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  1. #1
    Senior Member Still Pedaling's Avatar
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    Brompton owners -- how are you liking it?

    I've had mine a few weeks now, and I have to say that for me it is a cyclists dream. It's very comfortable and smooth riding. No issues whatsoever. Its been a long time since I have had a bike that I just can't wait to get out and ride. Honestly, I feel like a kid again when I'm out on it. So how do you Brompton owners like your ride? Is it all you expected, or are you somewhat disappointed?

    Cheers
    Wayne
    Last edited by Still Pedaling; 09-30-13 at 11:32 AM.
    "It's best to remain silent and be thought the fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt" -- Mark Twain

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I'm Fine with my 2nd , an M3L, onto which I substituted a Schlumpf Mountain drive 2 range crank,
    for a wide range 6 speed..
    last week I put a set of Tacx sealed bearing pulleys on ,
    they are also a nylon rather than the harder plastic, so noise of chain running over them is less..


    I first thought I'd like a double crankset , and I got a kit to fit a FD on, but went with the double planetary ..


    >So if anyone is interested , I have a Braze on style FD, the adapter clamp to install it,
    custom made clamp around the seat tube, Powder coated black,
    and a thumb shifter to operate it, .. to sell. PM..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-30-13 at 12:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bargainguy's Avatar
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    I took it along and had a nice hr ride while the brakes on my car were being serviced today. For the most part, I love it, but still wish for something much lower than the lowest gear on my M3L. So I'm thinking minor mods - smaller chainring, bigger sprocket etc.

  4. #4
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Still Pedaling View Post
    So how do you Brompton owners like your ride? Is it all you expected, or are you somewhat disappointed?
    I used to ride a Moulton TSR 27 and loved it. One day we have a folding group bike at Half Moon Bay and I tried sesamecrunch's Brompton M for a few miles. I liked the compact folding and decided to get one as a second bike, for occasions when small folding is important. Went to a local Brompton dealer, tested both an M and a S and decided to get an S (it felt stiffer and more sporty). This was two years ago. Since then, the Brompton is my main bike and I used the TSR twice, when we had an out of town visitors that needed a bike. It is very functional, always ready for action (we keep two folder in Mrs. Kamtsa's car trunk all the time), I love the agility of the small wheels, and the spare parts availability is second to none. I got recently a small car and having the Brompton fitting in the small trunk was an absolute requirement, would not get that car otherwise. Mrs Kamtsa on the other hand loves her green Downtube Nova and would not change it for a brompton or any other bike (the Nova is lighters, larger wheels and more intuitive gear control) so it's all subjective.
    Happier than a camel on wednesday.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I'm thinking minor mods - smaller chainring, bigger sprocket etc.
    44t is their 1 of 3 chainring B-spoke options, though the new spider Crank will take any 130 BCD chainring.

    a 16t is probably the limit on the hub before it strikes the end of the frame tube.

  6. #6
    jur
    jur is offline
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    My Brommie is also my main commuter when the weather tends to the wet side. Otherwise I ride my Swift. Occasionally the Moulton will get some duty.

    The B is very very practical, and that I have found is Important Property#1. But it is a dog. Slow. Currently I am running a solid tyre on the back. It is almost worn enough for me to put a Primo Comet on the back, then I will see if the speed improves. The S is at the opposite end of the spectrum, very fast.

  7. #7
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    ... But it [brompton] is a dog. Slow. Currently I am running a solid tyre on the back. It is almost worn enough for me to put a Primo Comet on the back, then I will see if the speed improves. The S is at the opposite end of the spectrum, very fast.

    wow. hmm. are you also running wheelbarrow tyres on the swift?
    Last edited by smallwheeler; 09-30-13 at 03:29 PM.

  8. #8
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    I agree with Jur.. the Brommie is the slowest of the folding bikes I regularly ride (Moulton TSR-5, Pacific Reach Road, Mu Uno 2speed) .. and I run pneumatic tires on all of them :-)) ... the Brommie has it's place for sure, but if I want to get from point A to B in a relative hurry, it'll be my last choice..

