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Old 08-06-07, 02:05 PM   #1
android
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Just Bought a Brompton, Need advice on Mods

Hi,

Just bought a Brompton T-5, and I need advice from other owners what mods they would suggest. It's stock, with 18% gear reduction, otherwise standard. Brakes? Grips? What about handlebars? Seats? I'm curious if there is a cheap fix for the poor braking. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-06-07, 02:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by android View Post
Hi,

Just bought a Brompton T-5, and I need advice from other owners what mods they would suggest. It's stock, with 18% gear reduction, otherwise standard. Brakes? Grips? What about handlebars? Seats? I'm curious if there is a cheap fix for the poor braking. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Brooks saddle.
Brooks grips to match the saddle.
Kool Stop salmon brake pads (levers are optional).
A Nashbar or Wald cruiser bar that is not as upright as the stock M-type bar.
Schwalbe Marathon tires.
Longer bolts for the hinge clamps.
Extra spokes, just in case.
Front carrier block.
Open basket for front carrier block.

You're looking at a few hundred $$$ in enhancements.
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Old 08-06-07, 02:21 PM   #3
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I have a T-5 and an L-3 and here's what I've done:
1) Upgraded the brakes to the current generation design; and most important is to replace the Brompton pads with the grippier compound from Kool-Stop;
2) Replaced the brake calipers with Shimano R-440's to get a sleeker look and more efficient lever action;
3) Replaced the steel seat post with the titanium seatpost - nice weight saving;
4) Replace the seat with the Brompton (Fizik) Vitesse and added the Penta Clip.
5) Added the carrier block and purchased the basket as well as the S type bag for a range of toting options.

I've kept the handlebars stock.

What I'm contemplating doing but no time soon is:
A) Replace the cranks and bottom bracket;
B) Remove the generator and carrier - I don't use them enougfh for the weight penalty they cause
c) Add the Pantour suspension hub for the front wheel - but still collecting information.
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Old 08-06-07, 03:29 PM   #4
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It all depends on what you want. I currently have my Brompton significantly heavier because I am using it daily without the need of folding or carrying it at all. Under this config., I have bar ends (that compromise the fold but gives me more cockpit room), Non-folding clipless pedals, front block with S-Type bag and fenders.

On August the 18th I will be traveling with the same bike: no fenders, no dar ends, no clipless pedals.

Now what I permanently changed:

Chainring, cranksets and BB;
carbon fiber bar;
salmon pads;
brake levers;
handgrips;
Extended seatpost, Thudbuster suspension and Specialized seat;
Upgraded rolling wheels.

What I am contemplating doing but no time soon is:
Add more gears (front derailleur with smaller ring);
buy a Brompton rear rack.


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Old 08-06-07, 03:55 PM   #5
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14R, why the dual suspension? What do you do for the front wheel?

Beautiful bike, by the way.
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Old 08-06-07, 04:16 PM   #6
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14R, why the dual suspension? What do you do for the front wheel?

Beautiful bike, by the way.
Thank you. I did nothing to the front wheel, basically because I am not aware of anything that can be done besides a front suspension mod from Japan( only thing I've seen is 1 picture), or the pantour hub which I read bad things about it.

But I wasn't happy with the standard elastomer as my only source of anti-bumping. I assume I ended up used to most of the vibration coming from the front, but my internal organs were really feeling when I would jump something and land seated. I guess the fact that I had a thudbuster laying arround didn't hurt either.
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Old 08-06-07, 05:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by android View Post
Hi,

Just bought a Brompton T-5, and I need advice from other owners what mods they would suggest. It's stock, with 18% gear reduction, otherwise standard. Brakes? Grips? What about handlebars? Seats? I'm curious if there is a cheap fix for the poor braking. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Were you the one who just bought 2 Brompton T5s for $1000 on Craigslist?
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Old 08-06-07, 06:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14R View Post
It all depends on what you want. I currently have my Brompton significantly heavier because I am using it daily without the need of folding or carrying it at all. Under this config., I have bar ends (that compromise the fold but gives me more cockpit room), Non-folding clipless pedals, front block with S-Type bag and fenders.

On August the 18th I will be traveling with the same bike: no fenders, no dar ends, no clipless pedals.

Now what I permanently changed:

Chainring, cranksets and BB;
carbon fiber bar;
salmon pads;
brake levers;
handgrips;
Extended seatpost, Thudbuster suspension and Specialized seat;
Upgraded rolling wheels.

What I am contemplating doing but no time soon is:
Add more gears (front derailleur with smaller ring);
buy a Brompton rear rack.


