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I Threw Away My Bike For A Brompton And Loved It! So Why Am I Ditching That Bike Now?

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I Threw Away My Bike For A Brompton And Loved It! So Why Am I Ditching That Bike Now?

Old 08-28-18, 05:23 PM
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Kabuto
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I Threw Away My Bike For A Brompton And Loved It! So Why Am I Ditching That Bike Now?

https://medium.com/off-the-verge/i-t...o-dc501057755c

Im amazed the guy wore through his Brompton rims by hard breaking :O
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Old 08-28-18, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
https://medium.com/off-the-verge/i-t...o-dc501057755c

Im amazed the guy wore through his Brompton rims by hard breaking :O
Doesn't take long if you're riding in lots of rainy weather with gritty streets. Especially if you're on the brakes often for stops or hilly conditions.
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Old 08-28-18, 06:07 PM
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Hmmm....hmmm...such a pregnant article. So many things that could be said. I'll just say three things. 1. If a 451er with disk brakes and wide gearing was what he was after, the Brompton was never for him. Perhaps yet another who blindly bought the Brompton hype without paying attention to the bike's particulars. 2. He likes riding hard, good luck with the hinge. 3. Smells like a paid article. Second time this month I've come across articles extolling the Tern.

A disk-brake 406/451 frame can be had here for $150. No need to pay Tern pricing, really.

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Old 08-28-18, 06:44 PM
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Nice article. I can understand the pros and cons of his Brompton. I held a Brompton at a local shop and it feels well built but the features are not for me. We will probably go with a Tern (since Dahons are hard to find here for some reason).
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Old 08-28-18, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
Hmmm....hmmm...such a pregnant article. So many things that could be said. I'll just say three things. 1. If a 451er with disk brakes and wide gearing was what he was after, the Brompton was never for him. Perhaps yet another who blindly bought the Brompton hype without paying attention to the bike's particulars. 2. He likes riding hard, good luck with the hinge. 3. Smells like a paid article. Second time this month I've come across articles extolling the Tern.

A disk-brake 406/451 frame can be had here for $150. No need to pay Tern pricing, really.
Agree it smells like a paid article. I think anything posted on the net these days is pretty much suspect until proven otherwise, really. Still, i think his comments on the Tern are valid, and interesting comments on the poor longevity and expensive repairs to his Brompton. A few friends rave about Bromptons so I expected better durability.

> A disk-brake 406/451 frame can be had *here* for $150.

You certainly post some drool worthy photos, Abu. I wish those $150 disc brake 406/451 frames were available *here*, but unfortunately theyre not. None of the cool stuff you post is actually!
(I recently asked about FSIR bikes at a few bike shops in Tokyo, and no one had even heard of them)

Genuine question> what does “such a pregnant article” mean? Ive never heard that expression before despite being a native English speaker.

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Old 08-28-18, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post


Agree it smells like a paid article. I think anything posted on the net these days is pretty much suspect until proven otherwise, really. Still, i think his comments on the Tern are valid, and interesting comments on the poor longevity and expensive repairs to his Brompton. A few friends rave about Bromptons so I expected better durability.

> A disk-brake 406/451 frame can be had *here* for $150.

You certainly post some drool worthy photos, Abu. I wish those $150 disc brake 406/451 frames were available *here*, but unfortunately theyre not. None of the cool stuff you post is actually!
(I recently asked about FSIR bikes at a few bike shops in Tokyo, and no one had even heard of them)

Genuine question> what does “such a pregnant article” mean? Ive never heard that expression before despite being a native English speaker.

Have you heard of the phrase "pregnant pause", a lull in conversation that betrays tons of things unsaid or to be potentially explored? Similarly, I simply took the creative liberty of extending that figure of speech, that rhetorical device,,the figurative meaning to the "pregnant article". My apologies if it fell flat.

I've now bought a couple of middle-hinge folders, and like to ride hard too. I am getting this out there so as to avoid a charge of double standards. To my defense, though, I am not oblivious to the potential vulnerabilities of middle hinges.

Stay tuned for more "drool worthy photos". Here's a teaser of the fork of a polished silver frame i managed to snag today...

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Old 08-29-18, 12:31 AM
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I didn't think that article was paid for. The guy admitted the Brompton was absolutely the wrong choice for his style of riding, and he and his partner still have one. As for the Tern, he did point out its faults, although it would be interesting to find out how it wears over a number of years, maybe in a follow-up article. Have to admit, mainly thanks to this forum, I'm cautious about Tern. Frame breaks, recalls, frame hinge bolts shearing, none of which look good for longevity of the bike. Then there's the fold ...
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Old 08-29-18, 02:35 AM
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A bit of a strange article and I agree that it smells a bit.

