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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    People just don't believe it's a "real" bike...

    A few days ago, I rode to my LBS. They're a good outfit and if I need some serious service, I'll have to turn to them for help given that there's no Brompton dealer/servicer within an hour of me. The owner knew I had bought a folding bike - he'd never heard of a Brompton - and when I brought the Brompton to show him, he was intrigued but skeptical. He was incredulous at the price, and twice asked if the bike was made in China! Maybe a bit of a bias there.. I think though that he was not as skeptical about the performance as more about the unlikely adoption of such bikes were I live - he doubts they would sell well here and I agree - it would be a long shot. Ah well... I tried to convince him to carry Bromptons.

    Contrast this with yesterday when I was cycling up in Hamilton, Ontario. A young teen came over and just had to ask what cool bike I had! And then I decided to hike up the stairs to get to the other side of the bike trail, which was broken up by an overpass freeway. The stairs were tough after the 5th or 6th flight. Maybe we should start a new sport: Brompton cyclo-cross! Mind you, I got some spectacular photos.

    Brompton Hamilton Small-4561.jpg Brompton Hamilton Small-4556.jpg Brompton Hamilton Small-4564.jpg
    Last edited by Ozonation; 05-04-12 at 11:16 PM.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    I have seen those around town. How fast are they and how comfortable?

  3. #3
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    My coworkers at work love the fold. And I was put to the "how fast can you fold/unfold it?" once I told them the website says it folds in 10-30 seconds.

    The first time I was tested, I had only had the bike for three days. Luckily my time was 27 seconds for the unfold and 23 for the fold. The second time I was tested by a different group of coworkers a few days later and I had shaved one second off my unfold time.

    They are stunned when I tell them the price.

    But to me, design of fold and being handmade make it totally worth it to me.
    2012 Brompton H6L raw lacquer, hub dynamo lights, eazy wheels, C + Mini O bag, Ergon GP-1 biokork S grip shift, Lightweights spoke reflectors, Saddle Adapter pin.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikexcountry View Post
    I have seen those around town. How fast are they and how comfortable?
    I'd say Bromptons are very comfortable. Speed is good too. You're not going to hit the speed of a race bike, but it's quite respectable. I actually got the reduced gearing for hills, head wind, etc. I personally like the capabilities offered by the Brompton 6 speed.

    It's odd. I went for a long ride with my older GT hybrid bike a few hours ago. I expected to be overwhelmed by the comfort and capability of the larger bike given that I had been riding my Brompton exlusively for the last two weeks. I was not - in fact, my Brompton is probably more comfortable in almost all aspects. It just somehow "works", particularly in the city on many practical levels, ger. My wife has already indicated she will probably use her old bike less than 5% of the time now that she has and prefers her own Brompton!
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
    The owner knew I had bought a folding bike - he'd never heard of a Brompton - and when I brought the Brompton to show him, he was intrigued but skeptical. He was incredulous at the price, and twice asked if the bike was made in China! Maybe a bit of a bias there.

    A young teen came over and just had to ask what cool bike I had!

    The stairs were tough after the 5th or 6th flight. Maybe we should start a new sport: Brompton cyclo-cross!
    To have not seen a Brompton doesn`t surprise me at all, but it is kind of surprising that he`s never heard of one. Then again, I likely wouldn`t have heard of them either if I didn`t go on the hunt for a folder and start reading fold-related stuff.

    I`ve had my Friday in to the plant I work at a few times and people have been interested. Price has always worked its way into the discsuion and (another surprise) most of my coworkers didn`t flinch even when i told the truth about it.

    The first time I rode my folder into town, I got more comments than I normally get when I`m on a recumbent. In both cases, those comments mostly positive and mostly from curious kids.

    Wow, that is a heap of stairs! I like your Brompton Cross idea

  6. #6
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
    ... It just somehow "works" ...
    That's a very good description of Brompton.
    Happier than a camel on wednesday.

  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I think this happens to every adult that rides a bicycle with small wheels as people are still not used to them... hard to believe a shop owner was unaware that Bromptons existed.

    The questions are always, " Do you ride it on the side walk?", "Is it fast?", and "You can't ride that bike that far can you ?"

    A lady once asked me how far a person could ride a folder and at the time, I was 50 miles out and told her that it took me just over 2 hours to get to where I was.


  8. #8
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    I took the Friday on an organized trip to Newfoundland and the guy riding behind me was sort of baffled that he couldn't overtake that little bike. And I rode it for only my second ever century on the same trip. It's most definitely a real,bike.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  9. #9
    jur
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    A few days ago some driver shouted, "Get a real bike! " at which I answered, "You're right, this bike is unreal. ":-)

  10. #10
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    ERTW I see from your self portrait.

  11. #11
    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    Wait you rode down all those stairs?

  12. #12
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Almost every day when I'm out doing errands on my Brompton I get questions about it; only a few hours ago as I was unfolding my bike after leaving a deli someone asked, "Hey, did you just unfold that bike?!"

