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Brompton and copies - Why aren't there more???

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Brompton and copies - Why aren't there more???

Old 04-08-21, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Fentuz
I was looking at their site more specifically the superlight range and I laughed.

It is all for almost twice the price of a steel?

By changing the seatpost and saddle, you can save 250g easily. a front Dahon light weight rim will fit. once the std tyres swap for kojaks that's another 250g saved. Its possible to shave a few grams from the handlebar. the crank can also be swapped easily for something much lighter.
My point is that I can see how they can justify 1000 extra for 0.74kg when can do pretty much the same for 150-200 at most...
One weight saving doesn't replace the other, they add upon each other.

You can both use titanium fork+rear triangle and use a lightweight saddle and a lightweight seatpost.

The problem of the Superlight is that Brompton suppressed over the time several weight savings and that the new components are heavier than the old ones (crankset, rims, derailleur and IGH control levers...).

The Kojak do not provide the same service as stronger tires, so they are not a real weight saving. You could the as well choose a single speed which save weight but also doesn't provide the same service as a 6 speed.
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Old 04-08-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
There's no copycat in the West, because they obviously can't be sold (copyright issue).
The only pending potential copyright issue, which would apply only to dimensional near duplicates and not to the Andrew Ritchie fold design, is in Belgium and by extension the EU.
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Old 04-08-21, 01:14 PM
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It's true for any market where copyright laws exist: You can't simply copy an existing product. It has to look different enough so that it can't be mistaken for the original. Hence the Dahon Curl is allowed to be sold in the West, while the Asian copycats (3Sixty, etc) of the Brompton aren't.

It'll be interesting to see how things end for Chedech.

https://www.farrer.co.uk/news-and-in...-not-over-yet/
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Old 04-09-21, 06:23 PM
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If anyone would like to bore themselves by learning about copyright law - actual copyright law and not internet musings, and how they are different from patents and trademarks, and what each covers and does not cover - as a first primer I'd refer you to:

https://www.rightsdirect.com/interna...yright-basics/
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Old 04-09-21, 06:25 PM
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If anyone would like to learn about actual copyright law, how copyrights are different from patents and trademarks, and what each covers and does not cover, for a first primer I'd refer you to:

https://www.rightsdirect.com/interna...yright-basics/
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Old 04-10-21, 02:13 AM
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In the case we're dealing with here, it looks like it's more "industrial property" than "copyright".

Regardless, you can't just copy a product, put your sticker on it, and call it "different".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_property
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Old 04-10-21, 02:14 AM
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Old 04-14-21, 07:34 AM
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As a wise man said: We're too poor to afford cheap things.

The real question is whether copies like MIT or 6Sixty are better than the Bromptom ?

I bought a brompton (second hand) but I am looking for a bike for my sister and I am more rational for her !

The Brompton is still perfect in terms of compactness but if I find a brand that does the same thing in terms of design but better in terms of solidity with a low maintenance cost and parts easily found in France I will jump on it.

For the moment, apart from Tyrell live, I'm not satisfied with the rest, knowing that I don't like disposable bikes (which use aluminum, carbon or poor quality titanium frames that break like Brompton). the ori were really good on paper but no steel frame...

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Old 04-14-21, 12:24 PM
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Go ahead, order one, have it shipped to Europe (if the seller agrees and the cost makes sense), and tell us how it goes.
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Old 04-14-21, 02:50 PM
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The video show cheap, low quality clones.

All clones aren't cheap low quality but its difficult to know how clones are made based on pictures from eBay or Aliexpress that may even not show what you will get. And even if one buyer receives a good quality bike, nothing warranty that the next buyer will receive the same product.

3Sixty seems to now have good quality clones but they refuse to ship to Europe.

If you want a high quality folder built by a serious manufacturer, you can try to buy a Burke20 (if it is really available ?).
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Old 04-14-21, 02:59 PM
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Not available in Europe, and the 16" isn't available for online purchase — and if Seattle Cycles still agrees, how much does it cost to have it shipped to Europe, including duty ? Unlikely to be cheaper than buying a Brompton over here.
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Old 04-14-21, 04:03 PM
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Thanks for the name, I'll ask them about the import.

I'm just suggesting this idea but personally I wouldn't mind having a trusted forum member who has the skills to examine/review a bike and have several members (10 $ / pers max) to buy this type of bike to finally get an objective and detailed opinion of them.
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Old 04-14-21, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
Regardless, you can't just copy a product, put your sticker on it, and call it "different".
Actually, pretty common in the bicycling world.








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Old 04-14-21, 11:52 PM
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And still, no Asian company has dared selling its Brompton copycats in the West.

Either there's no demand here for a cheaper Brompton, or…
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Old 04-18-21, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by pinholecam
The Brompton has elevated itself to be beyond just a bike. Its a fashion statement and a badge of wealth.
Bike buyers fall into 3-4 categories.
1. The lifestyle (well heeled )
2. The performance orientated
3. The Utilitarian/ Practical
4. The budget orientated

The Brompton buyer is certain #1 with a mix of #3.
A #4 buyer won't necessary need a Brompton since there are cheaper bikes.
He/She won't fit in the associated lifestyle and Brompton Clique too.

#2 won't want a Brompton and will get something faster, eventually ending with a road bike

#3, usually has his/her own needs which may/may not end w/ a Brompton.


