There's a possibility I'd be moving out of London in the next year and if my design freelancing starts to take off a proper day-to-day folder (Sorry Twenty!) would be a neccessity for jobs back in the city after a train trip. I rode an old L3 a few years ago on loan from a friend - the bike that got me back into cycling and away from a few pounds of tummy actually - and though it was pretty good it really did weigh more than I'd like to carry on a train regularly.
With this in mind and inspired by Steve Parry's amazing lightweights I'm considering the idea of taking the plunge with a similar deal to build over time as a project - i.e. To get the best bits from the two bikes and making a nice light hybrid from the shuffle. Lose all the stuff I don't need - rack, mudguards, gears, horrid bars and go all out weight-weenie with carbon and Ti to make it real easy to lump about on the train.
Naively perhaps - but I presume it's a fairly simple job combining the parts of the two frames (unless someone here knows different) but for the problem of getting parts without having to buy the all bits I don't want - ie the Merc rear/forks and the Brompton steel frame. Anyone have any experience of getting these parts? Buying two whole bikes would probably be a bit much eh?
In theory I should be able to go to a Brompton dealer and say "my Brompy had a crash and I need some new un-bent forks and since my insurer paid out I'd like to go for some Titanium ones' so why couldn't they supply these without me regaling them with a silly white lie?
The other thing is the fold and issues with single speed. I would love to think I could make a Brompy Fixie - no need for those loping cables or rear brakes, with yet less weight but it's plain to with the rear triangle folding where it does I'd lose the chain tension without the sprung tensioner.
But could it work with it? A derailleur tugs in one direction but a Brompton tensioner looks like it might be able to work at keeping the chain together even if it's running fixed... Anyone have any ideas on this notion? Running it single-speed with a freewheel would be my silver compromise but I just wondered what people thought. I long for a folder like the Swift or Brompton where the rear triangle pivots on bearings surrounding the bb shell so when it hinges round the chain length remains exactly the same. If I was designing my perfect folder that'd be it's USP...
Thoughts/opinions/appreciated. I want the lightest folder in christendom (probably)