Pimp'd Brompton

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  • Pimp'd Brompton
  • Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    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)

    patriotpro
    Member

    Agreed nice bike. If that was mine, i’d feel obliged to wear a saville row suit before I rode it.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I’m sitting down, you can tell me what the total cost was…

    messiah
    Member

    Superb… needs the right helmet.

    bikebouy
    Member

    Proper nice bike that, proper nice.

    Brompt’s look far better with the bars changed don’t they.

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    Yep, I would say that the bars actually make the biggest difference to the way it rides. Huge improvement.

    I would insist on wearing tweed riding it, but it gets a bit hot and sweaty in Hong Kong!

    That’s quite bonkers but really rather lovely.

    Love the brass clamps – makes it look like bits have been salvaged from a Victorian angle-poise lamp, but in a good way…there is a touch of steam punkiness about it like it was designed in a colonial drawing office. Some matching Brooks grips would set it off lovely.

    bencooper
    Member

    Very pretty 🙂

    Pimped Brompton, did you say?


    Rohloff Disc Brompton 6 by Ben Cooper, on Flickr


    Custom Rohloff Brompton 1 by Ben Cooper, on Flickr


    Improved 8-spd Brompton by Ben Cooper, on Flickr

    😉

    Solarider – do you have a picutre of it folded please?

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    Discs on a Brompton? Jesus! The dual pivot brakes can send me over the handlebars!

    jools182
    Member

    I fancy a brompton, they’re just a bit expensive

    bencooper
    Member

    Discs on a Brompton? Jesus! The dual pivot brakes can send me over the handlebars!

    One of today’s jobs is machining an axle for a double disc hub on a Brompton. That’s two disc brakes on the front wheel.

    I think I’ll make reinforced forks as well…

    One of today’s jobs is machining an axle for a double disc hub on a Brompton. That’s two disc brakes on the front wheel.

    Why?

    bencooper
    Member

    Because someone is paying me a lot of money to do it 😉

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    There you go. Despite the sweep, the bars don’t compromise the folded size. Only the LHS pedal makes it a bit wider than normal. The extended seatpost never goes as low as the non-extended seat post even as standard, but I need it for the leg length.

    Agree on the Brooks grips, but the slender grips no longer come in brown to match the saddle. Just black and honey.

    Because someone is paying me a lot of money to do it

    Fair enough 😀 …is he from a high gravity planet?

    bencooper
    Member

    Those seatposts are lovely – I’ve never seen one for real, but just about to order a couple for some other builds…

    bencooper
    Member

    Fair enough :D…is he from a high gravity planet?

    I’m not quite sure about the reason – sometimes with stuff like this, it’s just because it’s never been done.

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    The seatpost is well worth the money. And service from Bromptification is really quick. Nicely engineered, and plenty strong enough considering how much post is exposed. No idea why Brompton continue with the Pentaclip.

    seadragon
    Member

    Thats a nice bike. I was looking at a Raw one too but ended up going for one of the Ltd Edition S6L Barcelona’s (2013 spec) that are coming out next month.

    http://www.simpsoncycles.co.uk/product.php/4349/brompton_barcelona

    I have a tendency to customise my bikes to the hilt, my last scandium framed Minivelo costing me 3k but on this bike I want to keep it as original as possible.

    The only things I will change from standard will be the grips and the saddle (will keep the originals safely in a box) and stick on some blue ESI chunky grips and a Ltd Edition Brooks Mandarin Swift LSP saddle. It comes with a special edition C-bag and on top I am probably going to add a rack and some EAZY wheels and a bike bag for transporting

    TiRed
    Member

    Very nice. I always wanted BLACK mudguards, come on Brompton! The silver ones crack and water ingress ruins the look after a few months. For other ultimate Bromptons, google Steve Parry, Here’s his tandem, which I rode, but chose not to purchase when it became available.

    Premier Icon Alex
    Subscriber

    I wrote a thing about bromptons a few years ago: http://pickled-hedgehog.com/?p=53. Somehow the rider in the article found it and cyber-stalked me really quite peed off and asked me to remove the article otherwise I’d hear from her lawyers… I’ve always assumed all brompton riders are a bit up tight and humourless after that, but I do quite like that top one…

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    You would be surprised how many closet Brommies there are! You can’t be uptight riding a clown bike! Never fails but to raise a smile.

