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Old 04-05-16, 09:48 AM   #1
nz6666
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How to roll a brompton

Just got a 6 speed Brompton. L type, so no rack. Being 2016 model, the bike comes with two easy wheels. But I found it's very hard to roll the thing. When pushing the saddle (folded), front wheel is contacting the ground, and being folded so the cable is stretched so the front brake is applied, this leads to front wheel not spinning so preventing the rolling. Another reason is the roller wheel on rear mudguard, it's hard to spin, seems assembled too tight. I have seen this before on a rented Brompton and I thought that's just one case, but now I see it again. Not sure is it normal to be this tight?

I have googled couple of hours and see these options:
1. get a rear rack. The 4 roller wheels are suitable for rolling the folded bike. Does the rack come with easy wheels or basic wheels? if it's basic wheels do I need to upgrade to easy wheels?
2. get easy wheel extender like this one, so I don't have to get the rack, but the extender itself is very expensive.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwtTG5nKAWQ

Which one works better? For option 1, it will replace my current rear roller wheel, but for option 2 it will use the rear roller wheel, so I will still need to get that sorted.
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Old 04-05-16, 10:43 AM   #2
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I used to tilt the bike such that it only rolled on the bigger roller wheels. That made a noticeable improvement.
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Old 04-05-16, 11:08 AM   #3
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Exactly what the poster said, tilt the bike and roll on the easy wheels. I leave the handlebar unfolded and roll along like that, but more often just wheel the thing around unfolded altogether or carry it totally folded up. Actually, what would be much to my employers chagrin if they knew, I mostly ride the thing through the hallways to my office.
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Old 04-05-16, 11:17 AM   #4
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Just bear in mind the Suspension Block will be lowest point . unless you use a much larger than Sold by Brompton

rear wheel set that sits on top of the rear section while you Ride ..

I tend to just roll on the road wheels until Im stopped ..

I can put the whole folded Bike on top of my Carry-Freedom-City trailer . and its got 2 12.5" Tires.
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Old 04-05-16, 10:16 PM   #5
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Okay as someone who has done VERY extensive testing on rolling - because one of my primary concerns was the roll-ability which was heads-over-heels over most folding bikes - I've tried everything from rollerblade wheels to expensive Brompton-specific wheels to third-party L-fender wheels and here's what I found:

- Racks are the most stable solutions but adds a fair amount of weight
- the extendable wheel addon is AMAZING for stable rolling (haven't found better) - a must imo
- skate wheels are cheap and better for rolling, but adds quite a bit of weight and contributes to heel strike. There's also smaller, lighter built-in bearing skate wheels but those are 3 or more x expensive. Even more expensive are the Brompton specific ones but they work best.

TL;DR: Get the extendable wheel without hesitation. Then choose between rolling on the rear 2 wheels all the time which makes it easier to steer or get a rack where you'll only need to "lift" the bike when you need to turn sharply.

Personally I hated the L-type rolling, but I guess the third wheel is more for setting down than rolling.
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Old 04-06-16, 04:39 AM   #6
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Okay as someone who has done VERY extensive testing on rolling - because one of my primary concerns was the roll-ability which was heads-over-heels over most folding bikes - I've tried everything from rollerblade wheels to expensive Brompton-specific wheels to third-party L-fender wheels and here's what I found:

- Racks are the most stable solutions but adds a fair amount of weight
- the extendable wheel addon is AMAZING for stable rolling (haven't found better) - a must imo
- skate wheels are cheap and better for rolling, but adds quite a bit of weight and contributes to heel strike. There's also smaller, lighter built-in bearing skate wheels but those are 3 or more x expensive. Even more expensive are the Brompton specific ones but they work best.

TL;DR: Get the extendable wheel without hesitation. Then choose between rolling on the rear 2 wheels all the time which makes it easier to steer or get a rack where you'll only need to "lift" the bike when you need to turn sharply.

Personally I hated the L-type rolling, but I guess the third wheel is more for setting down than rolling.
Have you found the roller on rear mudguard (L type) a bit tight? I am thinking even I get that extendable wheel addon it still doesn't roll smoothly? I want to roll it in a super market with s bag attached for shopping like someone did on Youtube (I know this may look stupid but this is one of the reason to buy a Bompton), so in this case a rack with 4 easy wheels (or something better than stock) will be better for this purpose?
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Old 04-06-16, 08:35 AM   #7
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Have you found the roller on rear mudguard (L type) a bit tight?.................. will be better for this purpose?
Wheels need bearings to roll smoothly. I think 2016 version has improved roller wheels with bearings, but not mudguard wheel?

Anyway, you can easily find aftermarket mods for that.
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Old 04-06-16, 09:54 AM   #8
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I think 2016 version has improved roller wheels with bearings, but not mudguard wheel?

