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Old 04-06-08, 05:27 PM   #1
mrmotley
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Brompton Rear Rack/Gearing

2 questions for Brompton riders out there:

1) For those of you who own a Brompton with a rear rack, how often would you say you actually use it? Anyone out there who doesn't have one on his or her Brompton and wish they did?

2) 3 Speed or 6 Speed for around town(hilly) with the occasional long day out?

I am going to buy a Brompton in the near future, and I am undecided as to which model (the M3L or the M6R+ or something in between, like an M6L). I would use it mostly for around town in combination with my car. I don't envision using it to go on extended overnight journeys, just long days out when I travel. I plan on getting a touring pannier for it regardless of my decision about the rear rack. I am a road cyclist, so I don't mind getting out of the saddle in a higher gear to get up an incline.

Any comments/advice would be most appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 04-06-08, 07:32 PM   #2
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My suggestion:

Buy the 6 speed. The amount of weight added as well as the cost is a good cost/benefit investment.

Buy "a la carte" without the rear rack (or the below-average light system as a matter of fact). With the front block you can have all the stuff you need in a more balanced scenario, attached to the front of your bike. If you really want a Brompton rear rack, message me. I have one here that I used once. Will be more than happy to find a way to have it reaching you.

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Old 04-07-08, 12:41 AM   #3
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Buy the 6 speed it is usable for most rides. To bad brompton has not made the drop outs wider and offered a Nexus-8 or Sram-9. It realy could use a wider gear range and would be less complicated then the current 3 speed + rear derailer. Also more gear range with out a front drailer or Mountain drive. I have a rear rack on mine. Have never used it. Seems to be more stable when flolded and parked and may roll easier. But it could just be the inline skate wheels I added.
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Old 04-07-08, 03:21 AM   #4
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Buy the 6 speed it is usable for most rides. To bad brompton has not made the drop outs wider and offered a Nexus-8 or Sram-9. It realy could use a wider gear range and would be less complicated then the current 3 speed + rear derailer. Also more gear range with out a front drailer or Mountain drive.
Thats true, I therefore decided to have a one gear B. and then let it been made to 8gears as a aftermarket conversion with less complicated shifting. With the Sturmey Archer no widening of the drop outs necessary, but of course a costly mod.
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Old 04-07-08, 05:21 AM   #5
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The thing about the rack on a Brompton is it's not just for stowing luggage; when the bike is folded with a rack the stability of the package is a lot more seated to the ground than one without which is good on a bus or train. My rackless one has to be propped up next to a vertical or it quite happily falls over without the flatness and extra weight to give it the stability.
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Old 04-07-08, 09:31 AM   #6
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Somnatash,
I would realy like to replace my Brompton 6 speed with a 7-9 speed internal hub. Can you give us information on who did the Sturmey Archer swap and what did it cost?
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Old 04-07-08, 10:53 AM   #7
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Somnatash,
I would realy like to replace my Brompton 6 speed with a 7-9 speed internal hub. Can you give us information on who did the Sturmey Archer swap and what did it cost?
check the archives ... kinetics does the mod
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Old 04-07-08, 01:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mrmotley View Post
2 questions for Brompton riders out there:

1) For those of you who own a Brompton with a rear rack, how often would you say you actually use it? Anyone out there who doesn't have one on his or her Brompton and wish they did?

2) 3 Speed or 6 Speed for around town(hilly) with the occasional long day out?

I am going to buy a Brompton in the near future, and I am undecided as to which model (the M3L or the M6R+ or something in between, like an M6L). I would use it mostly for around town in combination with my car. I don't envision using it to go on extended overnight journeys, just long days out when I travel. I plan on getting a touring pannier for it regardless of my decision about the rear rack. I am a road cyclist, so I don't mind getting out of the saddle in a higher gear to get up an incline.

Any comments/advice would be most appreciated. Thanks.
I have a simple C type Brompton (3 speeds, no frills like fenders/rear rack/pump included). I have been very pleased with my little bike. I have put it into any situation that I came across intended for a "regular" bike with absolutely no problems encountered. This bike is my favorite one for sure (I also have 2 other folders). If I would buy another Brompton, I would go the a la carte way and select only the components/accessories I need (including a rear rack, the front luggage system, & duel pivot brakes on both wheels), and buy the 6 speed one (a couple of pounds extra does not mean much to me). The single speed Brompton is attractive to me for conversion since I have done this before to a single speed Dahon some years back. But the conversion can run into much extra $$$$ plus finding a good bike shop with a mechanic both experienced in Cold Pressing plus Brompton mechanics is almost impossible where I live.

For more information see:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=228345&highlight=pressing+cold+frame

Last edited by folder fanatic; 04-07-08 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 04-07-08, 01:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by derail3 View Post
Somnatash,
I would realy like to replace my Brompton 6 speed with a 7-9 speed internal hub. Can you give us information on who did the Sturmey Archer swap and what did it cost?
I ordered Brompton + 8GearSturmey Archer from Kinetics and awaiting it. It is ca. 220,- english pound - the hub incl. building wheel etc. (ordering the 1gear AlaCart from brompton saves money). If one already has the bike, its probably not an opportunity: as far as I know, Kinetics only does the mods on a new bike ordered from him. Ben Cooper has been very friendly and helpful and has a good reputation for doing things with bikes. A weakness might be (according to users in the brompton talk): he sometimes needs a long time to deliver and doesn't always answers to emails.

In Berlin Germany you can also get the Sturmey Archer swap for your old/existing brompton. For conversion they charge 333,- Euro. The hub is modified a little and the brompton derailer, but not the frame. I believe, the shop "faltrad-director" also does postal orderings. The owner Christoph Beck is said to be a specialist for folding bicycles. (e.g. seem to be well liked by the birdy-people and has worked on the construction of pacy-bike)

www.faltrad-direktor.de/faltrad%20-%20typen/index.html

If you are willing to broaden the triangle/drop outs and are gifted to do it yourself, you can get a conversion-kit from Juliane Neuss. A rear wheel with the 8-Gear Premium hub with detailed explanation to prepare the triangle. I don't know the price for that. If she mounts it, it will be about 458,-Euro (delivery in Germany, so probably more to your place)
see also
http://bommy.exblog.jp/m2008-01-01/
Hope that helps.
Somnatash

Last edited by somnatash; 04-08-08 at 02:36 PM.
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