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Brompton for Triathlon?

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Brompton for Triathlon?

Old 11-03-18, 11:10 PM
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Pono
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Brompton for Triathlon?

Ok so letís get started! I was interested in using a brommie for triathlons and was looking for some pointers... I was thinking of going with the S1L and just adding upgrades. I am using a brommie because I am flight crew and spend 25 plus days away from home a month and popping it into the overhead bin is a must. Also my flat is a meager 300 plus square feet so Iím thinking I donít have much room for a normal road or tri bike. I would like to use this bike for training and racing. I realize I will not be super competitive, but racing and riding is still fun. Iíd just like to finish and not be in last lol. I wanted to start with the first of the upgrades being a kinetic 11 speed internal hub... from there Iím not sure where to look or what to do? Any advice would be great. Thanks.
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Old 11-03-18, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Pono View Post
Ok so let’s get started! I was interested in using a brommie for triathlons and was looking for some pointers... I was thinking of going with the S1L and just adding upgrades. I am using a brommie because I am flight crew and spend 25 plus days away from home a month and popping it into the overhead bin is a must. Also my flat is a meager 300 plus square feet so I’m thinking I don’t have much room for a normal road or tri bike. I would like to use this bike for training and racing. I realize I will not be super competitive, but racing and riding is still fun. I’d just like to finish and not be in last lol. I wanted to start with the first of the upgrades being a kinetic 11 speed internal hub... from there I’m not sure where to look or what to do? Any advice would be great. Thanks.
You should look at other bikes that can also fold as small, maybe bike Friday or something, others should be able to come up with some. You need much lighter weight, drop bars and good gearing, Bromtpon cant provide any of those.

Something like this would smash the brompton for speed:
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/roy-t/20170117

Last edited by kidshibuya; 11-04-18 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 11-04-18, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by kidshibuya View Post
You should look at other bikes that can also fold as small, maybe bike Friday or something, others should be able to come up with some. You need much lighter weight, drop bars and good gearing, Bromtpon cant provide any of those.
Really?

Source: https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/le...n-ever.238033/

If the OP's requirement "bike must fit in an overhead compartment" stands true there is not much choice apart from a Brompton (if any at all). So if this is the core requirement one has to start from there and see what's possible. It is obvious that a Brompton is not the perfect (or even a competitive) Triathlon bike but the OP seems to be aware of that. And I know personally people who have used a Brompton for Triathlon (no official ones but an inofficial fun event with much smaller distances than normal) and came out well.
This on the other hand
I wanted to start with the first of the upgrades being a kinetic 11 speed internal hub...
makes me wonder if the OP is aware of the technical limitations of a stock brompton. Clearly it can be done but needs a lot of fiddeling and expensive aftermarket parts (like i.e. a Vostok rear triangle) and will at the same time influence weight and folded size as well to a degree - IMHO w/o delivering additional value accordingly. So maybe the OP should either rethink the overhead-compartment part (which at least in Europe would possibly not work reliably anyway) and this way open up the choice of possible bikes or start with a S2Ex model and stick relatively close to the factory configuration/shape, adding maybe things like a third cog, a bigger chainwheel, a lighter seat-post, replacing steel with ti-parts, and add (removable) triathlon bar add-ons. Stuff like that. Will probably work but needs time and effort.

Originally Posted by kidshibuya View Post
Something like this would smash the brompton for speed:
(tue) No.4582 - ********************
Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't - but it would not fit into an overhead compartment I'd assume and thus not in the OP's requirements as well.
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Old 11-04-18, 02:02 AM
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While I am not into racing or even fast riding, every once in a while I end up being faster on Brompton than people on road bikes in sporty clothes.

While this may seem minor, if life makes you ride in a variety not particular familiar places, invest time in the manner in which you might want to mount phone on the handlebars, including in the rain, as the latter can surprise you away from your lodging that you do not know how to get back to. Also collect a variety of navigating apps. Google Maps may work fine for bike at home, but not in places you may get to. When the internet barely works at a hotel, downloading a 200MB map may turn into a nightmarish challenge. I keep 12GB of maps for the whole world on my phone, so I can pretty much recover no matter what.

I log only 10 days/month away from home. Having a bike along for riding makes a world of difference for a variety of reasons and training for me is not even on horizon
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Old 11-04-18, 07:19 AM
  #5  
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Ori (nťe Mezzo)

The Ori is a tad thicker than the Brommie, but has more off the shelf components and is more amenable to less costly modifications. That being said, I love IGHs for commuting (the benefits outweigh the weight disadvantage). I donít see the gain for the triathlon scenario, but that is strictly me.

For whatís it worth, my wife is a captain and she tried the Brommie overhead route, She stopped the experiment after 3 weeks. There were too many variables involved from no overhead space (and no closet space) left to getting stink eye when non-reving on a sister airline, as well as others.
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Old 11-04-18, 09:19 AM
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Wow thanks for the great responses. The overhead is a must as I fly on smaller 737s and airbus aircraft.