  9. #9
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    I agree with Jur.. the Brommie is the slowest of the folding bikes I regularly ride (Moulton TSR-5, Pacific Reach Road, Mu Uno 2speed) .. and I run pneumatic tires on all of them :-)) ... the Brommie has it's place for sure, but if I want to get from point A to B in a relative hurry, it'll be my last choice..
    i will assume that the a to b journey you describe doesnt involve a plane, train, or taxi.

    also, i'm sure you will want to get on the phone with the editor of Bicycle Times magazine. i'm almost certain they will stop the presses in order to add the revelatory breaking news that a 451 road bike is faster than a 16" wheeled bike designed for multi-modal commuting. wow. yet another stunning development in cycling.

    my tummy is all aflutter with anticipatory nausea at what remarkable nuggets of collective wisdom will next be revealed in this wonderful forum.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    i will assume that the a to b journey you describe doesnt involve a plane, train, or taxi.

    also, i'm sure you will want to get on the phone with the editor of Bicycle Times magazine. i'm almost certain they will stop the presses in order to add the revelatory breaking news that a 451 road bike is faster than a 16" wheeled bike designed for multi-modal commuting. wow. yet another stunning development in cycling.

    my tummy is all aflutter with anticipatory nausea at what remarkable nuggets of collective wisdom will next be revealed in this wonderful forum.
    I'm not putting down the Brommie, it's just not the bike, of any at my disposal, that I will grab to go for a quick ride .. especially in the 20+ mile range ... My Birdy on 16" wheels was also the much faster bike for me ... I've been recording Garmin data for myself for over 5 years .. so a decent database to draw from.... when I go shopping at Trader Joes, the Brommie is my first choice ..

  11. #11
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Meh. I sold my Mezzo D10 because the Brommie had a quicker and cleaner fold. But if I had a do-over,I would've sold the Brommie. Ride is rough for an all-steel bike,the gearing is a little weird,and changing the rear wheel just plain sucks. Could also do with a diet;I should've sprung for the Ti bits.

    The Brommie is an excellent folder,but just an ok bicycle.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  12. #12
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    now if only bhkyte will chime in here then the trifecta of brompton hate will be complete.
    Last edited by smallwheeler; 09-30-13 at 06:32 PM.

  13. #13
    jur
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    Hate? Nah. I LIKE my Brommie. Really. It's just slow, but that does not make it bad. It's about 10-15% slower than my Swift, which is indistinguishable from a roadie. So when I am at work on the Brommie, I will ride back to the train station for part of the journey home, but the Swift gets duty all the way, 31km. It makes 10-15minutes difference at least over that distance.

  14. #14
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    With the various 2013 upgraded componentry Bromptons are pretty solid now. The brake levers are now super-long from pivot to end, providing huge mechanical advantage. The rims are overkill. Next I'd like to see a new stem/steerer design that eliminates flex from the stem and allows slight useful flex in the steerer (quite possible). Plus some new tyre options similar to Greenspeed scorchers but a fraction narrower and lighter... perhaps primo comets fit the bill (never used them as they're not widely available in the UK).

  15. #15
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    ...the gearing is a little weird...The Brommie is an excellent folder,but just an ok bicycle.


    i guess you could say that the brilliant design of this 2 cog 3 speed hub is "weird" in that it provides a 302% gear range in equal steps which is very near equivalent to the shimano alfine 8's 307% range. i guess it's also weird that it only weighs .94kg compared the nexus 8's 1.59kg.

    i'm a pretty open-minded person, but not so open-minded that my brains fall out. the fact is, in all the brompton hate that i've read in this forum, i have yet to read a cogent, logical, clearly reasoned argument against this brilliant machine.

    any takers?


  16. #16
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    Strictly speaking the BWR system is heavier, you have to include the shifter, cable and extra derailleur bits. That's probably 200g. The total is still light but heavier than a SA 5 speed hub. The big problem with the brompton drivetrain is that the tensioner introduces quite clear inefficiency, so it seems wasteful not to utilise it as a derailleur. And of course if one were to install a 5 speed hub the result would be a ten speed system lighter than an alfine.

    I still haven't ridden a 6 speed Brompton, I really need to see how it works in practise as I have trouble believing it doesn't have quite real flaws.

  17. #17
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    now if only bhkyte will chime in here then the trifecta of brompton hate will be complete.
    Its so tempting.