In two years I had stretched out a couple chains, burned through gears, brake pads (so many brake pads), and THREE rims!
That's a hell of a lot. While wear is undoubtably there and it heavily depends from conditions and riding style this seems pretty extreme. Typically the chain and sprockets on a two-speed-Brompton last around 2.000 - 3.000 km. Some may reach a bit less, some a bit more. The rims vary, but the more modern ones rarely wear out below 5.000 km (which would already be very extreme), way beyond 10.000 km is more common and a bit over 20.000 km what I hear from most people. So about 15.000 km and above seems to be kind of an average. Same goes with brake-pads: Some manage to eat them up below 2000 km (again maybe one in 100), most people manage to reach 8.000 - 12.000 km.
So the question is: How many kms did he put on his Brompton during these two years? Did he do any maintenance to the bike? An how on earth did he manage to create that amount of wear in such a short time period?

All in his experiences sound very uncommon. When he writes
They are made for tweed coat London commutes where one is like to mix a train ride in with their morning shuffle to work.
it seems pretty clear that he has never been to London (or in touch with a relevant amount of Brompton riders) - his prejudices let him draw a picture of himself as a "true rider" while all the others are kind of gently playing children. The truth is possibly more that he may exaggerate his own abilities and style heavily (and make the wear a logical consequence of his abilities) while his material-killing riding style is possibly more a result of ignorance than anything else (assumed this is a true story)...

When it comes to the Tern the spin goes straight into the other direction:

The aluminum frame seems to absorb some of the road bumps
Really? That is not what those frames are famous for - basically just the opposite. Also this...

Speaking of… one little nice thing is that many of the key parts on the bike are not propriety. They are just bike parts. So you can get servicing done at any bike shop if you need too
... lets me rise an eyebrow. And no mentioning about the lack of availability and choice of 451 tires.

So good for him if he is happy with his Tern now and fair enough that for him he considers it to be a better choice than the Brompton for him. Still I'd not take his writing too serious.
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Old 08-29-18, 02:49 AM
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BROMPTON is a good bike, but not worthy the price, from my point of view.
Basically, half of what you paid is for "hand made in England", which actually doesn't mean anything except a higher labour cost.
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Old 08-29-18, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by GTA View Post
BROMPTON is a good bike, but not worthy the price, from my point of view.
Basically, half of what you paid is for "hand made in England", which actually doesn't mean anything except a higher labour cost.
Yeap. Bingo.

Same can be said to a great extent about bikes made in Oregon.
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Old 08-29-18, 06:37 AM
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I concur, this "is" paid advertisment. Seeing things through my line of work, yup, if it it looks and smells like it, then most definitely it is.
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Old 08-29-18, 11:18 AM
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Rims can be bought and wheels rebuilt you know..
[No..., TL,DR]
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Old 08-29-18, 01:02 PM
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It took me about 35,000 miles (~58,000 km) to wear out the 20" rims on my Bike Friday NWT. I'm not a heavy rider, but a lot of those miles took place while touring with panniers and included a fair number of mountain passes with lots of braking on the descents. BTW, I can't imagine doing the sort of touring I like to do on any folder other than a Bike Friday.
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Old 08-29-18, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by GTA View Post
BROMPTON is a good bike, but not worthy the price, from my point of view.
Basically, half of what you paid is for "hand made in England", which actually doesn't mean anything except a higher labour cost.
It means if you want a Brompton, you pay for the one made in England with their labor rates. This is true if you want a Bike Friday built in Oregon, too. A lot of people find both unique bicycles to be worth the price, and other people buy different, cheaper bikes.
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Old 08-29-18, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post


Agree it smells like a paid article.
Hi Jon, this was not a paid article. I bought the Brompton then 2 years later I got the Tern. All those dineros came out of our bank account. There are not a lot of reviews of the Tern out there, especially from an ex-roadie / current Bomptoneer perspective, so I wrote this as a sort of follow up after being pretty much exclusively on the Brompton (and Citibike and various rentals on our travels). I love my Bromptons and will keep at least the 3 speed. But for aggressive NYC 4-season riding, I don't think it's the right bike for me.
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Old 08-29-18, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
https://medium.com/off-the-verge/i-t...o-dc501057755c

Im amazed the guy wore through his Brompton rims by hard breaking :O
I'm amazed a hardcore roadie who likes to mash the pedals in high-gear/low-cadence thought a Brompton would work for him. It doesn't, and he admits he already knew this by stating he doesn't like internal-gear hubs. He wants derailleurs and disc brakes, which I agree are better equipment for the massive abuse he throws at his bikes. Good on him for solving his problem, but he should have seen the problem coming just by reading a spec sheet.
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Old 08-29-18, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by berlinonaut View Post
A bit of a strange article and I agree that it smells a bit.

