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  1. #1
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    Got a new Brompton M3L...satisfied...sorta



    Just received this yesterday.

    Love the fold, color, and style. What I don't like is the use of plastic and low grade parts. Brake levers are rubbish as well as the shifter. Brakes creek when applied .

    What's your thoughts on the components of this $1300+ bike? How many people upgrade parts like levers and shifter? Any alternatives to the 3sp shifter for Sturmey Archer hub?

    Will take better pics out of park mode this weekend.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  2. #2
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Yes, some parts look cheap but 1. you will get use to them ;-) and 2. in practice they are functional and reliable.

    If you come with an interesting mod, please post it here.
    Happier than a camel on wednesday.

  3. #3
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Don't worry about the small components etc. I changed mine out a long time ago & over the years-except for the tires as that will be done soon. I added a new Sturmey/Archer metal traditional shifter as the one that came with mine was simply awful about a month later after purchase my new bike then. I also added my 98mm rather weird-but works well for me at least-version of the Easy Wheels as I thought the ones offered then in 2005 was too small for my tastes.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    dont forget GB pound is a buck 60,or thereabouts, so that boosts the cost,
    International Currency Exchange.

    think Engineered Polymers, after all carbon fiber composites is soot encased in plastic ..

    & plastics tend to be lighter than most metals..

    Any alternatives to the 3sp shifter for Sturmey Archer hub?
    yea there are thumb and grip shifters, and the trad trigger
    I find the new shift box lighter action
    than the traditional trigger was.. and being a polycarbonate it wont rust
    like the trigger shifters do,[ especially that pawl in the lever.. ]
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-17-12 at 12:04 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    After some time you`ll learn there is a reason for everything on this bike. Start reading up on what others have done and why. Calling the brakelevers crappy is a bit odd. Sure you have had time enough to decide? Unusual is not always bad!
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  6. #6
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    The levers to me are. I come from hydraulic disc 29ers and road levers...all of which have return springs and a positive action. These levers feel mushy and almost feel like they are gonna break if applied too hard. Also the adjuster screw is impossible to turn without grabbing the cable and relieving pressure on the barrel...and when squeezing the lever, I can see these adjusters flex up and down. Movement like that takes away positive action, since it is spent flexing.

    The shifter is just odd to me and not smooth. Its awkward when shifting in certain directions.

    All in all I enjoy the bike. Just have my reservations on some of the parts on this $$$ bike.
    Last edited by trrubicon06; 08-17-12 at 06:23 AM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #7
    The Metropolis, UK
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    I think most parts fulfil a function. I did change the brakes on mine and then I decided I wanted to customise the whole thing lol! The shifting works well but yes the shifters are not very attractive. Here is my Brommie thread:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...peed-Brompton!

  8. #8
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    I also have a few questions for mods.

    I wanna make the seatpost telescoping with a quick release. I know I need to cut the nub off the seatpost and then a relief split where the clamp is.

    From what I've gathered on other threads are I need these parts...

    *27.2mm seatpost
    *31.8mm quick release clamp
    *27.2mm to 29.8mm seatpost shim

    Can anyone confirm this for me and give me any helpful details other then cutting and installing lol.


    I'm also looking for a lightweight cover that i can slip over the bike when going in stores or other places needing a cover. I got the Brompton saddle/cover, but quickly returned. I didn't like the folded size and weight. I do have a sewing machine and have made a few lightweight hiking packs and bags...I might go this route if I can't find a satisfying cover.

    I would like one of the IKEA Dimpa bags for it. IKEA doesn't ship these online and the closest IKEA is 2hr+ away. Not a good option for a $4 bag, lol. So, if anyone has 1 or 2 to sell...let me know!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I did the telescoping mod you mention though I don't have the details to hand. I'll get back to you later on that.
    I've posted plenty on the brake levers, chainset etc.. Search for threads started by me.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You can buy their telescopic seatpost, It could have been included in the build list
    with new bike order.. ,
    upper post and shim are to 26.6, I think..

    there are the ones made for the light X series, too, .. Ti.

    double pivot brakes have significant MA, higher leverage feels Mushy to some,

    Put on a set of 2 finger V brake levers, and the lever's low MA will make the grip feel harder.

    also wont have the lever move much .. as low MA pulls a lot of cable..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-17-12 at 10:39 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    You can buy their telescopic seatpost, It could have been included in the build list
    with new bike order.. ,
    upper post and shim are to 26.6, I think..

    there are the ones made for the light X series, too, .. Ti.

    double pivot brakes have significant MA, higher leverage feels Mushy to some,

    Put on a set of 2 finger V brake levers, and the lever's low MA will make the grip feel harder.

    also wont have the lever move much .. as low MA pulls a lot of cable..
    That seatpost wouldv'e added another $82 to the cost. I bought this bike from a dealer that stocks them, so I didn't custom build it. Actually the post is the perfect height pulled up until it stops. My reasoning is for easier seat removal, without having to readjust the seat angle and setback. The inside diameter after cutting off the nub is what I need to make sure is 29.8mm.

    I plan on adding a set of V-levers that I have lying around. This post was more too see what other peoples thought. I kind of feel they should just suck it up, put some Tektro levers and brakes on the bikes, and stop putting their name on every single part. LOL!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  12. #12
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    V brake levers won't have the correct amount of cable pull to work with the brompton calipers.

