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Old 07-09-13, 10:18 PM   #1
CenturionIM
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Did anyone ever regret? purchasing a Brompton

Hello all, on the fence here. While looking at folding bikes, Brompton is just a very very nice bike, its compactness (according to my limited research) is just unmatched by offerings from dahon or Bike Friday. That is much needed in my multi-modal commute. In addition, from the reviews I read, it seems that a Brompton can handle moderate distance (<20mi) rides just fine. Of course, all the insightful raving on the intranet is helpful.

What is keeping me on the fence is the price. The bike, the parts and especially the accessories. I mean yes it is all hand made in Britain; but at the end of day it is still a chromoly frame w/ house part and a 20 years old patent. And 200 dollar for an attachable bag? 150 for rack and fender? really now.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone that did not enjoy their purchase and regret shelling out for the bike.
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Old 07-09-13, 10:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by CenturionIM View Post
Hello all, on the fence here. While looking at folding bikes, Brompton is just a very very nice bike, its compactness (according to my limited research) is just unmatched by offerings from dahon or Bike Friday. That is much needed in my multi-modal commute. In addition, from the reviews I read, it seems that a Brompton can handle moderate distance (<20mi) rides just fine. Of course, all the insightful raving on the intranet is helpful.

What is keeping me on the fence is the price. The bike, the parts and especially the accessories. I mean yes it is all hand made in Britain; but at the end of day it is still a chromoly frame w/ house part and a 20 years old patent. And 200 dollar for an attachable bag? 150 for rack and fender? really now.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone that did not enjoy their purchase and regret shelling out for the bike.
I can assure you that there are many people who have bought Bromptons and who later regretted the purchase. The same can be said for just about any major purchase out there, probably more so for any piece of exercise equipment being as people tend to buy such things with grand plans or as the result of various sorts of "resolutions," only to never follow through on their grand plans (e.g. voyage around the planet with a bicycle, lose 50 pounds biking around) etc. etc. etc. Unfortunately for you, these people don't inhabit internet enthusiast forums and do not post here.

Perhaps a better way for you to think about this would be to assess how serious you are about actually using a folding bicycle, how important the size of the fold is to you, how important is the function of the bicycle once unfolded, and what are your budget constraints. If you are really serious about using one of these things and will actually do so, if you have the funds and if the fold is important and if a Brompton would best meet your needs, then you should go ahead with the purchase. If on the other hand you are either not that serious about using a folding bike or you would actually prefer to ride on another bike once unfolded (for example, a 20" bike with a derailleur having a larger number of gears), then you should buy what it is that you really need or want, rather than what you think other people seem to prefer based upon reading forum posts.
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Old 07-10-13, 01:28 AM   #3
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Just like to say that the 20 mile limit is pretty arbitrary, I know people have ridden a Brompton on BPB, and here's one on the 600km ride from two weekends ago

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6761000...57634510136543
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Old 07-10-13, 01:54 AM   #4
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CenturionIM,

My regrets:

1. Not buying a Brompton years ago.

2. Wasting my money on a Dahon, which after years of mechanical problems and unavailability of parts is now sitting in a heap in a corner of my garage with a cracked frame.

Spend the extra money and get a Brompton. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 07-10-13, 05:36 AM   #5
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I am person who bought a brompton, a merc and was disatifed with both. I felt I had believed a little too much brompton hype and should have taken more care before comitting myself. I bought the merc to upgrade whilst running a standard brompton for the commute.

I sold both and bought two mezzos which I test rode extensively before buying, so I realised about under gearing. I really suggest you test ride any folder before purchase as they are so different from each other.

However if you feel brommie package right for you after test riding rivals also then go for it. They also had resale value well, so mistakes are not too bad anyway.

