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My new Brompton impressions

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Old 05-30-18, 11:00 PM
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rishardh
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My new Brompton impressions

My Brompton M6L arrived today. This is my first Brompton. First look impressions are that their build quality shows. The black lacquer finish with the brazings showing through is just eye candy. Even though it looks a simple bike in pics you can see that it's a well thought out machine when you see it fold and unfold.

The closest thing I can compare this is to my wife's Dahon Eco. The Dahon rides smoother and the Brompton is peppier are my first thoughts. I think this is mainly due to wheel size. Dahon's 20" fat tires vs Brompton's 16" skinny tires. Both feel equally fast for me.

Dislikes....
Have to stop pedaling to shift the internal hub gears. Can be a pain when climbing
The M bars ergonomics are odd. They point upwards and I feel pressure on the outer palm area.
Internal hub clicks even when pedaling except when in 1st gear. This is going to affect my on-bike meditations
Brake levers has to be more downwards to accommodate folding. I like them more forward.
Feels heavier than you think it should. This is trying to carry it folded.


Likes...
Black Lacquer finish is sick
Small fold
Folding is smooth and fast
Kickstand mode or kneeling pose is genius
Easy to roll around
Peppy ride
Pump, toolkit, extra tube all in or on the frame

Sorry guys too late to take pics.Will try and get some tomorrow. Here is a pic Porta Pedals sent me before shipping.

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Old 05-31-18, 07:02 PM
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I dont mind stopping pedaling to shift and due, no doubt, to my derailleur ineptitude, find it pretty quick. I also like the fact snow and below .freezing temps dont affect the shifting. That is a very pretty bike and I wish you many happy miles on it.
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Old 05-31-18, 09:54 PM
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Congrats....thats a beaut.
I purchased a couple of accessory items from PortaPedal for a Bike I presently have on order locally (S6L) and you couldnt ask for nicer folks.
Out of curiosity....did yours come with standard gearing? PortaPedal seems to offer a lot in -12%....
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Old 05-31-18, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 12boy View Post
I dont mind stopping pedaling to shift and due, no doubt, to my derailleur ineptitude, find it pretty quick. I also like the fact snow and below .freezing temps dont affect the shifting. That is a very pretty bike and I wish you many happy miles on it.
Thanks, this will be in the commuter rotation and should see some miles. Rode it to work today and it was a lot of fun. Yes, there is a learning curve using both shifters to go sequentially but it's all part of the fun in owning a new bike. Once I make a few fitment changes I can see this being my favorite bike to commute.
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Old 05-31-18, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Congrats....thats a beaut.
I purchased a couple of accessory items from PortaPedal for a Bike I presently have on order locally (S6L) and you couldnt ask for nicer folks.
Out of curiosity....did yours come with standard gearing? PortaPedal seems to offer a lot in -12%....

Happy to hear about your S6L on order. I got the new bike itch too and glad I decided to make it a Brompton. Did the -12% gearing because I plan to take the bike when I travel to Toronto which has some rollers. Al at Porta Pedal was great answering all my questions and making measurements for me because I kept going back an forth between a S, M and P. Looks like a nice store to visit.
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Old 06-01-18, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rishardh View Post
Have to stop pedaling to shift the internal hub gears. Can be a pain when climbing
In that respect, an IGH is actually better than a derailleur, as you can downshift fast and easy by just backpedaling a bit: With a derailleur, it's harder or even impossible if there's too much tension on the chain.

I do think Brompton would be smart to dump their baroque derailleur + IGH solution and moving to a Nexus 7-8: One shifter, and no more stuck derailleur because of dirt.
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Old 06-01-18, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
In that respect, an IGH is actually better than a derailleur, as you can downshift fast and easy by just backpedaling a bit: With a derailleur, it's harder or even impossible if there's too much tension on the chain.

I do think Brompton would be smart to dump their baroque derailleur + IGH solution and moving to a Nexus 7-8: One shifter, and no more stuck derailleur because of dirt.

I am getting better at shifting. Right now I freewheel for a few seconds to think about left or right, out or in. I think I figured it out on my ride to work today. When shifting the IGH (right) always shift the derailleur (left). That way you will be on the next closest gear ratio.You go from 2- to 1+ as an example. Or from 2+ to 3- up shifting.As a newbie it helps that the shifters show the gear you are in.

Brompton is probably thinking of electronic shifting at this point. Will be interesting to see if they will increase the no of gears with it.
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Old 06-01-18, 08:44 AM
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See who liked the new bike smell I looked it up and I think that's a Stink Bug. Not 100% certain though.
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Old 06-01-18, 09:42 AM
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Got the $70 tool kit, I see..

Just a quick pause in the pedaling is sufficient for the IGH to switch .
and you get to shift, while stopped ..

there are pawls engaging the gears and the hub shell, and in 3rd the low gear pawls are overdriven,
by the overdrive gear ratio.. rotating faster.






...
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Old 06-01-18, 10:00 AM
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Winfried needs to order a PakiT, from Bike Friday , shipped internationally,
from Eugene, Oregon.

The engineering of how a Brompton folds so well,
demands the chain tensioner, to take up the slack because the hinge point
is behind the BB.

BiFri puts the BB in the rear part that folds, not in the main frame..

