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Old 05-04-08, 08:04 PM   #1
ShinyBiker
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Hey all, check out my new Brompton M3L!

First Iíll show the pix. Scroll down for my quick review.

The requisite "out of the box" pix:













My primary consideration for getting this bike was the compact fold. I travel frequently and usually have 1 or 2 down days between meetings that I usually spend in the hotel room or just piddling around. Why not ride around on a folding bike?

Second, I did not want to engage in any major disassembly of the bike when I got there. Ideally, Iíd like to throw the bike in an airline regulation suitcase and go. Based on my measurements of this folded Brompton, this bike will fit in a large Samsonite Fílite maybe even the smaller Fílite (I think 29Ē). I need to go to a Samsonite store to see if they will let me drop this bike in their cases to try it out. Iíll report back later on this.

I considered the Dahon Curve and the Downtube Mini, but no one assured me that they could be packed in a suitcase with little or no disassembly. I did see a Curve in person and the Mini was adequately covered here. Both did not have a tight fold, IMHO or at least as small as the Brompton.

Initial impressions after three short rides: This bike is surprisingly speedy. You turn the pedal and go. You also want to keep pedaling! That is the fun part. It may be the high pressure 100psi tires.

It feels likes a full size bike. Steel! No creakiness of the joints. All in all it is a very solid ride.

Didnít have any problems with the twitchiness as other first time Brompton riders have experienced. Got adjusted rather quickly. No problems with the brakes, either. I think the myth about substandard Brompton brakes is not true, at least on this model.

Some negatives: Price/pricey accessories. Uncomfortable saddle. Plasticky shifter: No problems shifting, but the shifter protudes up and feels like it could break if I hit a parking meter. Rolling wheels/heelstrike problem: Those little rolling wheels in the back interfere with my pedal stroke; Iíve developed an inside/out stroke to compensate.

Thanks to 14R and Folderfanatic for your PMs and advice about the Brompton. I think I made a good choice.

Upcoming upgrades: new saddle, front carry block/bag, computer. Anyone know a good place for cheap Brompton accessories?
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Old 05-04-08, 08:19 PM   #2
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Congrats!
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Old 05-04-08, 08:37 PM   #3
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"Rolling wheels/heelstrike problem: Those little rolling wheels in the back interfere with my pedal stroke; I’ve developed an inside/out stroke to compensate."


You might want to install a little pedal extender between the pedal and the crank.
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Old 05-04-08, 08:49 PM   #4
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Very nice bike...I like the green colour...
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Old 05-04-08, 09:36 PM   #5
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Yes - LOVE that GREEN.

I even found a helmet (a 2007 Bell "Sweep") to match my green bike.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sweep_green.jpg (28.7 KB, 9 views)

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Old 05-04-08, 09:47 PM   #6
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NICE Brommie, you lucky guy....that is a nice green

who did you buy it from?

as far as accessories, the only one I have contacted about brommies is David at bfold.com....really helpful person
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Old 05-05-08, 02:53 AM   #7
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Congrats on your new bike. I've chosen the 6 gear option too in the raw lacqeur finish and expect to receive it soon. I totally agree that the gear shifters aren't the neatest arrangement but at least the range is good enough. Also ditto on the saddle which I'm going to upgrade when I collect the bike from the shop. I did have to get used to the twitchy feeling on the first test ride but attribute that to a completely different ride. I eventually found the Brompton very stable and agile on London's roads. I will keep my 20" wheel folder for trail riding such as canal towpaths though, something the Brompton is definitely not suited for. As for bringing into my office and tucking under the desk, social trips to pubs/restaurants and zipping in and out of London traffic, the Brompton comes in to its own.
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Old 05-05-08, 04:34 AM   #8
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Old 05-05-08, 06:15 AM   #9
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Very pretty and I'm sure you will love riding on it between your meetings and at every opportunity that comes along.

Have fun!
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Old 05-05-08, 06:59 AM   #10
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Congrats - you should post your fave pic in the sticky 'Name your bike' thread...
I too love that green - that and the orange are the best colours for a B by far (raw lacquer being sweet not counting as a 'colour' in my books).
If my Merc frame ever snaps it will be the colour I go for. It matches our VW Vanagon camper see...

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Old 05-05-08, 07:05 AM   #11
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Raw lacquer looks like a brassy gold colour though LP. Really sophisticated. None of the pics online do the finish justice.
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Old 05-05-08, 07:09 AM   #12
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Yeah - I know - I've seen them and they are sweet - I was just pulling the same pedant card that doesn't allow white or black or transparent to count as a hue I can't help it - I'm a graphic designer!
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Old 05-05-08, 07:22 AM   #13
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Thanks for the compliments everyone. I bought this at Calhoun cycles, doco.
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Old 05-05-08, 10:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyBiker View Post
Anyone know a good place for cheap Brompton accessories?
I believe that the front block for the Merc and Brompton are identical. You can get the front block from Anita at Merc for much less than a regular Brompton dealer.

You can find her contact information here .

Although not cheap, there are two local Brompton dealers ... Bikes at Vienna and Mt Airy/College Park Bicycles.
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Old 05-05-08, 10:13 AM   #15
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Thanks for the compliments everyone. I bought this at Calhoun cycles, doco.