Since selling brommie I have bought another very cheap and sloved many of the issues I do not like about the bike with upgrades and mods.
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Old 07-10-13, 10:39 AM   #6
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I'm on my 2nd Brompton; and I'm a cheap bastard, I mean a frugal shopper.
I wish i just got the Brompton a long time ago, instead of wasting my time
and money on a few other folders; Dahon, Tobukaeru, Schwinn. The price
is acceptable for what I'm getting. I've travelled with my B'tons, commuted
to work, brought it inside museums, restaurants, shops, planes, buses, trains,
in our office, hotel rooms, etc. On my last trip, I placed the bike in a box and
checked it in on a New York City to Los Angeles flight. Threw the box when
we landed at the airport and rode 50 miles to our hotel in Anaheim.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt5Mz...6zPoymgKaIoDLA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9AqWdqs7F4
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Old 07-10-13, 11:30 AM   #7
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If you expect to use it for years then it's a very good purchase IMO (I used Citizen, Dahon, Bike Friday and Moulton before settling on a Brompton). If you are not sure if folders are for you, you may want to try a less expensive one and see how it works for you. You don't have to have a Brompton to enjoy riding riding folders.

BTW, not all Bromptons are the same. They differ in seating position (e.g. M vs S), gearing, etc. Make sure to pick one that fits your needs.
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Old 07-10-13, 12:00 PM   #8
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I regret my Brompton purchase only from the standpoint that I am no longer able to use it as regularly as I used to. A change of careers means I no longer have an office to commute to. I now spend 99% of my bike time over the year on a road bike and the Brompton is relegated to use on vacations and the occasional trip to the grocery store.
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Old 07-10-13, 12:10 PM   #9
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UK Pound is 1.6 x the dollar for 1st handicap .. currency exchange .. its a cost.
London England is an expensive place to live, all the factory work force have to get paid enough to live there.

I resold my 1st Brompton when I got No. 2 ,

there are some little things about the Mk2
that are better on the Mk4.. M bar is 7/8", was 15/16 on the older bike.. ergon grips now fit.

BSR is a NIG redesign hub , AW3 is not ( but the older one was quieter, that may be wearing in)

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Old 07-10-13, 02:03 PM   #10
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you are of course talking to enthusiasts here, which are usually pretty happy about their own choice ... especially if they had to pay a pretty penny to be in the iloustrous fan club ( of one particalur brand ) Its hard to admit that your own bike doesnt ride as well, is heavy, or or or ...especially if you paid the premium for it ... ( same is true if you buy a 3000 dlr Dahon or Tern obviously)

about those non available parts ekdog.... I think I remember that I had all of them in stock ..for sale..not for free and the 24 dlr freight was another reason you decided not to order them. Thats your choice, and the choice of your local dealer who did not order the same parts from his importer, the same choice I have ordering stuff from Dahon or not. I decide that I order as many spare parts as I can to serve my customers ( and others of course ) but it does cost money to do that. Money well spend in my opinion but again if your local dealer doesnt want to order it for you .... and why is the same dealer not able to solve the broken frame issues ..I have yet to experience any problems getting replacement warranty frames from Dahon in case of a manufacturing defect ( ie warranty )

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Old 07-10-13, 02:14 PM   #11
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I have had the opportunity to ride many Bromptons but do not own one... if you have a shorter multi-modal commute and need that amazing folding ability there is nothing much better.

If you want a bike that is better suited for longer distances then I would be looking at Bike Friday if I was not able to build my own.
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Old 07-10-13, 03:39 PM   #12
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I regret selling the Mezzo and keeping the Brompton. Brommies have alot going for them,but there are def things that need improvement. Weight is an issue(cast iron has no place on a bicycle),and rear wheel removal needs to be simplified(pro tip: put the tensioner screw and shift linkage back in so you don't lose them).
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Old 07-10-13, 04:22 PM   #13
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... ..I have yet to experience any problems getting replacement warranty frames from Dahon in case of a manufacturing defect ( ie warranty ) ...
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Old 07-10-13, 04:40 PM   #14
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TheBike Friday Tikit, made in Oregon, offers a lot of component choices as a Built To Order Bike.

in a few different sizes, unique in the folding bike world.

the rear folds alongside the main frame , so rather wider than Brompton,
but once folded the BF rolls on its front wheel. using a handle function hidden in the rear portion.

