’s an expensive option, and adds weight, but I find dynamo lights really useful on a commuter/city bike. Yes, LEDs are cheap and work but it’s something you’ve got to take off any time you park up and you’ve got to remember to charge them.

    Abus Bordo lock works well on a brompton. Another way to add a load of weight but mine lives on the bike all the time.

    Premier Icon CaptainFlashheart
    Free Member

    Lock? For a Brompton?

    Take it with you. That’s sort of the point!

    Premier Icon lorax
    Full Member

    I’m with Andy – S2L with riser bars. I would strongly advise against the 3 or 6 speed, a rack, or dynamo – they all make the bike more convenient except in the crucial respect of adding weight – you’ll curse every gram when lugging it over the station bridge when you have to run between trains in a hurry! I’ve had a 3 speed and a 6 speed in the past, and prefer the 2 speed anyway, and I pretty much never used the rack when I had one. I never carry a lock thus never lock it up, so no need to worry about having to take off my Exposure Trace/TraceR set as the bike is always with me (the TraceR sits on a saddle rail bracket as the diameter of the Brompton seatpost is so big).

    The block and bag combo is one of the best things about the Brompton: it’s a really convenient way to carry stuff, avoids getting a sweaty back, and it also improves the stability of the bike. I have had an S bag and an Ortlieb O bag, but just bought a C bag and I reckon it’s the best of the lot – it’s very like the S bag, but a bit bigger, and the Velcro closure for the flap is less hassle than the clips on the O bag. You may be told it isn’t compatible with the straight bars on the S, and if you are worried about that the smaller S bag may better, but if you fit risers (I got mine from SJS Cycles) it’s absolutely fine.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Full Member

    I also have a Bordo on mine – just in case I’m not allowed inside with the bike

    I’ve got a Morpher folding helmet to go in my Game Bag, makes it even easier to travel with it on public transport.

    I did 27 miles on my Brompton yesterday with my son on the IT chair. Got there by tube and came home by tube. No way that would have been possible with another bike

    Premier Icon simons_nicolai-uk
    Free Member

    Lock? For a Brompton?
    Take it with you. That’s sort of the point!

    Sometimes it’s easier to lock it. Crowded shops, the post office. Sometimes we lock our Brompton together inside a pub so we can tuck them out if the way and forget about them.

    Depends what you use it for. Commuting weight is everything. Think about a really simple cable lock so you can lock it to something on a train. Stops anyone grabbing it at a station if you can’t stand right next to it.

    Premier Icon CaptainFlashheart
    Free Member

    just in case I’m not allowed inside with the bike

    To date, I’ve never been refused access with mine. I do rather assume the “I shall be coming in. Regardless of what you think.” attitude, though!

    My favourite is the ROH, who, after a light persuasion, admitted that they don’t accept folding bikes. Only Bromptons. 8)

    Premier Icon whatyadoinsucka
    Free Member

    What colour bow tie to wear

    Premier Icon CaptainFlashheart
    Free Member

    What colour bow tie to wear

    A Brompton can be had in myriad colours. A bow tie comes in only two.

    Black or white, with appropriate jacket and trews for each version of course. Anything else is punishable by death.

    Ordering a Brompton – things to consider?

    Life?

    😉

    Premier Icon Ben_H
    Full Member

    Nah – I’m beyond considering life; just bow tie colour for the next opera. Thanks for the spiffing tips so far.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Full Member

    Agree the rack is pretty useless. Even if just putting a briefcase across the top, it catches your heels.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Full Member

    Another S2L user here. A singlespeed Brompton has no real advantage as it still requires the tensioner, and the shifter and extra cog are only a few grams.

    Rack doesn’t seem seem useful so low to the ground. Dynamo? On almost any other bike I’d evangelise about one, but you’d have to either have the lights extremely low (making them at greater risk of being obscured in traffic) or have a complete cable mess to allow folding, so some decent USB-rechargeable lights on the bars and top of the seatpost seem better.

    The only reason I don’t lock mine up like a normal bike isn’t because it folds, it’s because the black market in them is pretty healthy by all accounts, so they’re very nickable. Frankly, taking it round a shop or a pub (a) makes you feel a right **** and (b) is a royal pain in the arse, or rather someone else’s legs, if the place is packed.

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Full Member

    S2L here too.

    Going from 1 speed to 2 adds 190g, and is worthwhile just to have have a lower gear for the odd hill. Going 2 speed to 3 adds 550g and the lower gear isn’t a big benefit unless you’re doing big long hills regularly. You need to spend on a lot on lighter bits to lose that 550g again.

    Rack is extra weight and useless for carrying anything. Wheeling it around folded is stupid – you either unfold or carry it. The front bag is great though, and it’s where you want some extra weight so it doesn’t feel like it wants to wheelie so much.

    Also agreeing with many on lights – dynamo is good in theory but modern USB-charged LEDs are lighter, can be put up higher and are almost as convenient.

    Get extended seatpost if you need it (if you’re approaching 6ft, it’s likely), and get the hard suspension block unless you’re feather light. I’d swap the regular tyres for Schwalbe Marathons too – small weight penalty but much less puncture-prone. Punctures on a Brompton (especially rear ones) are a pain best avoided.

    Premier Icon T1000
    Free Member

    Kinetics do a frame for the front carrier which can be used for panniers if you want to reuse your existing ones

    Premier Icon poolman
    Free Member

    I just changed my chainring 54 to 44, massive improvement. Also greased up the suspension bung as it was so noisy. If i was buying again i d go 2 speed bigger frame raw finish.

    Ridden mine everywhere i never leave it unseen, fits between seats on virgin pendolino.