Anyway, you can easily find aftermarket mods for that.
It seems to be the same as pre 2016 model. I have seen some mod. Can't understand why Brompton put such basic wheel on such an expensive bicycle.
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Old 04-06-16, 06:22 PM   #9
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My Brompton is about three years old and I have the easy wheels with the rear rack and it rolls fine as far as I am concerned.I have used it on smooth floors,rough floors and even pushed it folded up all the way down to the local Vons supermarket just to see how it would do. It worked fine even thru an alleyway with potholes and cracked concrete.I did try the skate wheels when I first got it but after a few days went back to the easy wheels.One problem with the skate wheels is they are to wide making the bike difficult to turn, easy wheels do not they turn on a dime if you know how to use them. Also don't forget if you mess with the easy wheels Brompton will no longer honor the bike's warranty.
And one more thing they don't tell you if you are a new owner.If you get a rear flat and forgot to bring your patch kit and tools don't take it for granted you can fold it up and push it home on the easy wheels.It will go about two feet and then stop dead , the rear tire when inflated is what holds the bike frame up and keeps the front wheel from scrapping the ground.Without that support the front wheel drags on the ground and gets caught against the rest of the bike frame.If you do find yourself in this situation take your jacket,sweater whatever you have with you and fold it up and jam it between the rear tire and frame to lift the front wheel upward enough.If you have nothing with you use a stone, or piece of wood to do the same or go thru a trash can for enough paper to fold up.(Now watch all the replies saying that everybody knows this! No they don't , even Brompton forgets to mention it)
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Old 04-06-16, 08:31 PM   #10
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It seems to be the same as pre 2016 model. I have seen some mod. Can't understand why Brompton put such basic wheel on such an expensive bicycle.
Yeah, that mudguard wheel is a total POS as far as I'm concerned. It basically means the bike can ONLY be rolled in the backwards direction, ie that direction where the little 3rd wheel ends up in the back. Then it works. When trying to push with that little wheel at the front, the action naturally puts more weight on that little wheel which makes it bind, which puts even more weight on it, which makes it bind more, which... you can see where that is going, nowhere.

I have tried improving the wheel but the only good solution is to throw it away and use a 3rd party easy rolling bearing-mounted wheel. The ones from bike gang work, unfortunately they are made from HARD plastic so hardly a nicely rolling softish wheel.
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Old 04-07-16, 02:54 AM   #11
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My Brompton is about three years old and I have the easy wheels with the rear rack and it rolls fine as far as I am concerned.I have used it on smooth floors,rough floors and even pushed it folded up all the way down to the local Vons supermarket just to see how it would do. It worked fine even thru an alleyway with potholes and cracked concrete.I did try the skate wheels when I first got it but after a few days went back to the easy wheels.One problem with the skate wheels is they are to wide making the bike difficult to turn, easy wheels do not they turn on a dime if you know how to use them. Also don't forget if you mess with the easy wheels Brompton will no longer honor the bike's warranty.
And one more thing they don't tell you if you are a new owner.If you get a rear flat and forgot to bring your patch kit and tools don't take it for granted you can fold it up and push it home on the easy wheels.It will go about two feet and then stop dead , the rear tire when inflated is what holds the bike frame up and keeps the front wheel from scrapping the ground.Without that support the front wheel drags on the ground and gets caught against the rest of the bike frame.If you do find yourself in this situation take your jacket,sweater whatever you have with you and fold it up and jam it between the rear tire and frame to lift the front wheel upward enough.If you have nothing with you use a stone, or piece of wood to do the same or go thru a trash can for enough paper to fold up.(Now watch all the replies saying that everybody knows this! No they don't , even Brompton forgets to mention it)
Thanks! Very good info!
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Old 04-07-16, 03:16 AM   #12
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Have you found the roller on rear mudguard (L type) a bit tight? I am thinking even I get that extendable wheel addon it still doesn't roll smoothly? I want to roll it in a super market with s bag attached for shopping like someone did on Youtube (I know this may look stupid but this is one of the reason to buy a Bompton), so in this case a rack with 4 easy wheels (or something better than stock) will be better for this purpose?
That tiny roller does roll poorly but with the extendable wheel addon you can roll with a lot more stability in general. If you want to pull it via the att. bag/basket, you could lift slightly so the third wheel isn't in contact with the ground. Helps if you are at least 5'7 (170cm+). I'm about 5'6 and I have to bend my arm to lift my basket when rolling.

IMO the ideal "rolling folded Brompton" - which rolls tolerably even over road surfaces and down curbs, but minimum heel strike and added weight - would be a rack with extendable wheel addon.
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Old 04-07-16, 04:47 AM   #13
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We upgraded to this wheel on two bikes. Brompton New CNC Rear Fender Mudguard Wheel ABEC 7 Bearing Multi S | eBay

This wheel has a rubber ring as its rolling surface so not hard. It is much better than the original but I have not yet decided if it is enough for my use or if i want the two wheel thing, a "half rack" or full (ti) rack.