I also just have the tri scenario because when on layovers I usually have the ability to train at least 3 of the 3 tri events so I figured why not lol.

Ive already been toying with the idea of titanium parts idea I just wasnít sure if anyone here has heard of other ways to make it more road/racer-ish. And I wasnít sure that the kinetic 11 speed hub would require a fatter triangle. This may obviously effect the fitting in the over head been.

Anyways please keep all the helpful tips coming. Also just as an FYI, I already own a brompton and use it for putting around on layovers, but as you can imagine the upright ride of the M6R combined with the -12 gearing does not exactly give me a great training bike for a little more serious rides.

Thank you all! I appreciate your input

Last edited by Pono; 11-04-18 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 11-04-18, 11:43 AM
  #7  
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Since you already own a Brompton I would try modding that one first; or consider a Rodriguez 6 pack. I have a Brompton M2LX with 58t chainring and 12t cog. I can can get up to 40kmh before my gearing starts to run out. I think 12t is the smallest rear and 60t is the largest front with the ability to fold. You could go bigger in front but then the fork/swingarm hook might be blocked by the chainring so you would have to use a strap or something to hold the bike together. Not sure if it will feel stable, but I would get a cheap flat mtb bar and clip on aerobars for less than $50 off Aliexpress so you can keep the stock brake levers. Road bars might be nice but doubtful it will fold small and requires new brake levers. If you spent a whole lot of money you could get your bike under 8kg.
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Old 11-04-18, 04:12 PM
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Lots of cheapish things to do...
kojaks or primo comets
Flat bar with bar ends (lower than an S bar with an M handle post)
SPD
TI seatpost
Narrow ass hatchet type saddle
58 tooth chainring
2 speed rear wheel to drop some weight
if fendered take them off.
Get stronger (actually ride a lot to get used to whatever you go with)
My brompton with a 1 speed wheel and 58 and 38 chain rings is maybe 1 mph slower than my 82 700 c Holdsworth with wide gearing over 20 miles or so. Where it is a lot slower seems to be climbing. With kojaks and stripped down a few lbs it would be closer to the 700 c bike.
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Old 11-04-18, 04:18 PM
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Chameleon with the fork popped off and frame in a soft bag may do the trick. Depends on if you could store the 24 inch wheels in a separate bag overhead. I think overhead is 22 inches deep so maybe on an angle?
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Old 11-05-18, 07:01 AM
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I did triathlon on a Brompton... by mistake!
I wanted to try out a folding bike. I wanted to see how easy it would be to take it on a plane. I wanted to try out "wild camping" in a campervan in the Canaries. This is how it all came together...
I joined the excellent Brompton Hire scheme and booked a return flight to Tenerife with hold luggage. I hired the Brompton and parcelled it up with protective material and a few bits of luggage as an odd-shaped bundle suitable for transport in the hold. I arranged to hire a compact motorhome in tenerife and flew out without a hitch. I found a nice beach at Las Teresitas, just north of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, near the TF-11 "motorway". As well as the official car park there was an unofficial, but clearly tolerated, overnight parking area for campervans and motorhomes. After a good night's sleep and breakfast on the beach I unfolded the Brompton and set off in my beach shorts and tee shirt... and cycle helmet. The town of San Andres had been taken over by the Santa Cruz triathlon (oceanlavatenerife) for the cycling component. The only road along the coast, theTF-11, had its southbound carriageway closed to traffic, with 2-way traffic on the northbound side. Of the 2 southbound lanes, one was dedicated to the tri cyclists and the other for pedestrians. I was directed to avoid the motorway traffic and the pedestrians but carefully share the cycling lane. I attracted wide-mouthed stares, laughter and cheers. After a while I decided that a 3-gear commuting bike wasn't going to cut it, especially when I found a turning off into the hills!
It also convinced me that I should try a folding bike with more gears and bigger wheels. I've just bought a used Tern Verge P18 which is light, fast and has a great range of gears. Can't wait to fly to tenerife with it. Maybe I should learn to swim?
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Old 11-05-18, 10:49 AM
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Pocket Rocket bike fridays go in a suitcase, checked luggage, not carry on,
you can spec any race-road components you like, on those...
451 high pressure tires won't hold you back..


And , now there is the newer 349 wheel ****t, which eliminated a few folding features to save weight ,

so it, like their 20" wheel travel bikes is a mix of rear fold and knock down with quicker reassembly ..

they too can take Alfine's 11 speed hubs, and gates belt , so you wont have a grimy chain to deal with as you handle it stowing in the OHC...








...

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-30-18 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 11-05-18, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Pono View Post
Wow thanks for the great responses. The overhead is a must as I fly on smaller 737s and airbus aircraft.

