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  1. #1
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    Are Brompton and Mezzo the main higher tier choices in the UK?

    Kind of leaning toward getting a Brompton but not 100% sure.

    About a month ago I saw someone riding a folder and it got me thinking about them as a solution to not riding my mountain bike enough, which is a pain to take anywhere and if I make the effort to do so I worry about it getting pinched or damaged (also guilty of abit of laziness).
    I plan to keep it in the boot of my car so whenever I drive anywhere I can also go for a ride if I want to. Also the prospect of any day or weekend+ bike trips by train open up.

    Originally I had not meant to spend this much, but most bike places offer 0% finance to ease the burden. I also looked at the cyclescheme but there is massive and detailed negativity about this on the net so it turned me off.

    I test rode a couple of Tern's a few weeks ago which weren't to bad but I wasn't outright sold.

    Today I test rode a Brompton 3spd M-bar and a Brompton 6spd S-bar. The 6spd S-bar actually felt really nice, I assume it had standard gearing but the range felt quite large. The bar was ok, felt pretty stiff and responsive and I could ride out of the seat without much trouble. The 3spd M-bar wasn't so nice. Noticeably spongier and tweakier but unfortunately the rear tyre was a tad flat and I think the front had the gyro light making the back jump around and the front drag.
    Both had the telescopic seat post which I would need as im nearly 6'1 but long in the leg.
    Bar wise I was wondering if could just stick a mountain bike riser bar on it and trim off the ends?.
    Negativity on Brompton's seems to be they're abit slow compared to some, the internal gearing is more expensive on the maintenance side and a pain to fix punctures and the frame is pretty old technology?.

    Plan to test ride a Mezzo D10 in the next week as there is a dealer in my area.
    Negativity on the Mezzo's seems to be an ongoing problem with the chain coming off, derailleur and gears getting dirty/knocked around and high rate of mechanical failures?.

    As a general rule most (all?) companies state their bikes are designed for urban use, yet still post pictures and articles on their websites of people riding everywhere from mountains to deserts on them. Is this just blanket base covering for warranty claims?.
    I dont plan to try and do everything a full size bike can do, but I would like to ride on tow paths and rough'ish trails where applicable. Is that feasible?.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Bike fridays are Imported , there .. Avon valley shop, handles them

    I dont notice dyno hub drag , light on or off .. like that its always there.


    newest Schmidt hub is looking good . anodized , and made to use radial straight pull spokes
    and fits the 74wide Brompton forks.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-02-13 at 02:03 AM.

  3. #3
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    In what respects were the Terns not so appealling?

  4. #4
    cpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerubian View Post
    Plan to test ride a Mezzo D10 in the next week as there is a dealer in my area.
    Negativity on the Mezzo's seems to be an ongoing problem with the chain coming off, derailleur and gears getting dirty/knocked around and high rate of mechanical failures?.

    As a general rule most (all?) companies state their bikes are designed for urban use, yet still post pictures and articles on their websites of people riding everywhere from mountains to deserts on them. Is this just blanket base covering for warranty claims?.
    I dont plan to try and do everything a full size bike can do, but I would like to ride on tow paths and rough'ish trails where applicable. Is that feasible?.

    Thanks for any advice.
    Hi Nerubian. I don't regret buying a Mezzo, other than not going for the D9 rather than the I4. The negatives that you talk about I have never experienced and I think the chain issue is a problem is particular to the D10 and I am sure I have read somewhere on the net that there is a fix for that, the D9 should be fine. Mezzo are very good value second hand so consider getting a used one, there are many that have had very little use. They use standard components so you can have all kinds of hubs, I now run a SRAM dual drive hub with 24 gears, Bhkyte has two Mezzos each of which uses dual drive hubs, 8 or 11 speed internal hubs have also been used with success. There are all sorts of mods and upgrades you can do.
    I have cycled canal tow paths and the Monsal Trail on the Mezzo with out an issue, they will handle rougher stuff but the ride will be uncomfortable, a suspension seat post can be fitted with the addition of a telescopic seat post.
    Have a look at these threads for more details of the above.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...O-Thread/page1

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...onversion-help

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...bike-upgrades?

    The Mezzo is a slightly larger folded package than the Brompton but not by much and that is mostly due to the Mezzo frame not folding and therefore giving a better ride. I am sure Bhkyte will be able give you more of a comparison between the two bikes, he owns both.
    Good luck and I am sure you will enjoy whichever bike you buy.
    Mezzo I4 (converted to dual drive), Whyte PRST-1, Trek 1200, Dahon Jack, Bickerton (work in progress)

  5. #5
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    ok thanks for intro cqp!!

    Hi, generally I prefer mezzo as a commuter.

    Brompton has better support as mezzo dealerships drying up.
    If you like the 6 speed brommie then its a good bet.
    Brommie is better off road than. Mezzo is faster as it stiffer and lacks rear suspension. I use a suspension seat post for of road on the mezzo , so you can have the best of both worlds.

