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darthwhite 11-21-07 05:03 PM

Brompton or Mezzo

The story goes like this; I have a Dahon Cadenza '05, it's really, really nice, but it's a bit large for fitting into the back of mates cars or getting on the underground. I'm planning on selling it to help fund a new bike. I've done a load of research on the internet, trial rides, and so on, and i've boiled down my choices to two, a Mezzo D9 and a steel frame Brompton.

I was wondering if anyone here could recommend one over the other, or has any experience of either they'd like to put my way?

Many thanks!

Lalato 11-21-07 09:26 PM

I envy you this decision. Sorry I can't add anything other than that... I have no experience with either bike. However, I do like the look of the Mezzo better.


Simple Simon 11-22-07 05:52 AM

Welcome Darthwhite !! I am biased (Brompton) .. but, best advice is to visit shops and try and ride and fold them both. ... . For me the mezzos long 'dog-legged' stem just looks all wrong .. and just for confusion I'd add for comparison birdy for more performance and Strida for more folded portability.

I have toyed with getting a Jack or 07 cadenza, for light off road work + commute, but have delayed having seen that the stems need to be unscrewed / dismantled to make the folded package portable.... was this the issue with your cadenza ?

EvilV 11-22-07 06:47 AM

If you are interested in a Brompton you will get a VERY compact fold and a well engineered machine. Bromptons are pricey though so I bought a Taiwanese exact copy called the Merc. This sells in the UK for £330 plus postage. It's a pretty good deal I think and mine has had huge amounts of heavy use and works great.

An example of Merc abuse ->

matt52 11-22-07 01:05 PM

Lots of comparisons on previous threads. I've been hammering the Mezzo D9 on a daily commute for 15 months now, having lots of fun and no serious problems (bar one loss of a clip that holds the front wheel in when folded, which I got fixed under warantee, but would have cost me a £5 otherwise).

Benefits of Mezzo, more positive, jaunty ride. No hinge flex. Looks way nicer on the road. Disbenefits - maybe a bit undergeared at top end, but I've only really got irked by that after a year and switched my rear wheel to a capreo hub with 9 tooth cassette. For urban commuting the gearing is pretty much what you need.

Benefits of Brompton - well there must a load, because they are all over the streets. A bit heavier than the Mezzo (at a guess), but folds very slightly smaller. S-variant looks daft for tall folks.

You could - if brave - order an Oribike M9 from Belgium (see recent thread for details). For the same price as a Mezzo in the UK, you get a next gen Mezzo (Oribike=Mezzo in some markets) with hydroformed frame (like the new Birdys). Very fab indeed!

matt52 11-22-07 01:31 PM

Try this thread

darthwhite 11-23-07 02:42 PM

Firstly thanks for the replies, i hadn't thought about a birdie (or a brompton clone for that matter), i'll have to have a look.

My cadenza is perfect for it's intended market, which is the "put bike in back of car" sector, for trains/busses it's not so good; there is no way it will fit into luggage racks or the like (which is why i'm getting rid of it). Although this sounds really neative you have to take into account the fact that it is really, really fast, responsive and it doesn't feel like a folder - you can be really aggressive when you ride, and the bike just takes it. As for the handlebars, they were a bit too wide when it was folded, so i lopped an inch and a half of either end and got rid of the end caps, and now it's totally portable.

If i wasn't moving to london (where i know i will be needing to use busses/underground on a regular basis) i wouldn't even be thinking of replacing it.

I took a mezzo out for a test ride a few days ago, and i was a bit dissapointed. It was nice enough and folded nicely, but the ride was a tad wobbly, the bike itself was slow (both low gears and rolling resistance), and speed is one of my criteria!

Does anyone know about go-bikes? I've not found much in searches...

matt52 11-24-07 02:47 PM


Originally Posted by darthwhite (Post 5681373)
I took a mezzo out for a test ride a few days ago, and i was a bit dissapointed. It was nice enough and folded nicely, but the ride was a tad wobbly, the bike itself was slow (both low gears and rolling resistance), and speed is one of my criteria!

Does anyone know about go-bikes? I've not found much in searches...

Hmmm - I think you need to consider carefully what it is you want and the compromises it brings. I've never come across anyone who regarded the Mezzo's ride as "wobbly". If anything it is one of the more positive, stable feeling 16" bikes, because of the lack of centre hinge. But _all_ 16" bikes feel very different (at first) from full sized bikes like the Cadenza - they are (by reason of physics if nothing else) much more responsive steering wise, because less tyre touches the ground at any one time. So they can feel a bit unstable to newcomers to this sort of bike. After a day or so, you get used to it and relish the better city riding that a 16" bikes nippyness brings. I suspect that any sub-20" bike will feel a bit "wobbly" to you on first ride - so if you go down the route of 16 bikes you are never going to get the same riding experience from the Cadenza, whatever bike you pick. (BTW - whilst I partially agree re the Mezzo's gearing (I've just upgraded mine - and see other threads), I'm a bit confused re your "rolling resistance" point - perhaps the tyres were a bit under-inflated? Most people find the Mezzo ride pretty nippy until they run out of gears.)

