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  1. #1
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    WTB Brompton Clone in Europe?

    Hey guys,

    I read a lot about the Bromton Clones such as Merc, Flamingo, Nishiki Oxford, MIT V8 etc.
    But so far I couldn't find any for sale in Europe.
    Anyone has advice where to check for one?

    Btw. are they all more or less fully Brompton compatible or are there some that do better than others?

    thx!

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    whats wrong with looking for a used Brompton?

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    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by questionesse View Post
    I read a lot about the Bromton Clones such as Merc, Flamingo, Nishiki Oxford, MIT V8 etc. But so far I couldn't find any for sale in Europe. Anyone has advice where to check for one?
    Those brands don't seem to be imported anywhere.

    The only Brompton lookalike available is the Mezzo (GB) / OriBikes (Spain, Beneluw).

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    Oh great - I wasn't focused on the mentioned brands, they were simply the only ones I was aware of.

    Mezzo and Ori are folded Brompton-like, but look rather different - are they any Brompton compatible?
    The reason is my interest in equipping a clone with the Brompton titanium front and back parts.

    Oh and how about the available mezzo and ori ones - is the building quality acceptable?

    Plus any ideas on frame weight compared to a Brompton one? The Merc aluminium one was lighter, another reason for my search for a clone.

    And are there any other clones available out there?

    Thx a lot!
    Last edited by questionesse; 03-30-14 at 02:51 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Mezzo ori are completely different frame design from a brommie. Mezzo is worth looking at if you want to customise a folder. It lends itself to fast road bike. See the mezzo and upgading an ori threads. I built a very upgraded 27 speed mezzo with a road race set up for less than a grand in uk. I will not be able to get rhe same bang for my buck with my brommie.

    I can go out and easilt pick up a cheap mezzo ,if yoy want a high preformance compact then its ats easier and cheaper route.
    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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Learned something new today:
    Neobike (龍通關) is a company and brand of folding bicycles, made in Taiwan. The company manufactures copies of folding bicycle designs, including those originally created by Brompton Bicycle and Dahon. Neobike's operation in copied products later became Grace Gallant (美捷士企業有限公司), sold under the Flamingo (佛朗明哥) brandname.

    [...] During 2003, Neobike exhibited a—now unlicensed—copy of the Brompton bicycle design at the European Eurobike show. Unlicensed copies of the Brompton product were then imported into The Netherlands (under the name "Scoop One" and "Astra Flex V3"), into the United Kingdom (under the name "Merc") and into Spain (as the Nishiki "Oxford Bicycle").

    [...] In June 2010, Brompton Bicycle Limited obtained an injunction at the Commercial Court No. 5 in Madrid, Spain, following a ruling that copies of the Brompton being sold under the name "Nishiki Oxford" infringed Brompton's copyright.
    Neobike - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    This would explain why those Brompton-like bikes aren't available in Europe.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ed in Toronto's Avatar
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    What's wrong with getting a Brompton made by Brompton?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by questionesse View Post
    Hey guys,

    I read a lot about the Bromton Clones such as Merc, Flamingo, Nishiki Oxford, MIT V8 etc.
    But so far I couldn't find any for sale in Europe.
    Anyone has advice where to check for one?

    Btw. are they all more or less fully Brompton compatible or are there some that do better than others?

    thx!
    I don't think Europe carries Brompton clones in general. These clones tend to be from East Asia (Taiwan/China/etc) so you'll probably have to import them from there.

    The closest - and most recent - is the MIT V8. There is a thread here, near the top, which has a fair amount of info on it.

    I'm sure there are Flamingo Londons and such floating around second hand, but it really depends on WHY you're choosing to get a clone over the original. I'm guessing it's mostly to do with money.

    The MIT V8 is a decent clone and is easily half the price of a Brompton. One primary advantage it has is the ability to mod it with non-proprietary parts. Look for the MIT V8 thread and read the last 2-3 pages. That will provide you with a ton of insight into whether the bike suits you. Be aware the warranty will probably not apply if you're from Europe - which is a pretty major bummer.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Maybe someone in Asia Can ship you one , getting it there may cut the cost advantage, a bit.

    see clones and licensing Here Brompton Bicycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    NB the phrase "convicted and jailed for stealing trade secrets"..

    with 10 million in annual sales, there are lawyers available ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-30-14 at 03:27 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed in Toronto View Post
    What's wrong with getting a Brompton made by Brompton?
    Because it's a Brompton!!!

