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Pascale 07-20-12 10:17 PM

Brompton advice
Howdy folks,

I'm in love w/the Brompton 6 gear, H style, with added e-z wheels, front mounting block and basket, and would love to get Brompton owners' opinions about a few customizations before I order:

a) Rack or no rack? I plan to get the e-z wheels. Will wheeling the bike be unsteady without the rack? I don't plan on using the rack to carry items (will get a front mounting block and basket)

b) Shimano or SON hub dynamo lights? I prefer the Shimano pricing, but have read that these don't give out as bright light and wear out faster. The SON is super expensive, but if the light quality is better (I've read the weight is lighter and resistance is less) and in the long run is a better investment, perhaps I will suffer the cost.

c) Raw Lacquer or Turkish Green? The raw lacquer is about $200 more--is the price worth it? Will raw lacquer rust faster than the painted steel? Anyone have the Turkish Green? Does it get dirty and rust faster?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Appreciate it,

fietsbob 07-21-12 02:01 AM

a) there are 4 ball bearing wheels on the rack version .
w/o, the mudguard has a wheel rolling on a bushing.

Taillight on the rack is in back, when no rack the rear light/reflector is just above the brake.

b) as both are putting out 3w6v the issue is packaging..
Shimano is paired with a Halogen headlight,
but the dealer may Upgrade the light to the LED type for a bit more money..

Schmidt is a bit less rolling resistance , off or on.
I have a SON on my BiFri.

c) IDK, I got 2nd hand bikes. the colors are powder coat now,
only the clear is a wet applied paint.

value judgments are internal to your budget.

ratdog 07-21-12 08:31 AM

Welcome to the forum.

a. If weight is not an issue, go with the rack and ez wheels or skate wheels as the bike will roll much better.

b. I would recommend neither. There's plenty of cheaper lighting solutions on the market and gong with separate pieces allows you to change what you use in the future.

c. Really is personal preference. I have read somewhere that the clear is showing rust, but you need to ask yourself if you will be riding in harsh conditions. If not, then it is irrelevant.

alhedges 07-21-12 10:01 AM

The shimano hub and the SON hub produce the same amount of power. The light that comes with the SON hub is much brighter than the light that comes with the Shimano hub. You can save a couple of hundred dollars by getting the Shimano hub and buying the light that comes with the SON hub aftermarket. IIRC, it's a B&M Lumotec IQ cyo. This is what I did and I couldn't be happier.

The SON does have slightly less rolling resistance, but you have to look at it in perspective. An elite cyclist can produce 400+ watts of power (for hours). An average amateur racer can produce 200+ watts. A regular cyclist biking along and not racing will produce around 100 watts. With the light switched off, the SON hub will use .5 watts; the Shimano about .75 watts. So the difference in rolling resistance is about .25 watts.

With the light switched on, the SON hub will take 4.5 watts; the Shimano about 5.5 watts, for a difference of 1 watt.

Assuming 100 watts of output by the rider, the SON is between .25% and 1% more efficient. For comparison, gears cause you to lose 10-15% efficiency. For me, the slight increase in efficiency wasn't worth the couple of hundred dollars; for others it might be.

(I got this data from here: It's for a 700C wheel; I couldn't find it for a 349 wheel. I'm assuming a speed of 20kph.

Pascale 07-21-12 12:57 PM

What cheaper lighting solutions do you recommend? Are these all battery powered?

Lot's Knife 07-21-12 02:04 PM


Originally Posted by Pascale (Post 14510729)
What cheaper lighting solutions do you recommend? Are these all battery powered?

I agree with each of Ratdog's points. I'm a fan of this $2 flashlight mount. It doesn't affect the fold. I'm partial to Q5 Crees and rechargeable double-A's. For rear lighting, you can clip a PB Superflash to a ballcap or waistband.

Without a rack, the "art gallery roll" really isn't all that stable. It's not bad, but the surface has to be perfectly smooth.

elzy0000 07-21-12 03:55 PM

I own a M6R with a Shimano dynohub and here's what I think...

a) If you don't plan on using the rack don't bother getting it. I thought I would use the rear rack a lot but really it's just wasted weight for me. Yes, the bike is slightly more stable when folded with a rack but only when it is stationary. Since i never use the rack for luggage or anything I would pass on that option if I bought a new bike. The rare times i roll the bike when folded I usually use the handle bars as a handle to pull the bike around and only two of the EZ wheels touch the ground when used this way.

b) Regarding the dynamo... unless you have cash to burn go with the Shimano. The SON is really awesome but not worth nearly twice the price. The halogen bulb that comes with the shimano hub sucks. I replaced it with a B&M CYO. The LED on the CYO is much better than the halogen bulb. it kicks in at lower speeds and is a huge improvement in the light that you get out of it. Yes, you can get battery lights that are much cheaper than the dyno-hub option but I like the idea of the dyno-hub just being there waiting for me to go... no need to remember to buy new batteries or recharge the unit.

c) Color of finish... just get what you like or what is available.

MadCityCyclist 07-22-12 12:05 AM

The EZ wheels don't carry a lot of weight. If you are stopping in to the grocery store for a few items it will be OK. Also, take a look at the floor of the grocery store. If there are many changes, like tiled floors to carpets, or tiled floors with many mats, the EZ wheels are small and can snag the mats before you know it. Once snagged the mats get pulled in under the wheels and then you have to correct the situation.

Weight distribution is another concern if you are using the Brompton in shopping cart mode. The rear rack and the EZ wheels are relatively thin. The basket is fairly wide. A wide load on a thin set of wheels doesn't normally work out to your advantage and it can tip over easily.

