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  1. #1
    Dancing on the Pedals Corsaire's Avatar
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    Brompton M Type 3 sp TEST ride

    I test rode the M Type today, the only model they had available for testing at NYCE Wheels in NYC.
    To me it felt like I was riding a toy, perhaps my set up (it also felt that way) was totally wrong. The shifting lever felt very cheap, flimsy and plastic like. Braking was right on. Handling ok, I tried to do a tight
    turn and my pedal hit the road big time. The rolling mechanism has a very annoying extension where my inside shoe kept on hitting. Perhaps the S type is much better, not sure, but I wouldn't use this model for longer ride than 1 or 3 miles, tops. The small folding is the best though.

    Corsaire
    "Eat breakfast boys, eat hearty...for tonight WE DINE IN HELL!!!"
    King Leonidas

  2. #2
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    You adapt to the small-wheeled ride in the same way you would swapping to a right-hand-drive car or changing from an econobox to a van - it feels different to what you know but after a few minutes acclimatising it just feels 'normal'. Shifters are often bemoaned on this site and they are a bit cheap looking but pretty robust and dependable even if they aren't winning any design awards for aesthetic beauty. They are true 'form follows function' components without a whiff of anyone breathing the idea of product-design beauty into them. Roller Wheels are worse if you have bigger feet; You can swap them out for narrower items, or ride with your heels slightly out. They need to be there so your bike doesn't fall over when folded. S-type won't really feel much different as the only difference is the handlebar geometry giving a lower riding stance. The BB height is the same on all models.

    I've been riding my single speed [fixed gear] Brompton 20 miles daily all week and it is up to the job - you just need to try not to ride it like a 700c bike just like you wouldn't drive a Honda Civic the same as a Cadillac limo.

  3. #3
    eight spokes somnatash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corsaire View Post
    ...The rolling mechanism has a very annoying extension where my inside shoe kept on hitting. ...
    Corsaire
    Hi,
    when I testrode the companion with the small plastic wheels that happened to me also, but then with eazy-wheels on my s-typ its not a problem any more. Maybe I have just adapted. For some it is probably better to mount the wheels slightly more to the back of the bike - which is possible with a japanese aftermarket modification but surely can be done by any handy person:





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    Quote Originally Posted by Corsaire View Post
    I test rode the M Type today, the only model they had available for testing at NYCE Wheels in NYC.
    To me it felt like I was riding a toy, perhaps my set up (it also felt that way) was totally wrong. The shifting lever felt very cheap, flimsy and plastic like. Braking was right on. Handling ok, I tried to do a tight
    turn and my pedal hit the road big time. The rolling mechanism has a very annoying extension where my inside shoe kept on hitting. Perhaps the S type is much better, not sure, but I wouldn't use this model for longer ride than 1 or 3 miles, tops. The small folding is the best though.

    Corsaire
    The shifter is old school Sturmey Archer but it has a long life. Maybe you didn't have the saddle the proper height and remember, the Brompton saddle is too far forward and in the wrong position. Once these issues arer resolved, the bike handles very well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corsaire View Post
    I test rode the M Type today, the only model they had available for testing at NYCE Wheels in NYC.
    To me it felt like I was riding a toy, perhaps my set up (it also felt that way) was totally wrong. The shifting lever felt very cheap, flimsy and plastic like. Braking was right on. Handling ok, I tried to do a tight
    turn and my pedal hit the road big time. The rolling mechanism has a very annoying extension where my inside shoe kept on hitting. Perhaps the S type is much better, not sure, but I wouldn't use this model for longer ride than 1 or 3 miles, tops. The small folding is the best though.

    Corsaire
    Oh come on...I would hope that any bike worth pedaling at all would be good enough for a mile at least and, in fact, I don't think I'd ride a Brompton for anything less than a mile because the folded bike is too big to be worth the hassle (and that's when the alternative is walking....when I consider the fact that I have the option of taking an even smaller folder I don't think I'd ever ride a Brompton for anything less than three miles).

    I don't mean to be rude, but I can't understand the strange exaggerations people make sometimes. In all honesty if you really think the Brompton is so bad that you wouldn't ride for more than a mile while there are others doing the Paris-Brest-Paris on theirs, then I can't help but think that you're talking more about your own whim and fancy than the capability of the bike itself. Not that there's anything wrong with that because you should ride what suits you, but your tone makes it seem like you're blaming your lack of approval on the bike. For what it's worth I think the Brompton rides better than the tikit.

  6. #6
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by somnatash View Post
    Hi,
    when I testrode the companion with the small plastic wheels that happened to me also, but then with eazy-wheels on my s-typ its not a problem any more. Maybe I have just adapted. For some it is probably better to mount the wheels slightly more to the back of the bike - which is possible with a japanese aftermarket modification but surely can be done by any handy person:




    Hi Somnatash, where did you get that part from?
    Thanks!

  7. #7
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corsaire View Post
    I test rode the M Type today, the only model they had available for testing at NYCE Wheels in NYC.
    To me it felt like I was riding a toy, perhaps my set up (it also felt that way) was totally wrong. The shifting lever felt very cheap, flimsy and plastic like. Braking was right on. Handling ok, I tried to do a tight
    turn and my pedal hit the road big time. The rolling mechanism has a very annoying extension where my inside shoe kept on hitting. Perhaps the S type is much better, not sure, but I wouldn't use this model for longer ride than 1 or 3 miles, tops. The small folding is the best though.

