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Brompton Electric now on sale in UK - First Review

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Brompton Electric now on sale in UK - First Review

Old 09-18-18, 12:46 AM
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Brompton Electric now on sale in UK - First Review

Those lucky UK residents can try them out as of now - in fact, you must, in order to buy one. Here's the first review from "Cycling Weekly".
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Old 09-18-18, 02:00 AM
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Although word of warning; having to carry the bike and the battery will limit what else you can carry.
The fact the battery needs to be removed when the bike is folded and will be carried is a deal breaker for me. For commuting it would be a headache riding on trains in NYC,... It is nice that it's a pedalec system. I've, personally, never been a fan of throttle ebike systems,...others do love them though.
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Old 09-18-18, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
The fact the battery needs to be removed when the bike is folded and will be carried is a deal breaker for me. For commuting it would be a headache riding on trains in NYC,... It is nice that it's a pedalec system. I've, personally, never been a fan of throttle ebike systems,...others do love them though.
A plus for this design is you can offset the load to shoulder, so the bike is still carryable (more effort with the added e hub front)?
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Old 09-18-18, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bike.gang.uk View Post
A plus for this design is you can offset the load to shoulder, so the bike is still carryable (more effort with the added e hub front)?
Explain "shoulder" to me,... If the battery needs to be carried separately, and I'm also carrying a battery & I use a backpack for commuting, how will "shouldering" help in severely crowded public transport?
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Old 09-18-18, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
The fact the battery needs to be removed when the bike is folded and will be carried is a deal breaker for me. For commuting it would be a headache riding on trains in NYC,... It is nice that it's a pedalec system. I've, personally, never been a fan of throttle ebike systems,...others do love them though.
It doesn't have to be removed, it's just harder to carry the whole package that way.
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Old 09-18-18, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
It doesn't have to be removed, it's just harder to carry the whole package that way.
It needs to be removed for commuting. Carrying it on a train or bus, while the battery is still mounted, makes it unusable for multimodal commuting.

Also, I quoted the article,...it states the battery needs to be removed for transport. If a person is carrying anything else, it becomes another burden. I do get a kick out of the last line in the article,...
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Old 09-18-18, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
It needs to be removed for commuting. Carrying it on a train or bus, while the battery is still mounted, makes it unusable for multimodal commuting.

Also, I quoted the article,...it states the battery needs to be removed for transport. If a person is carrying anything else, it becomes another burden. I do get a kick out of the last line in the article,...
I did not get that out of reading the article. Carrying the bag separate just makes it easier to do by distributing weight more evenly. Just as in the non electric.
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Old 09-18-18, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
I did not get that out of reading the article. Carrying the bag separate just makes it easier to do by distributing weight more evenly. Just as in the non electric.
Re-read the article. I'm using the information posted in it. Weight distribution has nothing to do with it,... Carrying a backpack negates this,...
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Old 09-18-18, 08:39 AM
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I've read the article twice. The author is stating his preference to carry the bike and bag separately so the weight is distributed better. If you're going to use an electric folder for commuting, it's going to be heavy..it's physics. You don't HAVE to separate them to fold the bike.

Edit: It's "you know what I mean" bias. Every Brompton owner detaches the front bag to carry it and the bike, so the author presumes you know this. The battery bag operates the same as all Brompton bags.

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Old 09-18-18, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
The fact the battery needs to be removed when the bike is folded and will be carried is a deal breaker for me. For commuting it would be a headache riding on trains in NYC,... It is nice that it's a pedalec system. I've, personally, never been a fan of throttle ebike systems,...others do love them though.
Throttle is extremely handy when you want to start from redlight.

It's just an extra control you don't have to use it. You can even remove throttle control if you want.
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Old 09-18-18, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tino Tino View Post
Throttle is extremely handy when you want to start from redlight.

It's just an extra control you don't have to use it. You can even remove throttle control if you want.
And like I said, I'm not a fan of a throttle on an ebike. Where I live it's 100% illegal, but a pedalec isn't. And removing it isn't something I care to do. A pedalec is better optimized for my usage,...ymmv.
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Old 09-18-18, 11:33 AM
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Does it have a throttle? The review seems focused on pedal assist.
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Old 09-18-18, 11:43 AM
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You mean you want a sit on and just go, without any pedaling, Electric?
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Old 09-18-18, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
You mean you want a sit on and just go, without any pedaling, Electric?
Not sure who you're responding to. I like having both options, but I mostly pedal my ebikes.
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Old 09-18-18, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
Does it have a throttle? The review seems focused on pedal assist.
No, it's a pedalec only, so it can be legal in the UK. It's also legal in NYC, as it's still a gray area.

