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Wanted Brompnot- aka Brompton clone

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Wanted Brompnot- aka Brompton clone

Old 01-29-24, 02:58 PM
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Wanted Brompnot- aka Brompton clone

I'm looking for a Brompnot trifold bike with external gears, open to anything w/ 3-6 (flexible), preferably a lighter weight P line variant for multi modal city use.

I like the Aceoffix P1 and Mobot but they don't ship to the US so I'm left w/Aliexpress.

So far I've found-
Aceoffix Ace01- 3/5 gear option, no rear rack/fenders/pig nose, $871+ $300= $1171
​​​​​​https://www.aliexpress.us/item/32568...Cquery_from%3A

Mint Bob- 6 external gears, P line wheelset/jockey, has fender/pig nose, no rear rack, $871= $250= $1121
​​​​​​https://www.aliexpress.us/item/32568...Cquery_from%3A

3Sixty- 3 external gears, old style, heavier, small rear rack/fender/pig nose, $443+ $300=$743
​​​​​​https://www.aliexpress.us/item/32568...Cquery_from%3A

Frescoche- 6 external gears, P line wheelset/jockey, has fender/rear rack/pig nose, $834+ $180= $1014
​​​​​​https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256806037148638.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.pcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller.7.41112Ngp2Ngpqb&gps-id=pcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller&scm=1007.40000.326746.0&scm_id=1007.40000.326746.0&scm-url=1007.40000.326746.0&pvid=668a8f5a-db39-4d3c-adeb-639022decc94&_t=gps-idcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller,scm-url:1007.40000.326746.0,pvid:668a8f5a-db39-4d3c-adeb-639022decc94,tpp_buckets:668%232846%238107%2362&pdp_npi=4%40dis%21USD%21888.00%21834.72%21%21%21888. 00%21834.72%21%40210307c317065562973568444eeb9b%2112000036351792320%21rec%21US%21%21AB&utparam-url=scene%3ApcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller%7Cquery_from%3A
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Old 01-29-24, 05:32 PM
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Maybe this?

I found a seller of a Brompton clone in North America called the Solorock 321. It fits all the requirements you're looking for except that it is not very light. It is a bit heavier even than a six speed C-Line but this bike has all external gears (9-speed) and has the pig-nose and rear rack. All for just $625 USD. Not sure how much shipping is from Canada to your US address, but I'm sure it isn't much. Check it out:

321 Model - SOLOROCK 16" 9 Speed Chromoly Steel Alloy Folding Bike | SoloRock Sports & Appliances

Edward

Last edited by edwong3; 01-29-24 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 01-29-24, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by edwong3
I found a seller of a Brompton clone in North America called the Solorock 321. It fits all the requirements you're looking for except that it is not very light. It is a bit heavier even than a six speed C-Line but this bike has all external gears (9-speed) and has the pig-nose and rear rack. All for just $625 USD. Not sure how much shipping is from Canada to your US address, but I'm sure it isn't much. Check it out:

321 Model - SOLOROCK 16" 9 Speed Chromoly Steel Alloy Folding Bike | SoloRock Sports & Appliances

Edward
Thank you! It's certainly a great price but for this bike, which will be used for multimodal travel, I'm favoring less gears and lighter weight over more gears and weight.
If I could find a 3 speed external gear w/P line Brompnot, I'd go for that vs 5/6 speeds as I don't see myself riding up hills on it.

I saw a listing for a Mint Bob 6 on ebay that is actually less than the Aliexpress route- its a 2022 model and only comes in red.

I can't find any info on the Frescoche model anywhere online but dang, its got everything I like even has nice grips w/wrist rest but the specs listed is lacking, no weight listed.
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Old 01-29-24, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by edwong3
I found a seller of a Brompton clone in North America called the Solorock 321. It fits all the requirements you're looking for except that it is not very light. It is a bit heavier even than a six speed C-Line but this bike has all external gears (9-speed) and has the pig-nose and rear rack. All for just $625 USD. Not sure how much shipping is from Canada to your US address, but I'm sure it isn't much. Check it out:

321 Model - SOLOROCK 16" 9 Speed Chromoly Steel Alloy Folding Bike | SoloRock Sports & Appliances

Edward
31-79 gear inches
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Old 01-29-24, 10:17 PM
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Those shipping costs on Aliexpress are ridiculous. During the pandemic when shipping costs skyrocketed, I could understand (I also saw a Brompton copy, I think made by Litepro or seen on their site), but I said I would just wait until shipping went back down in cost, which it should be. This is like fuel costs skyrocketing due to a perceived shortage in supply or refining and inelastic demand, but when that shortage problem is solved, fuel prices never come back down, not completely to where they were pre-shortage.

