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  1. #1
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    Terrific 18-speed brompton MOD

    A member of folder community in SK just completed his brompton MOD. It's the second best-looking brompton I've seen so far (excluding UFB :] )

    He started with secondhand taiwan brompton (Which is sold at around $300), disassembled & re-painted the whole frame, got custom 130mm-spaced rear frame for cassette hubs (ordered from japanese custom shop) and custom FD clamp to build a 18-speed brompton.

    Wheelsets are built using 355mm birdy rims and 74mm/130mm AM classic hubs. (Also available from japanese shop) 18" stelvio tires are fitted.






    The bike look damn cool with all black outfit.






    Custom FD adaptor and double crankset




    cassette rear hub and 9-speed cassette




    wire chain retainer is used (ala birdy)



    paul levers / thumbie/DA shifters




    Yes, it does fold.

    Last edited by Raxel; 03-11-08 at 03:55 AM.

  2. #2
    jur
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    Wow, nice Raxel!
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  3. #3
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Raxel,

    You gotta stop posting all this bike bling, mate.......my jealous heart can only take so much, you know....

  4. #4
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    s w e e t . Is it fast then?

    What is the 'best' looking one then? (I don't know what UFB is)
    Last edited by LittlePixel; 03-11-08 at 07:26 AM.

  5. #5
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    Hi
    Thatís a piece of art. Rear derailleur seems to be very low when in low gear. The handle-bar fitting isnít very clear Ė seems interesting. And those rims are lovely. Great work!

  6. #6
    Senior Member psykoocycle's Avatar
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    Very nice Brommie (the FD mod is nuts, so is the wire retainer)... I don't know about that saddle though...

    Any weight figures for the weight weenie's Raxel?

  7. #7
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
    Raxel,

    You gotta stop posting all this bike bling, mate.......my jealous heart can only take so much, you know....
    +1. My sentiments exactly!

  8. #8
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Are those BikeFriday bars?
    I like the idea of 355 (used on Moultons too I believe) wheels - just that wee bit bigger than standard. I was considering that size for my fixie one (link in my sig if you haven't already seen it) but it was a gamble too far with an already tricky conversion. And I couldn't find rims with the right drilling. But they look mean here - esp with no machined braking surfaces.

    Any hints on how much the wider rear triangle cost?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
    s w e e t . Is it fast then?

    What is the 'best' looking one then? (I don't know what UFB is)
    UFB=Ultimate Folding Bike


    http://homepage.mac.com/lenrubin/PhotoAlbum1.html
    UFB The Ultimate Folding Bicycle UFB

    Raxel, keep posting your mates bikes, really nice

  10. #10
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    Yes the handlebar used is bike friday H-bars.
    He also used satori stem (the one used in dahon speed pro TT) to set proper reach of the handlebar.

    355 size is Birdy wheel size. (Moultons use 369 sized ones)
    Upsizing to 355 has many benefits. You can use light and strong DA16 rims, 355 stelvios are much easiers to get(At least here in SK), and you can use better brakes with shorter reach. However you probably have to remove the fenders due to clearance problem. (like this bike)

    Wider rear frame is sold at around $200 in japan. Although you can widen the frame by force as they are steel, that may lead to chain rubbing problems. But it works great with fitting 5, 8, or even 14-speed hubs to brompton.

  11. #11
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    In a word: Wow!

    Is the Merc frame made to the same specs as the Brompton, just a different place?

  12. #12
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smith View Post
    In a word: Wow!

    Is the Merc frame made to the same specs as the Brompton, just a different place?
    No.

    The merc frame is an aluminium one, machine welded. Brompton's is steel (i don't know what spec) and is more or less hand brazed in jigs. The Merc frame may differ in tiny ways from Merc dimensions. I found that I had to spring the Steve Parry front derailier clamp that was made for the Brompton. I felt that my Merc frame may have been about 1.5 mm larger on the down tube where the clamp fitted. Obviously steel frames have a longer fatigue life than aluminium, but having said that, properly dimensioned alu frames will last an exceedingly long time. I doubt I'll ever break my Merc frame.

    Brompton made agreements with a far eastern firm called Neobike who they later fell out with over quality and contractual matters when neobikes began to leak into Europe which was never supposed to happen. Neobike sold the drawings and tooling to others. Grace- Gallant now make them in the form sold as Merc here, but as Flamingobike elsewhere. I notice that Flamingobike have now dropped the Brompton lookalike frame and have a strange pressed alluminium girder in more or less Brompton shape, but it could never be confused for a Brompton now, unlike the Merc, which could if people didn't look closely and see what it was made of.

    Flamingobike girder frame ->



    Earlier Flamingobike Brompton type frame ->





    EDIT:

    I have changed an error in the original post which implied that Raxel's frame was probably a merc one. It isn't.
    Last edited by EvilV; 03-11-08 at 12:58 PM.

  13. #13
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Very Nice!

  14. #14
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    Beautiful. That whole job must have caused a pretty penny. The rear derailleur looks like it might scrape the ground on turns on the small cog.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    No.

    The merc frame is an aluminium one, machine welded. Brompton's is steel (i don't know what spec) and is more or less hand brazed in jigs. The Merc frame may differ in tiny ways from Merc dimensions. I found that I had to spring the Steve Parry front derailier clamp that was made for the Brompton. I felt that my Merc frame may have been about 1.5 mm larger on the down tube where the clamp fitted. Obviously steel frames have a longer fatigue life than aluminium, but having said that, properly dimensioned alu frames will last an exceedingly long time. I doubt I'll ever break my Merc frame.