As for the battery, if it can remain attached during carrying WITHOUT being in the way, that would be fantastic. Unfortunately, if it were to be carried onto a crowded bus or train with the battery attached, the battery would be ripped off the bike by other passengers (accidentally, of course). This design, as nice as it is, wouldn't work for my commuting on the LIRR, city trains, and busses.
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Old 09-18-18, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
No, it's a pedalec only, so it can be legal in the UK. It's also legal in NYC, as it's still a gray area.

As for the battery, if it can remain attached during carrying WITHOUT being in the way, that would be fantastic. Unfortunately, if it were to be carried onto a crowded bus or train with the battery attached, the battery would be ripped off the bike by other passengers (accidentally, of course). This design, as nice as it is, wouldn't work for my commuting on the LIRR, city trains, and busses.
Check out the electric assist Bike Friday pakit - see the rear saddle hung bag? Any chance the brompton motor could be moved to a location like that so it's not in the way to carry when folded? The Pakit seat drops like the Brompton does; I believe all one has to do is undo the velcro on the seat mast and the battery bag can swing up out of the way when folding. Seems like the brompton battery should be able to mount elsewhere (even under the main frame would work).
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Old 09-18-18, 08:44 PM
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I don't see why the battery couldn't be relocated, but it's kind of a wasted move. Nobody in their right mind is going to want to carry the whole package like that..you really need your shoulder to handle the bag weight while you muscle the bike-with-motor around. I had the NYCe Wheels eBrompton, which was a similar design, and know of what I speak.
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Old 09-18-18, 10:01 PM
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At least if you have the hub motor up front and the battery towards the back, you've balanced the weight for carrying. But that's why I think the ShareRoller will be a big success when he finally gets it out at retail. Either 4.5 or 6lbs total and all of it snaps off in 10 seconds in an easy carry configuration that fits in a sling or backpack and reinstalls just as fast. I can put up with a bit of friction whine in exchange for the simplicity (interested? check shareroller.com). Brompton had a friction drive, maybe aftermarket, at one point - seemed like a better design to me. Hidden power, I think.

Last edited by linberl; 09-18-18 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 09-19-18, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
At least if you have the hub motor up front and the battery towards the back, you've balanced the weight for carrying. But that's why I think the ShareRoller will be a big success when he finally gets it out at retail. Either 4.5 or 6lbs total and all of it snaps off in 10 seconds in an easy carry configuration that fits in a sling or backpack and reinstalls just as fast. I can put up with a bit of friction whine in exchange for the simplicity (interested? check shareroller.com). Brompton had a friction drive, maybe aftermarket, at one point - seemed like a better design to me. Hidden power, I think.
Yes, balanced for carrying unfolded would work. I was referring to people folding and running to catch a train and whatnot.
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Old 09-19-18, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
Yes, balanced for carrying unfolded would work. I was referring to people folding and running to catch a train and whatnot.
Ahh....got it. I thought Brompton people didn't carry their bikes, they rolled them (at least that's what all the videos show). Would never put a hub motor on something I had to carry; I'm a wimp.
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Old 09-19-18, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Ahh....got it. I thought Brompton people didn't carry their bikes, they rolled them (at least that's what all the videos show). Would never put a hub motor on something I had to carry; I'm a wimp.
I'd say it depends from the bike and the situation. A Brompton with rear carrier is easily rollable (depending on the type of wheels), a bike w/o less good, especially with a bag on it. The Brompton electric comes w/o carrier.
Carrying the folded bike is something I do quite rarely - only if there is very limited space like in public transport at peak times. I tend to unfold the bike and roll it or ride it. I roll the folded bike mainly inside of buildings or trains.
When carrying I carry the unfolded bike, hanging it on the saddle on my shoulder and stabilizing it with one hand on the main frame. This way it is easy to carry - i.e. I live on what an American would call fifths floor, with high ceilings, so about 100 stairs one way, no elevator. Carrying the Brompton is no problem. Depending on which of my Bromptons I am using and what's in the bag I may leave the bag on the bike or not when carrying. No issues with the 2lx and a light bag. More of an issue with the steel M6rD with Brooks saddle and a heavy bag - then the weight may hit the 20kg mark and somewhere between 14 and 20kg I tend so split bike and bag for carrying.