I wouldn't buy a copy unless, total cost, it was no more than 1/2 genuine cost, and even then, preferrably after on the market a while and has good reviews, no frame failures, good components. A particular challenge is whether any internal gear hub has the same "wide ratio" as the Brompton. I'd also check on patent status if it's a pure copy with no improvements.
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Old 01-29-24, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by edwong3
I found a seller of a Brompton clone in North America called the Solorock 321. It fits all the requirements you're looking for except that it is not very light. It is a bit heavier even than a six speed C-Line but this bike has all external gears (9-speed) and has the pig-nose and rear rack. All for just $625 USD. Not sure how much shipping is from Canada to your US address, but I'm sure it isn't much. Check it out:

321 Model - SOLOROCK 16" 9 Speed Chromoly Steel Alloy Folding Bike | SoloRock Sports & Appliances

Edward
That looks like a good deal!

As setup, 52 x 11-28, that's 30-76 gear inches, as usual, a bit tight for me, desired is 21-85.

I still wish it had a 9-28, and a 50/34 crank, that would yield 19.5-89.3, lovely. But at that price, might be worthwhile only for travel.

The Mint Bob also has huge shipping cost, near $300. I thing the Solorock is a better deal, especially as I prefer all-external gearing. Their US warehouse is in NY, says can pickup there too, shipping to west coast, don't know cost, but should be way less than from overseas.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 01-29-24 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 01-29-24, 10:25 PM
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I know the MintBob you are talking about on eBay. And the price is not bad at all. I can understand that you want a very light model but not sure why the drivetrain has to be a low gear count. But that is your personal choice.

Good luck in your search.

Edward
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Old 01-29-24, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
That looks like a good deal!

As setup, 52 x 11-28, that's 30-76 gear inches, as usual, a bit tight for me, desired is 21-85.

I still wish it had a 9-28, and a 50/34 crank, that would yield 19.5-89.3, lovely. But at that price, might be worthwhile only for travel.
Well, you know that no bike is "safe" (MUUHAHAHA!) from modding to get something more to one's liking and needs, that for the relatively low price, it might be worth the venture. Heck, maybe even put it on a diet to shed a couple of pounds. Just saying.

Edward
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Old 01-29-24, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by edwong3
I know the MintBob you are talking about on eBay. And the price is not bad at all. I can understand that you want a very light model but not sure why the drivetrain has to be a low gear count. But that is your personal choice.

Good luck in your search.

Edward
Ok, here's where I'm very ignorant. I don't understand gear ratios. I've had various kinds of bicycles with different gears(external and igh) and wheel sizes. Some were easier to ride/pedal than others and I understand its due to the gear ratio/spread but I don't know how to calculate it.

This particular Mint Bob 6 crank is 50T, cassette is 11-24T w/16" wheels. How will that translate to riding in the city for multi modal transportation? Good/bad for flats? Good or bad for hills?
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Old 01-29-24, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Those shipping costs on Aliexpress are ridiculous. During the pandemic when shipping costs skyrocketed, I could understand (I also saw a Brompton copy, I think made by Litepro or seen on their site), but I said I would just wait until shipping went back down in cost, which it should be. This is like fuel costs skyrocketing due to a perceived shortage in supply or refining and inelastic demand, but when that shortage problem is solved, fuel prices never come back down, not completely to where they were pre-shortage.

I wouldn't buy a copy unless, total cost, it was no more than 1/2 genuine cost, and even then, preferrably after on the market a while and has good reviews, no frame failures, good components. A particular challenge is whether any internal gear hub has the same "wide ratio" as the Brompton. I'd also check on patent status if it's a pure copy with no improvements.
Yes, shipping costs seem super high but I don't know what the going rate was before.

The Brompton P line starts at around 3k, the Brompnots P line variants I'm looking at with shipping come under $1200 at the most w/external gears. I am not sure about the gear ratios though.
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Old 01-29-24, 11:30 PM
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I wouldn't trust too much the announced weight and wouldn't use it as a criterion of choice between those different bikes!

They are all full steel, no titanium fork and rear triangle, a weight around 11kg seems already optimistic.

The Solorock has the L-twoo transmission which is better.

3sixtty is a well known Brompton clone brand that exists since a long time while other are unknown or appeared more recently. If frame quality is the most important for you, this is the best.

Take into account that an A-line Brompton list price is 1150USD without any discount. If you ever want to sell your bike, the price used of a real Brompton will be much higher than the one of any low cost clone (that with the currently huge shipment costs approaches the A-line price).