That's a hell of a lot. While wear is undoubtably there and it heavily depends from conditions and riding style this seems pretty extreme. Typically the chain and sprockets on a two-speed-Brompton last around 2.000 - 3.000 km. Some may reach a bit less, some a bit more. The rims vary, but the more modern ones rarely wear out below 5.000 km (which would already be very extreme), way beyond 10.000 km is more common and a bit over 20.000 km what I hear from most people. So about 15.000 km and above seems to be kind of an average. Same goes with brake-pads: Some manage to eat them up below 2000 km (again maybe one in 100), most people manage to reach 8.000 - 12.000 km.
So the question is: How many kms did he put on his Brompton during these two years? Did he do any maintenance to the bike? An how on earth did he manage to create that amount of wear in such a short time period?

All in his experiences sound very uncommon. When he writes it seems pretty clear that he has never been to London (or in touch with a relevant amount of Brompton riders) - his prejudices let him draw a picture of himself as a "true rider" while all the others are kind of gently playing children. The truth is possibly more that he may exaggerate his own abilities and style heavily (and make the wear a logical consequence of his abilities) while his material-killing riding style is possibly more a result of ignorance than anything else (assumed this is a true story)...

When it comes to the Tern the spin goes straight into the other direction:

Really? That is not what those frames are famous for - basically just the opposite. Also this...

... lets me rise an eyebrow. And no mentioning about the lack of availability and choice of 451 tires.

So good for him if he is happy with his Tern now and fair enough that for him he considers it to be a better choice than the Brompton for him. Still I'd not take his writing too serious.
Nope, not a paid article... all my money and a decades long love of riding bikes!

yeah, it was frustrating.... but it's true, I was burning through stuff. When the 3rd rim busted (see photo in article), I think I was done. I think it's a heat + grit + speed + lots of braking in NYC issue. Which makes sense... Oh well, it's all good. Lesson learned!

I ride every day, twice a day, through Manhattan, "mashing" over bridges (my chains! my sprockets!), and "bombing" down hills. And of course weekend rides where I like to chase down roadies (lots of fun on a Brompton, btw).

Brakepads, I tried kool stop and a few others, but man, one nasty weather day would just wipe them out (not literally, but it would eat them up). Went back to stock. I was spending so much time cleaning and doing maintenance, only to have a gritty wet day (happens a lot here) wipe out my work.

Availability of 451 tires and tubes are not an issue because of the internet (everything's on the internet) and because my bike shops have them (two folding bike shops I use in NYC are really good, bfold and NYCeWheels). Maybe I should mention that in my review?

I don't exaggerate my abilities. I'm faster than most "casual riders", but certainly slower than roadies who cat race. I did well in the World Championships and I ride like that most the time. As I wrote in the review, it's not a humble brag or anything, I'm not special, it's just how I like to ride after years of being a roadie and doing long hard rides. Years of "going hard", it's just kind of hard to "go easy". lol

I don't think poorly of other riders (unless they are being jerks I guess) and I don't challenge other people's purchasing decisions. I'm just trying to offer a review from my perspective for other people who may be in a similar situation, that's all. Trying to find the right tool for the job for me. =)

As I wrote in the review, the fold is the biggest drawback, both in awkwardness and size, but I was willing to sacrifice that for my end use and storing needs. These types of folders have had hinge issues, but I've read that Tern has addressed it with the current folders. So far so good, hope it stays that way!

Let's see... Did that cover everything?

Let me know if you have any questions! Happy riding!
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Old 08-29-18, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
I'm amazed a hardcore roadie who likes to mash the pedals in high-gear/low-cadence thought a Brompton would work for him. It doesn't, and he admits he already knew this by stating he doesn't like internal-gear hubs. He wants derailleurs and disc brakes, which I agree are better equipment for the massive abuse he throws at his bikes. Good on him for solving his problem, but he should have seen the problem coming just by reading a spec sheet.
It was because I was commuting in NYC now. If you read the Brompton review, you'll see my thinking. https://medium.com/@aarontsuru/throw...e-ebb17d1b2a20 - I was optimistic the 2 speed would work. I actually think a 4 speed would be enough here for me for commutes, but I'll take the 10. Brompton has the 6, but I didn't want the weight and cost penalty.
As for brakes, I never had discs before. Honestly, the Brompton was my first folder and I just didn't think about the potential wear issue with heavy braking w/ faster speeds on small wheels + lots of grit and salt etc. That's all on me.

Whattayagonnado?

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Old 08-29-18, 03:43 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Tsuru View Post
It was because I was commuting in NYC now. If you read the Brompton review, you'll see my thinking. https://medium.com/@aarontsuru/throw...e-ebb17d1b2a20 - I was optimistic the 2 speed would work. I actually think a 4 speed would be enough here for me for commutes, but I'll take the 10. Brompton has the 6, but I didn't want the weight and cost penalty.
As for brakes, I never had discs before. Honestly, the Brompton was my first folder and I just didn't think about the potential wear issue with heavy braking w/ faster speeds on small wheels + lots of grit and salt etc. That's all on me.