    JonEdwards
    Member

    One other bit that is worth changing, I’ve found, is the jockey wheels. The stock ones on mine (S3L) are ever so draggy if they’re not freshly greased. Sealed bearing ones are just all together less faff.

    (I’m not sure if the 2 speed version uses the same ones, or if they’ve been improved since mine was made)

    ontor
    Member

    you can polish a turd, or you can buy a moulton spaceframe. 😉

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    Moultons are nice, but they don’t fold as easily or as small. The point of the Brompton is the fold. They never claim to ride the best.

    Jon – do they just take standard jockey wheels? The 2 speed has to move from side to side.

    JonEdwards
    Member

    The fixed one on my 3 speeder seems to. No idea for the 2. I’d imagine they’re the same though.

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    Ah, that’s the difference.

    1 and 3 speed Bromptons run one rear sprocket (fixed jockeys). 2 and 6 speed run 2 rear sprockets (floating jockeys). I agree there is a lot of friction, but no aftermarket option for 2 and 6 speed derailleurs. Grrr.

    Premier Icon andrewy
    Subscriber

    That’s really nice! Bromptons are quite addictive and its very tempting to upgrade them. Mine never fails to put a smile on my face 😀

    Pigface
    Member

    Used to hate Brommies but have been converted and can happily admit I was wrong. Its all down to the fold, genius really and its true they always make you smile.

    I’ve no idea why I built that. Still wondering if I can make a 3 speed derailleur and sort some lighter wheels for it, enough time and money wasted as it is. Makes me laugh though.

    psychle
    Member

    I really miss my Brompton, the perfect bike for London living

    theflatboy
    Member

    never seen those pedals before (i’ve got the more budget equivalent!). They look quite tasty, but are the reflectors removable? That would be a deal breaker for me!

    I am obviously very drunk; I thought I was looking at the Singetrack website; but I seem to have stumlbed upon the “Architects/hairdressers favourite rides” website by mistake. Best I log out right now. I’ll no doubt be passing you all tomorrow on my way in on a proper bike. Good luch and all.

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    Really great pedals. Not sure why they aren’t more widespread. And yes the reflectors are removable, but for its purpose, very much inkeeping to have them in place.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Interesting stuff.

    OP that started as an S type?

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    Warranty total void now I would think. Just the bars were enough to do it, based on a conversation I had with a brompton rep at a cycle show once.

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    Worth the risk. Although they are expensive bikes, the individual parts are cheap enough if anything went wrong, but nothing I have done has changed the structure of the bike, so I don’t have any concerns over my safety.

    I have done something similar before with no problem.

    Premier Icon Atomizer
    Subscriber

    Sola rider I’ve still got a brompton I bought off you- flat wide bars, bar ends, campagnolo chainset. Still going strong on daily commute. Been through a few campagnolo bearings though but par for the course!
    Nice bike you’ve got there – I am now looking at brompfication with wallet open!

    bencooper
    Member

    Warranty total void now I would think. Just the bars were enough to do it, based on a conversation I had with a brompton rep at a cycle show once.

    Officially, getting a non-Brompton dealer to fix a puncture is enough to invalidate your warranty.

    Last time I talked to Brompton about it, they were being more sensible in practice than their warranty terms state, however.

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    As if to prove the point, up pops Atomizer. That one must be 4 going on 5 years old now and obviously being well used.. Glad to hear that the blue SL is still going strong Atomizer! Conclusive proof that a bit of fettling never does any harm.

    Think this one will be a keeper. Even if I stop commuting for a while, it will always find its uses.

    bol
    Member

    I’ve got an irrational desire to own a Brompton, or possibly an Airnimal. I’ve got absolutely no need for a folding bike, but that doesn’t seem to be much of a factor.

    IanW
    Member

    Me too, c2w burning a hole and no need for anything in particular.

    Whats the best one to go for?

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    2speed SType Brompton, then set to work on it!

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 68 total)

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