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Why no Brompton copy?

Old 04-15-19, 11:39 AM
  #26  
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Brompton vs Dahon Curl – Side-by-side Comparison

https://www.bikefolded.com/brompton-...de-comparison/

"On spec sheets, the Dahon Curl measures 24.8″ x 22.4″ x 12.2″ while the Brompton measures 23″ x 22.2″ x 10.6″ in folded size.
So the Brompton seems to be slightly smaller but you will hardly notice the difference in real life."
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Old 04-15-19, 04:22 PM
  #27  
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I've had the two bikes, physically, in the metal, side by side. I took a picture, posted it above. Look at it. Curl's smaller, not by millimeters but by inches. Use the biggest font you want but Bikefolded is in error.

Last edited by tcs; 04-15-19 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 04-15-19, 05:23 PM
  #28  
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Two words that comes to mind when I see the Dahon Curl are t*sticles and tumor. I don't think I can post the superimposed Curl picture on this forum.
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Old 04-16-19, 08:22 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
To achieve a compact fold, Brompton utilizes plenty of custom solutions and makes the custom parts actually affordable. You will not get to imitate them by copying just the frame, but need to go down the route of multitude of components and bag add-ons. When I asked 3sixty about some replacement part for Brompton they were offering on AliExpress they said they were just reselling a part by Brompton. At some point to repeat what Brompton is doing at the same level you need to become Brompton. I recall such discussions in the industry in the context of Coca Cola - it might seem that all you need to imitate them is a formula for a drink, but in reality to reproduce their success you need to reproduce the whole infrastructure.
GReat points!
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Old 04-16-19, 11:12 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
To achieve a compact fold, Brompton utilizes plenty of custom solutions and makes the custom parts actually affordable.
WHAT custom solutions? WHAT custom parts? I don't see any, and I have built many bromptons (clones) from parts.

And brompton parts are VERY far from being affordable.
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Old 04-17-19, 04:58 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
WHAT custom solutions? WHAT custom parts? I don't see any, and I have built many bromptons (clones) from parts.

And brompton parts are VERY far from being affordable.
Seriously? Just about every damn part is custom. Not only are the parts custom, the machines to make the parts are custom. For example, I broke the axle in the rear hub of my Brompton. I figured I could just get a Sturmey-Archer replacement axle. But no..., I needed the Brompton specific version of the Sturmey-Archer axle.
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Old 04-17-19, 06:29 AM
  #32  
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I think the the word 'custom" is being used for the word "proprietary" ..
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Old 04-20-19, 10:59 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
Seriously? Just about every damn part is custom. Not only are the parts custom, the machines to make the parts are custom. For example, I broke the axle in the rear hub of my Brompton. I figured I could just get a Sturmey-Archer replacement axle. But no..., I needed the Brompton specific version of the Sturmey-Archer axle.
Nope, you can put ANY hub with correct rear spacing on Brompton (or clones). Peoples are using all kinds of hubs (tune, extralite, wheelsmith, SA 3-speed, SA 5-speed etc) on their bromptons.
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Old 04-20-19, 03:54 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
Nope, you can put ANY hub with correct rear spacing on Brompton (or clones). Peoples are using all kinds of hubs (tune, extralite, wheelsmith, SA 3-speed, SA 5-speed etc) on their bromptons.
Why stop there? Heck I saw a Brompton in Japan with 9 speed cassette and Campangnolo derailleur fitted.

I'm talking about stock parts. And in the case of the Sturmey Archer hub, it's Brompton specific.
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Old 04-20-19, 03:57 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
I think the the word 'custom" is being used for the word "proprietary" ..
Most parts are indeed proprietary but in the case of the hub it's a custom Sturmey Archer.

Maybe bespoke is the more appropriate term .
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Old 04-21-19, 03:51 AM
  #36  
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Surely the extra step of having to remove the Curl seatpost and stow it disqualifies this comparison

I'm also confused - some versions of the curl seem to have fully telescoping seat posts (like errr, brompton), while on others, like the one in the picture above, the seatpost needs to be removed . PLEASE, can someone explain ??