    Seriously would you not want
    Vbrakes, 135 old rear axle, hydroformed alloy frame,more gearing options, open handle bar stem? Possibility of upgrade to discs..................
    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.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Discs, Rohloff? get it done that way Kinetics ? Recumbents, Folding Bikes, Custom Bicycles | Brompton Forks & Rear Triangle
    Glasgow is not that far from you , Scotland not yet independent, again .

    and Steve Parry is another aftermarket Brompton modifier over there.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-30-14 at 03:18 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ed in Toronto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    Because it's a Brompton!!!

    Seriously would you not want
    Vbrakes, 135 old rear axle, hydroformed alloy frame,more gearing options, open handle bar stem? Possibility of upgrade to discs..................
    I don't get you guys. You want a bike that folds up super small like a Brompton. You want at bike with all the latest full sized high performance bike parts, and on a frame that rides like a full size mountain bike. You also want it to be super light like a carbon fiber racer. And you want it all built by 10 year old children who work somewhere in the far east for 8 cents an hour (70 hours a week), total cost $200 out the door. And they better build it high quality, finest metals, attention to detail and over engineered so that a Brompton would be an inferior quality product if compared beside it. Let me know what you come up with, and post some pictures after you get it on the road.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    I would like the moon on a stick.......please.....

    I just wanted a compact bike to ride something like a road race bike for fast commuting. I have reached that navarna already. It cost me about a thousand pounds.
    Have a look at the upgrading a mezzo threads.
    Not every one is satisfy with the brommie offerings, it does not make a person unreasonable. I felt slow, unsafe and effortfull commuting on a brommie. I don't anymore.

    Feits bob you keep mentioning the bespoke brompton upgrade options in the UK. I don't want to spend 2-3 grand to get something I can do to another make of bike for one.....
    Madness.....rich madness....
    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.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    I just wanted a compact bike to ride something like a road race bike for fast commuting. I have reached that navarna already. It cost me about a thousand pounds. Have a look at the upgrading a mezzo threads.
    One thing that bothers me with the Mezzo/Ori is their handlebar which keeps it from hanging a bag in the front la Brommie/Tern.

    Do you carry a bag on the rear rack instead?

  15. #15
    Senior Member billnuke1's Avatar
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    006 (1024x765).jpg008 (1024x765).jpgJust found these two Neo s. May be clones, I don't know. I guess the later ones were aluminum? Cool history!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post

    Feits bob you keep mentioning the bespoke brompton upgrade options in the UK. I don't want to spend 2-3 grand to get something I can do to another make of bike for one.....
    Madness.....rich madness....
    A Brompton is a solid bike but it's priced out for the VAST majority of the world.

    Even though the MIT V8 is half the price, it's still a princely sum for most people to pay for a commuting bike, but it comes with the most obvious benefit of a Brompton - that sweet, sweet fold. It is the poster pauper (relatively speaking) for "multi-modal" transport.

    It's like saying "why get a Hyundai when you can get a BMW?". Better warranty, better ride, better quality all round. Yes, the price difference may be big TO MOST OF US, but to a multi-millionaire it's nothing at all.

    That's the difference when talking about a Brompton and a Brompton clone to the (lower) middle class. That US$1,000+ differential is the key.
    Last edited by keyven; 03-30-14 at 10:38 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
    One thing that bothers me with the Mezzo/Ori is their handlebar which keeps it from hanging a bag in the front la Brommie/Tern.

    Do you carry a bag on the rear rack instead?
    I use the both the sizes of rear rack mezzo bag options. Its more aerodynamic and much bigger, and quicker to release than the brompton rear rack options. Brompton rear rack is only about 60 percent as big as mezzo. There is also a distributer than make more versions of the mezzo rack and bag system.
    Yes the front bag system is convienent, I would be a bonus to have that excellent brommie front bag system as well as the excellent rear mezzo system.
    Ie I would like to have the mezzo rear luggage system on my brommie also.

    I have looked in to swoping the brommie rack for a spare mezzo one, but it would stick out too much When folded.

    There are ori options to add a front fork luggage rack, but it's not available in UK and is very small in size. Seat post options and handle bar options are the route to get more luggage on the mezzo afaik.
    Last edited by bhkyte; 03-31-14 at 01:59 AM.
    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 bhkyte's Avatar
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    Re "why get a hyondi when you can get a bmw"

    Bit in accurant analogy when the more expensive brommie is out speced in many ways by the cheaper product. I bit of upgrading tyres ect and it's a more desirable product in virtually every area. (or equals it).
    Servicing and back up will be inferior, but many brommie bits will fit and many standard parts will also, so it's less of an issue.

