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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 02-10-12, 07:53 AM   #1
chagzuki
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Mezzo derailleur - how does it pull enough chain to take up slack when folded?

I've read that derailleur mods on Bromptons don't work for this reason. The mezzo geometry looks much the same as the Brompton to me and I can't see how a derailleur could work. . . what have I missed?
Is there a tensioner near the chainwheel? In pics it looks like there's something funky in that area.
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Old 02-10-12, 07:56 AM   #2
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There are two static pegs stick out from the frame near the chainwheel. The chain wraps around them as the rear subframe is swung into the park position.


Last edited by snafu21; 02-10-12 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 02-10-12, 08:02 AM   #3
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Ah, I can kinda see it here:


The path of the chain looks bonkers, like it's crossing itself.
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Old 02-10-12, 08:13 AM   #4
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It's quite an elegant solution compared to the Brrrrrrrrompton's chain tensioner, in that there are no moving parts, and nothing extra to fall off as you change the rear wheel. To compensate for this brilliant design the front wheel on the Mezzo needs an 8mm socket to remove, the rear is 'normal' in that the QR is the only fixing.

One important difference between the Brompton and the Mezzo is that the latter comes with double-wall alloy rims for added strength, by the way. Reviews never seem to pick this up. Also the chainguard on the Mezzo is a piece of machined alloy, compared to the plastic ring on the Brompton. Little things, but it all adds up to seeing the Mezzo as very clever original design, certainly on a par with the Moultons, I think.

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Old 02-10-12, 08:27 AM   #5
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I'm not really happy with my Brompton, the gas-pipe philosophy is present throughout the construction of it and certain areas haven't been addressed properly. Unfortunately I don't think a Mezzo would work for me due to rolling and luggage factors. It's an interesting machine though.

I don't suppose you could get a photo of the tensioner from an angle where the chain routing is clearly visible?
Ooh, you've stuck a pic in there while I wasn't looking, cheers for that.
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Old 02-10-12, 08:30 AM   #6
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So the chain does cross itself and this is made possible by the off-centre folding of the rear wheel?
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Old 02-10-12, 08:36 AM   #7
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Yes, when the swing arm goes under the bike the chain wraps anti-clockwise around the pegs. It works, most of the time. I did have a Brompton, and liked all of it from the middle of the frame to the back, but couldn't get on with the jack-hammer front end on the country roads around here.

The Mezzo seems to be a much better ride (for me.) The Jon Whyte design is extraordinary, the philosophy (I read) was to throw MTB technology and C.A.D. at it and see what came out. It was the most difficult design job they ever did, says Whyte's protégé Ian something-or-other.

The need to de-twitch the front end is handled by the usual trail on the front forks on both bikes, but the Mezzo gains an additional understeer and cockpit room with the dogleg stem/handlepost. Stunning design, although not pretty.

This willl enrage Bromptonauts, but for me, the Brompton looks like it was designed by Jules Verne, the Mezzo, by NASA. The differences are huge. But, waddeveh turns you on.


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Old 02-10-12, 08:54 AM   #8
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Where can you get spare parts? I've never been able to find any when I've looked for bits that might be compatible with other bikes. Those rims appear to be 28H & therefore Brompton compatible.

Surely the Mezzo fold means it has to be lifted and carried a lot. I can roll a Dahon or Brompton comfortably, it's a big deal as no matter how light one's bike it feels heavy in no time when carried for more than a few paces.
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Old 02-10-12, 08:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by snafu21 View Post
This willl enrage Bromptonauts, but for me, the Brompton looks like it was designed by Jules Verne, the Mezzo, by NASA. The differences are huge. But, waddeveh turns you on.
There's an online article about the 2004 Brompton hinge redesign where something totally prosaic and basic in design terms is talked about as though it's some sort of feat of engineering. There's too much of that nonsense surrounding the Brompton company.
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Old 02-10-12, 09:12 AM   #10
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I wouldn't want to carry any of the folders very far. The Mezzo is about 11 Kg or so, it can be rolled on the two rollers on the rack. A common update seems to be fitting inline skate rollers in place of the microscopic ones. As to spares, any Marin dealer can get them from ATB. The cassette is SRAM/Shim compat 9 speed, chain similar, the shifter SRAM Attack 2:1 Shimmy compat, bottom bracket is square taper, disrayliagh is a Tiagra. Headstock is standard MTB 1" 1/8th, you bust a frame or forks you may as well buy a new bike and sell the remains of the old one on Ebay. Rims take easy to find 16" Brompton size rubber but they are double-walled, as opposed to the cheaper single-walls on the Bromptons.


You should talk to JEFMCG on here if you want the low down on Mezzo's, she does about 6000 Km a year on one.

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Old 02-12-12, 11:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snafu21 View Post
I wouldn't want to carry any of the folders very far. The Mezzo is about 11 Kg or so, it can be rolled on the two rollers on the rack. A common update seems to be fitting inline skate rollers in place of the microscopic ones.
Wounder if any one has engineered rollers added to the front of the rack also (like a Brommie)

Sanfu the chain can jam on a Mezzo between the guard and the front cog. However this can be reduced by
1) pushing the pedals forwards when unfolding it
2)Keeping it correctly adjusted, and not getting it bent out of shape!
3) fit a plastic Mezzo seatpost mounted chain retainer clip ( around £2).
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Old 02-12-12, 01:11 PM   #12
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Thanks, my pink bike came with the chain retainer. I've not had the chain jam yet, but then I have not dared to ride it in daylight.

I scored a Mezzo large rear bag off Ebay, it's very good, will carry a laptop, books, and a week of sandwiches. Lots of pockets for tools and stuff.

The rollers on the Brompton are placed in the line of fire of heels. Annoyed with mine, but you learn to adjust.

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