I'm all for improving old designs, but simply copying them is well, just lazy especially when there are SO many areas that could be improved on a 30+ year old design.
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Old 04-21-19, 07:33 AM
  #37  
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The copyright only applies in the UK, and EU by extension. Ritchie claimed as much during a talk at the London School of Business.

I recall the basis for the Brompton copyright was because they created the tools for a foreign company to produce a Brompton copy many years ago.

FYI we have a CAD design of a bike that folds smaller than the Brompton, and uses standard parts. I have a sample on order. We'll see how things go.

Thanks
Yan
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Old 04-21-19, 08:59 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by downtube View Post
FYI we have a CAD design of a bike that folds smaller than the Brompton, and uses standard parts. I have a sample on order. We'll see how things go.
Good luck there. Still the rule is that with custom parts you should be able to achieve an even smaller fold, though paying with a much harder take off for the product.
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Old 04-21-19, 09:10 AM
  #39  
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The Brompton was developed 40 yrs ago. Today CAD can develop a smaller bike with standard parts. We could get smaller with custom parts, however we want it to be an excellent value.

Thanks
Yan
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Old 04-21-19, 09:51 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by downtube View Post
The Brompton was developed 40 yrs ago.
My expectation of product success does not grow when designer emphasizes age of a competing design - possibly opposite. Basic hammer design is tens of thousands years old and sandal design is thousands.
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Old 04-21-19, 09:55 AM
  #41  
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The emphasis is on CAD. It has changed everything about manufacturing products. We have added features seamlessly, that Brompton could never add using older development techniques.

Thanks,
Yan
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Old 04-21-19, 11:16 AM
  #42  
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Brompton now has a world spanning dealer network , for sales & after sale support.
Not that long ago , in the USA (the late) CM Wasson , started Foldabikes , in Palo Alto ,
he was the only one in the country, at the time..
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Old 04-21-19, 04:10 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Brompton now has a world spanning dealer network , for sales & after sale support.
Not that long ago , in the USA (the late) CM Wasson , started Foldabikes , in Palo Alto ,
he was the only one in the country, at the time..
CM Wasson started importing Bromptons to the US in the mid 90ies if I remember correctly - that was almost 25 years ago. I'd call that quite a while. The US have only been very small market for Brompton. After he retired a couple of yers go they created a distribution company in the US themselves and started to develop the market. Volume is still small as far as I can judge but you already see the results.
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Old 04-21-19, 05:32 PM
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Bedroom community for Silicon valley techie hub, San Francisco now has several dealers ..
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Old 04-22-19, 08:33 PM
  #45  
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Yeah, no such thing as 'international copyright'. Every jurisdiction allows and disallows various things, sometimes including what in the USA is separately called design patent and sometimes not.

Originally Posted by downtube View Post
The copyright only applies in the UK, and EU by extension. Ritchie claimed as much during a talk at the London School of Business.
As he says (@ about the 50-minute mark in the youtube video of that talk) the patents have long since run out and the potential for UK 3-D copyright protection is 'quite tenuous'. This (2/17) was before Brompton's spectacularly failed attempt (9/17) to get a court injunction against EU sales of the Dahon Curl.

We've also had some Brompton fans claim the bike was uniquely covered not by patent, copyright or trademark but by some sort of double secret intellectual property protection. What this might be has never been spelled out, I suppose owing to its double secret nature.

I think the real world reason Chinese-built folding bikes of the Andrew Ritchie pattern aren't seen in Europe is the importation tariffs/customs charges.
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Old 04-23-19, 12:55 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Yeah, no such thing as 'international copyright'. Every jurisdiction allows and disallows various things, sometimes including what in the USA is separately called design patent and sometimes not.
A design patent is something you actively have to apply for (like for any patent). Copyright is something you gain automatically as the creator of something. To enforce it is - especially internationally and even more in Asia - a different, sometimes risky but always expensive story. Nobody apart from you was using the term "international copyright" - possibly because it is not a legal term as far as I know. To invent a term as you did and immediately claim it would not exist seems a bit silly...