So in the end, a cheap Brompton based bike really has limited demand.
If I am cheap, its still too expensive vs other options
If I am into the lifestyle, the chance to be rejected by the "B" community is high.
If I am performance orientated, most likely a Pocket Rocket, faster spec'ed Tern/Dahon, or road bike
If I am practical and want utility, many other bikes can do it with a rear rack, cheap such that fear of theft is lower, etc.


A "B" copy is a niche within a niche and there are enough copy makers out there already (ie. Pikes, 360, etc )
I bought a Brompton during the Covid19 closure, needing a "folding bike" for travels. I ended up with a "Lightweight, 6 gear Flamepainted special model" of unknown numbers of produced samples, and yes they use ancient technology, but it still functions after all, and I'm searching for a new stem made from carbon? Anybody know where to find one?
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Old 04-18-21, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
And still, no Asian company has dared selling its Brompton copycats in the West.

Either there's no demand here for a cheaper Brompton, or…
I think these Asian copycats are smart enough not to open a can of worms by shipping clones to the countries near the original maker.
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Old 04-18-21, 11:19 AM
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I rest my case :-)
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Old 05-12-21, 09:57 AM
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The problem for Brompton is that they are only focused n margin's, they are not aiming at having a better bike.
Spot on. And high on anyone's list for "better" when it comes to folding bikes is "lighter". I've got a Bike Friday Pakit, a Fnhon Gust and had until recently stolen a Java carbon folding bike. The reason I've kept hold of my Brompton longer than all of them put together (approx 18 years) is that it folds down quickly, easily and well. It makes it easy to take inside with you - which means it isn't damaged or stolen. I've taken my Brompton into the office, restaurants, pubs and even the hospital - where it sat there unlocked but safe by the big machine while I had an MRI scan. The others are just bigger and more awkward to fold. Some of them aren't too sturdy either.

That said, it's not light. It's so heavy, I feel lop-sided if I carry it for too long. Or maybe I'm asking for the impossible. The big names in this market are Brompton and Dahon - and if there's one thing neither of them will sell you, it's a bike that is in any real sense "superlight".
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Old 05-12-21, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by agghk
That said, it's not light. It's so heavy, I feel lop-sided if I carry it for too long.
Two very useful add-on's:
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Old 05-12-21, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
Two very useful add-on's:
Yes - thanks. Particularly the Rockbros. I live in a 5th floor "walk-up."
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Old 05-12-21, 12:17 PM
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Go Italian

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Old 05-12-21, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by agghk
That said, it's not light. It's so heavy, I feel lop-sided if I carry it for too long. Or maybe I'm asking for the impossible. The big names in this market are Brompton and Dahon - and if there's one thing neither of them will sell you, it's a bike that is in any real sense "superlight".
In the bike industry, light means expensive, superlight means super-expensive.

Due to the folding, a folding bike is heavier than a classic diamond frame bike. So making it superlight at the same weight as a classic superlight diamond frame bike will be more difficult = more expensive than a classic bike.

How many customers are ready to pay a high price for a super-expensive superlight folding bike ?

The Burke 20 folds small and is (supposed to be) very lightweight but its expensive, how many pieces sold ?
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Old 05-14-21, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
The B75 only has three speeeds, uses old parts, and isn't available outside the UK.


As for the Dahon Curl, it has no frame-mounted bag, is hard to find in Europe, and depending on the supplier, is sold with a Nexus 4, a Nexus 7, or a Nexus 8.


Will a Taiwanese/Chinese company finally see the light?
Technically Taiwan (with a Brit designer) Ori (aka Mezzo) already went there and lost with their Brompton competitor (It isn't a Brompton knockoff, though). I think it was released only in Taiwan, but they even made a titanium Ori. They're a great folder, if you can find them. You might be able to talk an LBS into working with them to get you one, depending on your relationship with your LBS.

I got an i4? Mezzo, instead of a Brompton or something else at the time. I just regret not buying the commuter bag, before Mezzo stopped being a thing and I could have imported more easily from England. I really would love to buy some of the Ori accessories \ luggage, if someone would ship to US. The nearest shop last I knew was Mexico City (and I'm in the US) for the brand. They're not easy bikes to track down. Even less with the travel restrictions and increased transport costs.


If you're serious enough about saddle time and the fold size or wheel size, then odds are you've little incentive for the compromises it takes to lower the cost. You don't want to compromise ride quality, end up with a bike that won't last long enough, etc.

The Curl isn't sufficient because of luggage. There's alternatives to the Brompton luggage system (I thought Dahon had one, but maybe I'm thinking of another brand). If that's really the deal breaker - you can use klick klax (it's handlebar, but a good substitutde) & I know at least one person on this forum got a guy to braise it to the frame of his bike, so he could use that system on his not a Brompton.

Don't like Nexus 4, 7 or 8 - Get the 4 (since I presume that's the cheapest) and upgrade as you wish.

EU availability - nothing for that.

After all the time and trouble of finding a Dahon and making it what you wish, I don't know you save over getting a Brompton (or used Brompton).

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Old 05-14-21, 10:40 AM
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I know bike shops in Belgium selling the Ori M10.

I had the opportunity to test it.

Its not a bad bike but it has major drawback:
- Its a bike made for Asiatic people, not for European/American people, too small for most European and Americans.
- The folding require to dismount the front wheel, not great, for me its a show stopper.
- The special stem, needed to compensate for the short frame, prevent to use any front bag.
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Old 05-14-21, 11:34 AM
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I had an M10. Lighter and rides better than the Brompton, but the lack of frame-mounted front bag is a show stopper for me.

What shops in Belgium carry the M10?

DEALER | ORi Life Style Folding Bikes
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