I think the OP need to decide what a rack would be for. If it was rolling only a rack is maybe a bit heavy. keyven said early in the thread "- the extendable wheel addon is AMAZING for stable rolling (haven't found better) - a must imo". Looks like he used one and is happy with it.

There are also lighter options both in ti and carbon. Looking at them myself but can not find any info on what they can carry (when used as a rack). They are light but expensive.

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Old 04-09-16, 06:19 AM   #14
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I have a rack with the easy wheels. I pull the bike via the back of the saddle in my left hand. The only wheels in contact with the ground are those mounted on the rear of the rack.

That seems to work the best for me.
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Old 04-09-16, 08:29 AM   #15
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Found this on ebay, kind of new, too bad it has to be added on rack with ezwheels.

[video]https://youtu.be/Ye9j6C6anTQ[/video]
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Old 04-09-16, 09:35 AM   #16
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Found this on ebay, kind of new, too bad it has to be added on rack with ezwheels.

[video]https://youtu.be/Ye9j6C6anTQ[/video]

Interesting,just wish they had stopped dragging it around all the time and shown it in better detail.
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Old 04-09-16, 11:36 AM   #17
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Ask the source, Its posted on the YT Video CONTACT - wheeelz.co.uk


I dont have that kind of transit. You Might.
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Old 04-09-16, 12:20 PM   #18
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Dragging it like that is only if you go between busses or trains. The bike has got two wheels!
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Old 04-09-16, 05:03 PM   #19
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I checked out the youtube video,two short ones,neither one slows down enough to show any good detail of the thing.Also, checked the ebay store,the price was roughly $130 USD (based on last time I heard exchange rate) no doubt with shipping added.
I wouldn't bother with it,my Brompton works fine for me with the easy wheels, but it might work for others.
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Old 04-10-16, 04:28 AM   #20
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Two wheels is fine for wheeling a folded bike. I have converted both my mezzos to four wheels and find I still tend to tilt the bike on to the rear wheels and move it holding on to the seat. A touring birdie out performs any bike I know of in this respect and that has two wheels not four.
I haven't had much experience with bromptons withour racks. However I did remove the rear rack and rear mudguard on one(see dahon andros stem on brompton).
Bromptom with dahon andros stem extender advice
And
Wheeling a folded Brompton without rack or mudguards.

If I have another Brompton it will be without the tiny, and heavy rear rack.

I tend to add rollerblade wheels. However the front ones on a brommie need consideration to avoid heel strike.
So.....

If you only use the outside bearing and no axle then a rollerblade wheel is as flush as an easy wheel afaik. You will need to superglue the bearing to the rollerblade wheel to secure it in place.
Would a rollerblade wheel say 70mm and the expander work well?
I looked like my brompton could be made to wheel ok on just two wheels with some mods. What about some sort of pull along handle like the Birdie front rack on a brompton?
Any one see something similar done?
I tried the front wheel only on my brommie but didnt look very hard for a solution before selling it. I got it very cheaply from a bango playing barber who used to race tandems.............
I offered to pay him 3 times what he wanted for it! But he stuck to his price!

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Old 04-12-16, 03:39 AM   #21
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Interesting,just wish they had stopped dragging it around all the time and shown it in better detail.
Indeed - one would think they could have put in a 2 second shot of NOT dragging it in a 1 min video. Definitely looks interesting though.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:49 AM   #22
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Maybe they are afraid somebody would copy the idea- but then it is impossible to sell if you keep it as a secret what it looks like.
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Old 04-13-16, 09:24 PM   #23
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Maybe they are afraid somebody would copy the idea- but then it is impossible to sell if you keep it as a secret what it looks like.
Plausible, but if their sales strategy is going to be predicated on paranoia, then expect sales to be slow - and their competitors might buy one and copy it anyway.

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Old 04-28-16, 08:39 AM   #24
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Titanium Q-Rack, only 160g with 4 ezwheels will roll like this.

.be
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Old 04-28-16, 12:22 PM   #25
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Just the front wheel will be turned aside to get it to fold. . they dont roll straight.
Lift front wheel off the ground?

(not too far or the suspension piece on the Rear portion will drag.. on the pavement)




Your Asian Ti Guys should make a Replica front bag support with a longer base ,

but still full width. 15.5" , 12" high.

and say 9" deep .. regular bags will still slip over it,

but once you pull the bag off you have a cargo Rack.

I had a steel bag support From an early Brompton, Modified, (It's getting Powder coated..)

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