Originally Posted by tcs View Post
We've also had some Brompton fans claim the bike was uniquely covered not by patent, copyright or trademark but by some sort of double secret intellectual property protection. What this might be has never been spelled out, I suppose owing to its double secret nature.
There's no secret to that. Brompton sued Neobike in 2004 and 2010 by it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neobike#Court_cases Just because of lining this out I would not consider myself a fan and just because you do not now the fact and are at the same time to lazy to research I would noch call it "double secret".

Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I think the real world reason Chinese-built folding bikes of the Andrew Ritchie pattern aren't seen in Europe is the importation tariffs/customs charges.
That's interesting. Would they not be able to compete? Would their prices be too high for the quality and service offered? How come, if it is so easy to build the whole thing as good but far cheaper than the original? Btw: Are those clones offered in the US?
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Old 04-23-19, 01:55 PM
  #47  
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If the Brompton ran a 135 rear hub, I would buy one.

But, alas...
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Old 04-23-19, 05:35 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
If the Brompton ran a 135 rear hub, I would buy one.

But, alas...
So would I,...and I mean STOCK! LOL! The problem is that the brommie fanboi's will argue "CUSTOMIZATION!!!" and the only customizing I'd like to do is decide what 8 or 11 speed internal geared hub I'd like in my rear wheel. I don't wan't to be required to change the entire rear of the bike,...I like simplicity.
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Old 04-24-19, 12:03 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
If the Brompton ran a 135 rear hub, I would buy one.

But, alas...
There are following aftermarket parts available

a) 135mm spacing rear frame
b) 112mm spacing 349 wheelset that accepts standard 11 spd cassette

Last edited by Raxel; 04-24-19 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 04-24-19, 01:06 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Here's a cross-section of a turbine blade superimposed on a Dahon Curl image:



Why is the Curl designed this way? Well, form follows function, and it achieves a notably smaller fold:



BTW, in a detail of this image, you can compare the smooth welds of the Dahon with the lumpy braze work on the Brompton:

From an engineering viewpoint there is no benefit to smooth welds it is cosmetic value only. I guess it depends on how it is done, ground off, sanded off, filled or a secondary weld it's extra money spent for no real advantage. Cannondale charge maybe 30% more sometimes than competing brands that have same spec bikes made in the same factory like fuji-ta, they disguise the aluminium used with made up names and on first look you could think it was a carbon frame bike because of the smooth welds. It's basically a extra process in order to inflate the retail price in my opinion and I have seen on a forum a thread about a Cannondale cracking at the smooth weld, that doesn't mean anything in itself without more data and statistics but Brompton vs Dahon are two completely different approaches to bicycles. I've seen a low end Dahon bike in a retail store with a very messy welded frame, it may not have effected it's strength in fact it could be a very strong frame but visually it looked very poor. The factory used for that frame could be completely different from the factory used for the Curl. If Dahon continues with the Curl design the manufacturer of that frame could change and standard welds re-appear, I don't think that should be seen as a downgrade or upgrade in itself.

I think there has been a trend away from the classic double triangle frame design which is very strong and rigid to shorter life aluminium frames which resemble carbon frames and are actually weaker than older frame designs, typically the seatstays instead of being at the same height as the top tube are now further down welded lower on the seat tube. This gives a softer ride but adds much more fatigue as the seat stays flex more as they are welded to a more flexing area of the seat tube. Some of these modern bikes have lower weight limits and shorter frame warranties and are what are called stylised designs, inferior engineering for cosmetic reasons and commercial advantage. Smooth welds is part of that approach. Brompton are already making their life difficult by manufacturing in the UK there is no money to spend on smooth welds and un-necessary cosmetic improvements.
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