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  1. #1
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    Is this addicting? Brompton – Birdy – Moulton??

    I recently purchased a new Brompton 6 speed from Bfold after reluctantly deciding that a Birdy would not fit into my trunk. I still lust a little over the Birdy but I must admit the Brompton M6L is great. I wasn’t sure how it would ride (no dealers in my area) but I have taken it out about 8 times for short 2 to 6 mile rides and could not be happier. BUT!

    Here’s the problem. I have every intention on keeping the Brompton but I am still tempted by the Birdy and even more (perhaps) by the Pashley Moulton TSR. Especially after reading so many comments about them recently. To anyone who has ridden all or any of these:

    1- Can a Mouton TSR be set up for a fairly upright ride for someone 5’ 8’? As I age I find that I am just not into drop bars and a tucked position. I am even in the middle of converting my Surly Cross Check to have Albatross bars over the next week or so.

    2 – I won’t ask anyone to compare the Bropmton to these two bikes (I won’t stop anyone either) but I would like to have a comparison of the Birdy and the TSR.

    Jim

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    yes, the tsr's can be set up for upright riding...IIRC they come with an adjustable stem that will allow any riding position you choose



    I have never ridden a birdy so can't help there

    any question I can try to answer on the tsr, let me know

  3. #3
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Both the Birdy and the Moulton can be dialed in to the rider's preferences. The Moulton is easier too adjust, but the Birdy can be bought with an upright or sport stem, depending on the model. Both produce a great ride. Neither bike is very easy to find in the U.S. (which is where I assume you are). Black Dog is your best bet for a Birdy these days...they are no longer sold on eBay. Not sure where one finds a TSR, but the Mouton forum should help you there (groups.yahoo.com). Search for Birdy there, as some Moultoneers have reviewed it.

    That said, if you are happy with your Brompton, stick with it! I think there is some solution for suspension on the front (besides the pathetic Pantour hub). It does not sound like you are going out for fast rides. Unless you are planning a 500 mile tour, you can probably make the Brompton work for you just fine.

    Would be fun to try a Mouton, Birdy, and a reach side-by-side one day. Maybe at the next folder event.

  4. #4
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    in NYC David at bfold sells moulton's

    David"s a real nice guy to work with

  5. #5
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    The Brompton is very nice for short rides. I am not sure I would like to take it on a 30+ mile ride although I have heard that some do. It's primary virtue to me is the small fold as it fits in my cars truck. However for a longer ride on somewhat nearby trails I could probably fit the Mouton and definitely the Birdy in the rear seat.

    I have spoken with David at Bfold (purchased the Brompton from him) and he was very good to deal with. I have also spoken with Black Dog and thought Don was great to work with. I didn't buy a Birdy from them simply based on size. I also spoke with Miles at North Road Bicycles about the Moulton. I would buy from any of them.

    I road a Moulton briefly and really liked the ride but it was set up with very low bars. My ideal today would be a bike set up with the bars slightly higher than the seat. It was hard to tell if I would fall in love with it with a setup more to my taste.

  6. #6
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    Doco,

    Do you ride a TSR or another Moulton? Either way, what sold you on a Moulton instead of (or in addition to) another bike?

    If by chance you have a version which separates, how easy is it to do this and are the two pieces completely separate with some kind of cable separator or are they still attached?

    -Jim

  7. #7
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    A TSR is a Moulton that is made by a third party, Pashley. Both are in the U.K., so both are expensive.

    I should add details to my earlier remarks. The Birdy is unquestionably the best all-around bike since it can handle loaded touring, does well in fast rides, and actually folds.

    But if you do not need a bike that actually folds and have $$, the TSR is a better option. The suspension is superior, it handles better at high speeds (e.g. 40+ MPH), and, most importantly, it has a short stem. Long stems, which are requisite on folding bikes, are little more than a giant lever specially designed to destroy your headset.

    For those who adapt to the bike (e.g., spin, pedal in a circular motion to offset suspension sapping energy), both the Birdy and the Moulton can be superior to a full size bike for touring and for riding on rough surfaces. They are much more comfy and produce lower rolling resistance. But if you are on smooth roads, a full size bike would be cheaper and lighter for any given set up.

  8. #8
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmaher View Post
    I have taken it out about 8 times for short 2 to 6 mile rides and could not be happier. BUT!

    Here’s the problem. I have every intention on keeping the Brompton but I am still tempted by the Birdy and even more (perhaps) by the Pashley Moulton TSR. Especially after reading so many comments about them recently. To anyone who has ridden all or any of these:

    1- Can a Mouton TSR be set up for a fairly upright ride for someone 5’ 8’? As I age I find that I am just not into drop bars and a tucked position. I am even in the middle of converting my Surly Cross Check to have Albatross bars over the next week or so.

    2 – I won’t ask anyone to compare the Bropmton to these two bikes (I won’t stop anyone either) but I would like to have a comparison of the Birdy and the TSR.

    Jim

    I'm afraid you have caught an infectious disease called Foldinitis. The virus cannot be transmitted through airborne means but is often carried on your first folding bike or transmitted from interacting with these forums.

    It seems like you have developed a serious form of this virus! You will probably end up getting both the Birdy and Moulton in due course as symptons of this affliction. Maybe a Bike Friday will also manifest itself and/or a Pacific Reach IF mode!

