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Old 08-02-10, 03:47 AM   #1
Folder4life
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My Brompton S3L Review

Hello, I finally got my Brompton S3L to where I want it, for the most part. I use this bike to commute to work a few times every week. My short commute of 10 miles takes me 40 minutes one way on local roads going an average speed of 11 mph.
My bike has the 3 speed Sturmey-Archer Hub. The color is Raw, which seems to be popular amongst the forum members (with good reason )

Upgrades/Review

Ergon GP1 Biokork Grip-The cork material really helps with bumps! The shape helps my had relax while riding. I don't have to grip it as hard as the original ones. I replaced the original ones because my hand was getting tired of having to grip it so hard in order to maintain control.

Titanium Seatpost/Saddle-I changed the standard seatpost for the titanium for the looks. That's it. It is slightly rounder than the original one so I had to adjust the clip screw to get it to close properly. The saddle is the new one by Brompton that I replaced the old school "boot" saddle that they make. Overall, it made the bike look a lot sportier.

Large Topeak Dry Saddle Bag-This bag holds a spare tube, tools, first aid kit, wallet, keys, cell phone and can still hold a few more things! The bag attaches fine, but the angle my be too steep for some. The problem I have is with the rear tail light attachment. Normally, the bike light attachment works fine, but since the angle of the bag is too steep, the light ends up facing towards the sky. So, I have to attach it to the bag by using the existing straps and wrapping it around the bike light clamp. It's working fine so far, but I have to constantly pull the straps in order to keep it from moving side ways.

MKS Pedals- the pedals can clip in and out easily. They have never failed on me and I enjoy using them very much.

Cateye Single Shot Light- This light is bright enough for my commute. I go to work at 8pm and ride home at 6am. At the right angle, this light is very blinding to motorist, so I usually aim it down and have the blinking setting on.

Cateye Wireless Computer- I have used this for over a year now, and it works great. I am still using the original battery. I love having it because I can maintain a constant speed and get to work at about the same time everyday.

Overall, this bike has changed my life. I love riding bikes, feel much healthier and have much more freedom!
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Old 08-02-10, 05:10 AM   #2
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My short commute of 10 miles takes me 40 minutes one way on local roads going an average speed of 11 mph.
...
Cateye Wireless Computer- I have used this for over a year now, and it works great. I am still using the original battery. I love having it because I can maintain a constant speed and get to work at about the same time everyday.
You need to get that computer checked. 10 miles in 40 minutes is an average speed of 15mph. Which I can't get near in traffic. Impressed.
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Old 08-02-10, 06:19 AM   #3
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The mileage isn't exact because I take a different route everyday to change the view. But I stare at my computer constantly to maintain a constant speed of 11 mph. I remember when I had my S2L-X, I was able to go 13 mph (using the same wireless), but now I can't seem to maintain the same speed. My guess is that the tires are gripping too much. The next purchase for me is the green Brompton tires because they are suppose to have less rolling resistance. The Stelvios were nice, but the ride was too harsh for me as a commuter bike. Maybe the new Kojaks are better?
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Old 08-02-10, 07:16 AM   #4
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I can really recommend the Kojaks, fantastic tyre, fast, good grip and never had a puncture with them.
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Old 08-02-10, 08:36 AM   #5
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I have a raw lacquer Brompton and added the Titanium seatpost and adapted Ergons too. A nice choice, well done!

I can't imagine many New Yorkers who own the RL version of the Brompton!









Last edited by mulleady; 08-02-10 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 08-02-10, 08:38 AM   #6
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I can really recommend the Kojaks, fantastic tyre, fast, good grip and never had a puncture with them.

Looks great PDR. You made went for a more minimalist version than mine.

Last edited by mulleady; 08-02-10 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 08-02-10, 08:53 AM   #7
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You need to get that computer checked. 10 miles in 40 minutes is an average speed of 15mph. Which I can't get near in traffic. Impressed.
You have a few impediments on your route jefmcg. You are no slouch on that Mezzo lol!

Last edited by mulleady; 08-02-10 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 08-02-10, 10:26 AM   #8
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Thanks for the tip. I like the way the Kojaks look on your bike! I will look into it. I just wish they were cheaper!
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Old 08-02-10, 11:59 AM   #9
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I ordered my Brompton today! 6 speed P type, rack and mudguards, T bag, cover, telescopic seatpost, kojaks. I'm very excited!
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Old 08-02-10, 12:41 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tip. I like the way the Kojaks look on your bike! I will look into it. I just wish they were cheaper!
Kojaks? Are you looking at the folding ones? Because the non-folding 16 inch Kojaks are about half the price of marathon + tyres in the UK.

Very happy with mine, now that I have a pump that can bring it up to the right pressure. But very slippery on gravel and sand, as I found out on friday.
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Old 08-02-10, 12:58 PM   #11
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RL Brommie Pr0n!!!! You guys have officially made my day.
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you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p
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Old 08-02-10, 02:04 PM   #12
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Yay for NAKED Bromptons!