    Mezzo are as reliable,don't scratch easily and rust less, chain issues and gears are also fine. Turn a mezzo crank forwards when folding,and fit chain retainer on seat post if problem. Usually find it drops a chain that's worn out. If you want an easy life get a mezzo with internal gears. Brompton chain comes off sometimes.

    Mezzo seat posts are longer without needing telescopic it will fit you.

    Mezzo needs very occasional adjustment to self locking hinges.

    Mezzo are under geared for many. Mezzo I4 is easy to up gear with chain ring. Standard hubs fit if you want to upgrade.

    Mezzo fetch lower secondhand so cheaper to get. Brompton can be bought bespoke and hold value well.
    if you like the 6 speed brommie it will serve you well and not lose much money if you sell. Mezzo cheaper to get new or used.

    I think your joy ride and stored in the boot sounds like a birdie, dahon,downtube,swift type bike.


    You may well be better of from your description with a 20 inch wheel or a birdie. However, the joys of owning a compact folding bike is a bit like when microwave ovens where invented. You did not realise how you could use it until you got one!!
    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.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the great replies.

    Looking around, you guys really know your stuff!.

    I am in Nottingham aswell cpg, Bunney's next to the train station stock Mezzo's, that's where I plan to go for a test ride. Im thinking maybe try the Mezzo at Bunney's then go over to Evans and try a Brompton again so I can compare the feel on the same day.

    If I went for the 6spd Brompton should I go for the lower gear ratio option for betting climbing?, seems topping out on the flat is not generally a problem for the Brompton. I would also try swapping out the S-Bar for some spare riser bars I have.



    @chagzuki - Been awhile since I rode it, but i think it was mainly cosmetic. The all white version of the Eclipse with the rack and guards kind of looks like a little old ladies bike.

  7. #7
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    Nerubian - Brompton offers different gearing options because riders have different abilities, objectives and ride in different conditions so it is difficult for us to suggest what is right for you. In my case, I was more interested in making it easier to ascend steep or long grades than to achieve a faster top end speed. I chose the 6 speed with -12% gearing which provides a range of 29.1 to 88.0 gear inches. You may be familiar with bicycle gearing but in case you are not, I'll interpret what that means in terms of performance.

    I like to ride with a cadence in a range from about 60 to 100, with my ideal cadence being about 85-90 and my wife maybe 80-85. In a pinch we can ride 120 rpm or higher for short distances but very rarely do.

    When climbing a hill, spinning at 60 rpm in the low gear of 29.1 my speed will be a little over 5 mph. On level ground or going downhill, spinning 100 rpm my speed will be a little over 26 mph. I tend to take it easy coming down - frankly I am more likely to brake at speeds over the low twenties than to push for more speed unless I am very familiar with the road and comfortable with traffic conditions. For me, the 6 speed -12% gearing was the obvious choice.

    You can always change your mind if the chosen 6 speed variation doesn't work for you - it is easy and inexpensive to swap out the chainring - you can even go lower than the offered -12% if you prefer.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    In addition, Nerubian, there are some shops in the UK modifying the Brompton Bikes

    the BWR 6 speed lends itself to add ing a Double chainring crank..

    you can get a FD mounting kit and run a dual range .. thumb shift lever on the bars , third one,
    or there is just the 'greasy finger' shift, hilly , small ring, not? big ring, ..no extra lever needed..

    and there is a Glasgow shop that sells the bikes modified to take one of Shimano 's IGH, 8 or 11 speed
    or the S-A 8 speed , or a Rohloff hub, some frame spreading and potential repainting involved .



    I got a 2nd hand M3L , I found the addition of the Swiss made Mountain Drive 2 speed Planetary crank
    to work well , 6 gear ratios , no overlap 3rd to 4th a 'badda bing' double shift,
    with a heel tap (a shuttle shifter thru the BB) and the thumb shifter .

  9. #9
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention more cockpit space and better steering on the mezzo. But see what you feell after test ride.

    I know the owner of bunnies bikes,john, in notts that you mention. I bought a pk ripper when bmx was starting and visited the shop when I comutted by train. Say hello from me please if you see him.
    John was responsible for the nottingham outlaw bmx track and bunnies bandit bmx race club in the 90's

    Yes they like mezzos there. Proper bike shop with old spares and stuff.

    How much is the D10?

    Personaly I would get a d9 unless simular price and keep money for upgrades.
    Otherwise the I4 is a simple low maintnece option that can be maybe expanded to a 8 speed using a front drailer and a aftermarket adapter. Prolite??
    Used mezzo can be very cheap, if you go used get a later (2006)model with the newer quick release front wheel.

    Sounds like you got on well with the brommie 6 bike. Its a good job they engineered the 6 speed from the 3 speed as the 3 speed is frustrating.
    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.

