Brompton touring in Belgium

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
henry14
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Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby henry14 » 6 Feb 2016, 2:06pm

My wife and I are thinking of a 4 or 5 day tour of Belgium using our Bromptons starting from either Brussels or Ghent. Does anybody have any experience of similar touring with Bromptons?

BE1
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby BE1 » 6 Feb 2016, 4:12pm

Not with a Brompton, but Belgium is a good place to Tour and you will find lots of general advice on this forum if you play around with the search function.

Once you get a general idea and have more specific questions there are many on here who will be happy to help :D

Barrenfluffit
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby Barrenfluffit » 6 Feb 2016, 4:59pm

Not Brompton.

Many main roads had a cycle path alongside and provision was quite good. Brussels was a bit tricky to get out of / onto the correct road. Its that bit beyond the centre but still built up, where your trying to find a specific road that's tricky.

If you need gas there's a Decathlon at Evere. There is a mountaineering shop nearer the centre that sells it too but I can't remember where.

Lots of big canals in Belguim.

Martyn B
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby Martyn B » 6 Feb 2016, 5:54pm

A couple of years ago we based ourselves in the northern part of Luxembourg in a town adjacent to the Belgian border by the name of Clervaux, with a view to touring round 'Battle of the Bulge' country on our Bromptons. The idea was take the train from Clervaux up to Liege in Belgium, then over to Aachen, and cycle back to Clervaux down the Vennbahn cycle way. As it panned out, we actually started from a place in Belgium called Eupen, then cycled to the Vennbahn to join it just east of the border at Raeren. The route then headed south, snaking in and out of Belgium and Germany, before reaching Troisvierges in Luxembourg. We took great care to be absolutely minimalist with luggage (basically one dry bag each, fastened to our carriers with bungees), and more importantly, we made sure that we didn't overstretch ourselves mileage-wise. As it happened, we only spent one night out on the bikes, and we probably did a total of about 130 kms in those two days. For the remaining time available, we cycled locally around Clervaux on day trips, sometimes using the trains to 'kill' the stem mileage. It's an extremely hilly area, but our six-speeders coped fine with all the hills.

So, in a nutshell, the Belgium we've cycled in was very enjoyable (I appreciate it's not Brussels or Gent, but eastern Belgium is an equally viable alternative!), I'm not convinced that Bromptons are the easiest option for cycle touring, but they are good fun and always prompt interest from our European cycling brethren, almost a two-wheeled confirmation of British eccentricity! As I said earlier, I think it's very important to be aware of your own limitations, within the context of the further limitations imposed by a loaded small-wheeled folder. To give you an idea of our fitness levels, we did the Way of the Roses east to west (ie against the wind) on fully loaded Bromptons a couple of years ago in four and a half days, neither myself nor my wife managed the climb on the alternative route out of Pately Bridge, but that was the only time we had to get off and push!

If you have questions either about our experiences with Brompton touring or perhaps about the Vennbahn and Luxembourg, just post them on here and I'll try to assist

nmnm
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Joined: 14 Nov 2010, 6:03pm

Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby nmnm » 7 Feb 2016, 5:40am

Interesting page about Brompton touring from an interesting fellow:
http://www.shanecycles.com/the-genius-o ... n-touring/

Slowroad
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby Slowroad » 20 Feb 2018, 7:30pm

If you have questions either about our experiences with Brompton touring or perhaps about the Vennbahn and Luxembourg, just post them on here and I'll try to assist

I hope you don't mind a question a couple of years later! I'm going to do the Vennbahn then down to Trier and Luxembourg in May - just wondered what maps you used. Thanks!
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

KTHSullivan
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby KTHSullivan » 20 Feb 2018, 7:37pm

Belgium and Bromptons..............Why? :?:
Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed. :lol:

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mjr
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby mjr » 20 Feb 2018, 8:22pm

Bromptons folded go free on Belgian trains. You may like wideish tyres to cope with the cobbles, concrete panels and small pavers that they like to use on cycleways, although they are rapidly upgrading to tarmac almost as much as their Dutch neighbours.

Gent is arguably Belgian bike capital, home to their first fietsstraat (anyone know which one it is?), 700 cycle contraflows and 400km of cycleways. So I'm intending to cycle there this year and not Brussels. ;)
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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chocjohn9
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby chocjohn9 » 21 Feb 2018, 9:21am

@slowroad - I use "De Rouck Geocart" maps.

BTW, there are soooooo many Bromptons here, it's unbelievable. So parts will be easy to find.

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foxyrider
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby foxyrider » 21 Feb 2018, 9:38am

chocjohn9 wrote:@slowroad - I use "De Rouck Geocart" maps.

BTW, there are soooooo many Bromptons here, it's unbelievable. So parts will be easy to find.


The very fact you mention spare parts is as good a reason as i've seen fornot considering a Brompton suitable for anything beyond what it's designed for. The last thing you need on any trip is to be looking for replacement parts and IME Bromptons seem to need a lot of them.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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mjr
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby mjr » 21 Feb 2018, 10:01am

chocjohn9 wrote:@slowroad - I use "De Rouck Geocart" maps.

Small note of caution: Flemish Brabant will be doing some junction renumbering this year. As far as I've read, it's not on the scale of the recent Flanders renumbering, but worth being aware of if buying paper maps.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

chocjohn9
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby chocjohn9 » 21 Feb 2018, 2:30pm

foxyrider wrote: chocjohn9 wrote:
@slowroad - I use "De Rouck Geocart" maps.

BTW, there are soooooo many Bromptons here, it's unbelievable. So parts will be easy to find.



The very fact you mention spare parts is as good a reason as i've seen fornot considering a Brompton suitable for anything beyond what it's designed for. The last thing you need on any trip is to be looking for replacement parts and IME Bromptons seem to need a lot of them.


I wasn't endorsing taking a Brompton to Belgium - I agree - not very appropriate, but if anyone were too, then whilst there are many unique parts, were one to break, then it would not be an issue. Just a bit of reassurance.

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stephenjubb
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby stephenjubb » 21 Feb 2018, 3:05pm

They are going for 5 days, as long as they make sure the bromptons are fine before they go it is highly unlikely anything will break.

If they are not taking a lot of luggage Bromptons are perfect for what they need in Belgium with it being flat.

I've done Scotland in winter with a brompton and a trailer, now there the lack of gears did not work well!

ANTONISH
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby ANTONISH » 23 Feb 2018, 9:32am

stephenjubb wrote:If they are not taking a lot of luggage Bromptons are perfect for what they need in Belgium with it being flat.


Flat? Well Flanders is flat except for the Flanders hills. The last time I was there the Ardennes had plenty of serious climbing.

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stephenjubb
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Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

Postby stephenjubb » 23 Feb 2018, 6:39pm

ah I did not know.Thanks!