    Yeah, my modded mezzo leaves the modded brommie along way behind on my gps.

    Yes, I am not a brommie fan, but I like what I have done to my brompton so far. I bought it to sell on. But I know that a ,(modified),brommie can be a good, fast, well fitting bike for me now. It has benefits in versatility over the more urban focused mezzo,
    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. Birdie red.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Still Pedaling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post

    the fact is, in all the brompton hate that i've read in this forum, i have yet to read a cogent, logical, clearly reasoned argument against this brilliant machine.

    any takers?
    I don't understand why some people knock this bike. It's absolutely awesome. Rides beautifully. Some say it's slow. It's not designed to set speed records, it's more for touring and commuting -- but their was one individual that road his Brommie in the Tour de Tucson -- so it can't be that slow. I love the Brommie. One can do a whole lot more with this bike than many other brands. I can wheel it around in a supermarket like a shopping cart or if I want to, I can take it with me if I travel on an airplane and put it in the upper storage compartment on the plane. Try that with other folders.

    Yes it is a brilliant machine -- well engineered and well made.
    "It's best to remain silent and be thought the fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt" -- Mark Twain

  19. #19
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    Strictly speaking the BWR system is heavier, you have to include the shifter, cable and extra derailleur bits. That's probably 200g. The total is still light but heavier than a SA 5 speed hub. The big problem with the brompton drivetrain is that the tensioner introduces quite clear inefficiency, so it seems wasteful not to utilise it as a derailleur. And of course if one were to install a 5 speed hub the result would be a ten speed system lighter than an alfine.

    I still haven't ridden a 6 speed Brompton, I really need to see how it works in practise as I have trouble believing it doesn't have quite real flaws.
    wow. i guess the engineers at brompton and sturmey archer should have consulted you prior to pointlessly basically reinventing the 3 speed gear hub. they could have just slapped a couple of cogs on the old 5 speed..

    the 5 speed hub is 1060kg and only 256% gear range. it's not comparable. the design intention was to make a lighter, more compact and more efficient gearing comparable in range to an 8 speed hub at a little more than half the weight. they succeeded.

    bah, what's the point of continuing with this? you've never even ridden the bike. and, as you say, "... I have trouble believing it doesn't have quite real flaws.", you are already predisposed to dislike it.
    Last edited by smallwheeler; 10-01-13 at 04:09 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    I think brompton haters is not the problem.

    There is so much reporting out their that's overly pro brompton that people rightly kick against it. As other makes of folding bikes do exist!!

    One might get the impression it all things to all people and its often described as the rolls royce of folding bikes, the only folding bike that works, and so on. Statements that level headed people on these forums know are not accurate.

    The quote earller refects I feel closer to the truth.

    Brompton is a great folding bike and an OK bike.

    Something I would say also say of a standard mezzo.

    Personaly I have never riden a bromton other than my own ,(it has a stem extender and bullbars), that I enjoy riding. I don't really enjoy riding a standard mezzo much either.

    I put a lot of effort, (obsession?), in getting good base folders to preform on a par to a regular or high preformance bike. But still on a resonable budget.
    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. Birdie red.

  21. #21
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    now if only bhkyte will chime in here then the trifecta of brompton hate will be complete.
    Sorry,but my opinion is every bit as legitimate as yours. I own a Bompton,it's not like I rode one once or am basing my opinion on what I've read on the internet.

    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    i guess you could say that the brilliant design of this 2 cog 3 speed hub is "weird" in that it provides a 302% gear range in equal steps which is very near equivalent to the shimano alfine 8's 307% range. i guess it's also weird that it only weighs .94kg compared the nexus 8's 1.59kg.
    Weird because to step through the gear range you need to use two shifters simultaneously. They did what they did to save weight,and yes,it saves weight. But I'd prefer just one shifter. Actually,I'd prefer a derailleur drivetrain.