  10. #10
    cpg
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    Nerubian, its a small world. I had no idea that Bunnies sold Mezzos. I have yet to see another Mezzo in Nottingham, seen plenty of Bromptons. Freewheel used to stock Brompton, dont know if they still do. I second the idea of a Birdy, full suspension and will perfectly at home on the tow paths or along the river but not quite as compact as a Mezzo or Brompton, also likley to cost more than the Mezzo.
    Mezzo I4 (converted to dual drive), Whyte PRST-1, Trek 1200, Dahon Jack, Bickerton (work in progress)

  11. #11
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    There's a myth that cockpit space is short on a Brompton, it's not true at all. The P and S types have a very large cockpit and M is adjustable by rotating the handlebars and saddle adjustment. Due to the fold the Brompton has a long wheelbase and therefore a larger cockpit than a typical Dahon, which is somewhat compressed due to the limitations of a fold-in-half design.
    What is true is that the M type has a short effective stem length (if you compare geometry with a regular bike) and almost no trail on the fork, so the steering is extremely lively, though this is mitigated somewhat by the very long wheelbase. A Mezzo is the other way round, short wheel base but longer effective stem (though not longer, probably shorter than a P type Brompton).

    Quite frankly, since you can resell a second-hand bike at no loss you should probably buy as many folders as you can afford, ride them for as long as it takes to decide which are keepers. That's largely what I've done... the only problem being that I've kept too many, messed around with the parts and have had some in pieces for months.

  12. #12
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    Thanks everyone.

    Diamongdog, good to know it can be easily and cheaply changed so is not a major decision.

    bhkyte, really is a small world, if I see him what name should I tell him says hi?. The D9 is 725 and the D10 925. Brompton would be around 940 with the spec I want. I guess I am kind of leaning towards the 6spd Brompton at the moment. Ride was nice and the size and slight favouring of rougher surfaces are bonuses.

    cpg, not been into freewheel yet might go there too. Kind of annoying the 3 bike shops in Notts city center are on 3 points of a triangle for being as far apart as possible.

    The birdy's do look nice and seem to have a good rep apart from an awkward fold. Only the entry level World Sport at 939 is in my price range though.

    Quite a lot of talk about buying low and/or upgrading, but its abit esoteric for me, dont really know what you're talking about, what to look at etc. I think I would be better off getting an upfront ride and if things go well I can look at those options somewhere down the line and consult here.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Birdie fold is often under rated.
    Its not much bigger than a mezzo folded. It fits much larger riders in standard form.
    It fold is quick, proberly quicker than a brommie. Its also much light than either bike so its easy to carry in shops using the front triangle.
    Two problems with fold
    1) Chain might come off.
    2)Might not stand when folded.
    There are solutions to both the above. Pratice and adjustments should slove these issues on a new bike.
    Best ride of all the bikes and easiest to upgrade. Different stems are available like the brommie.

    The basic birdie is the one to get imo. You pay far too higher prive for better spec. Keep the money and choose your own upgraded ,if and when you want.

    Freewheel sold birdie when I lived in notts.
    They buillt up my dualdrive mezzo wheel. Try to get a discount on a mezzo as its often possible to get a D9 for 500.
    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.

  14. #14
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    I was just in Nottingham and London, and would be sorely tempted to buy used if I were you. London has quite the bustling (stolen?) folding bike market on Gumtree.

  15. #15
    Senior Member darukhan's Avatar
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    Since there has been few posts referencing the fold of Mezzos, Bromptons and Birdys, I figure these pics might add a little value to the discussion.

    (Not my pictures... these were found online)

    In order of appearance in both pictures:

    Birdy / Brompton / Mezzo / Dahon




  16. #16
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darukhan View Post
    I figure these pics might add a little value to the discussion.
    yes, indeed it does...

  17. #17
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    One man's "a little" is another man's "too much"...

  18. #18
    cpg
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    Rode past Bunnies this morning. They have 3 Mezzos in the side window that overlooks the canal. The blue one looks very nice.
    Mezzo I4 (converted to dual drive), Whyte PRST-1, Trek 1200, Dahon Jack, Bickerton (work in progress)

  19. #19
    Senior Member gringo_gus's Avatar
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    If you want best fold/ride combo then it has to be Brompton. I've tried a few others, and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the Brompton, but it is the best.

    If the fold doesn't matter so much, and your car boot is big enough, try the airnimal. Bigger wheels.

    And I am on my second cyclescheme bike - I don't know what the problems you see with it are, but for me it has been good. Maybe it varies from scheme to scheme, there are different versions.
    it aint the size of your wheels, its the rhythm of you cadence. And I got powergrips too.

  20. #20
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    I know people that have used cycle scheme and pleased with it. Organisational policies apply to the scheme also.

    For instance , you may not own the bike at the end of the scheme. And their is a collection fee if you return the bike.
    Intersting they claime that at the end of the scheme the bikes value has never been more than their rate of 10%.
    So a two year old brompton S6 is valued at 93.
    Really!

    I guess you need to speak to your employer and find out all the small print details.
    Mine seem very generous,
    You are suppose to use the bike to get to work,but the job I do invloves a lot of driving. But my work college bought one on the scheme, there is no check of if you do use the bike for work , even though its a condition.
    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.

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