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Input on this used Brompton Titanium

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Input on this used Brompton Titanium

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Old 04-01-18, 07:52 AM
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Kevindale
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Input on this used Brompton Titanium

Hello, I'm relocated to Amsterdam and am about to move into a tiny ground floor apt with a tiny stairwell and a short commute to work. I've decided on a Brompton, and found a used Titanium one for about the price of a new steel version (see photos).

It has most of what I want (2 speed, titanium, rack) although Id prefer the S bar. Ill add a front luggage mount. It also has a titanium seat post, which I'll take as a bonus. I think this has the small chain ring, where Id prefer the large, and one thing I want to make sure is that this version has the newer crank style that allows changes to the chain ring (I see what look like black bolts, but I'm not sure that means what I think it means).

Does anyone know what year this is? What are the incremental improvements that a new one would have? I know the latest brake levers are black, but not sure if thats a significant change.

Also, are there any particular trouble spots I should carefully inspect when I see it? Ive bought used road bikes, and I just want to make sure there arent special things to check on a Brompton aside from the usual stuff. Thanks!
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Old 04-01-18, 08:50 AM
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Looking around more, I found this link detailing the changes from 2012 to 2013. So the new brakes are a lot better, and the rims stronger, and the chain ring easier to replace. How much should I value these things? In particular, will I need to change the cranks to change the chain ring?
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Old 04-01-18, 09:01 AM
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The Non Drive side photos are a bit hard to interpret, but I think the black you see may be holding on the bash guard/chain guard, and you may not have a removable chainring.

Anyway, a crankset replacement isn't a big deal, but will add up in cost.

Don't expect a lot of titanium in the bike. Fork and rear triangle?
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Old 04-01-18, 09:03 AM
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I would certainly upgrade the brake levers. That's a one-piece crankset, the ring and crank are one. It's light but IMO a certain amount of flex in the arms can be felt. To upgrade it to the current version would require a new bottom bracket and entire crankset.

Those seat posts seem to sell for high prices on ebay. You could sell it and buy a few parts with the money, including a non-brompton ti seat post.
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Old 04-01-18, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The Non Drive side photos are a bit hard to interpret, but I think the black you see may be holding on the bash guard/chain guard, and you may not have a removable chainring.

Anyway, a crankset replacement isn't a big deal, but will add up in cost.

Don't expect a lot of titanium in the bike. Fork and rear triangle?
Right, it's the fork/rear triangle/seat post that are ti. It doesn't really drop that much weight, but it is noticeable. I test rode (and test hefted) both versions yesterday, and since I'll be lugging it up and down some stairs at least twice a day, I figure every bit helps.

Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
I would certainly upgrade the brake levers. That's a one-piece crankset, the ring and crank are one. It's light but IMO a certain amount of flex in the arms can be felt. To upgrade it to the current version would require a new bottom bracket and entire crankset.

Those seat posts seem to sell for high prices on ebay. You could sell it and buy a few parts with the money, including a non-brompton ti seat post.
I thought of selling the post and replacing it, either with a standard one, or a non-Brompton ti. The seller claims it cost 300 new, though I find that hard to believe. That's disappointing about having to replace the cranks and BB, too. I know the new ones are stiffer. Perhaps it'll be fine for commuting, and when I get to doing longer rides where I'll want some speed, spring for the replacement parts. And I figure I can see how annoying the brakes are, and go from there. They might be fine for a while, though I can already see that the bike lanes here in Amsterdam sometimes require quick braking.
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Old 04-01-18, 10:35 AM
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Depending on how brand specific you are, that is probably a square taper bottom bracket, and widely supported with 3rd party parts you could source without replacing the bottom bracket.

Or, of course, a number of options from octalink (careful of V1 vs V2) to ISIS to 24mm external bearing to a few 30mm external bearing bbs.
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Old 04-01-18, 10:42 AM
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Look like a M2R-X, that's Fairly new, because the hinges are their newer style of fabrication..

but not new enough to have the current replaceable chainring crank..

Bar Mast for S bar comes up higher... they're expensive, bought separately..

you can replace the M bar with a normal low rise MTB bar, with a 1" center bulge, if you want a lower pose on lower bars

Exact Year ? Quote serial number .. send it to the company, ask them ..








....

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Old 04-01-18, 11:33 AM
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This bike has been made between 2007 and 2009 - my guess is that it is from the second half of 2007 as it has the new roundish seat post lever (that was invented mit 2007) but is lacking the rear frame clip (that was invented as a standard at the beginning of 2008). Everything else seems to mach that date, too, including the Fizik saddle.
Do you have the frame number? That would make it easy to get an exact date.

