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Old 09-22-08, 07:00 PM   #1
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Londoners-Is Bromptons A Common Sight There?

To Anyone Living In Or Familiar With London,

I am just a bit curious. Are Bromptons Bikes a common sight in London? The video below gives me the impression they are not. Please explain-and do post some photos if you can. I would like to see London and the UK for myself someday.

Brompton Bicycles In The Wild

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc6GWS4uK6M
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Old 09-22-08, 07:43 PM   #2
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Not that he's being madly funny about it but I think he's trying to be ironic at the 'amazingly unlikely fact' that you might see two Bromptons together like some kind of anthropologist in the field when of course it's incredibly likely to see just this 'phenomina' at a mainline railway terminus any day of the week! (The building in the clip is the Victoria station where about half of the trains coming to the south of the city arrive)

So are they common in London? It's not like you'd see one for every two full size bikes, but they're easily the most popular folding bike here. How many you'd see depends where in London you go (and at what time) but you will definitely see a few during morning or evening rush-hour on weekdays, especially if you're in what you'd call 'downtown' - ie the centre - or perhaps near one of the main railway (railroad) stations like London Bridge, Paddington, Euston, Waterloo or as in the video, Victoria.

These are the stations that spew forth the multimode commuters from the home-counties (greener counties surrounding the city) who then unfold their swiss-army bikes and head on to their places of work.

Of course - a lot of Brompton owners don't do a multi-modal commute - for many having a small bike is purely a way to fit a bike in Britain's notoriously small rented and owned properties and the only real option if you don't have a garden, yard or garage to store a full-size bike. So you might see one anywhere. You might see me!

You should come. Riding about some of the busier roads is a bit hairy (ask SesameCrunch) but all part of the fun!
Some good pictures on flickr based on searching for 'Brompton bike london' here





How did this one get in the projector ?

Last edited by LittlePixel; 09-22-08 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 09-22-08, 08:21 PM   #3
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PS: Probably the best place to see lots of Brompton's in one place is at the Smithfield Nocturne folding bike race:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=aNSLPipnSjs
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mhNAepkWd1s (Seems that's me passing last in this one!)
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Old 09-23-08, 02:26 AM   #4
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There are swarms of them - so many more than other folders it gets boring. For sure, they're still outnumbered probably 10-1 by full size bikes, but meh. I counted one day, on my way in and out of Waterloo Paddington, and I saw around 30 Bromptons, and no other folders at all. They're not on the endangered list...
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Old 09-23-08, 09:10 AM   #5
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Thank you Little Pixel and Sammyboy for responding so quickly to my inquiry. I was kicking around going abroad for a while now. I will visit London and some of the UK for at least a couple of weeks along with visiting Amsterdam and parts of Scandinavia just as soon as my country stabilizes it's financial woes. If I am lucky enough to visit London, I will be sure to hire (rent) a Brompton for my stay in London. I studied the photos you posted & recommend, Little Pixel. Most of the bikes (including the Bromptons) had mudguards and appeared to be set up for wet weather. My C or Companion Brompton was selected or set up for the mostly dry arid areas surrounding my home (no mudguards, simple brakes, dry lube used on chain, etc.) as is the fashion of the bikes around here. I think that I need to be around more Bromptons (a real rarity around here) before I buy another one. The next one should be more “travel friendly” and be more flexible in order to take along for the trips. To be more honest, I never seen a Brompton before in person until I bought my present one! I am used to poor roads and crazy drivers in motor vehicles (I am in Los Angeles after all). I will have to adjust to riding on the opposite side of the road (in my view).

Last edited by folder fanatic; 09-23-08 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 09-23-08, 04:18 PM   #6
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I have been to London several times. Weekend trips, sometimes. I would say that you see about 2 to 3 Bromptons per day. Or at least that has been my experience.
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Old 09-23-08, 09:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gganio View Post
I have been to London several times. Weekend trips, sometimes. I would say that you see about 2 to 3 Bromptons per day. Or at least that has been my experience.
The Brompton is highly affordable if you're being paid in Pound Sterling. If I lived in London, there would be no reason to buy a Dahon unless you wanted a folding mountain bike.
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Old 09-24-08, 06:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
To be more honest, I never seen a Brompton before in person until I bought my present one!
In the twenty-five years since the Brompton was introduced in the USA, I have seen one. It was in its natural habitat, a major urban downtown near a light rail station.

