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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 05-27-10, 06:15 PM   #1
techman
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Anyone have experience with the Brompton M6L?

I've been considering a Bike Friday Tikkit as my first folder. Recently I saw the Bompton M6L featured in a magazine. It seems to fold much smaller, about 23x23x10 inches, making it much smaller than the Tikkit. Something which is very appealing as my folder is mostly when I take road trips, where cargo space is at a premium. My riding is almost all on-road in cities, sometimes with challenging hills.
Does anyone have any experience with M6L as far as strengths and weaknesses?
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Old 05-27-10, 07:07 PM   #2
Jerrys88
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I've been commuting with my M6R for two years. I love my Brompton and its small folded size is great, but beware if you intend to ride on "challenging hills" - the gearing limitation of the Brompton sucks. Tikits come in a far greater variety of gear configurations and it is very costly to make gearing mods to a Brompton. Having said that, to me the Brompton has enough advantages - better, easier wheelability when folded in my opinion (some Tikit owners disagree - I found it very awkward - *maybe* it wouldn't be quite so bad with practice), and compact fold, being two - that if I had to do it all over again I'd consider getting the cheapest model Brompton (single speed? 2-speed?) and spend the extra money to do one of the mods that would give a decent amount and range of gears, enough to tackle "challenging hills" or do loaded tours. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind owning a Tikit *and* a Brompton! Just my opinion...
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Old 05-28-10, 08:43 AM   #3
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I own a Tikit and an M6L. Both are very solid and nice riding bikes. I don't know what you mean by challenging hills, and don't know how aggressively you take on the hills.

But I have taken my M6L up an 800ft hill (average 5-6% grade) with my friend riding the Tikit. The M6L was just fine. Gearing was low enough. Braking was fine on the way down. It's difficult to stand up on the pedals with the M6L tho - there are no hoods to grab on to. You're also sitting up with the M type bars, so it's not for racing. But if your legs can handle the hill, the Brompton certainly will too.

The Tikit did well on the hill also. But if you need the fold, Brompton is the way to go.
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Old 05-28-10, 11:57 AM   #4
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SesameCrunch, it's nice to find someone who owns both. Can you talk about other aspects where one bike excels over the other? A 6% grade hill covers most of what I would encounter. On a touring ride, I've had to deal with a 10% grade, though not sure I would take my folder on such a trip.

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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
I own a Tikit and an M6L. Both are very solid and nice riding bikes. I don't know what you mean by challenging hills, and don't know how aggressively you take on the hills.

But I have taken my M6L up an 800ft hill (average 5-6% grade) with my friend riding the Tikit. The M6L was just fine. Gearing was low enough. Braking was fine on the way down. It's difficult to stand up on the pedals with the M6L tho - there are no hoods to grab on to. You're also sitting up with the M type bars, so it's not for racing. But if your legs can handle the hill, the Brompton certainly will too.

The Tikit did well on the hill also. But if you need the fold, Brompton is the way to go.
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Old 05-28-10, 03:55 PM   #5
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You can spend hours reading the many threads on this exact subject. Start here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...it+vs+brompton . It'll give you links to other threads too.

There's no substitute to test riding them both.
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Old 05-30-10, 03:30 PM   #6
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Recently looked at a Brompton and Model T tikit and went with the tikit. The 8 speed is really good for getting around the city and the ride is better in my opinion than the Brompton. The tikit fold is not as compact but not bad and easy enough to carry if needed.
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Old 06-01-10, 06:16 PM   #7
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I recently tried a 2009 M6L and was very impressed with the BWR hub. It felt very efficient and light. The wide gear ratio was a plus too if you like to ride fast, or prefer a low gear. Have you considered the other handlebar types?
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Old 06-02-10, 08:27 PM   #8
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Just bought a Brompton today. That exact model. I'm a newb, so take what I say with the required salt, but here goes.

A couple months ago I got my first bike since high school/college days. I live in a moderately small apartment in NYC. After much back and forth, and web chats, I wound up with a dahon Jetstream. As a bike, love it. As a FOLDING bike? Not so much. Folding is pretty clumsy. Rolling is pretty annoying. Carrying is frustrating. You can't really drag it around a store, say if you wanted to pop in. so, you really have to lock it up. It starts felling less like a folding bike and more like a small regular bike. However, when you need to cram it into a corner at home, it works (although if I think I'll be riding it the next day, I don't fold it, so generally it would stay unfolded most of the time).

So, I just bought that dahon, and went out today and chucked out a bunch of cash on another folder. The Brompton's fold is *that* much nicer. The dahon feels like a nicer ride, but it has front/rear shocks and 20 inch wheels, so if it wasn't it would be a complete failure. However, Brompton has to be the best fold and roll/carry package out there, and for what I want to do, its worth it. For local city commuting, its perfect (ish).

Not sure about road trip, though. If you can fit it, and that's the bulk of what you want to do, the ride quality might be more of the deciding factor than the extreme fold. I plan on taking it on train/plane occasionally when I head out of town (train would be easier than plane, for sure).
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