    When Raxel says the bike has a Taiwan Brompton frame, he must mean a merc one I think. Brompton made agreements with a far eastern firm called Neobike who they later fell out with over quality and contractual matters when neobikes began to leak into Europe which was never supposed to happen. Neobike sold the drawings and tooling to others. Grace- Gallant now make them in the form sold as Merc here, but as Flamingobike elsewhere. I notice that Flamingobike have now dropped the Brompton lookalike frame and have a strange pressed steel girder in more or less Brompton shape, but it could never be confused for a Brompton now, unlike the Merc, which could if people didn't look closely and see what it was made of.
    No, so-called TW brompton is NOT merc.
    It was made in taiwan by Neobike under licence, and sold only to eastern countries.
    TW brompton is made of steel, and they are almost the same as old (pre-2000) bromptons.
    It uses very cheap components but is 100% compatible with modern brompton parts.
    (Even front/rear frame assembly can be swapped)
    Compared to modern bromptons made in UK, they are slightly smaller and has slightly larger main tube.

    Many people choose TW brompton for modification because they are so cheap.
    If you are lucky you can get one less than $100. I used to own one myself for which I paid $250.
    Last edited by Raxel; 03-11-08 at 12:58 PM.

  16. #16
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
    Wider rear frame is sold at around $200 in japan. Although you can widen the frame by force as they are steel, that may lead to chain rubbing problems. But it works great with fitting 5, 8, or even 14-speed hubs to brompton.
    That isn't bad. Getting a regular rear triangle from Brompton will probably be in the same ballpark.

  17. #17
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
    No, so-called TW brompton is NOT merc.
    It was made in taiwan by Neobike under licence, and sold only to eastern countries.
    TW brompton is made of steel, and they are almost the same as old (pre-2000) bromptons.
    It uses very cheap components but is 100% comparible with modern brompton parts.
    (Even front/rear frame assembly can be swapped)
    Compared to modern bromptons made in UK, they are slightly smaller and has slightly larger main tube.

    Many people choose TW brompton for modification because they are so cheap.
    If you are lucky you can get one less than $100. I used to own one myself for which I paid $250.
    Oh - thanks for the information. I have now edited that erroneous comment out of my original post above and left a comment that it has been removed.

    I thought that neobike had collapsed. Someone told me that. I believe that the Flamingobike / merc copies came from neobike material from their collaboration with Brompton. Someone told me they sold tooling and production drawings. This could just be a rumor though.
    Last edited by EvilV; 03-11-08 at 01:02 PM.

  18. #18
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
    Wider rear frame is sold at around $200 in japan. Although you can widen the frame by force as they are steel, that may lead to chain rubbing problems. But it works great with fitting 5, 8, or even 14-speed hubs to brompton.
    Do you have an online source for such a rear triangle?

  19. #19
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    Its wheel size is the same as birdy, which also uses long cage rear derailleur.
    So the bike has the same ground clearance as birdy bike.
    The owner says there are no clearance problem even in conering.

    I don't know about its weight.. but it must be pretty light compared to original one.
    (I guess 9~10kg range)
    Stock Brompton parts are DAMN heavy.
    I almost fainted out when I put my brompton rear wheel on the scale.
    Geared rear wheel alone weighed roughly two kilograms....
    Compare that to new 406-sized Tyrell AM7 wheelset which weighs only 970g for F&R.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    Do you have an online source for such a rear triangle?
    Here:



    http://page2.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/b82271374
    My memorry was a bit incorrect. It was sold at 29500 yen.
    I am not sure the rear frame is still available or not.

  21. #21
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I'd guess the weight it more nearer 10/10.5kg than nine. My fixie one (also a Flamingo frame) is 8.9kg and that has Titanium EVERYTHING, carbon cranks and no mechs or rear calipers.
    I'd definitely be interested in the wheels sometime - though I just built my Velocity aeroheats and have no complaints so far. Don't quite know how I didn't think of the birdy size. Pfft!


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
    No, so-called TW brompton is NOT merc.
    It was made in taiwan by Neobike under licence, and sold only to eastern countries.
    TW brompton is made of steel, and they are almost the same as old (pre-2000) bromptons.
    It uses very cheap components but is 100% compatible with modern brompton parts.
    (Even front/rear frame assembly can be swapped)
    Compared to modern bromptons made in UK, they are slightly smaller and has slightly larger main tube.

    Many people choose TW brompton for modification because they are so cheap.
    If you are lucky you can get one less than $100. I used to own one myself for which I paid $250.
    Great! I will try to pick one up. I'm not crazy about Brompton's pricing because I have thought if I bought one I'd strip it all off and start over anyway. Hopefully I can get one of these frames so I have bike I can litterally throw in a suitcase without disassembly.

  23. #23
    jur
    jur is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
    Compare that to new 406-sized Tyrell AM7 wheelset which weighs only 970g for F&R.
    Are those Tyrell wheels for sale separately? If so, can you provide a link?

    *drool*
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  24. #24
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
    My fixie one (also a Flamingo frame) is 8.9kg and that has Titanium EVERYTHING, carbon cranks and no mechs or rear calipers.

    Hey ... why is there a Brompton logo on your bike?

  25. #25
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    Hey ... why is there a Brompton logo on your bike?
    Because it basically is one - like the one at the top of the page!
    Ok so the frame is a clone but the stem, triangle, seatpost, brake-calipers, tighteners, forks, pentaclip are all Bromptons finest...

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