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  1. #1
    Bromptonaut stocksy's Avatar
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    Better shifters for Brompton

    Can anybody recommend some alternative shifters for my partner to use on her six-speed Brompton? She is finding it difficult and uncomfortable to use the existing ones due to her small hands. If available, I think grip shifters might be an improvement - what do you think?

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    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stocksy View Post
    Can anybody recommend some alternative shifters for my partner to use on her six-speed Brompton? She is finding it difficult and uncomfortable to use the existing ones due to her small hands. If available, I think grip shifters might be an improvement - what do you think?
    I never like the shifters that Brompton installed on my bike (a C3E model). So I changed it to a better metal traditional Sturmey-Archer shifter. Not only it seems to blend in better with my bike, I have no problem shifting and even lubercating the inside of it with a drop of oil from time to time. I have small hands too (as I am female). I did have to rotate the brake levers upwards a bit at the time of purchase too. I have a photo of my handlebars already uploaded on Flickr. It shows the metal shifter and perhaps the way I rotated the levers too a bit. You also have the option to examine the photo in larger and smaller views.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-o...7594461421431/

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    Quote Originally Posted by stocksy View Post
    ...........She is finding it difficult and uncomfortable to use the existing ones due to her small hands. If available, I think grip shifters might be an improvement - what do you think?
    Are you sure it's the shifters rather than *when* to shift wrt whether derailleur or hub, or maybe even adjustment of gears?

    The Brompton shifters are easy to operate as they don't need any dexterity - just the whole hand will do for the left (derailleur) & often even the right (hub) though perhaps needing a thumb too for the hub shifter

    Is her Brompton the recent BWR or older?

  4. #4
    Bromptonaut stocksy's Avatar
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    Thank you both for your replies.

    cyclistjohn: The act of moving the levers itself isn't the problem, they're very free-running. As far as I'm able to ascertain, the problem arises because Karen is nervous of having to take her hand off the bars to shift gears. She had a rather nasty spill at the weekend and she thinks it might have been due to wobbling because she was trying to shift down for a hill. In any case, whether the problem is real or perceived, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get her back on the bike. The hub is the pre-BWR model from 2008, it is stamped 'SACHS' on the non-drive side. I've got hold of a grip-shift for a Sachs T3, which I hope will be compatible enough (we'll see).

    folder fanatic: I had a spare SA trigger shifter like yours (but rather battered) lying around, so we did a mock up. She found that she still couldn't comfortably change from 3-2 By the way, nice photostream there, love the all-red Brompton, I suppose you don't have much need for mudguards in CA!

    So, I think I shall do a little fiddling around with the grip shift and placement of the existing levers and see where it ends up. I'll post the result.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stocksy View Post
    Thank you both for your replies.

    cyclistjohn: The act of moving the levers itself isn't the problem, they're very free-running. As far as I'm able to ascertain, the problem arises because Karen is nervous of having to take her hand off the bars to shift gears. She had a rather nasty spill at the weekend and she thinks it might have been due to wobbling because she was trying to shift down for a hill. In any case, whether the problem is real or perceived, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get her back on the bike. The hub is the pre-BWR model from 2008, it is stamped 'SACHS' on the non-drive side. I've got hold of a grip-shift for a Sachs T3, which I hope will be compatible enough (we'll see).

    So, I think I shall do a little fiddling around with the grip shift and placement of the existing levers and see where it ends up. I'll post the result.

    Ouch! Sorry to see that. I hope she's recovering quickly & no lasting problems. It was a very blustery day around here, so I wonder if head or cross winds were significant? Hopefully someone can relate what happened.

    I quite agree with your determination to fix the shifter problems for her. Positioning is important so pursuing that is a good approach.

    Good luck & keep us posted on progress please.

    John

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    A nice alternative shifter would be the Shimano SL-7800. They look nice and offer a smoother change. The only problem is, they cost over 100 bucks in Japan.....
    Why buy 10 cheap bikes when one nice one will last longer!

  7. #7
    PDR
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    It might be worth speaking to Steve Parry (01934 516158) as he has done a lot of mods on Bromptons http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/ (look at SP under Special Interest Groups) I discussed the issue of twist grips on a Brompton with him in 2007.... he was very helpful. In the end I went for a 2-speed Brompton and I like the standard left mounted lever as it is.

    Sorry to hear about Karen’s accident and hope she is on the mend. I crashed a motorbike 3 weeks ago and broke my collar bone so can’t ride any of my bikes which is really annoying me now.

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    She may not need a shifter. Does she have the m bar? If yes, does it have an extra beam in the middle? I have seen other ppl that add an extra beam thru the middle for stability of the bar.

    If u don't know what I'm talking about. I could search for a pix and post it later.

  9. #9
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stocksy View Post
    Thank you both for your replies.......folder fanatic: I had a spare SA trigger shifter like yours (but rather battered) lying around, so we did a mock up. She found that she still couldn't comfortably change from 3-2 By the way, nice photostream there, love the all-red Brompton, I suppose you don't have much need for mudguards in CA!

    So, I think I shall do a little fiddling around with the grip shift and placement of the existing levers and see where it ends up. I'll post the result.
    I visited your own site and learned of Karen's bad accident. I hope she is feeling better. I can now more fully understand why she needs not to take her hands off the handlebar. I already have twist shifters option on my Dahon Piccolo. I never need to take my hands off the handlebar-just grasp the shifter ring on the inner part of the hand grips and turn a slight degree to any gear I want. The straight handlebars on the Piccolo is similar to the Brompton's. So the upgrade that is needed here can probably be done. I am looking forward to your photos of the result.

    I don't have much need for mudguards here. But the next Brompton I am thinking about buying will have a rack along with the mudguards. It does rain here periodically. When I rode the Brompton during the last one in January, I really got soaked from the bottom up. Thank you for your kind comments too! I just have a couple of questions on the beautiful rhinestone images of the Brompton bike itself on her lapel and the logo on her skirt hem. Is it available for purchase? I really am into things like that as you can see from the photo below.

    Below is a close-up of my Piccolo's handlebars and twist shifter. I hope my home sewn bag is not in the way.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 10-10-09 at 11:43 AM.

  10. #10
    Bromptonaut stocksy's Avatar
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    Oooh, shiny things have arrived:



    Hopefully I'll get the chance to nail it all together this week.

    folder fanatic: Karen stuck the rhinestones on herself, from what I can tell it involved some sort of self adhesive film, an iron and some moderate cursing. I think all the stuff came from eBay. She's very good at that type of thing, I'm sure you would both have much to talk about. I however have ten sausage-thumbs and fists of ham.

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