Finally - go-bikes - I'm sure great for the £900-odd you can get them for from ECC in Germany. But its a 20" bike, so never going to be as compact (or light) a bike as the Mezzo, Birdy or Brompton. If you find 16" wheels not to your taste, the 18" Birdy's might be a better bet (though you'll pay £££ more than for either a Mezzo or Brompton for even a basic Birdy).

Best of luck!

Cholmeleian 11-26-07 02:31 PM

20 inch bikes ride better than 16 inch. If you can handle the larger folded size, try a Dahon Speed P8 or Vitesse D5.

bhkyte 10-01-08 12:58 PM

mezzo every time!
has far greater upgrade potential for less money.other than that the standard mezzo is lighter better handling and folds faster. you will see some reports that the mezzo is slower to fold.
I own both, the mezzo takes me 10-15 secounds unfold and 15-20 to fold.
It takes me usuallu at least 30 secs to fold or unfold the brompton.
Some owners stsate that the clips are difficult, again they like to be snapped it in place and once you get used to this it is a doddle.

bykerouac 10-01-08 07:40 PM

My totally biased and opinionated advice is for you to get a Brommie :thumb:

jur 10-01-08 08:11 PM

Why dredge up old threads such as this one where the OP has already worn out the bike they chose in the end?

bykerouac 10-01-08 08:37 PM

What the heck??? Lol, I guess I was suckered into adding into this thread. Bhkyte, I blame you! :crash:

gringo_gus 10-02-08 11:34 AM

but I never knew about Oribike, so some benefit to dredging - what happened ? Can't find them anywhere....


bhkyte 10-02-08 01:44 PM

yes blame me for bringing this up!! ,but there is so much Brompton bais out there that any other 16" folding bike struggles to compete, but I would suggest that poeople test drive (better)alternatives before commiting to high Brompton prices.
I would just like to see some balanced debate. Sorry if it old ground to some of you already in the know.

bhkyte 10-02-08 01:52 PM

If you can get a 20" bike on to your commute then yes 20" plus wheeled is usually better. My upgraded Downtude rides better than my dualdrive lowprofile handlebared mezzo.
I was just talking about the more compact mezzo v brompton debate.

timo888 10-02-08 02:55 PM


Originally Posted by darthwhite (Post 5674139)
Mezzo D9 and a steel frame Brompton.

Does one of the bikes offer greater variety in upgrade options? What's the OLD of the Mezzo's rear hub?


bhkyte 10-03-08 11:13 AM

yes, the standard mezzo hub set ups are under geared, but because they use standard 135mm axle the upgrade potent ional is greater.

Therefore the mezzo can take whatever wheel you can get build up. ie dual drive hubs, 9 speed internals, cespro possibly. I have been told by the uk distributors that the chain would catch the chain stay on a 9tooth cespro small sprocket though, but the front 54 spocket can be increased to a 56t without problems.

The standard brompton axle is around 112mm(depending on model).Therefore the only hubs that fit are internal with options of 3 to 5 speed sram or old sturmley archer versions. But the 3 speed can be doubled up with a (£70)derailleur mod from bropmton. Any other better gear selections involve altering the back end of the frame. Steve perry (UK) does a braze on front changer for £50, but one still needs to change the cranks to fit twin chainrings, buy another chainring and a front changer mech and compatible lever. Then you loss the convenience of the chain guard also!

It as more expensive to get a wheel built up to increase the gearing on a mezzo, but you get more gears, more choice of set up, closer ratios that are better for road use and you get a spare wheel.

I have set mine up with off road tires and gearing. I intend to buy a spare Dahon suspension seat post so that I can switch from road set up to off road quickly.

In addition the derailleur D9 and the internal 4 speed bikes have fittings to move the mounting of the front folding wheel frame clip. As far as I know this should allow either bike to use either type of hub and still fold ok.

somnatash 10-03-08 12:11 PM


Originally Posted by bhkyte (Post 7596949)
...Any other better gear selections involve altering the back end of the frame....

There is also the 8Spd which does not involve altering the frame: The SA-XRF8.

bhkyte 10-04-08 04:01 AM

yes, this can fit this but ..
chain tensioner need modifing,
chain line need altering,
front spocket needs chaining to 33-30t,
rear sprocket might also need changing I believe to 19ish idealy(this does not fit)
therefore often cranks needs changing,
then if you want to change back to another wheel set up simply reverse all this!!!!
further proof I belive that Bromptons are expensive, difficult and limited to upgrade.

Add to this the difficulty of upgrading non standard seat posts diameters.