    I know which bike I would fork out for.
    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.

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    I own a Flamingo London which is a Brompton clone. its frame is made out of aluminum. It's basically a M7R if it were a Brompton since it uses a Nexus Hub. Recently I purchased an M6L so let me point out some things. First, the aluminum Brompton clone is not any lighter. In fact it feels a bit heaver. Of course I'm comparing an L model with a R model (with a kickstand at that) but they should be at least the same weight for the difference to matter. Second, the fold is not quite as small. It's not really that big but it is noticeable. Lastly, fitting them with a ti rear triangle and a ti fork might need a lot of effort on your part. As far as I know, these parts are not interchangeable. For example, the rear triangle in the clone is wider because of the wider IGH.

  20. #20
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    Because it's a Brompton!!!

    Seriously would you not want
    Vbrakes, 135 old rear axle, hydroformed alloy frame,more gearing options, open handle bar stem? Possibility of upgrade to discs..................
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    ... Bit in accurant analogy when the more expensive brommie is out speced in many ways by the cheaper product...
    That depends on what you're looking for regarding specs. On paper and in practice the Brommie was the more attractive option to suit my needs which is why I bought one.
    Last edited by BassNotBass; 03-31-14 at 07:18 AM.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    I use the both the sizes of rear rack mezzo bag options. Its more aerodynamic and much bigger, and quicker to release than the brompton rear rack options. Brompton rear rack is only about 60 percent as big as mezzo. There is also a distributer than make more versions of the mezzo rack and bag system. Yes the front bag system is convienent, I would be a bonus to have that excellent brommie front bag system as well as the excellent rear mezzo system. There are ori options to add a front fork luggage rack, but it's not available in UK and is very small in size. Seat post options and handle bar options are the route to get more luggage on the mezzo afaik.
    Thanks for the feedback. Indeed, between a bag on the rear rack, another one attached to the seatpost, a small frame bag, a handlebar bag, and two front bags hanging from the rack, it can carry quite a lot.
    ori.mezzo.bags.jpg

    Too bad the shape of the handlebar keeps it from hanging an extra bag in the front.

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    Hey guys - thx for the lively participation, really appreciate it.
    But could we maybe avoid bashing and comparing and questioning choices and instead getting forward a bit more with my search for an affordable, compatible clone?

    To answer the repeating questions once more
    Yes, it's mainly price why I'm looking for a clone
    Plus is like to further lighten the bike with less/lighter parts.
    Yes, it's

  23. #23
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by questionesse View Post
    Hey guys - thx for the lively participation, really appreciate it.
    But could we maybe avoid bashing and comparing and questioning choices and instead getting forward a bit more with my search for an affordable, compatible clone?

    To answer the repeating questions once more
    Yes, it's mainly price why I'm looking for a clone
    Plus is like to further lighten the bike with less/lighter parts.
    Yes, it's
    Hi sorry I was trying to point out an alternative route, rather than bashing.
    I would be very interesting in a clone with old 135 hub. I have owned a Merc whilst also owning a brommie and sold both. I did not find the merc much different to the brompton other than a couple of issues which were easily sorted.

    I remember the claimed weight was slightly lighter for the merc, but the brommie was 1/2 pound lighter for the same spec. Ie 3 speed stevios tyres.

    I would be sceptical about weight claims of a clone.
    Availablity information would be good, but I suspect I would buy another birdie instead if I had the money in my hand!!
    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.

  24. #24
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    weight reduction , because Titanium costs more than steel, will not be cheap

    that last few Oz really jump the $

    because of the weight of the Hinges , a minivelo which has none ,

    can be as light as a road bike with similar components maybe a bit less because the wheels are smaller

    Or not, as frame tubes are longer for fork and headtube , between headset races..

    For bars at same height from ground

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    thx for clarifying bhkyte - I wasn't especially referring to you, the clone advocates tend to critisize the brommie users likewise and I just wanted to avoid having two camps fighting in this thread.
    One of the old really similar clones would be best - or even just a frame as I plan on swapping quite some parts anyways...
    although I haven't seen one for sale yet (plus no idea for how much they sale usually).


    But I have to say that the idea of starting with an orio or mezzo for better compatibility for standard parts sounds quite tempting as well - I have to digg into that. What's a realistic weight on those with some parts swapping?

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