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T / P Line Brompton for commuting

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T / P Line Brompton for commuting

Old 05-24-23, 09:50 AM
  #26  
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A very light Brompton does a very specific thing: it's light and folds down easily into a very compact package. This is important if you're carrying a bike around and stashing it in small spaces. If you don't need these features then you can use bigger/heavier bikes that ride and shift better.
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Old 05-24-23, 01:39 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Jipe
The wheels mounted by Pacific Cycles on the Titanium Birdy at the price they sold these bikes is a shame!
A shame indeed. There should be no subpar components on a bike of this price.

Originally Posted by Winfried
You could carry more with a Brompton-compatible luggage block:
No need, the Tern Luggage Truss is fine. I use a Tern office bag and some Klickfix bags/basket.

Originally Posted by Joe Remi
A very light Brompton does a very specific thing: it's light and folds down easily into a very compact package. This is important if you're carrying a bike around and stashing it in small spaces. If you don't need these features then you can use bigger/heavier bikes that ride and shift better.
Indeed. It's just that for this kind of price, I would expect a better transmission for a more versatile bike.

I took a look at the Vello Rocky in a shop. It's well made and seems sturdy. It's just not compact enough for me.
It definitely deserves to be considered when looking for a folding bike.
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Old 05-25-23, 12:16 AM
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Some information about the T-line crankset that many owners want to modify to put a bigger chainring to have longer gear inches.

Brompton choose a specific non standard chainring mounting, the FSA direct mount (which is different from other manufacturers direct mount chainrings) and for which FSA only has either double chainrings for road bikes or single narrow-wide for MTB much too mall for the T-line.

So, its very difficult to find other sizes of chainrings > 50t for the T-line crankset.

Ti Parts Workshop has just made a spider for the T-line that convert the FSA direct mount into a standard BCD 130. Its tthat or replace the whole crankset (and maybe bearings because the crankset axle diameter is 30mm).
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Old 05-26-23, 02:25 PM
  #29  
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I tested the Birdy Touring today. It rides well and I noticed the difference with the Brompton, especially on some bad parts of the road.
It's a good bike, I like it. I don't think the gain in compactness over the Tern is significant though.

The R20, which is 1 kg lighter, is better for my needs. Too bad, it's only available in Asia. You can import it, but they don't check (or tune) the bike before shipping.
They do have a nice range of colors over there.
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Old 05-27-23, 04:07 AM
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I visited an official Birdy dealer at my current location and the Birdy R is offered for 2.8k$ (https://pacific-cycles-japan.com/birdy/r.html) and this without fenders, carrier or ability to roll the folded bike. The dealer had also other reputable folder brands. Curiously all owners of brand-name folders in or outside the store had Bromptons. The statistics was not high, just 3, but maybe beginning to tell something.
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Old 05-27-23, 04:35 AM
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The problem of the Birdy in Europe and US is that there are very few resellers.

In Europe, there are many Riese & Müller resellers, its the number 1 high end ebike brand but almost none of these Riese & Müller ebike reseller is willing to sell the Birdy and of course none has a Birdy in his shop.

I have a heavily upgraded superlight Brompton with a Rohloff transmission, a titanium Birdy and a Birdy 3 Touring.

Honestly, excepted for the folded size, the Birdy is much better than the Brompton: it rides much better (more efficient, more comfortable, faster, rides well both on paved and unpaved roads and trails, much better brakes), offer better luggage transport possibility (Brompton front block+big rear pannier+front low rider pannier) and has more adjustment possibilities to adapt to riders size.

For the folding and folded size, once used to fold the Birdy, its as easy to fold as the Brompton (many people say that the Birdy is less easy to fold than the Brompton but these people re mostly Brompton users trained to fold a Brompton). For the folded size, the Brompton is the smallest but the Birdy is not much bigger, its smaller than most Dahon and Tern.

About the Birdy R20 11SP (now called Birdy R by Pacific Cycles) I compared ETRTO406/20", ETRTO355/18" and ETRTO349/16" wheels on my Birdy and for me its a bad idea to mount ETRTO406/20" wheels on the Birdy because it doesn't allow to use tires wider than about 32mm (35mm without mudguards) and a big advantage of the Birdy is to have the possibility to use wide 50x355 tires. ETRTO349/16" would be as good as ETRTO355/18" if there were 50x349 but such size doesn't exist, the widest tire in ETRTO349 is 40mm wide and is a high pressure slick competition road tire.
Its a pity that Pacific Cycles discontinued the previous Birdy 11SP wit Hubsmith 18" wheels.
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Old 05-27-23, 05:13 AM
  #32  
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As to the Pacific Cycles versions, I visited two locations of the particular dealer and each had an army of Birdys in stock. Both of those locations were in very upscale neighborhoods. In one I could tell that the brand of the cars did not go below Lexus, so actually the price of bike might have been of minor relevance. I rode a test one and it rode fine, but, as the pavement was even, it was presumably hard to appreciate any difference in handling of one bike over another. Sizewise, in my book it does not qualify for effortless air travel, but then different people have different expectations and typical needs.
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Old 05-27-23, 05:24 AM
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Thank you for the detailed explanations.
I agree, the Birdy rides much better. It was obvious to me after a few pedal strokes.
You have a nice collection of bikes.

