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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 01-26-08, 03:59 PM   #1
wahoonc
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Which Brompton Dealer?

Any personal recommendations? The time is drawing ever nearer... The plan is to purchase a Brommie this year. After a fair amount of online research, the next step is for some hands on type work. Then time to make the final decision and plop down the hard earned dollars. The current thought is the P6R with a few upgrades.

The shops that are within range (if you consider 350-1200 miles in range) are:

Mt Airy/College Park Bicycles
NYCeWheels
Bfold
Calhoun Cycles

I guess what I am looking for is satisfied customers, in stock to look at/try on for size and response to issues if any cropped up.

Also looking for input on what you consider the have to have options and gearing. From what I gather from the gear charts the 12% reduction should be enough for my use.

Thanks
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Old 01-26-08, 04:47 PM   #2
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Any personal recommendations?.....a few upgrades...input on what you consider the have to have options
I'm not sure whether the P6R comes with the standard saddle, if so I would advise the normal upgrade to the Fizik Vitesse which I found great but am now thinking of getting the Selle SLR to reduce weight another 100grams. I am also glad I chose the Marathon tyres (it depends on your general road conditions but in London barely a street goes by without a pile of glass to be negotiated. No puncture since purchase a year ago) I'm also not keen on the Right plastic Pedal, it's not classy. These minor exceptions aside, the Brompton is the best.

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Old 01-26-08, 04:52 PM   #3
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I would advise not having the standard saddle. The normal upgrade is the Fizik Vitesse which I found great but now thinking of getting the Selle SLR to reduce weight another 100grams. I am also glad I chose the Marathon tyres (it depends on your general road conditions but in London barely a street goes by without a pile of glass to be negotiated. No puncture since purchase a year ago) I'm also not keen on the Right plastic Pedal, it's not classy. These minor exceptions aside, the Brompton is the best.
Thanks for the input...I probably should list all the options I am looking at. I plan on the Brooks saddle (it is what on 90% of the rest of my bikes) the hub generator, folding pedals, extending seat post, rack, fenders, and the Marathon tires, most of my riding will be along trashy city streets and secondary roads. Weight is not as much of an issue as durability and small fold.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 01-26-08, 05:50 PM   #4
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Mt. Airy/College Park Bicycles has a well-deserved reputation for eclectic stuff and superior customer service. Larry Black is a bit odd and always busy. But he works hard to make customers happy and they have a superior test ride policy. They are a bit on the expensive side.
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Old 01-26-08, 08:01 PM   #5
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I am 100% Bfold, several deals, nothing bad to say so far.
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Old 01-26-08, 11:04 PM   #6
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Bfold here too.. but mostly because they had some interesting stuff in stock, while many other places were backordered with 6+ week lead times. I got a "Turkish green" (light blue) S6L Plus from them. Good folks. Channell (foldabikes.com, my local Brompton guy) only had black in stock, and had no "S" at all. And I am lazy lazy impulse shopper.

This weekend I fit the 12/18 highpath sprocket and rode some hills - it really turns the Brompton into something I am confident riding 30+ miles of "real" roads.

Good luck!
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Old 01-27-08, 04:40 PM   #7
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I'm going to be different here and say Ebay. There are real bargins to be had but they are on the UK site. Even with the high shipping costs and poor US Dollar rates, a three speed used Brompton were going for about $600-$700 USD!
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Old 01-28-08, 04:50 AM   #8
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I'm going to be different here and say Ebay. There are real bargins to be had but they are on the UK site. Even with the high shipping costs and poor US Dollar rates, a three speed used Brompton were going for about $600-$700 USD!
Steve,
I thought about that, I have a slight advantage in that my son is a grad student in Leeds, so I can buy stuff on UK eBay and have it shipped to his place. But, for a first time around on a Brompton I really want dealer support, as well as the fact I am looking for the 6 speed, along with some pretty specific options. Once I am more familiar with the Brompton and it's idiosyncrasies I will probably buy another one and the chances are it will be used.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 01-28-08, 06:47 AM   #9
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C.M. Wasson was especially accommodating with modifications and was able to get me my custom S6R weeks ahead of the standard 10-week wait here in the USA.
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Old 01-28-08, 02:27 PM   #10
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Hello wahoonc,

I am glad you are about to take the plunge and actually buy your dream Brompton. The best way to go about it is to visit the actual dealer, test ride one of the demos that are usually set up for that purpose, and choose the components you want on your bike. Now here is where my own experience differs from most Brompton owners. When I took the trip to my closest Brompton dealer (some 90 miles from the house), I had in mind a more expensive bike with fenders, pump, etc that came with the basic three speed model of that time. The shop owner showed me a more simpler C type with none of those fancy frills that I needed or even wanted. I chose that one. I still have it, have customized it the way I dreamed of-as an California beach bike see link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/265082469/in/set-72157594325178229/-and just love it today. Actually visiting the shop and doing the final selection is the most important part of the purchasing process. It might be rather time comsuming in this age of instant purchasing by a quick click of a mouse, but you will not regret it.