    Corsaire
    I so disagree with the above reflections now that I've test ridden a Brompton over a weekend and then went on to buy one 3 months ago. However, I had some similar opinions like you after my first test ride. A Brompton needs more extended time before you can truly evaluate it. I always say it is not a 'first impression bike'. It's like the Irish stout Guinness; an acquired taste but excellent when you take the time to get used to it. By the way you won't find much difference in the ride between the S and M types except for preferring a specific riding position.

    It is easy with any smaller wheeled bike to hit the ground if you turn sharply at high speed. You soon learn to corner in an agile fashion without doing this. As others have said you can avoid the heel strike problem. I regularly ride my Brompton for up to 10 miles a day in London and it easily handles this. The Brompton is capable of much longer rides then 1-3 miles on normal roads. I recommend the 6 speed because it is more versatile.

    Of course it may simply not be the bike for you and it isn't always easy to get an extended test ride. An alternative for very good folding and ride is the Bike Friday Tikit. I was very impressed with my test ride of this bike. Another close contender is the Dahon Curve SL and the Downtube Mini (direct marketing, not easy to get a test ride but has 30 day money back assurance).

    You can also see my Brompton M review on:
    Brompton M 6 speed raw lacquer review
    Last edited by mulleady; 08-17-08 at 07:02 AM.

  8. #8
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    It is easy with any smaller wheeled bike to hit the ground if you turn sharply at high speed.
    I'm not sure you're right here. I am thinking of this from a pure kinematics perspective; when cornering, the type of bike is irrelevant to the lean angle. Pedal strike is governed by cornering speed, BB height and pedal size, ie how far it sticks out and how thick it is. Tyre thickness also plays a small role.

    What is the Brompton BB height anyway? Is there a geometry picture somewhere I could look at?
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  9. #9
    eight spokes somnatash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    ...What is the Brompton BB height anyway? Is there a geometry picture somewhere I could look at?
    Hi Jur,
    Brompton-BB ~ 270 mm
    hmhm not found a geometry pic, that would be nice though

    Hi Mulleady, your welcome.
    I did not "get that part from" anywhere - means, I don't own it and cant so say anything true about it. But here is the link where I got the pics from:
    http://www.loro.co.jp/index2-lcw.html

    Somna

  10. #10
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Thanks Somna

  11. #11
    The Metropolis, UK
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    I believe pedal strike on a bike like the Brompton is more likely simply because its 16" wheels can accelerate quickly and corner so sharply.

  12. #12
    eight spokes somnatash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I'm not sure you're right here. I am thinking of this from a pure kinematics perspective; when cornering, the type of bike is irrelevant to the lean angle. Pedal strike is governed by cornering speed, BB height and pedal size, ie how far it sticks out and how thick it is. Tyre thickness also plays a small role...
    Cornering speed? How so? the higher the speed the sharper the lean angle anything else? (Better have the incorner pedal upwards in curve)
    I agree though with BB height, pedal size and tyre thickness.
    Also crank length, no?

  13. #13
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    That BB height figure might not be correct. Heavier riders squash the rear suspension, lowering the BB.

  14. #14
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB View Post
    That BB height figure might not be correct. Heavier riders squash the rear suspension, lowering the BB.
    Like me. I'm 92kg of Irish manhood

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    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by somnatash View Post
    Cornering speed? How so? the higher the speed the sharper the lean angle anything else? (Better have the incorner pedal upwards in curve)
    I agree though with BB height, pedal size and tyre thickness.
    Also crank length, no?
    Ah yes of course, forgot that. Lean angle is only a function of cornering speed, at least to a first order.

    I checked my bikes' BB height, most are around 29cm, the Mini is at about 27cm when seated but it's a bit hard to see.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  16. #16
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    I might measure where my Mini is when I'm seated. It certainly strikes more easily than any other bike I have. Doesn't cause me a problem, but does require me to modify my riding a little.

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    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corsaire View Post
    I test rode the M Type today, the only model they had available for testing at NYCE Wheels in NYC.
    To me it felt like I was riding a toy, perhaps my set up (it also felt that way) was totally wrong. The shifting lever felt very cheap, flimsy and plastic like. Braking was right on. Handling ok, I tried to do a tight
    turn and my pedal hit the road big time. The rolling mechanism has a very annoying extension where my inside shoe kept on hitting. Perhaps the S type is much better, not sure, but I wouldn't use this model for longer ride than 1 or 3 miles, tops. The small folding is the best though.

    Corsaire
    Hello Corsaire,

    I too did not like the demostration model my own Brompton dealer had at the shop. Even though I was used to the smaller wheeled folder (I already owned one at the time of the test ride), I did not like the brakes or the shifting. I still bought a simple C type Brompton. Then I replaced the brake pads, rotated the brake levers a bit upwards, got rid of that awful plastic shifter to a very nice metal one, and replaced that horrible saddle. And I would not trade that bike now for anything. For photos and ideas see links below:

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