Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
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I'm still getting familiar with my Brompton, I used it as a shopping cart today in the supermarket and it works very well in that capacity.
Overall though I'm not falling in love with the bike so far. I'm still not really finding the ride good enough and the stem is very flexy (it's an M-type). I'm no further towards deciding whether I'm going to keep it. . . I want to make some changes to certain things but I doubt it'll be possible due to the brompton design. Certainly 3 speeds isn't agreeable for me and I'm not interested in the Brompton 6 speed system. I'll have to switch to my older S-RF5 hub, but I've found since Sturmey Archer widened the gear spacing with the new 'W' models it's really hard to get hold of parts for the older version, which for me was perfect. Then I have the issue of mounting shifters on the curvy M bars. . . perhaps I'll change to an S-type. . . though I like the height of the bars as they are.
There's been a lot of talk on the forums recently about the lack of quality of Dahons, and I've heard it said by a few people that one starts with a cheap folder and eventually always graduate to a Brompton as though that's the apex. I'm finding there's a lot about Dahon's design philosophy that's way ahead of Brompton's, and Brompton are indeed using their unique market position to get away with way-overpriced low-quality components. Sticking those dismal plastic wheels on as stock is a joke, particularly with the rack. With both the R and L models there's only a few millimeter's clearance from the ground so at some stage, unless you upgrade to proper wheels, i.e. wheels of the correct size, you're going to scratch the hell out of your mudguard or rack. That's not on for a bike that costs £780 or more. The same could be said of not having the aluminium seat post as stock and instead bundling a clunking heavy steel post as stock instead. The stem design is rather inelegant compared to Dahon's Ahead over-sized steerer with integrated headset.