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Old 09-24-08, 02:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
To Anyone Living In Or Familiar With London,

I am just a bit curious. Are Bromptons Bikes a common sight in London? The video below gives me the impression they are not. Please explain-and do post some photos if you can. I would like to see London and the UK for myself someday.

Brompton Bicycles In The Wild

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc6GWS4uK6M
Very common Folder Fanatic. If you went to any of the major overland rail stations the amount of Brommies flying in and out is quite a sight to behold, followed to a lesser extent by other folders!
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Old 09-24-08, 02:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
Not that he's being madly funny about it but I think he's trying to be ironic at the 'amazingly unlikely fact' that you might see two Bromptons together like some kind of anthropologist in the field when of course it's incredibly likely to see just this 'phenomina' at a mainline railway terminus any day of the week! (The building in the clip is the Victoria station where about half of the trains coming to the south of the city arrive)

So are they common in London? It's not like you'd see one for every two full size bikes, but they're easily the most popular folding bike here. How many you'd see depends where in London you go (and at what time) but you will definitely see a few during morning or evening rush-hour on weekdays, especially if you're in what you'd call 'downtown' - ie the centre - or perhaps near one of the main railway (railroad) stations like London Bridge, Paddington, Euston, Waterloo or as in the video, Victoria.

These are the stations that spew forth the multimode commuters from the home-counties (greener counties surrounding the city) who then unfold their swiss-army bikes and head on to their places of work.

Of course - a lot of Brompton owners don't do a multi-modal commute - for many having a small bike is purely a way to fit a bike in Britain's notoriously small rented and owned properties and the only real option if you don't have a garden, yard or garage to store a full-size bike. So you might see one anywhere. You might see me!

You should come. Riding about some of the busier roads is a bit hairy (ask SesameCrunch) but all part of the fun!
Some good pictures on flickr based on searching for 'Brompton bike london' here





How did this one get in the projector ?
Who's the good looking dude on the far right in the waterproofs standing in front of your Mercton LP?
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Old 09-25-08, 01:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
The Brompton is highly affordable if you're being paid in Pound Sterling. If I lived in London, there would be no reason to buy a Dahon unless you wanted a folding mountain bike.
This is actually not close to being true. The Curve D3 is 350, whilst the cheapest Bromptons are around 550. That's a big jump.

As far as seeing "2 or 3 Bromptons in a day", maybe that's true at the weekend, or maybe it was true 5 years ago, but go to London around commute time, and you'll see a lot more than that. I could kick 2 or 3 Brompton riders off their bikes just whilst crossing Westminster Bridge, if I was so inclined. On a typical street in the City you'll see lots, and even in the West End, you see them folded and locked to lamposts (I wouldn't do that!)
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Old 09-25-08, 01:40 AM   #12
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This is actually not close to being true. The Curve D3 is 350, whilst the cheapest Bromptons are around 550. That's a big jump.

As far as seeing "2 or 3 Bromptons in a day", maybe that's true at the weekend, or maybe it was true 5 years ago, but go to London around commute time, and you'll see a lot more than that. I could kick 2 or 3 Brompton riders off their bikes just whilst crossing Westminster Bridge, if I was so inclined. On a typical street in the City you'll see lots, and even in the West End, you see them folded and locked to lamposts (I wouldn't do that!)
Try kicking me off my Brommie and there will be a Downtube Mini floating along the Thames lol
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Old 09-25-08, 06:13 AM   #13
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..good looking dude... waterproofs...
I think that's an oxymoron...
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Old 09-25-08, 02:54 PM   #14
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I think that's an oxymoron...
Not sure it is in my case hehehe
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