The Brompton Electric's weight ist rated at 13,7 kg for the 2-speed and 14,5 kg for the 6-speed, both w/o battery. The smaller of the batteries and the smaller of the two bags is rated at 2,9 kg.
From my experience at minimum the 6-speed would already be out of the comfort zone for carrying, even w/o battery (though it is no doubt easily possible, even with the battery attached - but not in folded state). It's about the weight that my steel M6R/Brooks had when I had mounted the S/A XRF8w onto that bike. I removed it due to the weight being uncomfortable to carry up to my flat. It was slightly above 14 kg.

So I think removing the battery bag for carrying is really good and the quick lock on the carrier block is very helpful with that. Bike on one shoulder (or folded), bag on the other. Backback - well - on the back, though a backpack on a Brompton means missing out one of the biggest advantages of the Brompton-concept.

Those who say they would carry the folded Brompton with the bag attached to it may try it before making judgements. Possibly this will change their mind. Just put a bag on the carrier block and fill it with weight until bike and bag together reach 17,x kg (and this is w/o any personal stuff in the bag, just electric and the smaller battery). Not many people will be able to carry a folded Brompton with this weight further than a couple of meters.

Btw. I've ridden a demo model of the electric in London in spring and found it unspectacular in a positive way - like any well made ebike. Still I think it is a very expensive option (and too expensive for many). For me, at least currently, i see no real advantage that would justify the high price, judging from the test ride (though technically there are differences to most kits i.e. through the torque sensor and obiviously the better integration of the electrification).

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Old 09-19-18, 03:54 PM
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I'm not sure why, but I guess I always thought Brompton owners rolled their bikes or used elevators, lol. Probably because, for me, they weigh too much to carry, but I always thought one of the main advantages was the ability to roll easily while folded. If ti doesn't roll well without the rear rack, why would you buy one without? Sort of defeats a major purpose of the brilliant fold and roll. If you're going to have to carry the bike, there are folders out there that are a lot lighter in weight (some cheaper, too). Unless you have a really teeny tiny space to put it in at your destination, then I guess it still makes some sense.
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Old 09-19-18, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I'm not sure why, but I guess I always thought Brompton owners rolled their bikes or used elevators, lol. Probably because, for me, they weigh too much to carry, but I always thought one of the main advantages was the ability to roll easily while folded. If ti doesn't roll well without the rear rack, why would you buy one without? Sort of defeats a major purpose of the brilliant fold and roll. If you're going to have to carry the bike, there are folders out there that are a lot lighter in weight (some cheaper, too). Unless you have a really teeny tiny space to put it in at your destination, then I guess it still makes some sense.
Yes, it's the incredibly compact fold that appeals (plus they have character and just look cool). I don't love rolling my rackless Brommie so I fold it up and put it in the cart with bag attached, then fill the bag as I'm shopping. There isn't a centimeter to spare, I don't think any other (rideable) folder would fit.
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Old 09-19-18, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
Yes, it's the incredibly compact fold that appeals (plus they have character and just look cool). I don't love rolling my rackless Brommie so I fold it up and put it in the cart with bag attached, then fill the bag as I'm shopping. There isn't a centimeter to spare, I don't think any other (rideable) folder would fit.
My pakit fits in every shopping cart I've tried, and it's rideable ;-). Why, if I may ask, did you buy a rackless Brompton if they roll badly without the rack? Did you not know that, or is rolling just not important to you? I'm curious....had the Brompton fit me well, I would have skipped the rack because of the added weight to what is already a heavy bike, but most folks aren't as wimpy as I am.


Btw, I take my bag off and velcro to the push-end of the shopping cart with these diaper bag carabiner things I bought; lifting a bike loaded with 20lbs or so of groceries out of a shopping cart is not in my wheelhouse (and my pakit is light).
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Old 09-19-18, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
My pakit fits in every shopping cart I've tried, and it's rideable ;-). Why, if I may ask, did you buy a rackless Brompton if they roll badly without the rack? Did you not know that, or is rolling just not important to you? I'm curious....had the Brompton fit me well, I would have skipped the rack because of the added weight to what is already a heavy bike, but most folks aren't as wimpy as I am.


Btw, I take my bag off and velcro to the push-end of the shopping cart with these diaper bag carabiner things I bought; lifting a bike loaded with 20lbs or so of groceries out of a shopping cart is not in my wheelhouse (and my pakit is light).
I bought a specific limited model Brom with a sporty bent, so it doesn't have the rack. I added bigger custom EZ Wheels so it rolls better than stock, but rolling isn't a priority for me, I use the fold mostly for tossing in the trunk and storing in the apartment. The bag quick-detaches: I unhook it outside the store and put it on the ground, pull the bike out and unfold, then reattach the bag.

I'll let ya know next week if my new PakiT fits in the cart!
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