What considerations for buying a new Brompton bike

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LeoP
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Joined: 19 Dec 2019, 9:34am

What considerations for buying a new Brompton bike

Postby LeoP » 19 Dec 2019, 9:58am

Hey guys.

It's my first message on the forum. I have been cycling for years, usually in borrowed bikes. Now I have decided to give it a go and buy my own. As I comute several times a day around London, with a mixture of tube, trains, etc, I have decided to get a Brompton bike. I am thinking of getting the 6 gear one with a m type handlebar. I was wondering if anybody had some kind of advise in terms of accessories, adjustments, etc, you might recommend.

Cheers all.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby Brucey » 19 Dec 2019, 11:39am

most of the advice might be the same for anyone starting to cycle regularly; you will probably need to think about clothing, helmet, lights, locks etc. You will also need some tools and learn how to use them on your particular bike, at least well enough to keep the gears in adjustment and to deal with punctures.

However there are some Brompton-specific issues;

- you need to decide if you want the standard or reduced gearing
- ditto the rack and/or luggage carrying options
- the tools you need for a Brompton are slightly different from those used on lots of other bikes, hence choose carefully or get the Brompton tool kit.
- Maybe you don't need a lock with a Brompton; they are such magnets for bike thieves that many (most?) folk who have them never leave them locked up in public and simply ensure that they go indoors with them everywhere they go.

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

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TrevA
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Joined: 1 Jun 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby TrevA » 19 Dec 2019, 6:37pm

How tall are you? If over about 5ft 10in then you will need either the extended or telescopic seat post. Best to get this whilst buying the bike as you won’t have to pay the extra £20 for an additional seat post.

London is fairly flat, for the most part, so do you really need 6 gears? They are useful but will push the price up. Get a mounting block for the front, so that you can mount any of the Brompton specific bags if you buy one. I tend to used a rucksack with mine. M type gives an upright riding position, which is good for urban riding. I have an M3L and find it a bit overheated, so I hardly ever used 3rd gear.

You’ll need some lights that don’t interfere with the fold, if you’re going to use it at night. A toolkit and a couple of spare tubes and puncture repair kit would be useful.

My son lives in White City and commutes to central London on his Brompton. He reckons it saves him around £200 a month in tube fares.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
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rfryer
Posts: 706
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 3:58pm

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby rfryer » 19 Dec 2019, 6:57pm

Both luggage options work well on the Brommy, I switch between favouring a front bag, and a rear rack bag. The front is more convenient, and gives a nice handle for towing the bike. The rear is more aero, and takes heavy loads better, but risks heel strike.

For lighting, dynamo lights are very convenient, but in my view they are a bit low to be confident about being seen in traffic; I'm happier when they are supplemented by battery lights at saddle and handlebar height. Also, I've found that the cable to the rear light needs replacing after a year or two of regular folding, but it's not expensive.

I've found the pedals to be a bit of a week point; the MKS EZY range of detachable pedals are good if a little less convenient.

In general I've found the Brompton to be a really solid performer, very reliable and convenient. And the fold never ceases to impress!

mercalia
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Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby mercalia » 19 Dec 2019, 7:56pm

you should try the various handle bar types.

SA_SA_SA
Posts: 1834
Joined: 31 Oct 2009, 1:46pm

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby SA_SA_SA » 19 Dec 2019, 8:38pm

I would always get a rear rack* as the bike is more stable when folded with one, and for rear lamp I think its worth getting the official (STzvo approved) rear lamp for always thereness, as you can always supplement it with you favoured kinds (For a rear-rackless type I would avoid the official Solo rear lamp as the rear brake and mudguard badly obscure it in my opinion: I think the B&M 2C is a better 'official Brompton part' alternative).

I never liked the handling with front luggage on its own (but I seem to be in a minority of one) so I use a SQR saddlebag with the front as 'overflow' luggage.


*I removed my rear rack to save weight then added it back by adding supports to allow 4 rear eazi wheels rather than the less stable 3 of an L-type (ie old term for a rear-rackless Brompton)...
Also if you have a rear rack you can cycle camp in pathlesspedalled style by hanging a rucksack from dowel thru saddle rails, resting on rear rack.
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drossall
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Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby drossall » 19 Dec 2019, 10:39pm

I actually think that carrying tools is less important with a Brompton, especially when riding around a major city such as London. I just assume that I'd walk to the nearest rail or underground station, and stick the folded bike on a train. Or a bus for that matter. I do carry tools on any other bike.

I have the six-gear model. I like having the gears relatively closely spaced, but I agree that I don't use the full range unless riding into hillier areas than central London. I'd still buy six gears again though.

Apart from lights and some kind of luggage bag, you don't really need much with a Brompton. Some clothing, but mostly a jacket and/or waterproofs. You're tending to do commuting distances, so other specialist clothing may not be relevant.