Last edited by Jipe; 01-29-24 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 01-30-24, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by freckles
Ok, here's where I'm very ignorant. I don't understand gear ratios. I've had various kinds of bicycles with different gears(external and igh) and wheel sizes. Some were easier to ride/pedal than others and I understand its due to the gear ratio/spread but I don't know how to calculate it.

This particular Mint Bob 6 crank is 50T, cassette is 11-24T w/16" wheels. How will that translate to riding in the city for multi modal transportation? Good/bad for flats? Good or bad for hills?
That's gonna give you a range of 33.5-73.0 gear inches. 33 is typical for folding bike lows, you can climb with it while standing out of the saddle, but a decent hill, if you like to spin up, you're gonna want close to 20 gear inches. 73 is perhaps just enough high for the flat, barely. My folder, after upgrade, has 21-85 gear inches, I can do hills, and not needing a tour de france fast high gear.

Look up "sheldon brown gear calculator", enter values for a bike you have that has all the gearing you need, and compare. I typically think in gear-inches for results, there is also gain-ratio.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 01-30-24 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 01-30-24, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
I wouldn't trust too much the announced weight and wouldn't use it as a criterion of choice between those different bikes!

They are all full steel, no titanium fork and rear triangle, a weight around 11kg seems already optimistic.

The Solorock has the L-twoo transmission which is better.

3sixtty is a well known Brompton clone brand that exists since a long time while other are unknown or appeared more recently. If frame quality is the most important for you, this is the best.

Take into account that an A-line Brompton list price is 1150USD without any discount. If you ever want to sell your bike, the price used of a real Brompton will be much higher than the one of any low cost clone (that with the currently huge shipment costs approaches the A-line price).
Agree with all, except to note that the A-line, IIRC, is only 3 speeds.
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Old 01-30-24, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by edwong3
Well, you know that no bike is "safe" (MUUHAHAHA!) from modding to get something more to one's liking and needs, that for the relatively low price, it might be worth the venture. Heck, maybe even put it on a diet to shed a couple of pounds. Just saying.

Edward
Yeah, except, to mod as wanted with a 9 tooth cog, you can't just mount on the freehub body typical for an 11 tooth high, you need one of the newer freehub bodies designed for 9 tooth. Someone on here says some have the same "standard" interface with the hub, but swapping out a freehub body is a big pain, though perfect time to clean and relube the wheel bearings because the axle has to come out. But at least you shouldn't need a new hub.
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Old 01-30-24, 07:10 AM
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Swapping a hub body on a hub developed for that like the one of Hope, Tune, DT-swiss... is very easy, quick and can be done without tools. Only the cassette removal from the hub body requires specific tools.

Indeed, the A-line is only BSR = 3s IGH.

One more thing: I don't know the Aceofix Brompton clone, but I know some Aceofix Brompton parts that were low quality and not reliable.

Last edited by Jipe; 01-30-24 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 01-30-24, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by freckles
Ok, here's where I'm very ignorant. I don't understand gear ratios. I've had various kinds of bicycles with different gears(external and igh) and wheel sizes. Some were easier to ride/pedal than others and I understand its due to the gear ratio/spread but I don't know how to calculate it.

This particular Mint Bob 6 crank is 50T, cassette is 11-24T w/16" wheels. How will that translate to riding in the city for multi modal transportation? Good/bad for flats? Good or bad for hills?
I use this:
https://www.bikecalc.com/archives/gear-inches.html

and map out the gear inches for each bike that I own and find a pattern.
I found that I need 19" (ish) to ride the hills in my area comfortably and 85-90" to ride down while still engaged.
Then adjust or compromise as necessary.
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Old 01-30-24, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by freckles
I'm looking for a Brompnot trifold bike with external gears, open to anything w/ 3-6 (flexible), preferably a lighter weight P line variant for multi-modal city use.
Chedech.

https://chedech.com/
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Old 01-30-24, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Yeah, except, to mod as wanted with a 9 tooth cog, you can't just mount on the freehub body typical for an 11 tooth high, you need one of the newer freehub bodies designed for 9 tooth. Someone on here says some have the same "standard" interface with the hub, but swapping out a freehub body is a big pain, though perfect time to clean and relube the wheel bearings because the axle has to come out. But at least you shouldn't need a new hub.
It's possible to get a higher gear ratio by going with a larger chainring and then either go with a freewheel (or cassette, whichever is the case) such as an 11 to 32 if it works with the small 16 inch wheel. Or use a double chainring setup and get a wide range gearing that way. There are always solutions to every challenge.
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Old 01-30-24, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
I wouldn't trust too much the announced weight and wouldn't use it as a criterion of choice between those different bikes!