& they offer a lot more common component options.. buyer choice..
Even a Di2 electronic shifted Alfine 11..




...


as said before; become a major investor in Brompton and they may listen to you,
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Old 06-01-18, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by rishardh View Post





See who liked the new bike smell I looked it up and I think that's a Stink Bug. Not 100% certain though.
Thats your new riding companion!

Whats that looped around the hinge-clamp bolt?
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Old 06-01-18, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Got the $70 tool kit, I see..

..
Once I saw it I had to get it I am a sucker for multi tools. Got a chest full of leathermans.
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Old 06-01-18, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Thats your new riding companion!

Whats that looped around the hinge-clamp bolt?
That's a pull out loop to a spare tube I tucked in. Not sure how it's going to fare in the Texas heat. Have to check it after a few weeks.
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Old 06-01-18, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rishardh View Post
Brompton is probably thinking of electronic shifting at this point. Will be interesting to see if they will increase the no of gears with it.
The issue would be solved by moving all the gears in the IGH. Besides, people could upgrade to Alfine or Rohloff if they need more gear inches.

KISS. Low-tech is good tech.
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Old 06-01-18, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rishardh View Post
Once I saw it I had to get it I am a sucker for multi tools. Got a chest full of leathermans.
LMAO...me too. (also an iconic product)
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Old 06-01-18, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rishardh View Post
That's a pull out loop to a spare tube I tucked in. Not sure how it's going to fare in the Texas heat. Have to check it after a few weeks.
Yup great place for the inner tube, I also pack a light in there in (for night riding). The seat tube is another great spot to store emergency gear - pack it in a woman's knee high so it's easier to fish out... rubber bung keeps in place. BTW, don't touch the seat tube as your skin oils will eventually cause it to slip down. I occasionally clean the seat tube, and the plastic mating surface inside, with alcohol and no longer have any slipping issues, even with my quick release set fairly loose.

Congrats on the new bike - its a beauty
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Old 06-01-18, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
LMAO...me too. (also an iconic product)

This pic is for you

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Old 06-01-18, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by reppans View Post


Yup great place for the inner tube, I also pack a light in there in (for night riding). The seat tube is another great spot to store emergency gear - pack it in a woman's knee high so it's easier to fish out... rubber bung keeps in place. BTW, don't touch the seat tube as your skin oils will eventually cause it to slip down. I occasionally clean the seat tube, and the plastic mating surface inside, with alcohol and no longer have any slipping issues, even with my quick release set fairly loose.

Congrats on the new bike - its a beauty
Thanks for the tips. Never thought of the seat tube. How do you access it? Pull out the top section of the telescoping seatpost?
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Old 06-01-18, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rishardh View Post
Thanks for the tips. Never thought of the seat tube. How do you access it? Pull out the top section of the telescoping seatpost?
I don't have the telescopic post.... lay it on it side and loosen the jam bolt in the rubber bung at the bottom of the post w/ a 5mm from your tool kit.
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Old 06-02-18, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by reppans View Post


I don't have the telescopic post.... lay it on it side and loosen the jam bolt in the rubber bung at the bottom of the post w/ a 5mm from your tool kit.
The rubber bung changed last year or the year before last year. There is no more bolt and the bung is now no longer made from rubber but just a piece of plastic that get's slammed into the post. So it is less safe to store things inside and the bung is not made do be removed on a regular basis.
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Old 06-02-18, 01:26 AM
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When I saw the handlebar change in 2017 I was really surprised they'd increased the upsweep. My Brompton is from the early 2000s and the M bar then had a touch more upsweep than later versions; it's not a hand position that makes sense to me. If I were running the M type configuration I'd have to find an alternative aftermarket handlebar.
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Old 06-02-18, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
When I saw the handlebar change in 2017 I was really surprised they'd increased the upsweep. My Brompton is from the early 2000s and the M bar then had a touch more upsweep than later versions; it's not a hand position that makes sense to me. If I were running the M type configuration I'd have to find an alternative aftermarket handlebar.
Searched for upsweep habdlebars logic and found this...
"Hold a pencil in each fist, then hold your arms out in front of you as if you are riding. Bend your elbows out. My pencils point a vector that is not parallel to the ground, i.e. upswept."
"If a riser bar is mounted so the rise is vertical, then the combination of upsweep and backsweep will result in the bar being only backswept from the riderís perspective."

The problem is I've got a busted left elbow joint and the pencil test shows that it's parallel to the ground. I prefer a lower riding position and I've ordered a flat bar with no upsweep. I also plan to get a mid riser bar someday for touring.
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Old 06-02-18, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by berlinonaut View Post
The rubber bung changed last year or the year before last year. There is no more bolt and the bung is now no longer made from rubber but just a piece of plastic that get's slammed into the post. So it is less safe to store things inside and the bung is not made do be removed on a regular basis.
Ahhh bummer - does the new plastic version still serve as an anti-roll device? Anyways, there's always the parts market:

clicky
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Old 06-02-18, 06:40 AM
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Pics this morning.

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Old 06-02-18, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rishardh View Post
This pic is for you

Nice selection there....
why LM couldnt do the sprung pliers (Wingman style) on more of them than they do mystifies me. For that reason my Wingman is my go-to set. And I added a thumbstud to it what a difference.
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