The shop had all 3 Birdy models, a few Brompton C-lines and of course a lot of Riese & Müller ebikes. But it's Paris; there are probably only a few shops that show the Birdy.
The salesman recommended the big apple tires (50mm wide) of the Birdy City for riding in Paris.
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Old 05-27-23, 11:47 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by 2_i
I rode a test one and it rode fine, but, as the pavement was even, it was presumably hard to appreciate any difference in handling of one bike over another.
The difference is obvious when riding on cobblestones or dirt roads. The Birdy rides much better, besides offering disk brakes.

But then, the Brompton was not meant to ride on such roads anyway. If only it could take bigger tires…
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Old 05-27-23, 04:06 PM
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The problem with the Brompton is the what the company is managed: its not managed like a bicycle company but like a fashion company with the unique aim of maximizing profit and the bike itself is considered by the management like a fashion object more than a bicycle with as consequence that the management is not looking at technically improving the bicycle but making special series, promoting the British origin of the bicycle, creating an artificial penury of bikes and very long delivery time...

This strategy worked for a very long time but things changed recently, especially in Asia where the customers were tired to wait for a Brompton and bought clones instead.

While doing so, they discovered that several of these clones are as good as the original and not the crappy, badly manufactured, falling apart, dangerous bikes shown by Butler Adams in a ridiculous video he published several years ago.

And nowadays, the clones sell very well in Asia reducing the market share of Brompton.

Brompton then developed the T-line to try to recover this market.

But after so many years of not developing any new bicycle and not following the technical evolution of the bicycle industry, the company doesn't know how to make a good 2023 bicycle and is continuing to make stupid technical choices like the development of the miserable proprietary 4s derailleur system, continuing to use narrow high pressure tires, continuing to use a proprietary OLD on its rear wheel, choosing an inadequate proprietary mounting for the chainring...

Anybody who likes the Brompton understand why Andrew Ritchie left the company he created!
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Old 05-27-23, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
The difference is obvious when riding on cobblestones or dirt roads. The Birdy rides much better, besides offering disk brakes.

But then, the Brompton was not meant to ride on such roads anyway. If only it could take bigger tires…
I fully believe that Birdy handles cobblestones way better. If my commute were 100% cobblestones, it would obviously be a strong, possibly overriding argument. If my commute were 10% of cobblestone or less, I would not care. Otherwise, to establish a reference for my resolving power, I could not tell a difference between how Birdy rode on a regular pavement from how Brompton. With this feel free to disregard anything else I may say.

My regular commute is 30-40min, depending on weather conditions. My most frequently used are a full-size bike and a Brompton. The Brompton is slower by 1-2min on the route, and very subtly less comfortable. I recover the 1-2min when I can get straight to the office without passing through a bike stand. Which bike I take depends on logistics, whether I am testing something, blue moon, etc. If I have my audio on the Brompton, else I would otherwise would need to pump up tires, I will very likely take the Brompton, preferring not to bother with hassle of extra action. My route is over broken sidewalks that nobody uses other than cyclists. Is it a dirt road? No, but not an even pavement either. Now say Birdy falls somewhere between Brompton and a regular bike. Will it then save me 0.5min over Brompton?? What are we talking about?

I take my Brompton regularly to Africa. I ride there backroads that are often not even quite suitable for walking. The locals often ride those on simple Indian-made bikes. Do they stop and read their pulse "How does it ride?". No, they just ride. I do trails on Brompton wherever I go.

My first folding bike was Bike Friday. I got it, because I listened to the advice that it rides closest to a full size bike among folders. I do not regret having a Bike Friday - it introduced me to folders in general and it is a nice bike - but I do not think it was the right choice at the time. You get a folder because it needs to solve some problems for you that a full-size bike does not. With this you need to resign yourself to some compromise.

P.S. I can certainly imagine significant differences emerging, even for myself, in a 5h+ touring day in day out between Brompton, Birdy, Bike Friday NWT and full size bike. From personal experience, Brompton is quite rough there. But then, you need to figure out yourself where the center of your needs is.

Last edited by 2_i; 05-27-23 at 07:11 PM. Reason: PS
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