Same 349 16" wheel , but 24 spoke rather than 28, (unless you order a Rohloff then it's 32 hole)
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Old 07-10-13, 05:27 PM   #15
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I like my Brompton but I don't think they're great value. There are design weaknesses that result in undesirable ride characteristics and I think the current price is somewhat absurd. But they're singularly good for certain things.
I agree that they're too heavy (and getting heavier with the recent component improvements). I went to great lengths to shed some weight from mine.
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Old 07-10-13, 06:26 PM   #16
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Someone got a all Titanium version made , a prototype , crowd funding isn't materializing for a light but $10,000.
folding bike .. Aluminum Flamingo frames had a fatigue crack problem..

People went to MiniVelos , omitting the hinges saves weight. those can be made in Ti without special processes .
other than the usual inert gas purging on both sides of the weld.
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Old 07-10-13, 07:01 PM   #17
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I don't own a Brompton, yet or currently a Bike Friday (had a NWT many years ago). I have done massive amounts of research and ridden multiple bikes. For me, being tall the Brompton and the BF Tikit are my best choices. I came very close to buying a Dahon Speed TR, however Dahon has a bad habit of bringing something out that has a few specialty parts on it, they break or get worn out a few years down the road and the parts are NLA. I currently own two Dahon Classic III's still can't find the required angled brake blocks for them. I am going to make my own by using a dremel tool to cut down a set of stock blocks. Not a big deal but certainly something to consider.

I like the ride of the BF a bit better than the Brompton, however the Brompton folds enough smaller to make a difference if you want the smallest package possible.

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Old 07-10-13, 07:37 PM   #18
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I looked at bike friday tikit. The bike looks very attractive and very ridable. in fact I think it's going to feel more like a "regular" bike than a brompton. Using regular parts is also a plus over the B. On the other hand, while the folding process is phenomenal, the size is not impressive at all. The tikit (1300) does not have anything over a dahon boardwalk (300$) in this area. It looks huge while folded.

The reason I insist on compactness: I work in an office with a strict dress code. I have regular bikes, but seeing the ride is 20miles and summer, there is no way I won't sweat a lot. Trying to find a gym close by to shower is also no go since most of them are dirty and charge the equivalent of a brompton every year.. I just want to find a way to bring a bike in the morning and ride it home after work.

Currently I commute by public transport. As you all can imagine it's CROWDED. I love riding bikes, but I don't want to bring grief to fellow commuters every morning. With the tikit, it will be a tall order.

Edit: incidentally a tikit is available on my local CL

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Old 07-10-13, 07:55 PM   #19
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I have a Brompton and a BF NWT, and I wish I'd bought both of them sooner.

If compactness and true multi-modal commuting are what you need a bike for, I don't think that there is a better bike for you than the Brompton, and I don't think you would regret buying one *or* a piece of expensive front luggage. (You may regret buying as many pieces of expensive front luggage as I have, however).

If you would be using your bike for occasional multi-modal commutes, and are primarily interested in folding the bike to put it in the car trunk or to not take up as much space in your apartment, you might be satisfied with a larger folder, and you will also have more options.

However, it's important to emphasize that it is a really big deal how compact the Brompton gets. I still use my BF quite a bit, but what prompted me to also get a Brompton was the fact that, having been bitten by the folding bug, I wanted something that was smaller and "foldier" than the BF.
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Old 07-10-13, 11:56 PM   #20
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... Thats your choice, and the choice of your local dealer who did not order the same parts from his importer, the same choice I have ordering stuff from Dahon or not...
With Brompton you can just get the part number an order online, no need to rely on dealer's good will. For example with a Brompton, this Dahon owner http://tinyurl.com/lc2lbkp could simply order the spokes from here http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brompton-...&page=1&page=1

Brompton's post sale part availability is second to none.

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Old 07-11-13, 12:55 AM   #21
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I have been riding folders for three years now though have only tried Bromptons, Dahons, Moulton TSR (split not fold) and Xootr Swift.

My Bromptons M2L-X and M3L are used daily on my cross city 10 mile round commute.

Before this I used my car daily. These bikes have transformed my working day.

My first purchased was the M3L and if I could only have one bike it would be the Brompton.

