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Old 09-24-06, 10:35 AM   #1
delwong
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Howdy.....your comments on Brompton brake upgrades?

Hi all.....newly minted member as of minutes ago, and thrilled to discover others....many others who are also into the folding experience. I have a couple Brommie's and a GoBike.

I have followed the threads from the UK which for the most part are several years old and not that useful. My desire is to upgrade the brakes to take advantage of the technology out there. I have the Mk II brakes, i.e. dual pivot, mounted on both bikes now, and I know Brompton has developed a triple pivot caliper to get more power. But I'm curious if anyone on this thread has installed a V brake or rim hydraulic brakes on their Brompton. I have read threads dating to 2000 where Magura brakes have been installed with success as well as Shimano VR brakes, but all from the UK. These articles also indicated that CM Wasson in CA use to offer a non-Brompton upgrade.

Excited to hear your comments!
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Old 09-24-06, 12:02 PM   #2
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CM Wasson no longer offer the v-brake upgrade for Bromptons.

Given the brakes you have, your best bet is to get a better set of brake pads.
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Old 09-24-06, 06:09 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forums...
Some people get v-brake bosses retrofitted to their Brompton forks and rear triangle along with a bmx-style u-shaped strengthening back there as well to improve the lateral stiffness of the bosses on the thin tubing. It's not a crazy-hard job for any reputable framebuilder/repair shop to do and shouldn't cost a whole heap (relatively) either.

You could look into getting forks from a kid's 16" bike (could be problematic for fit - especially hub width) or one from the Asian Brompton clone (called a 'Merc') which apparently has v-brakes rather than calipers.

Personally I think calipers are more elegant - especially short-reach road-bike calipers and would look into ways of fitting some of those. If set up well there shouldn't be much in it with regard to good braking compared to v-brakes, which I've heard can seem a little harsh on such small 16" wheels.

(See similar upgrades on some beautifully upgraded Moultons in Japan here)

In the end though it's about stopping though so good luck finding the best solution for you!
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Old 09-25-06, 12:02 PM   #4
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On my own Brompton Companion, I just did a simple solution to my braking system. This configeration is intended to tide me over until I decide the permament braking system I will install when I find it. Here goes:

I rotated the brake levers up a bike forward to reach it better (I have small hands) and have more braking power or leverage when I depress the levers.

I added a far better brake pads (Kool Stops) to both front and rear wheels and I am very please with it's performance.

I limit my riding to dry weather for now.

This simple set up is very inexpensive (I had it done at the time of the bike's first tune up about a month after purchase), easy, and bought me time to find the right braking system for me. It does not interfere with the folding part and I am very satisfied with it. But I am still looking toward a complete new braking system with new levers, cables, pads, and everything else needed when I finally locate the ones that suit me the best. Things like this can't be rushed into.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 09-27-06 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 09-25-06, 12:15 PM   #5
14R
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Disk Brakes?
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Old 09-26-06, 09:44 PM   #6
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Talk to me 14R!!

Hey man..whatya do, please tell all. I really like your set up and had not even contemplated disks. I'd appreciate the details.

My GoBike has disks and works well with the rigid frame geometry, what is your experience with the Brompton?

Thanks for the idea.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:46 PM   #7
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..I get it, it's a SP

14R, I took a closer look at your photos and see it's a SP. Were the disk brakes OEM to your specs, or did you install as an upgrade?
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Old 09-26-06, 09:52 PM   #8
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I have no clue, this is not my bike

I just recently joined the Bromptontalk yahoo groups since I was in the marketing for a compact folder. I have a Merc, and honestly, those are THE BEST brakes I ever had in a folder. I have no clue how bad the Brompton brakes are, but so far, that's the only complaint I've been hearing and since it is for my girlfriend (her birthday is Oct. 12th) I don't think she rides the bike in a way that requires a lot of braking power anyways...

I suggest joining the e-groups from yahoo. A lot of mods there, including front suspension forks, disk brakes (which, after reading about it, I don't recomend), single speed, front hub suspension, etc.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:55 PM   #9
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Well, I forgot to mention that I did buy a Brompton, so soon I'll know.
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Old 09-26-06, 10:12 PM   #10
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Thanks 14R..will check out the yahoo threads.
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