- Pimp'd Brompton
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)
Posted 5 years ago
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.Posted 5 years ago
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.Posted 5 years agoseadragonMember
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.
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 transportingPosted 5 years agoTiRedMember
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.
Posted 5 years agoAlexSubscriber
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…Posted 5 years agoJonEdwardsMember
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)Posted 5 years agoSevenPillarsofIgnoranceMember
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.Posted 5 years ago
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.Posted 5 years agoAtomizerSubscriber
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!Posted 5 years ago
Nice bike you’ve got there – I am now looking at brompfication with wallet open!
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.Posted 5 years ago
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.Posted 5 years ago
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