    Regards

    Dr Mulleady
    Last edited by mulleady; 08-05-08 at 12:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pm124 View Post
    A TSR is a Moulton that is made by a third party, Pashley. Both are in the U.K., so both are expensive.
    BTW, I think I read over at velovision that Moulton and Pashley have just merged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pm124 View Post
    ... Brompton ... I think there is some solution for suspension on the front (besides the pathetic Pantour hub)...
    What would the other options be? I can think of the suspension seat-post modification, replacing the wheel by 305 or 355 to take Big Apple tyre (requires modifying or replacing the fork). Anything else?

  11. #11
    eight spokes somnatash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maranen View Post
    What would the other options be? I can think of the suspension seat-post modification, replacing the wheel by 305 or 355 to take Big Apple tyre (requires modifying or replacing the fork). Anything else?
    Yes, Steve Parry modified a postmoderne suspension-seatpost into sitting at the top of the steering stem and act as a kind of front suspension (though only ridersuspension). That would require cutting the steering stem. I don't know it he still is doing it:
    http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/spspec.html
    http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/spbarsfolded.jpg
    He also mounted modified recumbent front forks to the brommi:
    http://www.bromptonauten.de/umbauten...sp-vornea.jpeg
    Heavy modding stuff that all.
    Also some Swiss thing: a kind of clamp which goes into the stemclamp and takes the bar like 2 postmoderne one on either side of the steering stem (similar to littlepixles idea with a short barpart + syntace x-ray clamps) with some bar-suspension, sorry, have no link for that.

  12. #12
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maranen View Post
    What would the other options be? I can think of the suspension seat-post modification, replacing the wheel by 305 or 355 to take Big Apple tyre (requires modifying or replacing the fork). Anything else?
    I recall seeing a suspension stem somewhere that looked like an over the counter replacement.

    Another option is Greenspeed Scorcher TR tires. They are a bit thinner than Big Apples. Though make sure they clear the fork.

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    Thanks Somnatash and pm124. I’ve read opinions about Greenspeed Scorchers – they seem to be prone to flats (TR may be better), and very slippery on wet as they are slicks. I believe there is clearance enough in the front fork for them.
    Recumbent front fork mod is interesting – I wonder about the weight – I once searched for light BMX-front forks and all were much heavier than the Brommy’s original.
    BTW – For rear suspension I recently ordered elastomer blocks intended to be used in front suspension forks of certain mountain bikes from http://www.rapiddescentscotland.co.uk/ type MCU855RSOFT. You get two elastomer blocks – one is a few mm longer than Brompton’s original (smaller diameter=softer), the other is 5 mm shorter (bigger diameter=harder). I fitted the former one and it feels quite good – much better than the original or the rubber one with which I experimented. I have a Mercton 3-speed.

  14. #14
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    That said, if you are happy with your Brompton, stick with it! I think there is some solution for suspension on the front (besides the pathetic Pantour hub). I
    pm124 interested on your feedback on why you think the Pantour hub is so bad.
    Thanks

    jmaher I remember your thread before if I'm right before you bought the Brompton. You have a small trunk in your sports car right? Congrats the Brompton is perfect for that, I love mine in terms of its small foot print but stillv ery capable ride. The TSR is a beauty but you would need the separable one if the car trunk is an issue. The Birdy folds well. Have you looked at the Bike Friday Tikit possibly with 24 speed option. Really fast bike and folds very compact quickly. Test rode one in Bath UK the other day, I was really impressed.
    Last edited by mulleady; 08-06-08 at 02:47 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mrbrown's Avatar
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    For a suspension seatpost, you can try a Thudbuster. Big Apples tires are also nice.

    Foldinitis. I have it too. Every folder calls out to me, asking me to buy it.
    Mercy overtakes
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  16. #16
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    Mulleady,

    You are correct, a convertible with a very small trunk (BMW 3 series hardtop convertible). The Birdy probably would not have fit (general feeling from those I spoke with including the distributor) and the Brompton fits fine with the top down. However I do have a back seat and could fit Birdy there with no problem and a TSR separable would probably fit somehow. This is OK for a time when I am definitely going somewhere to ride but not just on the off chance I might.

    I tied the Ticket and it would not fit into the trunk. I think I would like a Birdy or a Moulton more based on the suspensions. I liked the Ticket but not enough.

    After I get the conversion finished on my Cross Check (to a more relaxed go to the store bike) I'll post pictures of that and the Brompton.

    I am looking for something I can squeeze into the car and take for longer rides with a friend or two on rails to trails type riding.

    -Jim

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    hey Jim, check your pms...

    this about sums up the moultons for me...this was posted by a guy patrick james in england
    he owns several moultons

    I have a great love of Moulton bicycles. I first got into them when someone lent me a rather battered up old APB for a few weeks. When I first rode it I found it to be initially strange. Then a few days later I rode it again and found it to be still strange but I realised I rather liked it. Then I kept riding it and the strangeness of it wore off and then I began to "see it". What a wonderful thing it was, so lively and fast yet tremendously stable. It was quite unlike any other small wheeled bicycle I'd ever ridden. It was better than any large wheeled bicycle I'd ridden.

    exactly how I feel

  18. #18
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    pm124 interested on your feedback on why you think the Pantour hub is so bad.
    Thanks
    The real problem is my bad writing. I didn't mean to imply that it was low quality. I had one on my Mu SL. It seemed fine, but didn't really do much in the way of suspension. Compared with a road bike with a normal hub and 120PSI tires, it provided a rough ride.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for feedback PM124

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