Luke at Calhoun ,another nice guy to deal with
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Old 05-05-08, 12:17 PM   #16
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First tip?

I hope you will have lots of pleasure with your Brompton.

The Brompton group at Yahoo will give you lots of tips and info. To get the most of your bike you should try this group.
First tip...
For a saddle you might take a look at the RiDo saddles, but of course many will go for a Brooks (typical British)
The original foamy saddle is imo a shame for a quality bike the Brompton is.

Greetings

Plooifiets

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Old 05-05-08, 02:51 PM   #17
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Sweet bike!

Quote:
I believe that the front block for the Merc and Brompton are identical. You can get the front block from Anita at Merc for much less than a regular Brompton dealer.
I am not sure about general fit, but on my brompton the block doesn't fit exactly, it sits a little loose.

Quote:
Some negatives:...Plasticky shifter: No problems shifting, but the shifter protudes up and feels like it could break if I hit a parking meter.
You have a Sturmey Archer right? Here it should be possible to change to a gripshifter from Anita. (Or any other shifter from Sturmey Archer). Only on an M-bar the space for the shifter is limited.

Quote:
Rolling wheels/heelstrike problem: Those little rolling wheels in the back interfere with my pedal stroke; Iíve developed an inside/out stroke to compensate.
Quote:
You might want to install a little pedal extender between the pedal and the crank.
Either that or mount the wheels more to the back (japan sites have a special mount) if you don't have a rack should be easy and more healthy than adapt your pedalling.
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Old 05-05-08, 03:03 PM   #18
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There is no doubt in my mind that the sturmey twist grip system works really well and is very low profile and serviceable. I replaced one after about 2200 miles of use, but only because the cable had frayed at the back end where it comes out of the small block on the frame. The twist grip was working fine, but the new one came with the new cable. Total price about £6.50 - not a problem really.

I tired a Brompton with that silly lever gear change and it is such a poor substitute for the modern twist grip that I don't know why Brompton use it at all.

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Old 05-05-08, 05:04 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by somnatash View Post
Sweet bike!

I am not sure about general fit, but on my brompton the block doesn't fit exactly, it sits a little loose.

You have a Sturmey Archer right? Here it should be possible to change to a gripshifter from Anita. (Or any other shifter from Sturmey Archer). Only on an M-bar the space for the shifter is limited.

Either that or mount the wheels more to the back (japan sites have a special mount) if you don't have a rack should be easy and more healthy than adapt your pedalling.
Somnatash, do you have a link to the wheels mod? Maybe a pix? I don't have a rear rack on this one and don't plan to get one.
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Old 05-05-08, 05:49 PM   #20
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I was wondering what became of your interest in Bromptons. I am so glad you were able to follow through and purchase the ideal bike for your needs and riding style. I am very glad to offer you some help in some small way.

Most of my bike parts are not Brompton-specific that I bought for my C type. I have used components and accessories from other sources with success. While I do buy some parts-like the QR fromt luggage system-from a Brompton dealer, I do swap other parts with other makers when I think it will improve the the riding/handleing characteristics of the bike. Or I just like to dress it up! See my Flickr photos for my own upgrades below:
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Old 05-05-08, 06:05 PM   #21
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Sweet...which green is that? Regular? I am still saving up for my Brommie (and I still need the test ride) I thought about going with something totally obnoxious like Pink main frame and Apple Green extremities ...

I have started using Amtrak to get back and forth from my job sites to home (average is about 220 miles...one way) a Brommie is on the horizon and hopefully soon.

Aaron
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Old 05-05-08, 07:26 PM   #22
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FF, my main attraction to the brompton was its tight compact fold, which would be a necessity for packing into an airline approved suitcase. I own a 20" dahon and it became pretty obvious that I would have to do some major disassembly to get it into a suitcase. I didn't want to do that. All the other folding bikes I saw looked like Vs when folded with some sundry parts sticking out like stems, handlebars.

The color of this bike is apple green, wahoonc.
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Old 05-06-08, 02:00 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyBiker View Post
Somnatash, do you have a link to the wheels mod? Maybe a pix? I don't have a rear rack on this one and don't plan to get one.
Hi,
the "roller-wheel-more-back mod" - and other interesting stuff I saw on the "loro cycle works" website :

http://www.loro.co.jp/index2-lcw.html

You have to click "brompton" at the left, then you find a pix of the item in the middle. (So far I haven't figured out how to contact them as I and my computer don't speak Japanese...anybody?)

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Old 05-06-08, 06:46 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ShinyBiker View Post
First Iíll show the pix. Scroll down for my quick review.
Some negatives: Price/pricey accessories. Uncomfortable saddle. Plasticky shifter: No problems shifting, but the shifter protudes up and feels like it could break if I hit a parking meter.
If you hit a parking meter, your shifter breaking should be the least of your worries!

RE: saddles

If only you were Irish...


cheers
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Old 05-06-08, 07:51 AM   #25
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If you hit a parking meter, your shifter breaking should be the least of your worries!
I guess I meant walking (squeezing) my bike between cars, thin sidewalks and parking meters, which seem to be the approximate height of the top of my handlebars. Probably car rear view mirrors, too.
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