Jules_London wrote:I'd go on rough tracks and the park sometimes so figure full size is best (otherwise I'd go for a Brompton).
Jules_London wrote:regarding Bromptons, I really want one but I know it is the wrong bike unfortunately otherwise I'd be down there choosing my spec already.
Kinetics in Glasgow sell Bromptons which they have custom modified to take Schwalbe Big Apple tyres, disc brakes, and even a Rohloff hub gear, all of which (but especially the wider Big Apple tyres) make the Brompton far more suitable for tracks*. Examples of some of the builds here
. The owner of Kinetics himself has said that the result is to make the Brompton more like a Riese & Muller Birdy (which Kinetics also sell). The Birdy folds down to a slightly larger size than the Brompton, but I think that the speed of the fold is similarly quick.Fudges
are in Paddington and Epsom, and they sell Brompton, Birdy and Montague amongst others, so would probably be a good place to start. If you like the Birdy's wide tyres, disc brakes (and possibly the Rohloff option too), but really want that on a Brompton, then you can get one from Kinetics.
* Bear in mind however that there is a limit to how much wider tyres can improve the ride of small wheels off-road. For serious rough bumpy off-road, bigger diameter wheels will roll better over the bumps. For gravel tracks, canal paths and easy bridleways small wheels won't be so much of a handicap, especially with wider tyres.
Obviously a modified Brompton fitted with these components will weigh more. How much that matters will depend upon you, i.e. how much/far/often you carry the bike folded and how strong you are. The other side of the coin is that with a Rohloff etc. you will have low enough gears to ride up any hill, rather than being forced to get off and push if/when the gears on a lighter ordinary Brompton are not low enough.