Keep in mind, I love my Brompton. I just wish they would have told me about these things beforehand.

fietsbob 07-22-12 10:02 AM

Yea Battery lights are cheaper , Run time requirement should be short.

if the wheels on the front , the frame ones were wider
you would hit them with your feet all the time, pedaling.
it's a trade off..

ratdog 07-22-12 01:20 PM

FWIW, I haven't seen the wiring for a dynamo set up, but I had the older bottle type generators that rubbed up against the back wheel on my MR6 and the wires developed a short from all the folding. I was told that the constant folding of the bike takes a toll on the lifespan of the wires, brake cables and shifter cables. This is another reason I went to separate lights. The other reason is that I have a lot of bikes and I can now move the lights around depending on what I'm riding.

chagzuki 07-22-12 01:37 PM

The rack is essential for me as I use the bike for shopping in cart mode, very frequently.

qwer 05-03-14 08:17 PM


Originally Posted by alhedges (Post 14510344)
....An elite cyclist can produce 400+ watts of power (for hours)....

Yeah, 400+ watts for H O U R S.....:roflmao2:

DoubleDiamonDog 05-05-14 08:58 AM

a) If you don't plan to use the rack to carry a load it doesn't make sense to me to get it just to allow it to roll a little better. I agree that it would be a bit more stable when rolling with the rack, but for me the bike rolls well enough without it. We used ours in grocery stores a couple of times last week (by the way those Safeway wine 6 -packs fit perfectly in the T-bag). Save a little weight and some $.

b) If you are going to be commuting and using the lights almost daily, the dynamo makes great sense. If you only occasionally need lights, battery lights work great. I researched alternatives for battery lights and decided to go with the brompton battery light package because of the way the rear light is integrated into the system with consideration of the fold and rolling and it is actually a very good light. I thought that I would buy an alternative to the front light but have not felt a need to do so. The bromton one works pretty well. Like others, I prefer rechargable batteries but there are some excellent bright, lightweight compact led battery and usb rechargeable lights from Lyzene that I might try some day. Again, unless you forecast frequent use, save the weight and $.

c) Raw lacquer is very cool. It will add another 10% or so to the cost of the bike over turkish green. For me, not worth it, but for you maybe worth it.

fietsbob 05-05-14 10:41 AM

the new Schmidt dyno-hubs are using anodized shells and made around a radial spoke,
but I dont think they are sold on the B-Spoke Brompton factory build list.


I think all the colors are Powder-coat now, the clear is a wet paint ..

Schwinnsta 05-05-14 06:37 PM

Which Shimano hub is Brompton using?

1nterceptor 05-05-14 07:15 PM

A. If you don't plan on carrying stuff on the rack; I would advise against it.
Unnecessary cost and weight. I'm ok rolling my S6L on it's stock plastic wheels.
And I roll my bike a lot! Concrete floors and sidewalks, tile, etc.

B. I use battery powered lights; so can't make a recommendation for a dyno.
I went for a ride with another BF member on his dyno equipped hybrid. We
were side by side on a dark bike path when he turned on his light. At 1st I
was impressed by the beam and it's spread. That is until I turned on my cheap
(US$20) helmet mounted flashlight; has a stronger beam and would even out
power his lumens.

C. My 1st Brompton had the raw finish and I really liked how it looked. I sold that
to get a Ti model with lowered gearing. I decided to get the racing green color. I
regretted that choice. If I ever get another B'ton; it will have the raw finish.

Ed in Toronto 05-05-14 07:32 PM

Welcome to the board. Congrats on your upcoming Brompton purchase. I can guarantee you, you'll enjoy riding it.

I use the battery lights, I don't need lights that often, so I can get away with using regular batteries and just putting in new ones once a year. I think the specs say they will last 40 or 50 hours, not sure, but you can look that up to find the exact number :ride:

1nterceptor 05-05-14 07:40 PM

I just realized that the original post was from 2012!
I wonder what the poster actually got or if (s)he is
still even on BF.

Ed in Toronto 05-05-14 08:30 PM

Damn! We be fooled.

A zombie thread :deadhorse:

jur 05-05-14 08:54 PM


Originally Posted by Ed in Toronto (Post 16731881)
Damn! We be fooled.

A zombie thread :deadhorse:

qwer posts about once per year. I suppose too him/her, this is not a zombie thread. Just an unread one. :rolleyes:

fietsbob 05-06-14 09:15 AM

ANYHOW sweating old threads being brought up, again Aside (sorry it interrupts your posting, from the computer at work, experience)

schwinnista asked just yesterday,

Which Shimano hub is Brompton using?

Note: they, Brompton, are a big enough client company, Shimano supplies one to meet their specifications,

but, there is a Caprio series of parts for small wheel minivelos And folding bikes ,

Bike Friday for their Tikit, another 74mm narrow width axle user, I think, buys the 24 hole version Vs Brompton's 28.
its a different axle width Spec , 74mm vs 100 of regular bikes ..

HGR3inOK 05-06-14 10:58 AM

FWIW, the Brompton Shimano dynamo hub lighting system currently comes with a Busch & Müller "Lyt B" LED headlight rather than a halogen headlight.

Norman, Oklahoma USA

fietsbob 05-06-14 11:33 AM

A recent change .. the factory one, Lyt BN ( I tried it) is made with a 2nd input cable , for the Plug and play assembly at the factory .

I sent it back .. 15 lumens . it has no stand-light , So goes out when you stop .. or slow down a lot..

I wanted it at least to be on long enough to get the Key in my front door..

so I got the Eyc , instead .. smaller , and light beam is wider and a bit more lumens , and a stand light

I had to do the wiring modifications and such, shortening stripping the input (theres a plug in the wire for the output to the taillight)
adding my own heat shrink tube reinforcing , and added that to line the chain-stay tube for the taillight .. and I like it better.

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