I find the rack helpful for standing the folded bike on. I agree that I don't use it much as a rack, but it justifies its keep by protecting the mudguards in the fold.

Basically get the bike first and add accessories later, because Bromptons are fairly self contained. If you can get someone to lend you one for a few days, that's the only real way to figure out what number of gears and which bars you'd really like.

Brucey
Posts: 36638
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby Brucey » 19 Dec 2019, 10:52pm

but it is no great hardship to carry this?

Image

All you need is this kit and a pump and you have very many eventualities covered.

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

drossall
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Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby drossall » 19 Dec 2019, 11:16pm

Yes, I have thought about that. Might even put it on my Christmas list. But the same really applies. I use Marathon tyres, and mostly ride in London. The bike's pretty reliable. So all in all, I tend not to have problems and, if I did, and even though I do all my own maintenance, I'd probably just stick it on a train. That's what I did the one time I had a puncture this year.

rmurphy195
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Joined: 20 May 2011, 11:23am
Location: South Birmingham

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby rmurphy195 » 20 Dec 2019, 12:54am

Have a think about the P type bars - I have them and while I don't use the drops very often, I do find them useful in more open places when there's a bit of wind going.

For carrying stuff about, I use a rack bag mounted on the brommie's rear rack, which when folded provides a more stable platfrom for the bike.

I've used mine in pubs and cafes - just tucked it, folded, under the table or at the side of my seat, out of harm's way (so no-one can trip over it). If using for work, I would suggest (assuming you work in an office) that it would simply go under your desk, or in a locker, along with your riding gear.

I've only once been challenged in a store with it, when on leaving the store I was asked, very politley, by the security guy if I wouldn't mind leaving the bike with him next time rather than towing it around the store - I'd be happy with that if I'd forgotten to take a lock (which I had done on that occasion).

I find the telescopic seatpost useful even though I'm not a 7 footer! - removing the upper part with the saddle can make it more compact for packing in a car etc. or even under a table.

The 6 speeds can be useful on even a slight uphill bit, as is the smaller chainring. This isn't a bike for going fast on, but the lower gearing can make life easier.

I was knocking on 85kg when I bought mine so ordered it with the harder bung - I soon changed it for the softer one! And the saddle has been replaced by a B17.
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

simonhill
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Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby simonhill » 20 Dec 2019, 11:59am

I bought a 6 M (rack andmudguards) to use as a lightweight runabout, rather than having to lug my heavy touring bike about all the time.

As we don't know anything about your preferences I will explain my thinking.

I like lower gears, and went with the smaller chainring. Even with it I rarely use the highest gear, but can get up my short but sharp hill.

The six speed doesn't cost that much more and doesn't add much in weight or complexity because it replaces the standard chain tensioner. I went for it.

I wouldn't worry too much about any extras unless or until you know what you want or need. Brompton goodies are expensive and for example you will have to decide if you want a front bag at well over £100 or are happy with a 5 quid backpack. I rarely carry anything substantial and am happy with occasionally strapping stuff to the rack.

Likewise lights, do you want them? Don't buy if you won't use them, but essential if you do. Again you need to decide on tools - I don't carry any on my Brompton.

Having a Brompton is about simplicity beware of overcomplicating it.

To sum up, buy the bike you want, ride it and then decide what extras you need/want.

SA_SA_SA
Posts: 1834
Joined: 31 Oct 2009, 1:46pm

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby SA_SA_SA » 20 Dec 2019, 10:03pm

rmurphy195 wrote:Have a think about the P type bars - I have them and while I don't use the drops very often, I do find them useful in more open places when there's a bit of wind going.....

Unfortunately, the P-type bars are no longer an option.
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Bert
Posts: 13
Joined: 12 Dec 2019, 7:18pm

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby Bert » 20 Dec 2019, 10:30pm

?????

Bert
Posts: 13
Joined: 12 Dec 2019, 7:18pm

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby Bert » 20 Dec 2019, 10:35pm

Sorry about the question marks. I just made a post before but it disappeared so I tried the question marks to see if I am doing something wrong but they worked. Am I doing (or saying) something wrong?

softlips
Posts: 558
Joined: 12 Dec 2016, 8:51pm

Re: Introducing myself and question about Brompton bike

Postby softlips » 21 Dec 2019, 9:22am

^^^P bars now discontinued ^^^^

I tried all the options from the Brompton Junction, Covent Garden. I thought I’d go for S bars but bought an M6R as I preferred the riding position for city riding. I have the C bag on the front, and there’s enough room for everything I need for a week in there. I have the tool kit and Brompton Cateye rechargeable light set. I’ve had it almost two years so it has Marathon Racer tyres on which seem to be a good balance between speed and puncture resistance. Hey feel twitchy at first but are quite stable up even at 35mph plus!