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  1. #1
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    Wheeling a folded Mezzo - how easy?

    One of the things I love about my Brompton is how easy it is to wheel when folded (especially with rear rack and EZ wheels), but my one disappointment with my otherwise-beloved Brompton is that the gear range is so limited. So, I'm thinking about the Mezzo, but would like to know - how easy is it to wheel when folded? I see it only has two wheels at the far back of rack. I assume that you have to tilt the bike up to wheel it, no? Would it be possible to add another set of wheels to bring total up to 4 like the Brompton?

  2. #2
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    I never wheel mine, it's just too awkward. I carry it

    I lent it to a friend, who's a small woman, who "wheeled" it by dragging it along the ground and bent the little foot that the bike balances on.

    I can't see any way of adding 2 extra wheels, but if wheeling was important, this would be a required upgrade:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=1#post9760661

    Also, I'm not sure the mezzo is geared any higher than a brompton: I'm not a bicycle weenie, so I haven't got my head around gear ratios, but I don't think the top gear is very high:

    http://www.mezzobikes.com/UK/d9specs.php and http://www.mezzobikes.com/UK/d10specs.php

    That being said, I love my mezzo! I'm doing 100+ miles a week on it, and I'd buy another one in a second if something happened to it. Actually, I'd hum and hah over the brompton for it's suitcase sized fold, and the tikit for speed of fold, then I'd buy another mezzo. D10 probably: gotta love those curves
    2008 Mezzo D9
    2012 Giant Avail 2

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post
    I never wheel mine, it's just too awkward. I carry it
    I'm afraid that's a deal-breaker for me. My dealer says he has one with modified, larger wheels (just two). I'll have to check it out in person.

    Quote Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post
    Also, I'm not sure the mezzo is geared any higher than a brompton: I'm not a bicycle weenie, so I haven't got my head around gear ratios, but I don't think the top gear is very high
    Actually I'm more interested in having additional LOWER gears!

  4. #4
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Mezzo wheels pretty well With only 2 wheels and tilting it. However like a brompton it is best upgraded to rollerblade wheels if pushing any distant or on anything other than a perfectly flat surface. Some people find that Brompton forward wheels catch on their heels when pedalling. I fitted some huge 120mm on my mezzo in the past.

    Try to get clear wheels with red core.
    Why?
    As these dissipate the LED lights in all directions increasing visibility, safety and looks great.

    All Mezzos as standard are under greared. Lower gears can be achieved by changing the front or rear gog set up. Simple,cheap and all standard parts.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Mezzo wheels pretty well With only 2 wheels and tilting it. However like a brompton it is best upgraded to rollerblade wheels if pushing any distance or on anything other than over perfectly flat surfaces. Some people find that Brompton forward wheels catch on their heels when pedalling. I fitted some huge 120mm on my mezzo in the past.

    Try to get clear wheels with red core.
    Why?
    As these dissipate the LED lights in all directions increasing visibility, safety and looks great.

    All Mezzos as standard are under greared. Lower gears can be achieved by changing the front or rear gog set up. Simple,cheap and all standard parts.
    Last edited by bhkyte; 07-01-10 at 05:43 AM.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8.

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    Trying a Mezzo in the shop on its std wheels, it didn't balance very well when you tried to tilt and pull or push. It seems that the fold is too over-loaded on one side so that the centre of gravity means that almost all the weight is on one wheel - not ideal.

    What do people use for manouvering the folded package? The saddle or the handlebars?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrys88 View Post
    One of the things I love about my Brompton is how easy it is to wheel when folded (especially with rear rack and EZ wheels), but my one disappointment with my otherwise-beloved Brompton is that the gear range is so limited. So, I'm thinking about the Mezzo, but would like to know - how easy is it to wheel when folded? I see it only has two wheels at the far back of rack. I assume that you have to tilt the bike up to wheel it, no? Would it be possible to add another set of wheels to bring total up to 4 like the Brompton?
    Why not modify the Brompton with a single 6 or 8 speed gear hub? I had an 8 speed Shimano Alfine put on mine and never looked back!

    The Mezzo is a fine bike but why lose your Brommie? It folds and rolls well!

  8. #8
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopper333 View Post
    Trying a Mezzo in the shop on its std wheels, it didn't balance very well when you tried to tilt and pull or push. It seems that the fold is too over-loaded on one side so that the centre of gravity means that almost all the weight is on one wheel - not ideal.

    What do people use for manouvering the folded package? The saddle or the handlebars?

    Many folders are poorly balanced when manoeuvring or free standing. On my old Brompton I fitted a larger rollerblade wheel on one wheel to address this.

    Mezzo wheeling improves with rollerblade mod also, as it widens the foot print. Mezzo's balances better if the small stand on the front mudguard is adjusted correctly. I wheel mine quite alot now and find it fine. Hold it by the rear of the saddle. If the seatpost is not all the way in, it is easier to reach.
    Last edited by bhkyte; 08-09-10 at 03:08 AM.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    Why not modify the Brompton with a single 6 or 8 speed gear hub? I had an 8 speed Shimano Alfine put on mine and never looked back!

