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Old 05-15-17, 05:25 PM   #1
George3
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Suggestions for new Brompton model

I have some suggestions for a new Brompton, that can exist as an addition to the current product line. I hope that some people of the Brompton R&D staff will read this once. And I guess that Bromton can earn a lot of money, by developing this new type, because they can expand their target population of customers with it to people with less money.

- A 16" folding bike with only coaster brakes, since that is much easier and cheaper in maintenance than handbrakes. And it is more forgiving than handbrakes, if a wheel is skewed due to loose spokes.

- Only one gear, a low gear that is suitable voor riding uphill. In the city I don't need more gears, since the distances are small and the speed is not high, due to heavy traffic. And if a hill is very steep, I can walk uphill with my folding bike. Many cities are built mainly on flat terrain.

- Only available in one neutral color, like white or metal color. That can save costs, and is easy to paint over later.

- Aluminum frame, which will prevent rust inside the frame, and regular paint jobs. (My 2006 steel Brompton is currently rusting, which is not safe.) Or use properly galvanised steel, without paint, which gives a functional artistic appearance.

- As much as possible standard parts, which is handy and cheap for replacement worldwide. And which saves Brompton a lot of service and advising time. I mean standard spokes, hubs, rims, etc.

- A price under 900 dollars. These bicycles could therefore be mass-produced in Asia.

- A very soft saddle with springs in it.

- A very compact folding size, for use in bus and train.

- A luggage rack on the rear.

Last edited by George3; 05-17-17 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 05-15-17, 06:43 PM   #2
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Aluminum, mass produced in Asia, then it wouldn't be a Brompton. I think part of the charm of a Brompton is that it is steel and handmade in London. Yes there are some quirks to the Brompton but that is what modifications are for.
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Old 05-15-17, 09:35 PM   #3
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I think if Brompton had any intention of abandoning their entire brand model, they would have done it quite some time ago. But especially now that they've doubled down on their UK production, I think it's a safe bet that they have no interest in this direction.
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Old 05-16-17, 03:58 AM   #4
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I think if Brompton had any intention of abandoning their entire brand model, they would have done it quite some time ago. But especially now that they've doubled down on their UK production, I think it's a safe bet that they have no interest in this direction.
I don't suggest that Brompton should dismantle their current business model, production model and product line. Brompton has currently a strong market position and a good reputation. But I suggest that they additionally develop a cheaper model to serve a much larger target group worldwide. That will probably make Brompton more flexible, versatile and competitive in the global market. And this can be done without loosing their good reputation.

My idea of galvanized steel will probably even enhance their quality reputation, since rust is now a problem in steel Bromptons.

Bromptons current market position is strong but vulnerable. If Brompton does not develop an extremely compact folded bike under 900 dollars, and another brand will pickup this idea, Brompton may loose it's market position in a few years IMO.

Brompton is now targeting only a very narrow group of higher income city commuters with higher education. While the group that needs an extremely compact folded bike is much larger, due to ongoing urbanisation worldwide. Traffic jams and environmental pollution will enhance the need for public transportation and bikes, that can be folded extremely compact.

Last edited by George3; 05-16-17 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 05-16-17, 04:08 AM   #5
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too much thinking going on here. you are solving problems that does not exist.

bored?
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Old 05-16-17, 04:13 AM   #6
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Even though I have and like my Brompton; I favor change for the better. I think all bikes should have disc brakes myself and think Brompton or whomever should develop new narrow hubs that would allow disc brakes and a compact fold. The thought of wearing out the sides of rims braking is so old school in this day and age. I am thinking a higher end and more expensive B with disc brakes could sell a few thousand units.

Sadly if Brompton doesn't want to be proactive with better products I say let them go out of business like the British auto industry.
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Old 05-16-17, 04:23 AM   #7
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Brompton could even develop a cheap and simple folding bike for city commuters in developing and third world countries, like Trevor Baylis developed the blessing of wind up radios for Africa. Weblink: About Freeplay Energy

Also that cheap folding bike should be ultra compact if folded, and could be distributed in developing countries like India, Russia, Thailand and China. This distribution can be done via NGO's, governments and United Nations.

Last edited by George3; 05-16-17 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 05-16-17, 04:31 AM   #8
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The biggest change Brompton should bring in is a 135mm spacing between the rear dropouts and then they could fit Alfine 8 and 11 speed gears..Whatever you say about the Brompton the 2 lever gearchange set up is a bodge!..It works well but it's still a bodge..
Brakes could improve but not V brakes..They forever need adjusting..
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Old 05-16-17, 04:57 AM   #9
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As long as I've been a member here people have been telling Brompton what they need to do to avert imminent commercial collapse of their company, all that seems to happen is that they go from strength to strength, strange that. I don't understand why developing countries (Russia ???) need a $900 compact folding bike, are they reallly both dollar rich and short of space in Africa ?

And finally, who says steel Bromptons have a rust problem, please point us to the evidence.
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Old 05-16-17, 05:22 AM   #10
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As long as I've been a member here people have been telling Brompton what they need to do to avert imminent commercial collapse of their company, all that seems to happen is that they go from strength to strength, strange that.
Untill the competition decides to build a cheap bike, that can be folded extremely compact like a Brompton. IMO future predictions from detailed analysis are more useful, than from only statistical extrapolation in time.

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I don't understand why developing countries (Russia ???) need a $900 compact folding bike, are they reallly both dollar rich and short of space in Africa?
The Brompton for developing countries should be much cheaper than 900 dollars. This concept is meant for larger cities in developing countries. For example India has many large cities with commuters.

