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  1. #1
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    2009 Brompton: Pre-purchase Questions

    Hi All,

    I am looking to purchase a Brompton in the near future. A couple of questions for you experts, hopefully you can help.

    1) One of the new features I'm very interested in is the new BWR 6 speeds. Knowing that this is a new tech, does anyone have first hand experience in riding one and can provide feedback? I guess the question is: should I get last year's model because it's been tested and it's more reliable?

    2) I've decided on the S-type. There were some documents stating that 2009 models will have a longer handlebar, is this still the case?

    3) Does anyone know when these models will reach the US? Last I checked, these new models has not been delivered here yet.

    Thx in advance.

  2. #2
    PDR
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    There has been talk about the fact that the new handlebar will be longer and lighter than the 08 version.
    I suspect it will be a week or so before anyone starts to report on the new BWR hub... reason being is that they were officially made available on the 1st January but most people at Brompton would not have been back to work before the 5th January. I placed my order on the 12 of January and was told that there is a 6-8 week wait, so I should get the bike within a week or two.
    I am in the UK, so I guess you would have to add an extra week or so for orders from the USA.

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    Thanks PDR...Looking forward to the reviews.

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    PDR,

    Did you receive your brompton yet? If so, what do you think?

    Thx,

  5. #5
    PDR
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    I would like to have been able to say “yes”, but unfortunately I still don’t have my new Brompton.

    There has been a delay on the raw lacquer frames and then another delay on 2-speed wheels. I was originally told my order would be “6-8 weeks” it now looks as though it will be at least 12 weeks by the time it arrives. I hope to have it before Easter.

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    BWR review

    Hi Scholasticny,

    Like PDR, I am waiting for my new brompton (M6R-X), with a new BWR hub. This will be my 2nd Brompton, replacing a 2008 M6R.
    I did take a good test ride on the BWR before buying, and was really amazed! -Managed to climb up a 40% hill, without using the low ratio dureiller, and then sprint faster than I ever could on the old 6-speed (no "pedal-out" - I ran out of road..)
    The new gear is also slightly lighter than the old.
    I can't quote for reliability, but the simplicity of design (it's only a 3 speed hub), suggests that it will be as reliable as the old.

    I had been looking at the Kinetics 8-speed mod, but Sonamtash's reviews decided me against it.

    Keep holding out - it''ll be worth the wait.

  7. #7
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    Delivery time

    PDR,

    Could you let us know if your delivery time changes - I ordered mine last week of Feb, with delivery est 10th April. (7 weeks) - had hoped to have it for holiday next week - guess It'll be there when I get back

  8. #8
    PDR
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    Hi Madcabbage,

    I placed my order on the 12 Jan 2009 and the bike shop had confirmation of my order with Brompton a few days later. There have been two separate hold-up with my order, firstly a delay in getting the raw lacquer frame and then a delay in the supply of 2-speed wheels.

    I have been told that my bike is due to be built on the 31st of this month, so I hope to take delivery the following week.... in time to enjoy some rides over the Easter holidays. Thankfully I am a very patient person.

    You may get lucky depending upon your build options.

  9. #9
    PDR
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    Just had a call from the bike store to say my Brompton has arrived... going to pick it up this evening..
    Really excited now :

  10. #10
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    So does anyone know the gearing range of the 6-speed setup, expressed in gear inches?

  11. #11
    PDR
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    Here you are:

    We will be supplying a 16-tooth and a 13-tooth sprocket with the BWR which, with a 50-tooth chain wheel, will give the following distances of travel:

    Gear 1: 33.0 gear inches (2.63 metres along the ground)
    Gear 2: 40.5 gear inches (3.23 metres travel)
    Gear 3: 51.5 gear inches (4.11 metres travel)
    Gear 4: 63.5 gear inches (5.06 metres travel)
    Gear 5: 81.0 gear inches (6.45 metres travel)
    Gear 6: 99.5 gear inches (7.94 metres travel)

    This represents a gear range (top gear/bottom gear) of 302%; by comparison, the current SRAM 6-speed arrangement offers a range of 215%. Like our existing 6-speed offering, however, the gearing may be raised or lowered by fitting a 54-tooth (+8%) or 44-tooth (-12%) chain wheel in place of the standard."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDR View Post
    Here you are:

    We will be supplying a 16-tooth and a 13-tooth sprocket with the BWR which, with a 50-tooth chain wheel, will give the following distances of travel:

    Gear 1: 33.0 gear inches (2.63 metres along the ground)
    Gear 2: 40.5 gear inches (3.23 metres travel)
    Gear 3: 51.5 gear inches (4.11 metres travel)
    Gear 4: 63.5 gear inches (5.06 metres travel)
    Gear 5: 81.0 gear inches (6.45 metres travel)
    Gear 6: 99.5 gear inches (7.94 metres travel)

    This represents a gear range (top gear/bottom gear) of 302%; by comparison, the current SRAM 6-speed arrangement offers a range of 215%. Like our existing 6-speed offering, however, the gearing may be raised or lowered by fitting a 54-tooth (+8%) or 44-tooth (-12%) chain wheel in place of the standard."
    This is really interesting. I love my Brompton M6 with one exception - its limited gear range. In fact, one of the first things I asked the dealer after purchasing my Brompton was if there was a way to drop the bottom gear lower without effecting the highest gear. The answer was no. I could, if I wanted to, lower all 6 gears. That wasn't ideal as far as I was concerned - I wouldn't want my highest gear to be any lower. So my solution was to add a second, smaller chainring (28t) up front which I shift manually (heal of foot to engage, stop riding and move chain back manually to normal chainring). It works fine - my daily commute only has two spots where I really need a granny gear, but I find there are spots where I'd like to go to a lower gear but don't just to reduce the amount of stopping to re-place the chain on the main chainring. Now comes along this new extended range setup. But here's the thing: spacing of gears is just as important as gear range. I shift a lot during my commute in order to keep a steady cadence, and I'm very sensitive to getting the gear just right. If gears are too widely spaced I run into a syndrome where one gear is too low and the next one too high which can be really annoying. I'm happy to say this happens very infrequently on my Brompton - infrequently enough that I would say the spacing is really pretty good. I also have a sense that if the gears where spaced apart more widely I'd likely find myself in that too-high-too-low situation more frequently than I'd like. So, I wonder, is the new wider gear range a good trade off when you weigh it against optimal gear spacing? What is considered optimal spacing and how does the new Brompton rate in terms of gear spacing?

    It's such a shame they couldn't come up with an 8 gear Brompton. Why couldn't they make a 4 gear hub I wonder?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Silverexpress's Avatar
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    Here is a source for an 8 speed Brompton. You can also purchase a conversion kit from the same store.

    http://www.kinetics-online.co.uk/html/more_info.shtml
    Regards,
    Jose

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverexpress View Post
    Here is a source for an 8 speed Brompton. You can also purchase a conversion kit from the same store.

    http://www.kinetics-online.co.uk/html/more_info.shtml
    That's cool, Jose - thanks for that information. I see the conversion kit is £300 ($434 today's exchange rate). I just can't justify spending that much money after having spent so much for the bike and accessories I currently own. You just reminded me why I chose to add the extra chainring and settle on manual shifting. I might look into adding a front derailleur which would be a lot cheaper, if there is a way to do it without compromising the fold.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Silverexpress's Avatar
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    Here is another device that might be worth considering...I don't know if it'll fit though...

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/schlumpf.html
    Regards,
    Jose

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverexpress View Post
    Here is another device that might be worth considering...I don't know if it'll fit though...

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/schlumpf.html
    Yeah - I've read about those, but they are even more expensive (over $600!) and apparently also pretty heavy.

  17. #17
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    I saw your photos on your new thread! - big love

  18. #18
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    that was for PDR's new Brompton...!

  19. #19
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    More on Gearing...

    For Reference - 2008 6-speed SRAM vs 2009 6-speed BWR:

    BWR SRAM
    Gear 1: 33.0 40 gear inches
    Gear 2: 40.5 46 gear inches
    Gear 3: 51.5 55 gear inches
    Gear 4: 63.5 64 gear inches
    Gear 5: 81.0 75 gear inches
    Gear 6: 99.5 86 gear inches

    (big thanks to A to B magazine http://www.atob.org.uk/)
    There have been problems with the hubs used on the 8-speed mods - see posts by Somnatash for details

    That must be one hell of a hill! - I only use my bottom (SRAM 6-speed) mine on a 40 deg slope

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