Please post again and annouce which bike you have chosen.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:50 PM   #11
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What are the customs or duty charges or other fees or problems for buying a bike in UK and shipping to US?
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Old 01-28-08, 06:43 PM   #12
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Checking with the UPS & Fedex sites it looks like it is about $200 for shipping. Looking at the customs website the duty looks to be about 5.5%.

YMMV

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Old 01-28-08, 07:32 PM   #13
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What are the customs or duty charges or other fees or problems for buying a bike in UK and shipping to US?
I don't know...so far everything I have purchased has been brought home by one of my children or a friend in their carryon luggage The last item that I had shipped cost me about $35usd to ship a SA hub that I paid $40 for...still a good deal even at that price. No customs on that low a value.

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 01-29-08, 09:32 PM   #14
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Do not know if you are interested or not. But I Just spoted a Brompton MR6 (6 speed) on e-bay located in Alexandria VA USA. Six days left on bidding. Currently high bid is about half the new cost
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Old 01-30-08, 04:15 AM   #15
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Do not know if you are interested or not. But I Just spoted a Brompton MR6 (6 speed) on e-bay located in Alexandria VA USA. Six days left on bidding. Currently high bid is about half the new cost
Thanks derail...I have it on watch now, along with a couple of others. Biggest problem if I buy from ebay will be having to spend additional money to make the bike fit.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 01-30-08, 12:05 PM   #16
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I know the Brompton know folds small but have you been able to find a suitcase that fits it for flying? The reason I ask is because it folds rather square and all the suitcases I see even the huge ones might be 29-31 inches on one side but the other side is only 20 or 21". I know Brompton sells one but it is $350 which is ridiculous,
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Old 01-30-08, 12:50 PM   #17
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Happy bfold customer here too. Specializes only on folders so even if you buy from ebay, it's a good place to get your brompton serviced.

+1 on the kevlar tires. My full sized bike will be getting the same treatment after using them on the brompton.
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Old 01-30-08, 01:04 PM   #18
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I know the Brompton know folds small but have you been able to find a suitcase that fits it for flying? The reason I ask is because it folds rather square and all the suitcases I see even the huge ones might be 29-31 inches on one side but the other side is only 20 or 21". I know Brompton sells one but it is $350 which is ridiculous,
I haven't located a substitute suitcase (try and say that three times quickly), but I haven't been looking very hard. Todd, of Clever Cycles fame, suggests gate checking them; he tells people it is an "adult inline wheelchair" Others have checked theirs using the soft sided bag and have reported no problems. Most of my up coming travel is via car, truck, van or Amtrak, so the hard side is not a requirement at this point.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 01-30-08, 06:58 PM   #19
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Here's what I do. I have a 7 year old L-3 (TA Specialites Vega crank, Ti BB, 50T chainring and guard, Shimano T-440 brake levers, Brompton Ti seatpost, Fizik saddle and MKS Ezy pedal), a 10 year old T-5 (TA Specialites Vega crank, Ti BB, 50T chainring and guard, Shimano t-440 brake levers, Brompton Ti seatpost, Fizik saddle and MKS Ezy pedal), and a brand new S2L-X (see below). All these upgrades were with a LBS with parts I supplied and much experimentation.

I like a brick and mortar establishment where I can develop a relationship with the owner and staff for repairs and upgrades. I like these people to be passionate about the bike and know more than I do, and willing to think progressively about upgrades. I also like to shop for the best price on parts and will mail order or ebay for them if I can't get them locally.

So, I use BFold and NYCE Bikes because I am a New Yorker and each are easy to get to. I just bought the S2L-X from David @ BFold because he was willing to experiment with me. In addition to the usual Ti components and Fizik saddle, the resultant bike has TA Specialites Carmina crank, 50T chainring, chainguard and Ti bottom bracket, MKS EZy pedals, Avid brake levers, custom laced Velocity Aeroheat rims front and back, and Cane Creek grips and bar ends. This is a fast and light machine.

Burt and Charlie at NYCE Wheels are excellent ambassadors for the brand and into the folding and electric bike culture and extremely service oriented. I use NYCE Wheels for tune ups and sundry parts; they only perform customary mechanics servivces and do not have an appetite for experimentation. Both dealers have parts in stock.

I have mail ordered from Calhoun, but it is just as easy for me to order from SJS in the UK.

Here's my 2 cents for you:
1) Select the closest brick and mortar establishment you can get to;
2) Check out the people and judge the chemistry and attentiveness;
3) What is their stock or when they can get it.
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