I also just have the tri scenario because when on layovers I usually have the ability to train at least 3 of the 3 tri events so I figured why not lol.

Ive already been toying with the idea of titanium parts idea I just wasnít sure if anyone here has heard of other ways to make it more road/racer-ish. And I wasnít sure that the kinetic 11 speed hub would require a fatter triangle. This may obviously effect the fitting in the over head been.

Anyways please keep all the helpful tips coming. Also just as an FYI, I already own a brompton and use it for putting around on layovers, but as you can imagine the upright ride of the M6R combined with the -12 gearing does not exactly give me a great training bike for a little more serious rides.

Thank you all! I appreciate your input
M6R w/ it's rack and fenders is designed to be a good commuter/grocery getter. Lots of things one can do to modify that bike to make it faster.
No cost mods: take off rack, fenders, reflectors(+ brackets). Folding Kojak tires are pretty low cost replacements I'd also recommend. Titanium
and/or lighter pedals(clipless or not), aero/lighter wheelset(Aeroheat, SMC, etc.) starts to get expensive. But I would start with those mods; these
are rotating mass weight savings. More important than static weight savings; seatpost, saddle, bolts. Although if you can do/afford all of these mods;
that would really help.
My 2013 S6L-X has done 100 mile charity rides, long weekend trips, etc. No problems keeping up with roadbikes:
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Old 11-05-18, 01:01 PM
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I say go for it. The base Brompton frame/fork/wheels is probably as aerodynamic as most of the 700c wheeled bikes you'll be riding against. The most important improvements over a stock Brompton:
1) Aero position. Ideally use aerobars with bar end shifters. Profile ZBS TT aerobars would probably pack the flatest on the Brompton straight bars. It's really, really important that you're comfortable in your aero position. This might require swapping the stem for one with much more reach.
2) Gearing. You'll need high enough gears to be competitive. I'd pick their 6-speed configuration for sure. I think you'll want to switch to a larger chainring for races.
3) Tires. Fastest tires that fit the bike... Maybe Schwalbe Marathon Racer or Primo Comet
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Old 11-05-18, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by OneIsAllYouNeed View Post
I say go for it. The base Brompton frame/fork/wheels is probably as aerodynamic as most of the 700c wheeled bikes you'll be riding against.
What are you smoking? How can you possibly justify saying that?
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Old 11-05-18, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by kidshibuya View Post
What are you smoking? How can you possibly justify saying that?
I doubt itís more aero than a Felt IA, Cervelo P5X, etc. Iím fairly confident itís more aero than a normal round-tubed road bike.

Smaller wheels are known to be more aerodynamic.

The Brompton frame has much less cross sectional area than a typical road frame. The net drag from the frame is directly proportional to area.
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Old 11-06-18, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by OneIsAllYouNeed View Post


I doubt itís more aero than a Felt IA, Cervelo P5X, etc. Iím fairly confident itís more aero than a normal round-tubed road bike.

Smaller wheels are known to be more aerodynamic.

The Brompton frame has much less cross sectional area than a typical road frame. The net drag from the frame is directly proportional to area.
Totaly agreed.
A heavy modified bromptom with dropbars And roadparts would be aero enoght.
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Old 11-06-18, 04:20 PM
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Wonder if you made an aerodynamic front bag for it , would it be legit?

A pointy tail fanny pack for good measure...
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Old 12-30-18, 01:34 AM
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I might go against the fold and recommend getting a custom bike with s and s couplers.

There was a framebuilder that used maybe 4-8 couplers and had a mini velo that fit in a briefcase. I can't find the website, but he used it for touring for years.

Frankly, if I was ever interested in triathlons (instead of being an oversedentary fatty), I would consider making my own bike...pr probably following the Patek framebuilder manual...or just hire someone to build it for me.

Come to think of it...I need to get back on my bike.
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Old 01-02-19, 07:59 PM
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A little for April Fool's jokes... If you ride a Brommie in a triathlon, not only will you be last, you'll still be struggling on your ride while the person in front of you is crossing the finish line.
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Old 01-07-19, 07:03 AM
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My daughter rode a 2sp automarix hub Java 14" foldie for a kids triathlon.
Beat a fair number of kids on fancy racers even...
But for the adult field (esp if its OD), I'd say that you need at least a 406 wheeled bike.
My wife did the sprint distance and had folks asking her if her Pocket Rocket was motorized.


I think the best approach is to come up with the dimension that is allowed in the overhead bin.
Once you establish that, you can look around at folding bike specs for their folded size.
You might still end up with a Brompton, but then you'd know that its the only option for the compartment size.
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Old 01-07-19, 11:16 AM
  #21  
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Better times on the other 2 ? cycling can be just not losing that much time in the middle...
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