    The Mezzo is a fine bike but why lose your Brommie? It folds and rolls well!
    Mulleady - I'm very interested in this mod. I hope you don't mind a bunch of questions: Can I achieve a gear range between low 20's (and I mean NEAR 20) and 80's? How hard is it to install the Shimano Alfine on the Brompton? Does it require any frame modifications? Is it a do-it-yourself job, or something an experienced bike mechanic needs to do? Is there only one 8 speed Shimano Alfine hub, or do I need to buy a specific model (if so, which one?)? I assume it works with the derailleur my Brompton came with, yes?

  10. #10
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    The sturmley archer SA8 fits the 112mm rear axles,(depending on model-116?) ,most other hubs are 135mm
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    Many folders are poorly balanced when manoeuvring or free standing. On my old Brompton I fitted a larger rollerblade wheel on one wheel to address this.

    Mezzo wheeling improves with rollerblade mod also, as it widens the foot print. Mezzo's balances better if the small stand on the front mudguard is adjusted correctly. I wheel mine quite alot now and find it fine. Hold it by the rear of the saddle. If the seatpost is not all the way in, it is easier to reach.
    I'm really going to have to meet up with bhkyte. I try to wheel my mezzo, but after about a metre it goes sideways like an out of control supermarket trolley, and it's just easier to just carry it. It not that heavy and it's usually less than 100 metres, so I haven't bothered with the rollerblade wheel fix yet.
    2008 Mezzo D9
    2012 Giant Avail 2

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrys88 View Post
    Mulleady - I'm very interested in this mod. I hope you don't mind a bunch of questions: Can I achieve a gear range between low 20's (and I mean NEAR 20) and 80's? How hard is it to install the Shimano Alfine on the Brompton? Does it require any frame modifications? Is it a do-it-yourself job, or something an experienced bike mechanic needs to do? Is there only one 8 speed Shimano Alfine hub, or do I need to buy a specific model (if so, which one?)? I assume it works with the derailleur my Brompton came with, yes?
    Hi Jerry88. Thanks for your PM or I would not have noticed your questions.

    I am not sure of my exact ratios but The lowest gear really is fit for steep hills. While I've not done costant gradients much in London, I've sailed over some pretty steep bridge inclines on the Grand Union in London in the lowest gear so I know it's low enough to climb brilliantly.

    To install the Alfine the rear triangle needs to be widened to 135mm with proper tooling to accommodate the hub. This small modification does not compromise the frame integrity at all as the Brompton frame is steel. I then recommend Ergon grips at the front with the right one adapted for the Alfine twist grip. this is way better than the 2 cumbersome and rather ugly Brompton shifters. You would need the back wheel rebuilt with shorter spokes. I don't know the exact length but it's a custom job. The wheel I got built is bomb proof though.

    The SA hub is narrower for sure but not as good a hub as the Alfine in my experience. It's OK but can tend to slip in 6th gear. That's been my experience with the SA 6 speed and also one other German user who had the SA mod on her Brompton from Kinetics. The Alfine is one of the finest gear hubs outside of the Rohloff speedhub. There is a new 11 speed Alfine hub with even wider gearing coming out (double the price of the 8 speed at £350 ) but I find the Alfine 8 provides a more than adequate range of gearing on the Brommie.

    Unless you are a tech whizz with your hands you need a LBS skilled in these sort of mods. They are well beyond the average bike mechanic. Some people on this forum are technically skilled way beyond that but not me lol! Mind you I had lots of ideas of what I wanted in my head but don't trust the hands. A confidence thing I guess! In the UK I only know of 3 people who do Brompton mods. Kinetics (limited to SA 6 speed wheel build), Steve Parry (anything goes) and the LBS I used in London; Fudges Cycles. Fudges did a brilliant job on the bike.

    Was it worth it?

    Absolutely yes! The Brommie is a fine bike anyway for riding but the mods make this a bike capable of cycling much further and with a beautifully smooth transmission. I can ask Andrew Fudge what chainwheel and sprocket teeth ratios he used. I fear most of the Brompton mod experts reside in the UK and one woman in Germany I believe.

    Where are you based Jerry88?
    Last edited by mulleady; 08-10-10 at 01:47 AM.

  13. #13
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    Thank you so much for the information, Mulleady.

    I'm located in New Jersey - very close to NYC. I have no idea who in my area has the skills and experience to do the kind of modification you describe. I could ask David at Bfold, the Brompton expert from whom I bought my bike, but I don't think he's done this sort of thing, at least he never suggested it when we discussed my desire to broaden the gears. Do you think I need to have it done by someone experienced with Brompton bikes specifically, or is it only necessary that they are expert with bike mods in general? If anyone on this board knows of a tech they can recommend in my area I'd appreciate the referral.

    Again, this is probably a stupid question, but do I understand correctly that I would not be removing the derailleur - that the new hub would work in conjunction with it just as the 3-gear hub does now?

    Finally, I appreciate your description of the low gear being a fine hill-climber, but I'd still like to have a more accurate idea of the gears I'd wind up with before spending all this money - I have some MEAN hills by where I live! Do you have any idea how I could figure that out? I could use either the 50T or 44T front chainwheel, depending on the range of the new hub (I switched to the 44T last year but still have the 50T in my possession).

