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Why no Brompton copy?

Old 04-11-19, 11:25 PM
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Why no Brompton copy?

so B was designed in the 1979. thats almost 40 years ago. patent should have expired long ago.

why arent there alot of imitators out there?

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Old 04-12-19, 06:40 AM
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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.
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Old 04-12-19, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
so B was designed in the 1979. thats almost 40 years ago. patent should have expired long ago.

why arent there alot of imitators out there?

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Their patents have expired, but their copywright has not. Their overall shape, placement of cables, and something else that I cannot recall, are all covered by copyright as intellectual property.
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Old 04-12-19, 08:07 AM
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Dahon Curl, Chedech, MIT V8, Flamingo, titanium frames from Ali Baba, etc.
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Old 04-12-19, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Dahon Curl, Chedech, MIT V8, Flamingo, titanium frames from Ali Baba, etc.
The only one with legitamit dealership in USA is the Curl, but it cost just as much as the original, if not more!
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Old 04-12-19, 09:30 AM
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Yea its the world spanning dealer network and service after the sale ,
and the upgraded but backwards compatible components that is different..
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Old 04-12-19, 09:33 AM
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The Brompton design is decades old. Rather than copying it, I would think companies would be trying to improve on it and create something new and better. And since the market is moving heavily toward electric bikes, that's where the innovation in folding will come from. In the meantime, there are bikes like Helix, Hummingbird, etc., that have moved the process forward. Copying a brompton would be going backwards in many ways. The best part of the brompton is the fold, all the rest is something that can and should be replaced with newer concepts (electronic shifting, etc.). If Helix takes off and becomes popular, more manufacturers will explore that type of fold on better bikes.
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Old 04-12-19, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
Their patents have expired, but their copywright has not. Their overall shape, placement of cables, and something else that I cannot recall, are all covered by copyright as intellectual property.
When does that expire?
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Old 04-12-19, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
The Brompton design is decades old.
That is why I like it. For its classy looks. I don't like the more modern Curl...it just looks not good...I don't care how better it is...the extreme curved frame tubing reminds me of a hunchback.

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Old 04-12-19, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
That is why I like it. For its classy looks. I don't like the more modern Curl...it just looks not good...I don't care how better it is...the extreme curved frame tubing reminds me of a hunchback.
Yeah, I think the Curl is ugly, too. Another reason to not try to make "copies" of the Brompton but for manufacturers to design a brand new bike that folds as well. Helix (although bigger wheels) has a great folded shape and a fairly standard looking frame (except for the hinges). There are limitations with the Brompton - insufficient gear #s and limited fit adjustments - that could be addressed along with including new technology, fewer proprietary parts, all while retaining a terrific fold. If Brompton/Birdy had a baby with the ****T and Helix, and took the best from each, it could be a great bike.
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Old 04-12-19, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
When does that expire?

It could be renewed..

Want to read up on copyright law? you can do that..
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Old 04-12-19, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
It could be renewed..

Want to read up on copyright law? you can do that..
Imagine if someone had the foresight to copyright the diamond frame.
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Old 04-12-19, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
When does that expire?
Copyrights can be renewed perpetually.
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Old 04-12-19, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
That is why I like it. For its classy looks. I don't like the more modern Curl...it just looks not good...I don't care how better it is...the extreme curved frame tubing reminds me of a hunchback.
I agree. The Brompton is elegant and beautiful, the Curl is very off-putting.
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Old 04-12-19, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
T When I asked 3sixty about some replacement part.
Can't seem to find much info about 3sixty. My restrictive ISP blocked their home page.

So a 3spd 3sixty is about $700 shipped to USA.
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Old 04-12-19, 12:19 PM
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the song "Happy Birthday" was under copyright for a ridiculous amount of time .. renewed ..
any one singing it as part of a paid gig was expected to be paying dues to one of the industry licence grantors ,
such as BMI / ASCAP..
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Old 04-12-19, 12:22 PM
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Used Bromptons may change hands for about that $700 .. US.
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Old 04-12-19, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Used Bromptons may change hands for about that $700 .. US.
If you can find one first.

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Old 04-12-19, 12:46 PM
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I got a Mk 2, did service on it , modernized a few parts, and resold it when I found a Mk4.. ..
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Old 04-12-19, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Can't seem to find much info about 3sixty. My restrictive ISP blocked their home page.

So a 3spd 3sixty is about $700 shipped to USA.
The 3sixty looks to be a very true copy of the Bromption, but scaled down a little for the Asian market. The price seems good, but you have to accept that it could be seized by customs when it enters the country.
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Old 04-13-19, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
The 3sixty looks to be a very true copy of the Bromption, but scaled down a little for the Asian market. The price seems good, but you have to accept that it could be seized by customs when it enters the country.
2018 3sixty bikes are direct copy of TW brompton (shorter top tube, no pusher mount, 1 inch headset, straight stem etc)

They are going to release 2019 "Large" version which I heard will be a direct copy of current-gen UK brompton.
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Old 04-13-19, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Raxel View Post
2018 3sixty bikes are direct copy of TW brompton (shorter top tube, no pusher mount, 1 inch headset, straight stem etc)

They are going to release 2019 "Large" version which I heard will be a direct copy of current-gen UK brompton.
its good there is more competition. that is always good for consumers.

how much shorter is the toptube?

it would be difficult to ask anyone to put out $700, not knowing if it will be allowed by custom.
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Old 04-13-19, 12:50 PM
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Both made in London,

Front tire overlaps the rear when its folded under on Mk2.. On the Mk4 tire touches the front mudguard,
without the mudguard it may be straight ahead clearance, but I dont have both to measure ..
I re sold the other, years ago..

when I had the older B I added a rear facing SAP, to get my reach adequate length, with the newer bike i did not need it ..
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Old 04-15-19, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
so B was designed in the 1979. thats almost 40 years ago. patent should have expired long ago.

why arent there alot of imitators out there?
There are a great many folding bikes following Andrew Ritchie's brilliant design which are built and sold in Asia. 3Sixty, B-Bike, Chedech, Cigna, Crosshead, Flamingo, Fova, Groo, Java, La Bici, MIT, Neo, Pico, Sanye, United and Viking are just some of the brand names. These range from slapdash copies of the Brompton Mk II up through ranges of quality to titanium and carbon fiber efforts.
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Old 04-15-19, 10:21 AM
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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:

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