Brompton development over the years

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hercule
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Joined: 5 Feb 2011, 5:18pm

Brompton development over the years

Postby hercule » 7 Sep 2019, 11:07pm

An email advertising the soon-to-be released Brompton Explore piqued my interest and before I knew it I was browsing the Brompton website and starting to feel the first twinges of bike envy.

I’ve had a Brompton since about 1997, firstly a 5 speed L5 then in 2009 I traded up to a S6L. The S6L is vastly better then the old one, a longer wheelbase, much stiffer front end, a good range of gears that actually worked (the SA was basically a four speed hub, there was so much drag in first that it never really made much sense changing down from 2nd), and the locking rear triangle.

In recent years however I’ve realised I don’t bend in the middle so well and as a result the S-bars are proving a bit too low. Having checked out eBay prices I’m hardly going to sell my S6L for a substantial fraction of the purchase price of a new one as I did last time round. After a few calming breaths I checked out the price of swapping to taller bars (the Joseph Kuosac bars do the job cheaply) and realised it was a no-brainer. Plus I have a sentimental attraction to my bike.

It did make me wonder however what differences there are between a 2009 and a 2019 Brompton. Most of them look cosmetic but the integrated brake/shift levers look a definite improvement and I might shell out for a pair. Is there anything else I’m missing? It seems to me that the most major changes in Brompton have been the BWR hub and the longer frame, everything else seems to have been minor refinement.

[corrected for errors 22/9/19!]
Last edited by hercule on 22 Sep 2019, 1:50pm, edited 2 times in total.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby Brucey » 7 Sep 2019, 11:22pm

evolution not revolution....

FWIW if you fit higher handlebars you may need longer cables all round.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Manc33
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Joined: 25 Apr 2015, 9:37pm

Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby Manc33 » 10 Sep 2019, 1:52am

They should make a carbon framed one. Imagine what it would cost though.
Only weird bikes are interesting anymore.

Sid Aluminium
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Location: Beyond the edge of the wild

Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby Sid Aluminium » 10 Sep 2019, 7:35am

Was told by a fellow who named his son 'Brompton':

2000 MK3 -> higher quality parts all over the bike in comparison to the MK2, new folding hinge on the stem, dual pivot brake on the front
2001 SRAM hubs instead of Sturmey, no more 5-Speed
2002 6-speed invented (with 2-speed derailleur)
2004 MK4 with longer wheelbase and new folding hinge
2005 S- and P-models invented, ti-models invented, SON dynamo invented, 2-speed invented. Sturmey SRF3 replaces SRAM 3 speed
2007 dual pivot brake on the rear
2008 rear frame clip as a standard, jagwire cables
2009 6-speed BRW replaces 6-speed SRAM, new saddle, pentaclip as a standard, right aluminum pedal, change of colors from gloss to matte
2010 Shimano hub dynamo replaces bottle dynamo option, aluminum seat post instead of ti one
2012 H-model, LED light on the front, no more aluminium seat post, only steel
2013 new brake levers, new rims, new spider crankset
2015 start of the black edition
2016 new rear carrier, new roller wheels, start of the nickel edition and various special editions
2017 new stems for M and H along with new bars and new under-bar-shifters
2018 new brakes, Brompton electric
2019 new hub dynamo (SP SV8 replaces Shimano and SON), new stem/steerer interface

The titanium forks and rear triangle went from Asia-built to British-built and the superlight model dropped the titanium seatpost (year???).

Sid Aluminium
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Location: Beyond the edge of the wild

Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby Sid Aluminium » 10 Sep 2019, 7:37am

Manc33 wrote:They should make a carbon framed one.


Google 'Chedech folding bike'.

mercalia
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Location: london South

Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby mercalia » 10 Sep 2019, 9:13am

One thing that has chnged is there is only a standard suspension blob - no hard or soft

Manc33
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Joined: 25 Apr 2015, 9:37pm

Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby Manc33 » 10 Sep 2019, 3:15pm

Sid Aluminium wrote:
Manc33 wrote:They should make a carbon framed one.