  14. #14
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    Again, this is probably a stupid question, but do I understand correctly that I would not be removing the derailleur - that the new hub would work in conjunction with it just as the 3-gear hub does now?
    You are welcome Jerry. Sorry I can't be more specific about my exact gear ratios but I'm pretty confident my lowest gear spins so fast on the flat that it can handle some mean hills! The only thing that remains in the mod is the plastic chain tensioner which is needed for the Brompton with some small modifications.

    I note you were willing to switch to a Mezzo but that jefmcg hit the nail on the head that it won't really give you a hugely increased range than the Brompton.

    If you want really low gearing what about a folder with the SRAM Dualdrive? 2 good folders with great gearing range are:

    1) Dahon Speed Pro TT

    This is on a closeout price of $959. The 2010 version shot up to $1359 but no significant difference. It's lowest gear is 28" but I'm sure Thor (Brakemeister on this forum) might be able to do something to lower the gears?

    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/2009/speedprott.htm


    2) A custom made Bike Friday Tikit direct from Bike Friday. Folds quick and small. Another great folding bike. Again I'm sure they can get the gear ratio to the level you require.

    You can either get a great resale on your Brommie or keep it depending. Modding the Brommie is not cheap although it was worth it for me! You go not have to use an internal gear hub mod either, some expert bike shops might be able to put a derailleur based system on your Brompton with the low gearing ratios that you need.

  15. #15
    These go to eleven kegoguinness's Avatar
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    1989 Lumaca Schiacciata
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    Thanks again, Mulleady.

    I've looked into Dahons and Tikits, but the rollability (REALLY important to me) of the Dahon just isn't there like the Brompton and the Tikit with gearing I'd want is so expensive - between $1600-1800 (I looked into it seriously last year) - that It'd cost me a load of money considering the loss I'd be taking on my Brompton.

    What I'm understanding now is that the Shimano Alfine would give me a total of 8 gears vs. the 6 I have now. Ideally I'd like at least 9 to cover my ideal gear range, but then I don't mind sacrificing on the high end, so it's still something to consider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kegoguinness View Post
    Thanks - that's very helpful - hard to weigh all these things without having exact numbers. Does anyone know which crank length and wheel size I should choose for the Brompton and which 3-speed hub I currently have (for comparison)? I bought my 6-gear Brompton in 2008.
    Last edited by Jerrys88; 08-10-10 at 08:01 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrys88 View Post
    Can I achieve a gear range between low 20's (and I mean NEAR 20) and 80's? How hard is it to install the Shimano Alfine on the Brompton? Does it require any frame modifications? Is it a do-it-yourself job, or something an experienced bike mechanic needs to do? Is there only one 8 speed Shimano Alfine hub, or do I need to buy a specific model (if so, which one?)? I assume it works with the derailleur my Brompton came with, yes?
    Jerry, another way to extend the gear range to your liking would be to install a Schlumpf Mountain Drive to your existing 3 speed Brompton .. you could get 6 distinct gear choices ( 20/27/36/50/67/90) using a 53/13 ... advantage would be not having to bend your frame and dropouts to accept a 135mm hub... you'll have longer spokes with your 3 speed (so better spoke angles), and a much lighter rear wheel .. the rear of your bike would stay exactly the same as it is, and the two speed crank would be added in place of your existing crank.. if you want to go that route, PM me as I have a very low mile one on the shelf and could save you quite a bit of money over the price of a brand new one.

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    Thanks for the suggestion, Bruce. I considered the Schlumpf MD - I think it's really the best solution, but it is SO EXPENSIVE! I'll PM you regarding yours - thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrys88 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion, Bruce. I considered the Schlumpf MD - I think it's really the best solution, but it is SO EXPENSIVE! I'll PM you regarding yours - thanks.
    Nothing wrong with the Alfine mod or spoke length but I think Brucemetras suggestion is the best by far and not such an expensive upgrade in the end Jerrys88. It will be worth it!

  21. #21
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    If you're fitting an Alfine, you will NOT have a problem getting low enough gearing. The thing which puts most of us off the Shimano hubs is that on a small wheeled bike, you can't get a HIGH enough gear without having an enormous and hard to find chainring. With a relatively standard sized chainring, an Alfine Brompton will probably climb a wall.

  22. #22
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    Get hold of Harris Cycle they can build you a wheel and let you know what it may take to do more.
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  23. #23
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    Jerry, another way to extend the gear range to your liking would be to install a Schlumpf Mountain Drive to your existing 3 speed Brompton
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrys88 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion, Bruce. I considered the Schlumpf MD - I think it's really the best solution, but it is SO EXPENSIVE! I'll PM you regarding yours - thanks.

    Compared to the alternative modifications, the Schlumpf is probably reasonable.

  24. #24
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    It's a done deal - looking forward to my new Schlumpf MD

    Thanks Bruce, and thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrys88 View Post
    It's a done deal - looking forward to my new Schlumpf MD :-)

    Thanks Bruce, and thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread.
    That's great! So fast and effective on this forum lol! Good luck with the mod and looking forward to review and pics in due course.

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