Recently I restored a 16 year old Brompton for a friend. It required quite a few replacement/upgraded parts all of which were readily available and back compatible. IMHO the Brompton is a great all round bike and probably the best fit for multi modal city commuting. I personally would not want to use it to cycle hundreds of miles on main roads though.

At the end of day whatever folder you like or ride what does it matter as long as you get enjoyment and fun out of it. As I said for me getting my first folder, the Brompton, was a life changing experience.

Ps whilst I was waiting for my order I use to watch this video of Andrew Ritchie with his Brompton a lot. The history of how this bike came to be is fascinating and a testimony to the engineering brilliance and tenacity of its somewhat quirky British designer/creator.


I wish I knew what that music playing was lol

Jerry

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Old 07-11-13, 03:17 AM   #22
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about those non available parts ekdog.... I think I remember that I had all of them in stock ..for sale..not for free and the 24 dlr freight was another reason you decided not to order them. Thats your choice, and the choice of your local dealer who did not order the same parts from his importer, the same choice I have ordering stuff from Dahon or not. I decide that I order as many spare parts as I can to serve my customers ( and others of course ) but it does cost money to do that. Money well spend in my opinion but again if your local dealer doesnt want to order it for you .... and why is the same dealer not able to solve the broken frame issues ..I have yet to experience any problems getting replacement warranty frames from Dahon in case of a manufacturing defect ( ie warranty )

Best Thor
You must be confusing me with some other dissatisfied Dahon owner (which is quite understandable, as there seems to be no shortage of them) because I never consulted you about parts for my bike. Why would I? I'm in Europe and you're in the States. My dealer did order the parts I needed, again and again, and it always took months for them to arrive. Meanwhile, I was without a bike. I suppose if one really likes Dahons one should buy two--one to ride while the other one is in the shop.

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Old 07-11-13, 04:31 AM   #23
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The last poster might have a point in that used alternatives to a bromptom have the price advantage of being able to buy a spare bikes for a similar outlay. I realise that's not the point he was making!!
I come from a uk propective where a used dahon curve can be available for the price of some brompton upgrades. Ie about 200.

I preffered to sell my brompton and spend money upgrading a mint used mezzo. This plan resulted in a dualdrive bike fast road bike that blew my previous brompton I had before out of the water for about 1000 (see upgrading a mezzo thread).

I built another dualdrive mezzo new for around 600. Cpq built a silular bike for a lot less than 500 from what I gather.
I see no compact folder offering this sort of value. If I sell my brompton, I will probably do another mezzo upgrade.
Us market is different but I can get a cheap mezzo for spares in uk.
Personally I have never had to wait long for the few dahon parts I have ordered,(luck), I waited 3 weeks for last brompton parts I ordered.
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Old 07-11-13, 06:18 AM   #24
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Correct, the Mezzo used but in mint condition was 250 and then another 200 - 250 on the dual drive upgrade. I now have a 24 speed folding bike that is only slightly larger than a brompton, fold faster and will go up hill, is fast on the down hill and flats and is comfortable and efficient on long distances. If it were my only bike I would be quite happy.
I admire the compact fold of the Brompton but at those sort of prices, I don't want plastic gear shifters and brake levers and only a maximum of 6 gears. Also at those prices there is no excuse for crushed tube to form the front wheel drop outs.
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Old 07-11-13, 07:57 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
With Brompton you can just get the part number an order online, no need to rely on dealer's good will. For example with a Brompton, this Dahon owner http://tinyurl.com/lc2lbkp could simply order the spokes from here http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brompton-...&page=1&page=1

Brompton's post sale part availability is second to none.
Kamtsa the link is also dealer correct ? About spokes ... well
http://www.thorusa.com/accessories/product10.htm same as the SJS website for Brompton you will need to know the spoke length but otherwise you have the choice between 5 or so different spokes qualities from the best Spoke manufacturer in the world. And you can order just the amount you need... 1 spoke even ...

I dont dissagree about spares always being a problem, I havent tried all too hard but spares for 20 year old Dahons ( first gen) are most likely indeed getting sparse , and it just doesnt make sense to keep those as the bikes has evolved so much over the years, keeping a handlepost for 100 dlr in stock when the bikes sell for 25 on CL makes no sense ...

:-)
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