Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

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Freddie
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Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby Freddie » 14 Aug 2019, 10:54am

Yes, I know what you're thinking, have I lost my marbles...but hear me out.

If you are a keen cyclist, your Sunday best machine is unlikely to be a Brompton, but when I say ultimate bicycle what do I mean? I don't mean ultimate for the enthusiast, but for the man in the street/commuter. Ultimate as a utilitarian form of transport.

I see more and more middle age, non-clubman type people doing a good clip on these electric bikes, so there are obviously a fair few people willing to invest the cash for such a thing. What are the drawbacks? To my mind, expense and security.

Expense can only be dealt with by more competition and any technological improvements in battery power (hopefully at some point there will be fast charging points for electric bikes, perhaps at petrol stations or bike shops?). Security is another thing. I think the only way you can really secure an expensive bike is to be able to fold it up and take it anywhere you go, a la Brompton.

Now, small wheels aren't the nicest or most efficient ride, but that is where the electrics come in. With large enough tyres and/or suspension + an electric motor, could we have a machine that is worthy of replacing a car for many trips, for the average man in the street.

What do you think?

Brucey
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby Brucey » 14 Aug 2019, 11:11am

what you propose combines almost everything I don't like in the world of bicycles into one neat lump of ghastliness....?

cheers
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Freddie
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby Freddie » 14 Aug 2019, 11:14am

I know Brucey, but you are a serious enthusiast. It is more of a 'idea for getting people out of cars', than 'hey, cyclists, look at this!' - what about from that point of view?

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squeaker
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby squeaker » 14 Aug 2019, 11:22am

I think e-scooters are nearer the mark for the average moton - if ever the legality issues are sorted, that is :roll:
"42"

Brucey
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby Brucey » 14 Aug 2019, 11:32am

Freddie wrote:I know Brucey, but you are a serious enthusiast. It is more of a 'idea for getting people out of cars', than 'hey, cyclists, look at this!' - what about from that point of view?


you are asking a bunch of enthusiasts though.... :wink:

Fat tyres or not, I think anything with small wheels is more and more likely to come to grief on our pothole-ridden roads. I agree that fat tyres and suspension etc makes it sound more like an e-scooter than anything you would actually pedal.

cheers
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Freddie
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby Freddie » 14 Aug 2019, 11:35am

Brucey wrote:Fat tyres or not, I think anything with small wheels is more and more likely to come to grief on our pothole-ridden roads.

cheers
Indeed, but would you leave an electric bike outside (presuming you'd ride one in the first place...) for any length of time? I imagine they are highly prized by thieves.

pwa
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby pwa » 14 Aug 2019, 11:39am

A large part of the rationale for getting a Brompton is that it can just about be carried. Adding significant weight to one would make it much harder to carry, and if that meant you didn't carry it, why get a Brompton in the first place? A heavy Brompton would be a very confused bike.

reohn2
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby reohn2 » 14 Aug 2019, 11:48am

Trying to look at it from a purely transport perspective,my take on an e-brompton is directly related to crapmac:-
The fold is great
The ride is awful
The effort is less due to the assist,which helps the ride a little,but the bike is a necessary compromise for some,all things considered

Generally I'd only ride one if I had to but not out of choice,or if I had a mile or two either side of a public transport journey.
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al_yrpal
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby al_yrpal » 14 Aug 2019, 1:29pm

38 lbs to carry...not for me.

Al
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Freddie
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby Freddie » 14 Aug 2019, 2:20pm

Are they really as heavy as that....hmm. Maybe not the ultimate bicycle after all. :oops:

mercalia
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby mercalia » 14 Aug 2019, 6:15pm

well an eBrompton costs £3,500? I am sure they will sell like hotcakes - in Lidls or Harrods :lol:

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Sweep
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby Sweep » 14 Aug 2019, 10:01pm

reohn2 wrote:
Generally I'd only ride one if I had to but not out of choice,or if I had a mile or two either side of a public transport journey.

You won't be riding one here then?
(5 gears, no battery, weren't around when I bought it)
brompton01.jpg
Sweep

reohn2
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby reohn2 » 14 Aug 2019, 10:30pm

Sweep wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
Generally I'd only ride one if I had to but not out of choice,or if I had a mile or two either side of a public transport journey.

You won't be riding one here then?
(5 gears, no battery, weren't around when I bought it)
brompton01.jpg

Definitely not Sweep,not my idea of fun.
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horizon
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby horizon » 14 Aug 2019, 11:49pm

Freddie wrote:
If you are a keen cyclist, your Sunday best machine is unlikely to be a Brompton, but when I say ultimate bicycle what do I mean? I don't mean ultimate for the enthusiast, but for the man in the street/commuter. Ultimate as a utilitarian form of transport.


Does it have to be a Brompton? I met someone with a 20" Tern electric folder and he was well pleased.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

Rhothgar
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Re: Brompton + electric motor = The ultimate bicycle?

Postby Rhothgar » 15 Aug 2019, 10:30pm

I did get past the title, Freddie, honestly.

The engineering and quality of build on Brompton bicycles leaves more than a lot to be desired. An engineer friend of mine oozes vitriol if ever the brand is mentioned.

I’m not entirely sure how people cope with the weight as they are. The marketing states 11.8g for a H3L. The eBrompton must be really very heavy.

I raced a 10.5 mile time trial in July on a friend’s 6 speed and managed 33:51. The hearing on those is total nonsense. Actually unusable to be frank.

I borrowed my engineer friend’s Bickerton portable last year and did 30:53 on that and the steering came loose and the saddle dropped. Laughable really that a 1960’s/1970’s iconic piece of portable was so much faster.

Now maybe add an electric motor to a Bickerton and you wouldn’t be far off a lightweight and usable commuter bike. You’d have to resolve the dodgy clamp mechanism though.