The ti-post was discontinued in 2009 and in the following years prices for used ones went through the roof. When new they were about 120€ if I remember correctly. However: Since a couple of years there are a lot of alternatives from 3rd parties available in aluminum, carbon and titanium and well below 100€. Thus the Brompton ti-post may be a collector's item but surely not worth 300€. If the seller insists on the worth of the post he should keep it and leave thosse 300€ of the price...

You will want to change the break leavers and if you want a bigger chain wheel (the current one looks like the 44t - really unusal on a 2-speed) you'll probably have to go for the Brompton spider crankset which will need a new bottom bracket, too (currently it has the old style cranks and I am not sure if the 54t chainwheel is still available in that style). A recommended swap anyway but it will set you back ~100€.
You will want the rear frame clip, costs about 25€ to upgrade for this bike.

Check if the hinge of the rear frame has play - if there's more than about 1mm you'll have to have the bushings replaced.

Regarding the stem: If you want an S a stem is about 180€ and the bar about 30€. You may be able to grab a used one much cheaper if you are lucky, but possibly not in kew green. You can instead put an S-bar on the M-stem (ending up really low) or adding a riser bar or a aberhallo but all of this is a compromise. Not the last because the S-stem offers more reach then the M.
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Old 04-01-18, 12:12 PM
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In the Uk now only a Brompton dealer can supply and fit a new handlebar stem..unless you source one from ebay..I imagine the same for the EU.if you change the handlebars on the M for a shallow riser bar similar to a mountain bike it is a definite improvement and nearly as good as S handlebars..
The length may need cutting down though otherwise you may not be able to fold the bike properly if too wide..

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Old 04-01-18, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by berlinonaut View Post
This bike has been made between 2007 and 2009 - my guess is that it is from the second half of 2007 as it has the new roundish seat post lever (that was invented mit 2007) but is lacking the rear frame clip (that was invented as a standard at the beginning of 2008). Everything else seems to mach that date, too, including the Fizik saddle.
Do you have the frame number? That would make it easy to get an exact date.

The ti-post was discontinued in 2009 and in the following years prices for used ones went through the roof. When new they were about 120 if I remember correctly. However: Since a couple of years there are a lot of alternatives from 3rd parties available in aluminum, carbon and titanium and well below 100. Thus the Brompton ti-post may be a collector's item but surely not worth 300. If the seller insists on the worth of the post he should keep it and leave thosse 300 of the price...

You will want to change the break leavers and if you want a bigger chain wheel (the current one looks like the 44t - really unusal on a 2-speed) you'll probably have to go for the Brompton spider crankset which will need a new bottom bracket, too (currently it has the old style cranks and I am not sure if the 54t chainwheel is still available in that style). A recommended swap anyway but it will set you back ~100.
You will want the rear frame clip, costs about 25 to upgrade for this bike.

Check if the hinge of the rear frame has play - if there's more than about 1mm you'll have to have the bushings replaced.

Regarding the stem: If you want an S a stem is about 180 and the bar about 30. You may be able to grab a used one much cheaper if you are lucky, but possibly not in kew green. You can instead put an S-bar on the M-stem (ending up really low) or adding a riser bar or a aberhallo but all of this is a compromise. Not the last because the S-stem offers more reach then the M.
Thanks for all the detail. I got the seller down enough on price to handle the cost of new BB/crankset, and we'll meet next weekend for the sale. I'll see how much an issue the brake levers are, and decide about that swap. Thanks for the tip about the rear frame clip - I assume you're talking about
retrofit job.

Do the rear hinge bushings have to be replaced at a Brompton shop, or is that something I can do? On the Brompton site, they recommend having a shop do it.

I've decided I'll keep this as an M handlebar, though will likely change the grips. My wife is warming up to the idea of a Brompton, and she likes both the M bar and the color of this one. So this one may be mine only till I find another.
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Old 04-01-18, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by tudorowen1 View Post
In the Uk now only a Brompton dealer can supply and fit a new handlebar stem..unless you source one from ebay..I imagine the same for the EU.
Wrong Imagination. Depends from the country you are in but AFAIK this atm is only the case in the uk.

Originally Posted by tudorowen1 View Post
if you change the handlebars on the M for a shallow riser bar similar to a mountain bike it is a definite improvement and nearly as good as S handlebars..
Hard to come as high as the S plus you lack reach.
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Old 04-01-18, 01:08 PM
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That's a nice ti Brommie in a great color. My advice is don't change anything and just ride it for a while. Everything about them is quirky and weird coming from a road bike, so it'll take some time to get adapted and decide if there's anything that really needs changing as far as gearing, brakes or riding position. The main thing is that it's easy to fold and light enough to carry. Winner! 👍
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Old 04-01-18, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
Thanks for the tip about the rear frame clip - I assume you're talking about this retrofit job.
Jupp. Be aware that there are two kits: A more expensive one that includes the lever for the seat post and a less expensive one that does not include it. You need the cheaper one.

Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
Do the rear hinge bushings have to be replaced at a Brompton shop, or is that something I can do? On the Brompton site, they recommend having a shop do it.
For a reason. You can do it yourself if you know what you are doing (as in: you have done it before), are an experienced mechanic and have no problem working on your Brompton with an electric drill. I any of that is not the case go to an experienced (!) Brompton shop. Even many shops don't do it themselves or do it in a ****ty way.
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Old 04-01-18, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by berlinonaut View Post
Jupp. Be aware that there are two kits: A more expensive one that includes the lever for the seat post and a less expensive one that does not include it. You need the cheaper one.

For a reason. You can do it yourself if you know what you are doing (as in: you have done it before), are an experienced mechanic and have no problem working on your Brompton with an electric drill. I any of that is not the case go to an experienced (!) Brompton shop. Even many shops don't do it themselves or do it in a ****ty way.
Great information. Thank you.
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Old 04-01-18, 06:34 PM
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I would buy a new steel bike. You live on the ground floor. You can choose the S bar that you like, any color that pleases you and everything will be brand new. Newer brake levers, maybe even the 2018 brake calipers, new shifter, new bell. No wear/rust on bearings, tires, plastic wheels/chain guide sprokets, brake/shifter cables etc. Plus you get a free pump thrown in. From the get go, you ride. No need to waste time ordering/replacing parts. What is the weight savings going Ti by the way?

Ah yes, warranty starts the day you buy, maybe free bike check up/service once?

Another thing. Why get the rack on a two speed? You negate the weight savings. Scrap the rack, save the money and get the front luggage block and a bag.

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Old 04-01-18, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dahoneezz View Post
....Another thing. Why get the rack on a two speed? You negate the weight savings. Scrap the rack, save the money and get the front luggage block and a bag.
Hehe.. I self-supported tour on the Brompton and only use the front luggage block to carry my all camping gear. I gotta keep that rack clear so I can roll the folded bike and gear as much as possible .
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Old 04-02-18, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by dahoneezz View Post
What is the weight savings going Ti by the way?
On an actual Brompton Ti about 750g, on an older model like that one here up to 1kg (including the ti seat post), according to Brompton. Well worth it if you can afford it. Plus the ti fork and rear frame are scratch- and corrosion-resistant. Depending on the price a used ti is therefor absolutely worth buying. No need to change the brakes btw. - I do not see an advantage in the 2018 ones. The 2018 bell is a joke. And this older version has the luxury of a ti-folding-pedal-bolt that today's bikes no longer have.

Originally Posted by dahoneezz View Post
Another thing. Why get the rack on a two speed? You the weight savings. Scrap the rack, save the money and get the front luggage block and a bag.
Depending what you intend to do the rack may be useful or not. If you roll the folded bike a lot or use it in trolley mode in the supermarket it works better with a rack. If you want to travel with the bike a rack can sometimes be better, for luggage as well as for protection. If you have to carry bigger things like packages a rack can be really helpful. I have both, Brompton with and w/o rack. While I personally like the non-rack-version more regarding the looks the rack version is more practical. And yes, one of my tis has a rack, too. Plus hub-dynamo, a leather saddle and a nine-speed. Still it is 750g lighter than the same bike would be in steel.

Getting rid of the rack is just three bolts plus you can sell it and make some money. Upgrading a steel to ti is utterly expensive and upgrading a non-rack to a rack-version is ~150€. Maybe the OP will have to spend ~250€ in maintenance parts and upgrading the brake levers, the rear frame clip and to the spider cranks (w/o bag, luggage block and hinge repair, should it be necessary). If the price is right this bike is a good buy.

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Old 04-02-18, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Depending on how brand specific you are, that is probably a square taper bottom bracket, and widely supported with 3rd party parts you could source without replacing the bottom bracket.
If you use 3rd party cranks the folding pedal will not fold unless you do some mechanical work on the left crank.
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Old 04-02-18, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dahoneezz View Post
I would buy a new steel bike. You live on the ground floor. You can choose the S bar that you like, any color that pleases you and everything will be brand new. Newer brake levers, maybe even the 2018 brake calipers, new shifter, new bell. No wear/rust on bearings, tires, plastic wheels/chain guide sprokets, brake/shifter cables etc. Plus you get a free pump thrown in. From the get go, you ride. No need to waste time ordering/replacing parts. What is the weight savings going Ti by the way?

Ah yes, warranty starts the day you buy, maybe free bike check up/service once?