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And finally, who says steel Bromptons have a rust problem, please point us to the evidence.
My steel Brompton from 2006 is rusting inside and outside the frame. And I found more complaints on the internet about rusting Bromptons including on this forum. Is this problem solved in newer models?
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Old 05-16-17, 05:37 AM   #11
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Incidently, Brompton inventor Andrew Ritchie himself complains of how expensive Bromptons have become:

Andrew Ritchie ? TELL Series
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Old 05-16-17, 07:17 AM   #12
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My steel Brompton from 2006 is rusting inside and outside the frame.
Ok, that's one, but then you seem to keep your bike in a black plastic bag topped up with rubbish, maybe that's part of the problem there.
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Old 05-16-17, 07:41 AM   #13
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Besides, we're in 2017. It is entirely possible that Brompton made some progress rust-proofing the frame.
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Old 05-16-17, 08:02 AM   #14
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This is what the Brompton is up against. You can do so much more with a scooter or moped. Also you need a subway system for the Brompton to make sense as a commuter option. Not all cities have subway systems.



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Old 05-16-17, 08:17 AM   #15
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Yes, when I was in Taipei recently, something of a folding bike Mecca you would think, in seven days I saw about five bicycles, mostly old mountain bikes, and about fifty thousand scooters; these people don't want cheap bicycles, they want Gileras with cubic centimetres.
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Old 05-16-17, 08:22 AM   #16
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Ok, that's one, but then you seem to keep your bike in a black plastic bag topped up with rubbish, maybe that's part of the problem there.
I have never stashed my Brompton like that. That is just a creative idea, that I have mentioned for special occasions, where this might be handy, to prevent theft and vandalism. Besides, this method could even protect a dry Brompton from rain.

How to hide your folding bike for theft prevention

You might do a Google-search on Brompton rust, to find out that I am not the only one with this problem. And I have had several 30 year old non-folding steel bikes, that were never rusting, without any maintenance, despite my daily abuse in often bad weather conditions, including snow and street brine! So that is technically possible. I bought those bikes second hand.

And what is wrong with galvanisation? Or the steel could get a layer of copper, brass, nickel or chromium. Or Brompton could make frames of pure stainless steel, brass, etc.

If Brompton positions itself as an elite brand, the rust-problem should be solved by using, aluminum, galvanisation or otherwise. But the paint on my 2006 Brompton is definitely of lower quality, to my great surprise.

I don't mean to bash Brompton at all. I am just respectfully offering constructive criticism on the Brompton company, that has contributed greatly to the development of folding bikes. I am enthousiastic about the compact folding cababilities of the Brompton. That's why I have bought one.

Last edited by George3; 05-16-17 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 05-16-17, 08:41 AM   #17
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This is what the Brompton is up against. You can do so much more with a scooter or moped.
Russia and Eastern Europe have cold climates, where scooters are too cold in winter. And also the US has many 'working poor' commuters, that cannot afford an expensive folding bike, due to low salaries and expensive health insurance and expensive housing rents in cities. And esp. the east coast of the US has winters, that are too cold for scooters.

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Also you need a subway system for the Brompton to make sense as a commuter option. Not all cities have subway systems.
Compact folding bikes are also handy in train and bus.

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Old 05-16-17, 09:07 AM   #18
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Are there not health and environmental issues in the use of zinc for the galvanisation process ?

Plus it seems to me to be overkill for a bicycle, why not make the steel just that bit thicker to achieve the design life ?
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Old 05-16-17, 09:22 AM   #19
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Plus it seems to me to be overkill for a bicycle, why not make the steel just that bit thicker to achieve the design life ?
That would be heavy and in the long run unsafe. Rust can eat fast through steel, esp. near the sea, or in street brine.
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Old 05-16-17, 09:43 AM   #20
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That would be heavy and in the long run unsafe. Rust can eat fast through steel, esp. near the sea, or in street brine.
Seen a lot of rusty Bromptons in cycle Heaven stores having work done on them.
Shop worker told me some have rusted all the way though the rear triangle.
My Brompton seatpost had rust issues after 3 months.
Bromptons do rust.
They are steel.
Laws of chemistry.
I dont think its an issue.
Steel has other advantagers.
Only changers I feel brompton need to make is
1) 135 rear triangle
2) more cockpit space,
3) ability to fit wider tyres, ie 355etro.
Everything else is preference or compromise.
I can live with the silly rear brakes, flex in front stem, small rear rack etc.
Meanwhile my Birdys and mezzo furfill all I need.

Last edited by bhkyte; 05-16-17 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 05-16-17, 09:46 AM   #21
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https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...0.0.ELAixP&s=p

Someone posted this bike a while back. Looks like about USD 400. Not aluminum though. Its carbon fibre.
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Old 05-16-17, 10:12 AM   #22
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My Father's 1953 Nash ambassador, as AMC Kenosha Wisconsin did for years, the whole body was dipped
in rust proofing, before any paint was sprayed on for color.


George3 in the era of crowd funding is free to design a bike and set up a manufacturing contract,
with crowd sourced money,
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Old 05-16-17, 12:17 PM   #23
George3
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Rusty Brompton:










More information:
https://sevenleagueboots.wordpress.c...ent-project-1/
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Old 05-16-17, 02:25 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Diode100 View Post
Yes, when I was in Taipei recently, something of a folding bike Mecca you would think, in seven days I saw about five bicycles, mostly old mountain bikes, and about fifty thousand scooters; these people don't want cheap bicycles, they want Gileras with cubic centimetres.

Meanwhile, in backward Copenhagen…

Where would you rather live?
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Old 05-16-17, 02:41 PM   #25
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I can't remember the name right now but there's a rustproofing spray you can shoot inside your tubes; I have used it on my BF (2003, zero rust, living by the Bay). I'm assuming it would work on a Brompton as well.
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