Google 'Chedech folding bike'.


Cheers, that looks like it folds the same way, I thought it would be a patented design.
Only weird bikes are interesting anymore.

Brucey
Posts: 35248
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby Brucey » 10 Sep 2019, 4:13pm

FWIW I hear there is a new Brompton model coming very soon.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sid Aluminium
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Location: Beyond the edge of the wild

Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby Sid Aluminium » 12 Sep 2019, 1:40am

Manc33 wrote:Cheers, that looks like it folds the same way, I thought it would be a patented design.


IIRC the basic design (fold method) was patented in 1977. That's starting to be a long time ago.

Brompton explored the possibility of any remaining intellectual property rights in 2017 when they sought an injunction against the Dahon Curl in EU court. The case was dismissed at the first hearing and Brompton was ordered to pay Dahon's legal fees.

Tinpotflowers
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Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby Tinpotflowers » 12 Sep 2019, 10:24pm

I always wonder why Brompton uses a steel seatpin and plastic insert in the seat tube instead of using a larger diameter alloy seatpin with no insert

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby Brucey » 12 Sep 2019, 10:30pm

alloy seat pins (that are reliable enough when made that long) offer no real weight advantage over steel. Steel on plastic (unlike most other possible combinations) allows the seat pin to slide up and down easily and crucially, doesn't make a mess even when you move the seat pin several times a day, or need 'stuff' on it to ease movement or prevent seizure. An aluminium seat pin in a metal hole, would very soon be covered in black stuff that would make a mess of your clothes. Most people can get their heads around oily chains, but not other parts of the bike that are messy for no good reason.

There's no such thing as a perfect bicycle; after all, everyone has different expectations. But some aspects of the Brompton design are surprisingly tricky to improve upon, at least not without introducing a fresh bunch of compromises.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

steelframe
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Location: Berlin

Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby steelframe » 13 Sep 2019, 10:43pm

Sid Aluminium wrote:Was told by a fellow who named his son 'Brompton':


That fellow was me (https://www.bikeforums.net/20731074-post11.html) but my son is not named Brompton - he calls them "clown bikes" :)

Sid Aluminium wrote:The titanium forks and rear triangle went from Asia-built to British-built and the superlight model dropped the titanium seatpost (year???).


Would have to check the change to British-built for the ti-parts - from memory I'd say around 2016. Last year the ti-seatpost was delivered was 2009, it was then replaced by the aluminium one which after a short while got replaced by the standard steel one (was in above list already for 2010 :wink: ).

hercule
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Joined: 5 Feb 2011, 5:18pm

Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby hercule » 21 Sep 2019, 8:20pm

Thanks for the replies. It was the introduction of the BWR with well spaced efficient gearing that made me sell on my old L5 (I remember the correct designation now!) and buy my S6L. I know Kinetics sells a SA 8 speed kit but from comparing the two I much prefer the BWR and 2 speed derailleur system.

None of the developments above sound earth shaking, sounds like simply raising the bars (and fitting longer cables) will achieve the desired outcome without missing out on anything. I even have the tan walled tyres (original Primo Comets, quick but a bit too fragile for everyday use).

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TrevA
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Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby TrevA » 22 Sep 2019, 5:52pm

I’ve just bought a new Brompton M3L after never having owned one before, so nothing to compare it to. I’m liking it so far but I find it’s a bit over geared. Spend most of my time in 2nd gear, changing down to 1st for rises and drags. I’m not sure I’d be able to climb a substantial hill on it. I’ve hardly used 3rd gear.

The standard seatpost isn’t long enough for me, so I’ll need an extended one. Other than that, the experience has been quite good. It’s surprisingly nippy to ride and handles quite well. I gets lots of small children pointing and shouting “that’s a funny bike!”.

drossall
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Re: Brompton development over the years

Postby drossall » 22 Sep 2019, 7:24pm

Might be interested if you want to get rid of the old seatpost. Mine started rusting :(