And if I have enough beers and squint hard enough, the folded Brommie configuration looks like a position out of the Kama Sutra...
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Old 08-02-10, 02:08 PM   #13
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Kojaks? Are you looking at the folding ones? Because the non-folding 16 inch Kojaks are about half the price of marathon + tyres in the UK.

Very happy with mine, now that I have a pump that can bring it up to the right pressure. But very slippery on gravel and sand, as I found out on friday.
What is the difference between the folding ones and non folding one? Do they work the same? I've only seen them here: http://www.brompton.co.uk/explorer/a...index.asp?bp=8 If anyone knows where I can get them for cheap in the US, let me know. Thanks.

Last edited by Folder4life; 08-02-10 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Add more detail
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Old 08-02-10, 02:12 PM   #14
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I can really recommend the Kojaks, fantastic tyre, fast, good grip and never had a puncture with them.
Hey PDR, can you show me your rear tail light set up? It looks like something I need to do!

Last edited by Folder4life; 08-02-10 at 02:12 PM. Reason: More detail
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Old 08-02-10, 03:02 PM   #15
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I forgot to add a full pic of the bike so here it is!

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Old 08-02-10, 03:03 PM   #16
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I took off the Brompton reflector and fitted a Cateye TL-LD 610 with the optional rack mount bracket.
remove
I also fitted a Cateye lamp to the front but had to tweak the plastic bracket and file a bolt head flush / countersunk so that the lamp would still be easy to remove.
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Old 08-02-10, 03:15 PM   #17
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I took off the Brompton reflector and fitted a Cateye TL-LD 610 with the optional rack mount bracket.
remove
I also fitted a Cateye lamp to the front but had to tweak the plastic bracket and file a bolt head flush / countersunk so that the lamp would still be easy to remove.

Thanks for the pics and description! You just gave me my next project to work on! I'll donate my current tail light to my wife's Dahon!
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Old 08-02-10, 03:53 PM   #18
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What is the difference between the folding ones and non folding one? Do they work the same? I've only seen them here: http://www.brompton.co.uk/explorer/a...index.asp?bp=8 If anyone knows where I can get them for cheap in the US, let me know. Thanks.
My understanding is that wire bead tyres are your standard bicycle tyres, that hold their shape off the rim. Folding tyres fold, so you can carry them with you, and repair on the road. Very useful on tour with a slashed sidewall, not so important when you can fold it up an put it in a cab.

The folding Kojaks are lighter and have a reflective sidewall, but twice as expensive.

I got my wire beads from here http://www.brilliantbikes.co.uk/23-16-inch-tyres - whom I can't praise enough. They sent me two emails because I order the wrong tube. It took two to convince me I'd misordered. Unfortunately they don't deliver outside Europe.

Hmm, they don't seem widely available in the USA

http://www.google.com/products?oe=UT...e&ved=0CBIQ_AU

but there are some options there.

joan
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Old 08-02-10, 04:29 PM   #19
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ooof my wallet is twitching.
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Old 08-02-10, 04:35 PM   #20
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ooof my wallet is twitching.
I know, right? They are truly things of beauty.
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Old 08-03-10, 12:44 AM   #21
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Ergon GP1 Biokork Grip-The cork material really helps with bumps! The shape helps my had relax while riding. I don't have to grip it as hard as the original ones. I replaced the original ones because my hand was getting tired of having to grip it so hard in order to maintain control
Folder4life did you find you had to cut the Ergon grips slightly to get them to fit yours?
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Old 08-03-10, 02:30 AM   #22
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No, I just moved the shifter and brakes in alittle. I got the small size Ergon grips so maybe that is why.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:41 AM   #23
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That's great when they just fit like that. I had mediums but they would still have needed some customisation on the right hand side anyway.

If you have relatively good roads on your commute the Kojaks will roll very nicely. I prefer the Marathon Racers inflated to full pressure but that's a personal thing. The Kojak is a good tyre. Did you think of changing the brake pads?

Brompton cannot meet production demand for the raw lacquer now. Fastest fulfilment is January 2010 if ordered now. Good luck with your Brompton. Like London it's the perfect bike for steering quickly around obstacles in nYC and folding into an inconspicuous package to take into buildings.
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Old 08-03-10, 09:38 AM   #24
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The Titanium Kit, as seen in those closeups, is good at draining the wallet,
an extra $995.00 for shaving a couple pounds ...
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Old 08-03-10, 01:33 PM   #25
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Thanks, Mulleady, I'm definitely going to have to order one now. Not that I don't like my racing green S6L, or my red (because it was 25 cheaper) M6R, I do, but neither of them are capable of time travel, not even when they're doing 88mph! Unless of course the train didn't go that fast, but it was faster than the traffic on the A1.
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