The mezzo handlebar stem can also be upgraded to something to give more forward space .The height is eaiser to adjust lower (hacksaw) or heighten (adjust).The intergral rear clip is much better than the flimsy brompton plastic £25 self locking clip.

if you are happy with all the issues concerning upgrading a Brompton than fine, but I am certianly not. It has been a delight to change my main folder ride to a Mezzo from my Brompton. One weekend of work and I have a bike I am happy with. The Brompton was frustrating and expensive by compairasion, and ended up a vastly inferior bike.

timo888 10-04-08 05:04 AM

I'm sure you'll be able to sell your Brompton, bhkyte. Someone will take that worthless pile of junk off your hands. :)

Compactness of fold led Brompton to a narrow rear spacing, which does limit gearing upgrade choices.

The Brompton's handlebars have very limited range of adjustment ... again, to satisfy the compact fold. For some riders, this may require a more careful look than the gearing. My wife likes very much, but is not absolutely delighted with, the 3-speed Brompton I just bought for her as a surprise. She can't quite find the perfect riding position that she has with her full-size Dutch-handlebar hybrid commuting bike. Too bad there's not an adjustable stem for the end of the Brompton's stem riser, similar to what forum member jur contrived for his Downtube Mini. Or is there?


mulleady 10-04-08 05:25 AM

Well if the Brompton is so bad why does it sell more than it can produce?

somnatash 10-04-08 05:38 AM


Originally Posted by timo888 (Post 7601217)
... She can't quite find the perfect riding position that she has with her full-size Dutch-handlebar hybrid commuting bike. Too bad there's not an adjustable stem for the end of the Brompton's stem riser, similar to what forum member jur contrived for his Downtube Mini. Or is there?


Hi Timo,
does she need higher than M-Stem plus M-Bar? That will indeed need drastic modifying (because folded the m-bar already nearly touches the ground) inclusive cutting the steering stem and adding a shim and a clamp and so get an adjustable stem. Some time ago on ebay was sold such a mod. Steve Perry does such things, he also puts a suspension stem which is perhaps not necessary. (Len Rubin has put a suspension stem with parallelogram which is farer from the body.) I am sure a gifted frame builder could do also. Here are some pics to get the idea:

If she needs a lower position or a nearer or farer to the body that's easier: try the s-stem or or p-stem with other high riser bars or use clamps like Little Pixel did (eg. syntace or aberhallo, search for Little Pixels threads on that) or bar with more backsweep.

hey, that's fair enough if you think its too much need to modify:-)
you are right, its difficult, expensive and complicated
I just wanted to add the SA-hub for correct info. Also you are misinformed about some minor points in mounting the SA-hub to brommi: a brompton 2spd stock dérailleur can be used, no modifying needed here, its possible to use the brompton stock 44t chainring (with admittedly high gears then) plus the stock cranks, a 19t sprocket fits in the rear when used with the hub.

bhkyte 10-04-08 08:58 AM

Thanks for the detail on the 8 speed Brompton hud mod. I am not trying to claim I know alot about this mod, but I did reject it due to ussual Bromptom complications, expense, and the difficulties of this set up to alter back quickly.

For the sake or accuracy I did not intend to imply that a two speed a brompton 2spd stock dérailleur would not fit this modifation. I was refering to a front mech, not a rear mech. I was just drawing attention to one of the many complicated and compairatively expensive gearing upgrades that Brompton owners end up considering, including myself.

I like the look of some of the quick release bars with forward reach that you included.

I feel I have found a reasonable comprimise with the mezzo.I fitted cut down upside down drop handlebars,and altered the stem folding angle. I find that this allows the gear levers to penetrate between the front spokes and the extra handlebars do not stick out much more than standard handlebars would .The package is bulkier but not actually any wider at the widest point than my Bropmton.This between the spoke fold is not possible due to the different folding relationship on my Brompton. Which is one of the main reasons I looked at buying a Mezzo to upgrade in this manner. I add a photo sometime.

I have an altered Downtube with a simular handlebar setup, The fold angle requires that the stem quick release needs to loosened and the bars inverted to achive the shimano 105 levers fitting between the spokes. I dont need to do this extra action to fold my mezzo in this way.

I may put a simular quick release on my mezzo to maximise the compactness of a slow car type fold. It possibly will not make much difference as I have a achived a fairly good comprimise of riding postion to folding compactness on the mezzo with out adding any extra folding steps like my Downtube now requires.

Could I have any information for the forward reaching bars you shown, or any other ideas on fitting drop bars or low profile style bars on folders and keeping it compact. Maybe I can refine the idea further!!!!!

bhkyte 10-04-08 09:40 AM


Originally Posted by mulleady (Post 7601244)
Well if the Brompton is so bad why does it sell more than it can produce?

I would be very interested to hear of any Mezzo buyers who then sold their bike to buy a Brompton.

Brompton have sold alot of bikes and this is the problem.

Many folding societies freely admit that the majority of their members are Brompton owners. Therefore presumerbly most output and reviews are writtern by Brompton owners. Therefore many potential folding bike buyers are influenced by this.

If you look at the collection of reviews the bais is undeniable in my opinion. It is difficult to agure that competiors are operating on an even playing field.

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