Another thing. Why get the rack on a two speed? You negate the weight savings. Scrap the rack, save the money and get the front luggage block and a bag.
I misspoke when I said ground floor - it's the first floor (what I would normally call the second floor), with the aforementioned narrow stairs, which have that quaint European short 'run' on each step, so they need to be taken carefully. There are also two sets of stairs at my work. I'm used to doing my own bike rebuilding and tuning, so while I'll need to rebuy some of the tools I had in the states, I was planning on doing that anyway. According to the owner, this bike is fully functional now, so I won't need to wait to ride it for commuting. I can decide what needs changing for longer rides, and do it at my own pace. I do know I'm getting a front luggage block right away.

As for the two speed - after my test rides, I have no desire for a 3- or a 6-speed. I hated the feel of the SA hub. Coming from riding road bikes and vintage racing bikes, it felt like a brake block was dragging. I also hated the soft suspension block. The 2-speed, with firm block, felt great, especially for the terrain in Amsterdam, and what I expect to find in the Netherlands. I'm resisting my urge to spec the perfect Brompton (i.e., what if we decide to do touring in Italy?) and get what is optimal for commuting, errands and shopping, and day trips by train.

The owner of the store where I did the test rides uses a 2-speed S also, and laughed that "the Dutch love their SA hubs, and their upright bars" since that's what they grow up on. Then he pointed out that the annual Brompton race is always won by a two speed bike. So it's not for weight, though that's a nice bonus.

Ultimately, we'll probably be getting his and her Bromptons, and my wife is already eyeing this one from afar. There's no way I can justify two new titanium ones, and if the M bar is annoying this will be hers, and I'll look for an S bar 2-speed. And who knows, if it does become hers, she may love the smaller chain ring, though she's a strong rider.

Originally Posted by berlinonaut View Post
If you use 3rd party cranks the folding pedal will not fold unless you do some mechanical work on the left crank.
Thanks for pointing this out. I can see I have a lot to learn about these beasts.
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Old 04-02-18, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by reppans View Post
Hehe.. I self-supported tour on the Brompton and only use the front luggage block to carry my all camping gear. I gotta keep that rack clear so I can roll the folded bike and gear as much as possible .
There's that, plus you can apparently take your Brompton into a lot of stores here and use it in "shopping cart" mode, which I intend to do.
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Old 04-02-18, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
Thanks for pointing this out.
To be precise: In most cases - there might be cranks that work out of the box.

Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
I can see I have a lot to learn about these beasts.
The Brommi is small but very complex. Not difficult, just complex.


BTW: the 2-speed ti (2lx) is my favorite Brompton as well (and I have the choice every day as I own several Bromptons). Regarding the bars: I'd say it depends from your size, shape and sportyness. When you come from a road-bike background you might like the S. I, being tall, am using an H-stem (model until 2016) with an M bar (from 2017 on) and end up between M and H heightwise and am more than happy with that (in conjunction with the telescopic seat post extended considerably).
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Old 04-02-18, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by berlinonaut View Post
On an actual Brompton Ti about 750g, on an older model like that one here up to 1kg (including the ti seat post), according to Brompton. Well worth it if you can afford it. Plus the ti fork and rear frame are scratch- and corrosion-resistant. Depending on the price a used ti is therefor absolutely worth buying. No need to change the brakes btw. - I do not see an advantage in the 2018 ones. The 2018 bell is a joke. And this older version has the luxury of a ti-folding-pedal-bolt that today's bikes no longer.... (Snip)
Ok 750g thats quite a bit. And the corrosion bit is good. But personally, I would go for new. By the way, I think I read that the weight savings also included not having the pump? Oh well. Are the Ti parts the same as the current models?
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Old 04-02-18, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
I misspoke when I said ground floor - it's the first floor (what I would normally call the second floor), with the aforementioned narrow stairs, which have that quaint European short 'run' on each step, so they need to be taken carefully. There are also two sets of stairs at my work. .... (Snip)
Ah ... that's a big difference. If I had to lug several sacks of potatos up three flights, twice a day, I'd buy a skateboard. .
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Old 04-02-18, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dahoneezz View Post
Ok 750g thats quite a bit. And the corrosion bit is good. But personally, I would go for new. By the way, I think I read that the weight savings also included not having the pump?
That's correct. And possibly you read it in one of my posts.

Originally Posted by dahoneezz View Post
Are the Ti parts the same as the current models?
No. Today you have ti fork and rear frame, ti mudguard stays, al headset, UL front wheel.

This one additionally has the ti seat post and the ti folding pedal bolt but lacks the UL front wheel (which got invented only 2009).
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Old 04-02-18, 07:41 AM
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dahoneezz
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Originally Posted by berlinonaut View Post
That's correct. And possibly you read it in one of my posts.



No. Today you have ti fork and rear frame, ti mudguard stays, al headset, UL front wheel.

This one additionally has the ti seat post and the ti folding pedal bolt but lacks the UL front wheel (which got invented only 2009).
Yes probably. You're knowledge of things Brompton is just amazing !
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