They are all full steel, no titanium fork and rear triangle, a weight around 11kg seems already optimistic.

The Solorock has the L-twoo transmission which is better.

3sixtty is a well known Brompton clone brand that exists since a long time while other are unknown or appeared more recently. If frame quality is the most important for you, this is the best.

Take into account that an A-line Brompton list price is 1150USD without any discount. If you ever want to sell your bike, the price used of a real Brompton will be much higher than the one of any low cost clone (that with the currently huge shipment costs approaches the A-line price).
Sorry, I shouldn't of listed the 3sixty as it is a 3 speed igh and I'm trying to avoid them. If there was a 3sixty option w/3 to 5 external gears that shipped to the US, it would be a contender.

I did look into Brompton's A line- but its a 3 speed igh too w/no fenders, pedals- super bare bones which will encourage me to upgrade to the C line...
Also looking to avoid the Brompton label too - want this trifold to be functional, not bling clone to reduce chance of theft.
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Old 01-30-24, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
That's gonna give you a range of 33.5-73.0 gear inches. 33 is typical for folding bike lows, you can climb with it while standing out of the saddle, but a decent hill, if you like to spin up, you're gonna want close to 20 gear inches. 73 is perhaps just enough high for the flat, barely. My folder, after upgrade, has 21-85 gear inches, I can do hills, and not needing a tour de france fast high gear.

Look up "sheldon brown gear calculator", enter values for a bike you have that has all the gearing you need, and compare. I typically think in gear-inches for results, there is also gain-ratio.
Should the range of gears be good enough for city multi modal riding? I have other bikes with wider range of gears for recreation/touring/commuting.

I just want a simple light trifold that I can quickly fold when traveling by bus/subway in the city. I am car free now and want to get around by public transit. Adding a small trifold to get me to final destinations.
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Old 01-30-24, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Thank you.
I did research them after reading they are quality built but they are too fancy/bling looking for me- I'm looking for plain/functional.

I plan to use this trifold for multi modal transportation so need practical things like fenders/pig nose/rear rack. I know a trifold will get looks b/c it's a different looking bike but want a plain looking/obvious clone/copy vs brand name to avoid chance of theft too.
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Old 01-30-24, 01:40 PM
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Aceoffix...Mint Bob....3Sixty...Solorock...
The out-of-focus thumbnail-sized images offered of the products are not confidence-inspiring.

...a 3 speed igh and I'm trying to avoid them...


Hey, you want what you want and that's cool. But - why avoid IGHs?
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Old 01-30-24, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by freckles
Should the range of gears be good enough for city multi modal riding? I have other bikes with wider range of gears for recreation/touring/commuting.

I just want a simple light trifold that I can quickly fold when traveling by bus/subway in the city. I am car free now and want to get around by public transit. Adding a small trifold to get me to final destinations.
City biking: Yeah, if mostly on the flats and mild hills, in traffic biking and not covering long stretches of ground rurally, 30-70/75ish gear inches should be enough, especially if the bike is "empty". My (non-frequent) folder is fully racked and panniered with trunk bag full of tools and for shopping (and hopefully touring as some point) so 55 lbs all the time (with panniers empty except for backup warm clothes), and my city has San-Francisco-steep hills, and I really need that 21" low, and even then, on the most steeps (like 15-20% grade), need to stand on the pedals or walk it up. Out of the city, I do use the 85" high, but usually only if the wind is at my back or on a mild downgrade.

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Old 01-30-24, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by edwong3
It's possible to get a higher gear ratio by going with a larger chainring and then either go with a freewheel (or cassette, whichever is the case) such as an 11 to 32 if it works with the small 16 inch wheel. Or use a double chainring setup and get a wide range gearing that way. There are always solutions to every challenge.
Big chainring: Oh of course, but ones big enough to make a difference with a 349 wheel, typically gets into exotic parts, they make them, but expensive, and, on what is typical now, max 16 tooth jump, compromises the low ring size. Going from an 11 to 9 cog is a bigger percentage difference, if you can do it. I was set on going to a triple 52/42/30, but when that wouldn't package (FD would not go in far enough due to FAT seat tube), I found the 50/34 on 110BCD, gets me almost as much range, fits, and fantastic deal for hollowtech II style with external BB bearings, $75. Just love it.
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Old 01-31-24, 12:09 AM
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More than 16t difference between chainrings doesn't work well with most front derailleur.

With a very big chainring, such a big difference in teeth is necessary to have a big enough difference in percentage (16t difference with a 60t chainring is only about 27%)

The shape of the front derailleur is also usually not designed for chainrings above 53 or 55t
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