Whattayagonnado?
Haha, I currently own the results of a rider like you. I picked up a used Brompton CHPT3 - limited model with ti extremities, skinny Kojaks - for what I thought was a raging deal, and the guy told me he was an ex pro racer and had used it in a BWC. The bottom bracket is toast, the pedals are bent and the tires are trashed! Neat bike, but boy does it need work ;-)
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Old 08-29-18, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
Haha, I currently own the results of a rider like you. I picked up a used Brompton CHPT3 - limited model with ti extremities, skinny Kojaks - for what I thought was a raging deal, and the guy told me he was an ex pro racer and had used it in a BWC. The bottom bracket is toast, the pedals are bent and the tires are trashed! Neat bike, but boy does it need work ;-)
Oh man, bummer! Yeah, I really really love my Brompton and that fold was amazing. But it is definitely not meant for pedal mashing! In hindsight (always 20/20, eh?), it's surprising they have a bike race! The stock parts are just not built for it. If you mod it up, you can do more, but that's so expensive to do.

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Old 08-29-18, 05:46 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
It means if you want a Brompton, you pay for the one made in England with their labor rates. This is true if you want a Bike Friday built in Oregon, too. A lot of people find both unique bicycles to be worth the price, and other people buy different, cheaper bikes.
You are right, and I agree with you on this. Different people proritize different things, and are willing to pay more--or less--for what they want. My priorities are not your prioritites, and vice-versa. I get it. We are on the same page.

The thrust of the comment here, however, is another. The thrust is that far too often higher prices are equated not with higher taxes, wages and operating expenses required to manufacture in the West, but rather, they are equated wholesale with quality materials and craftsmanship. Sometimes this assumption also takes on racist overtones. The assumption is, it costs more so it must be better. And from that somewhat flawed assumption often flows a hierarchy, a pecking order, and a smug superiority. That is what is being challenged here, not that people have different wants or needs, not that people are willing to pay for what they consider desirable.

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Old 08-29-18, 05:49 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Tsuru View Post
Oh man, bummer! Yeah, I really really love my Brompton and that fold was amazing. But it is definitely not meant for pedal mashing! In hindsight (always 20/20, eh?), it's surprising they have a bike race! The stock parts are just not built for it. If you mod it up, you can do more, but that's so expensive to do.
Good read,...now I'm not interested in a Brompton.
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Old 08-29-18, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
Good read,...now I'm not interested in a Brompton.
I don't think there's anything - well, maybe the crappy BB - inherently wrong with the parts, it's just not a hardcore race bike, which was how that fellow was riding his. Most people with Breezer Uptowns aren't hammering day and night, either, it just so happens that people seem to do crazy things on a Brompton. Including a manufacturer-supported race which wasn't intended to become a serious thing, but racers gonna race!

I use my Brommie for store runs and recreational riding, and I'm not hard on equipment. That's my style and the bike fits it. Will the OP's Tern fare better? I think the wheels will, but there's NO WAY I would hammer a Tern frame like that. Noope!
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Old 08-29-18, 09:49 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Tsuru View Post
Hi Jon, this was not a paid article. I bought the Brompton then 2 years later I got the Tern. All those dineros came out of our bank account. There are not a lot of reviews of the Tern out there, especially from an ex-roadie / current Bomptoneer perspective, so I wrote this as a sort of follow up after being pretty much exclusively on the Brompton (and Citibike and various rentals on our travels). I love my Bromptons and will keep at least the 3 speed. But for aggressive NYC 4-season riding, I don't think it's the right bike for me.
Hey Tsuru, thanks for stopping by this thread. Good to have confirmation it wasn't a paid article!

Full disclosure - I just bought a Verge X11 for an amazing deal I just couldn't pass up and was surfing the net for articles when I found yours. You're right about there not being many user reviews on the net about Terns.

The lack (?) of availability of 451 tires doesn't bother me either. I only need two tires at any one time.

As for the frame, I was hesitant at first about buying a Tern, but after some research I'm confident Tern has gotten their act together by now. With a 10 year warranty now too, to boot.

But the proof is in the pudding. Was it worth the outlay? Will it last? Dunno yet, but so far I'm loving the bike. The overall feeling of rigidity in the frame and handlepost is really good - definitely better than my Dahon Speed D8 and Mu SP, and the disk brakes, oh wow, just wow. Will be interesting to see how she handles use over time.

Would love to see a new article from you on how the Tern is working out when you've had some more riding time on it!
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Old 08-29-18, 11:08 PM
  #25  
avole
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It would have been nice to see all those people who accused Tsuru of writing a paid article now apologizing in force.
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