    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    i'm a pretty open-minded person, but not so open-minded that my brains fall out. the fact is, in all the brompton hate that i've read in this forum, i have yet to read a cogent, logical, clearly reasoned argument against this brilliant machine.
    Ok. Why can't Brompton use brakes that can be opened without a wrench? Why must the chain tensioner be removed? Of all my complaints about Bromptons,I think rear wheel removal is the most legitimate. On my Mu and my old Mezzo,I open the rear brake,flip the bike upsidedown,pop the QR,pull the wheel from the dropouts,and unthread it from the derailleur/chain. On my Speed,I also have to pop off the shift box and use a 15mm instead of a QR. On my Brompton,I need a 10mm for the brake,a 3mm hex for the tensioner,and a 15mm for the wheel. I also have to keep track of the tensioner bolt(lose it and the bike's not ride-able) and the shift linkage(lose it and you're stuck in high). IMHO,to which I am entitled,it is a bad design to require multiple tools and to need to remove/keep track of parts just to remove your rear wheel. I've never owned another bike that needed more than a 15mm and left loose parts to keep track of. That is a poor design.

    Do you think Brompton's rear wheel removal is a good idea? Would you change it if you could?

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  22. #22
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Sorry,but my opinion is every bit as legitimate as yours. I own a Bompton,it's not like I rode one once or am basing my opinion on what I've read on the internet.



    Weird because to step through the gear range you need to use two shifters simultaneously. They did what they did to save weight,and yes,it saves weight. But I'd prefer just one shifter. Actually,I'd prefer a derailleur drivetrain.



    Ok. Why can't Brompton use brakes that can be opened without a wrench? Why must the chain tensioner be removed? Of all my complaints about Bromptons,I think rear wheel removal is the most legitimate. On my Mu and my old Mezzo,I open the rear brake,flip the bike upsidedown,pop the QR,pull the wheel from the dropouts,and unthread it from the derailleur/chain. On my Speed,I also have to pop off the shift box and use a 15mm instead of a QR. On my Brompton,I need a 10mm for the brake,a 3mm hex for the tensioner,and a 15mm for the wheel. I also have to keep track of the tensioner bolt(lose it and the bike's not ride-able) and the shift linkage(lose it and you're stuck in high). IMHO,to which I am entitled,it is a bad design to require multiple tools and to need to remove/keep track of parts just to remove your rear wheel. I've never owned another bike that needed more than a 15mm and left loose parts to keep track of. That is a poor design.

    Do you think Brompton's rear wheel removal is a good idea? Would you change it if you could?
    it's called a design compromise. yes, removing the rear wheel is more involved, but of the bikes you mentioned, which ones also fit the overhead storage compartment of a 737?

  23. #23
    jur
    jur is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    bah, what's the point of continuing with this? you've never even ridden the bike. and, as you say, "... I have trouble believing it doesn't have quite real flaws.", you are already predisposed to dislike it.
    Wow who pissed in your wheeties?? Either you are trolling big-time, or making pathetic attempts to insult, or are actually very successful at making me laugh.

  24. #24
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    I think brompton haters is not the problem.

    There is so much reporting out their that's overly pro brompton that people rightly kick against it. As other makes of folding bikes do exist!!

    One might get the impression it all things to all people and its often described as the rolls royce of folding bikes, the only folding bike that works, and so on. Statements that level headed people on these forums know are not accurate.

    The quote earller refects I feel closer to the truth.

    Brompton is a great folding bike and an OK bike.

    Something I would say also say of a standard mezzo.

    Personaly I have never riden a bromton other than my own ,(it has a stem extender and bullbars), that I enjoy riding. I don't really enjoy riding a standard mezzo much either.

    I put a lot of effort, (obsession?), in getting good base folders to preform on a par to a regular or high preformance bike. But still on a resonable budget.
    in other words, backlash. backlash = haters.

    you've said a couple times, "great folding bike and an OK bike." i see that as just a way to disparage the machine. you wouldnt say to a guy on his trek madone, "nice for racing, but crap at fitting in the subway." it's not what the bike is designed for. the brompton is designed as a multi-modal commuting personal transport device. the fact, that people race them and take them on century rides and use them for loaded touring should really only go to credit the robust competence of the design. no, the brompton is not the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it is a brilliant machine that is surely responsible for (re)introducing a significant number of people to cycling.

  25. #25
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Wow who pissed in your wheeties?? Either you are trolling big-time, or making pathetic attempts to insult, or are actually very successful at making me laugh.
    never ridden the bike but, "I have trouble believing it doesn't have quite real flaws.". this doesnt reveal bias? where am i wrong, jur?

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