Hi, what are the specs of the changed bottom bracket, chainring and cranks? I'm thinking of this mod in the near future as my OEM set up needs renewal. Much obliged.
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Old 08-06-07, 06:31 PM   #9
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I got a TSA 53T chainring, cheapest road bike crankarm and BBs available at the LBS. Not sure about the brand of the bbs. For a while, I tought I had the original one from Brompton.
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Old 08-06-07, 07:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14R View Post
Thank you. I did nothing to the front wheel, basically because I am not aware of anything that can be done besides a front suspension mod from Japan
[Coughs]... Pantour suspension hub?


All is needed is a tiny bit of filing (< 1mm) for it to fit in ze dropouts...
I know this 'cos I did it to the forks on my Brompton/Merc lightweight - (still to come out from garage as it awaits new rims and birdy rear elastomer)

Last edited by LittlePixel; 08-06-07 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 08-06-07, 07:52 PM   #11
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*coughs* Did you miss 14R's comment about the Pantour hub...?
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Old 08-06-07, 08:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 14R View Post
I got a TSA 53T chainring, cheapest road bike crankarm and BBs available at the LBS. Not sure about the brand of the bbs. For a while, I tought I had the original one from Brompton.
Do you recall the size of the BB?

Also, in the picture of your bike, are the bar-ends pointed in towards you??
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Old 08-06-07, 08:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
Do you recall the size of the BB?
The bottom bracket is rather long: 119mm for the L & T models, and 127mm for the C model.

165mm cranks are a good upgrade for this bike, as well as dual folding pedals, which 14R already mentioned.
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Old 08-06-07, 09:01 PM   #14
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Do you recall the size of the BB?

Also, in the picture of your bike, are the bar-ends pointed in towards you??
I do not recall the size of the BB, but SB seems to know what he is talking about.

In the picture the bike is without the bar-ends.
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Old 08-06-07, 09:02 PM   #15
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LP: I heard these hubs have a very short lifespam.
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Old 08-07-07, 01:28 AM   #16
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*coughs* Did you miss 14R's comment about the Pantour hub...?
Clearly I did for some reason; Sorry bout that. Hey - nice to see the bouncy pictures though eh?
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Old 08-07-07, 08:24 AM   #17
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> I have a T-5 and an L-3 and here's what I've done:
> 1) Upgraded the brakes to the current generation design; and most important is to replace the Brompton pads
> with the grippier compound from Kool-Stop;

Hi,

What exact model from Kool Stop is people using? I need to order them through my LBS, and this is the first time they see aq brompton, so I need to give them the exact specification.

Thanks,


Iago
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Old 08-07-07, 08:27 AM   #18
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I will be picking up an S2L pretty soon....this thread is great. Is there any reason NOT to replace the stock axles with quick-release axles so that flats can be more quickly fixed?
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Old 08-07-07, 11:08 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by imosqueira View Post
What exact model from Kool Stop is people using? I need to order them through my LBS, and this is the first time they see aq brompton, so I need to give them the exact specification.
I use Kool Stop Continentals: they're short, and made for road-type brake calipers. The caveat is that the threaded post is too long when folding, so you have to cut down this bolt, otherwise it will scratch up your frame. I got these pads on advice from Yahoo's Brompton list and was warned about having to cut down the threaded post ahead of time. Great pads, and tremendous stopping power - no joke.

An old poster, wavshrdr, said he successfully used v-brake type salmon pads. I'm not sure which model though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ICU Doc
Is there any reason NOT to replace the stock axles with quick-release axles so that flats can be more quickly fixed?
Yes. You won't be able to keep the chain tensioner installed. If the chain tensioner is not installed, it won't take up chain slack when you fold the bike. Furthermore, since the hub gear relies on its specific axle, you won't be able to change gears.

For the front wheel, you'll need to get the correct size quick-release in 74mm or make your own. You might also have issues with the clip, the part that attaches the front wheel to the chainstay when folded.

If you're really worried about flats, just use Marathons and be done with it. You probably are not racing this bike anyway.
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Old 08-07-07, 11:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by android View Post
Hi,

Just bought a Brompton T-5, and I need advice from other owners what mods they would suggest. It's stock, with 18% gear reduction, otherwise standard. Brakes? Grips? What about handlebars? Seats? I'm curious if there is a cheap fix for the poor braking. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
My own Brompton C or Companion model was purchased new, no frills, very basic. I only needed to: change the stock brake pads to Kool Stops, rotate the brake levers a slight upwards postion as not to impede folding and vastly improve the leverage and reach of my smaller hands, change the stock shifter to a nice metal traditional Sturmey Archer shifter, add a Nirve cruiser saddle with springs for added suspenion, and a both bought and made a bag to take it around Southern Calfornia on buses and trains. I will add better Schwalbe Marathon tires, complete dual brake system with levers and all, and a luggage block with luggage options in the future when needed. So don't worry, there are plenty of rather inexpensive options available to you.

For photos, see my Flickr pages below:
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