    Premier Icon poolman
    Free Member

    Marathons too, plus back, normal front.

    Premier Icon CaptainFlashheart
    Free Member

    Good point re Marathons. Oh, and keep them pumped up.

    Premier Icon legend
    Free Member

    Have you got the blog ready to go?

    Premier Icon lorax
    Full Member

    Marathons are great, and the Plus on the back is important; a rear puncture on a Brompton, in work clothes, is a serious hassle.

    I completely agree with Bez about it being a pain to lug around, but having had one stolen despite a strong lock, broad daylight, and crowds of people, I’m no longer prepared to take the risk. I’ve never had mine refused anywhere, and I’ve taken it to some pretty smart places…

    And once you get round to pimping it the Brompification hinge clamps are easily the best upgrade, in fact the only one that really matters.

    Premier Icon oink1
    Free Member

    lorax – Member
    And once you get round to pimping it the Brompification hinge clamps are easily the best upgrade, in fact the only one that really matters

    😀 way cool! I want a Brompton! No need but I wants so bad… 😆

    Premier Icon kilo
    Full Member

    Two speed user here, bought it second hand from a colleague- they hold value well! Great bit of kit , only changes on mine are a firm rear suspension block and the front bag. There’s an occasionally interesting Brompton thread on lfgss where someone in the trade said marathon pluses aren’t approved by Brompton anymore due to clearance issues on the rear

    Premier Icon gkeeffe
    Full Member

    I have an S3L. It’s brilliant. I’ve done over 20,000 miles on it and replaced every component except for the rear hub!! Don’t get a rear rack. As fitting a bag there interferes with your heels. Better to have a front pannier as the extra weight makes the bike handle so much better.

    If your commmute is flat an S2L might be better as it’s lighter. But the SA rear hub is reliable and you can fur a twist grip which makes the bars look better.

    Premier Icon bencooper
    Free Member

    Kinetics do a frame for the front carrier which can be used for panniers if you want to reuse your existing ones

    I’m working on a rear one too, for the long-distance tourers 😉

    Premier Icon benp1
    Full Member

    I heard that the clearance isn’t enough for marathon+ tyres, can anyone confirm? I’m on marathons, already had a puncture on the rear!

    Oh yeah, definitely get the firm block

    I’d also like to counter the two speed argument, mainly because I have the 3 😀

    I use all 3 gears, but I found I wasn’t using 3rd much. So I had the gearing reduced, can’t remember if it was 8% or 12%, dropped one tooth on the rear. It made a big difference, I now use 3rd a lot more. My reasoning is as follows:
    – I’m rarely tanking it anywhere on the clown bike, it’s more for pottering
    – I take my son/daughter on it, and need a lower gear for anything steep
    – I’m often wearing normal attire on it, rather than cycling clothes, so having an easier gear means I can cycle the 10 miles home without getting too sweaty (there’s a hill in the way)

    The bags are excellent. I went for the game bag as it’s smart enough in the office or meetings, and it’s less common than the regular Brompton bags. I can carry MORE stuff on my brompton than I can on my regular bike when I have a child. It’s an amazing little thing, really

    I wasn’t expecting to be so evangelical about them

    Premier Icon simons_nicolai-uk
    Free Member

    replaced every component except for the rear hub!!

    Strangely that feels like it’s going to be the first thing to fail on mine. It’s a SRAM 3 speed and now has a habit of slipping in the lowest gear when pulling away from lights. Not good.

    Premier Icon poolman
    Free Member

    Brompton pedals are made of cheese, mine lasted the whole of 12 months. I put some spds on mine they dont interfere with the fold, got them off here. Thanks vortex they are tops

    Premier Icon poolman
    Free Member

    And got the pivot points renewed as i ride on a canal and the towpath eats the joint. You can tell they are going by wiggling the rear triangle, if theres any play they need doing

    Premier Icon bencooper
    Free Member

    I heard that the clearance isn’t enough for marathon+ tyres, can anyone confirm? I’m on marathons, already had a puncture on the rear!

    I fit loads of them, but only to my own rear triangles – clearance on mine is a couple of mm more, but I’ve also fitted studded Marathons to conventional Bromptons with no problems, so I don’t think it can be that tight.

    Premier Icon aP
    Free Member

    I’ve got Marathon+ tyres on my S2L-X and there’s no clearance issues at all.
    Just about a year ago I replaced the wheels with new and used the opportunity to go Schmidt dynamo hub and LED lamps (I leave these on all the time) which means I don’t have to worry about charging lights and also helps with the ever present car pulling out of a side road…
    I also upgraded to the new style brake levers which have made a big difference to the feel and actuality of braking.

    Premier Icon poolman
    Free Member

    Yes m+ fit my s3 easily. Tight fit on the rim but as above its fit and forget. The ride is terrible, but so is fixing a puncture if you dont. I grease up the bolts every year so if i have to take the wheel off i can. M+ rear, m front, mudguards. No punctures in 3 years.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Full Member

    Hmmm, interesting. I think it was a thread on LFGSS that mentioned the tight clearance

    I quite like the idea of the Tannus solid tyres to be honest. Fit and forget!

    Premier Icon kilo
    Full Member

    Colleague had the tannus on his bromptonthey squared off quite badly, to the extent he was sent a new set, he didn’t bother fitting those.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Full Member

    That’s a shame. Good to know though, thanks

    Premier Icon Ben_H
    Full Member

    Top tips – thanks all. Revised order will now be: S2L, with “C-type” bag and a question about whether to upgrade the tyres to Marathons or Kojaks.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 75 total)

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