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccmfolder View Post
    ERTW I see from your self portrait.
    Actually, I got my degree out in Alberta, and when I did my undergrad there, we never used the ERTW expression. I suspect it's only an eastern Canada thing.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikexcountry View Post
    Wait you rode down all those stairs?
    No, that would be too steep! There is a bike ramp that you can push your bike up and roll it down. But I basically hoisted it on my shoulder or carried it between two hands up and then later down. The irony is that when I got to the top of the overpass after hiking up all those stairs, I cycled a bit, saw it wasn't worth it, and then turned around and hoofed it back down. Good exercise, hoisting the bike up and down, especially on a short business trip!
    Last edited by Ozonation; 05-06-12 at 08:43 AM. Reason: Added some more and fixed a mistake!
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  15. #15
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    how much do those bromptons weigh on average?? are they much lighter than a full sized non folding road bike?
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
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  16. #16
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    A few days ago some driver shouted, "Get a real bike! " at which I answered, "You're right, this bike is unreal. ":-)
    Like that one jur.

    Often drivers miss the fact that the "unreal bike" is doing 25MPH+ as they say it !!
    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.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catonec View Post
    how much do those bromptons weigh on average?? are they much lighter than a full sized non folding road bike?
    Without a front bag, my Brompton clocks in at about 28 lbs. I think the ultralight full size bikes are a bit lighter? I don't really have a good comparison, as the only other bike I've had recently is my GT hybrid which is 11 years old. As a full size bike, it seems comparable.

    I will say that going up and down those stairs, a full size bike might have been a bit easier compared to an unfolded Brompton because the larger frame means the weight is a little distributed and so you can hoist it on your shoulder a bit easier (larger frame geometry). On the other hand, if you fold the Brompton up, it would be a more compact package to lift from one point. I didn't fold mine up because I didn't realize how many stairs I was facing...
    Last edited by Ozonation; 05-06-12 at 08:54 AM.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  18. #18
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    One of the last things my daughter said to me when she returned to her new home in Philly was, "...and don't get one of those little folder bikes." I have heeded those words.

    Visually speaking, they make the list of the most uncool things on planet earth.

  19. #19
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    Visually speaking

  20. #20
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    Visually speaking, they make the list of the most uncool things on planet earth.
    I have now reached the age where a folding bike - while perhaps not among the coolest things on the planet - are definitely much cooler than many other things I see or experience; for example:

    - backwards, skewed baseball caps
    - monstrous tattoos screaming obscene allegiance to one thing or another
    - parents chain smoking large cigarettes with their very young children in close proximity
    - boys wearing jeans down by their knees
    - people who are spatially oblivious, particularly while babbling away on bluetooth jawpieces that they treat like personal jewelry
    - people who are spatially oblivious, who walk 4 abreast along sidewalks, paths or trails, and seem absolutely astounded that they would like you, as a biker or a faster walker, to pass
    - young men (in particular) that wear offensively copious amounts of fragrance
    - students who think they can intimidate other students or professors by pushing the boundaries or limits of acceptable behaviour; academics or senior staff who have become intellectual bullies and try to cower others (Can you tell I work in academic setting? Fortunately, I still possess the physical presence, single-mindedness, ignorance, and low class to intimidate some of these people right back.)

    So, on the relative scale of things, while I do not want to actively epitomize nerdiness, how I look or not look on a folding bike is on the low side of my concerns!
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    One of the last things my daughter said to me when she returned to her new home in Philly was, "...and don't get one of those little folder bikes." I have heeded those words.

    Visually speaking, they make the list of the most uncool things on planet earth.
    I bet she wouldn't mind if you got this one...the Pacific iF Mode folding bike: http://www.pacific-cycles.com/produc...1&cat2=4&pid=1
    2012 Brompton H6L raw lacquer, hub dynamo lights, eazy wheels, C + Mini O bag, Ergon GP-1 biokork S grip shift, Lightweights spoke reflectors, Saddle Adapter pin.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Chagzuki... do you own and ride a Tern Verge S11i? How do you like it? The other bike I was considering if I couldn't get a Brompton was the Tern P9, P24h, or the Verge S11i. I decided ultimately I liked the Brompton fold better for what I needed, but I like the idea of more available tires for 20" bikes.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Me, no. I've got a couple of Dahons and a Brompton (second hand). I'm essentially a cheapskate, a Verge is well outside my price-range. I'm sure it's a very nice bike but really too much for my needs, and I'm actually not so keen on stiff aluminium frames, it took a lot of component swaps to make my Dahon comfortable enough.

  24. #24
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    Watcha all talkin' about? Folding bikes are the coolest things.

    I thought Brommies were lighter. Are the garden variety ones really 28 pounds?

  25. #25
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiten View Post
    I thought Brommies were lighter. Are the garden variety ones really 28 pounds?
    If you look at the Brompton brochure, they state that their models range from 20 lbs to 28 lbs. I measured mine: I have the rack, both sets of Eazy wheels, reduced 6 gearing option, bungee cord, Brooks saddle, Ergon grips, etc. It all adds up. Brompton claims that they give a true measure of weight: everything included. And I believe them. If I were to strip out everything, I'd probably get down to about 22 lbs. to 24 lbs. So, my configuration is probably a bit more than the average garden variety.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

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