  13. #13
    CSG
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    I've had mine for about a year now and while you may think some things are "rubbish", I can assure you, they aren't.

    Bromptons aren't for everyone or every need but they are brilliant and stupidly reliable based on my own experience. I did trade the saddle for a Brooks B-17 and exchanged the grips for some Ergons. I may exchange them again for some with bar ends but that's mostly for another riding position.
    Last edited by CSG; 08-17-12 at 01:38 PM.
    2002 Novara Ponderosa HT MTB
    2011 Brompton ML6

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    V brake levers won't have the correct amount of cable pull to work with the brompton calipers.
    I'm running THESE on my caliper braked TSR-20 .. very light, minimalist .. might be an option.





  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    V brake levers won't have the correct amount of cable pull to work with the brompton calipers.
    was an extreme proposal. the V lever pulls a lot of cable ,
    so the lever won't swing far thru its range of motion ,
    so it will feel harder.

    A V brake caliper is a long [type2] lever so needs a lot of cable movement to pull it a short distance at the work end of it's length.

    I fit cantilever pull levers on mine, the little S bend in the lever
    had some Dia Compe PC700 fwiw on hand..

    keeps my finger from sliding too close to the lever pivot.
    since I'm Reaching around the bar end of the Ergon grip/bar-end combination.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-17-12 at 01:43 PM.

  16. #16
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    I'm running THESE on my caliper braked TSR-20 .. very light, minimalist .. might be an option.






    All your bikes look stunning. I need to plan a raid on you and Sesamecrunch. The folding/separable bike cat burglar will be my new profession

  17. #17
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    I've run V-levers on calipers before without an issue. The key is to keep the pads further from the rim. Then the extra pull gets used by the extra distance between the pad and rim. I'm running a Tektro R559 caliper on my Speed Uno with a V-lever and it works as it should. Granted the ideal setup is with actual short pull levers, but that doesn't mean you can't use them.

    I'm eyeballing the Tektro RL740 at the moment. The quick release would be perfect for the brompton brakes, since they don't have a quick release built in. Would make wheel removal a bit easier.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Avid 'speed dial' levers are a good option, they have cable pull,
    as a range of adjustment. little knob on the front.


    for puncture repair, without a QR, I put the wheel in first,
    then pump it up. it is of course flat when I take it out.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-17-12 at 02:18 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Avid 'speed dial' levers are a good option, they have cable pull,
    as a range of adjustment. little knob on the front.


    for puncture repair, without a QR, I put the wheel in first,
    then pump it up. it is of course flat when I take it out.
    Yea for a puncture it's easy lol. But, for normal maintenance it would be a bit easier. Just saying.

    Anybody got any leads on a decent lightweight cover or the IKEA Dimpa bag?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  20. #20
    smallwheelsonly
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    our family has 6 bromptons we sold all our dahons. bromton brakes are general purpose general fit-all design ok but not great could be better designed but they work did not replace them you'll get used to it its actually better quality than most folding bike brakes out there.

    the only thing we replaced when it got worn are the original Brompton tires upgraded with Schwalbe and the seats to Brooks leather not because they look cool or look expensive but they actually offer the most comfort once broken in.

  21. #21
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trrubicon06 View Post
    I'm also looking for a lightweight cover that i can slip over the bike when going in stores or other places needing a cover. I got the Brompton saddle/cover, but quickly returned. I didn't like the folded size and weight. I do have a sewing machine and have made a few lightweight hiking packs and bags...I might go this route if I can't find a satisfying cover.

    I would like one of the IKEA Dimpa bags for it. IKEA doesn't ship these online and the closest IKEA is 2hr+ away. Not a good option for a $4 bag, lol. So, if anyone has 1 or 2 to sell...let me know!
    I generally sew my own bags, or at least adapt an ready made one, for all my bikes, including my Brompton (see below completely covered in it's slipcover plus some other bags too). My Brompton slipcover was a lightweight denim, but a lighter fabric (just as long as it is firmly woven) could be used too. I have bought an Dimpa bag for the Brompton originally. To tell you the truth, I ended up using it as an fabric storage bag! As for selling you a couple, I am sure someone more closer to you than I am (I am based in Southern California) would best help you in that regard as far as shipping costs go.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    I generally sew my own bags, or at least adapt an ready made one, for all my bikes, including my Brompton (see below completely covered in it's slipcover plus some other bags too). My Brompton slipcover was a lightweight denim, but a lighter fabric (just as long as it is firmly woven) could be used too. I have bought an Dimpa bag for the Brompton originally. To tell you the truth, I ended up using it as an fabric storage bag! As for selling you a couple, I am sure someone more closer to you than I am (I am based in Southern California) would best help you in that regard as far as shipping costs go.
    Once I get my sewing machine in my new place, I plan on making a few covers. I have plenty of ripstop sil-nylon from making backpacks and hiking bags. Ripstop would be perfect for a lightweight cover that could be folded and slipped into the frame tube where the frame hinge is.

    Nice bags by the way
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  23. #23
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    I just checked the shim I used and indeed, it is 29.8 OD.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    I just checked the shim I used and indeed, it is 29.8 OD.
    Sweet, thank you.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  25. #25
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trrubicon06 View Post
    Anybody got any leads on a decent lightweight cover or the IKEA Dimpa bag?
    Search eaby for ikea bags. It has a bunch of them.
    Happier than a camel on wednesday.

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