Hi all, thank you, so much good info and advice in this thread, I have read a fair bit of it in last few days whilst considering getting a Brompton
I test rode one last weekend, first impressions very positive, I tried a H6L at Brompton Junction, I rode around central London in the rain for an hour and went in and out of a few shops to get a little more familiar with the fold. I enjoyed the ride though it did feel a bit bouncy, the fold is very impressive in reality very compact and simple enough after a couple of tries. The dynamo lights seemed a little pale. I only tried the H sized variant, I am 6foot3 do you think it is worth trying the M size anyway?
My needs –
A few years ago I would have turned my nose up at the idea of a Brompton, probably because of the lib-dem vibe I may have attributed to them however I have been coming around to them since. I went to Japan in Spring2018 and borrowed a bike to go and explore the north coast, I only made it a few days before weather turned me back however the possibilities of bicycle/train travel began to seem quite appealing. This summer I went on quite a wide ranging trip around France by motorbike eventually leaving the moto with a friend near the Pyrenees, I returned to my travels later on but the moto had died so instead I changed plans and got around with hitchhiking and Blahblahcar as well as exploring more locally on my friends mountainbike. It got me really thinking that a folding bicycle combined with other transport might make for an ideal way to have quite freewheeling holidays around Europe.
At home in London and my day to day cycling has really subsided, the top floor flat I now live in makes getting a bike in an out a right palaver + my work is quite physical and location changes at intervals so I have ended up mostly on bus/train motorbike when commuting.
The Brompton definitely seems like the obvious choice, I have mostly gotten rid of my earlier preconceptions of them and the all important fold seems to be clearly unapparelled. Now I have ridden one I have to admit to liking them.
But part of me does still question if there is something else better/cooler
I do like the look of Birdy, do any of you have any thoughts on them? The price of the Brompton is another sticking factor, and Birdy is even worse! But it does sound like they could be better suited to touring in Europe and in the Pyrenees, they are less ubiquitous which does hold an appeal. And they may be better for someone tall like me. Older models seem to come up from time to time on ebay for much less than a new Brompton. A new Brompton with all the options I think id ideally want looks likely to cost around £1400!! There is a second hand Birdy with some exciting extras available for only a bit more than that at a certain Scottish bike shop..
Do you know if I could test ride a Birdy in London?
Why I don’t vote Birdy;
They don’t fold. Like seriously, that’s not a folding bike. Nothing holds the bars in place, they just flop on top. It’s still huge and awkward to carry.
The build quality isn’t worth the cost. I dare you to stick a finger inside the cable routing holes, have a plaster ready.
Ride style, bounce bounce isn’t my cuppa. Even with wanting comfort that’s just like riding a treacle sponge.
Disc brakes and Rohloff, yeah, cool. - fit them to a Brompton for you too.
I don’t feel them to be anywhere near as refined, I understand the desire for bigger wheels / wider tyres, speak to Vincent at Eerder metaal and your Brompton can become a lot more capable...
A brompton accelerates quicker, has a more precise ride feel and is much easier to work with. Plenty of dealers for support, less so for Birdy.
Hopping on a bus or train while commuting or touring is not so easy with a Birdy due to size and shape. They don’t sit still when folded.
It’s not my cuppa, I’m sure plenty disagree and find no issue!
Okay, interested in the detail?
Ah I missed your expanded reply, thank you, good input!
yes these are all good reasons to probably swerve birdy, especially the greater dealer/general knowledge available around Brompton modification.
I had noted from pictures that the cable routing opening looks a bit dicey
Are you the person who works at Sjs/has your username changed?
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