Brompton owners

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  • I haven't got a brompton yet, but have been looking at transport options already...
    https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/dimpa-stora­ge-bag-transparent-10056770/
    https://www.b-w-international.com/en/bik­e/cases/b-w-foldon.box-s?c=38
    two different extremes!

  • I have taken Brompton's on flights using soft bags with the bike wrapped in various things (including my clothes) to cushion them, also both versions of B&W's folding bike cases.

    1. Soft bags - don't. I was lucky that it was just the EZ wheels that were broken. None of the commercial soft-but-padded bike bags are good enough for the tough treatment inflicted by airline baggage handling.
    2. B&W Foldon case - awesome. All you have to do is remove the folding pedal, fits snugly around the bike but has some space around it where you could fit some clothes or other things. Looks just like regular luggage, so we've never had awkward questions about it from the check-in staff. Small enough that it doesn't get diverted to Oversized Luggage. Only drawback for us is that our flat isn't huge, so at home it sits on top of the wardrobe holding other things and we had to think twice about how much luggage we would own and how flexible it needed to be. Helps that it's reasonable to use it as a regular luggage case if you aren't travelling with the bike.
    3. B&W foldon Box S - tried this because I didn't want another big case taking up space. The sides of this fold so the whole thing collapses to take up less space. Works well enough but I don't know how many journeys the sides will take. Also, it's big enough that it becomes Oversized Luggage and I have to persuade the airline staff that it's not a bike box (it isn't just one, my clothes go in there, but extra charges can become complicated).

    So when we travel by air and take the Bromptons, one is in the Foldon case and the other is in the Box S.

    Whatever you use, I recommend getting one of those handy hanging scales you can use to weigh luggage. When we travel with the bikes, I find myself having to do careful moving of clothes between the bags so that they all fit the individual limits as well as not going over the total weight allowance.

  • I used to have the huge B&W box. It was a bit of a pain, TBH - slightly bigger than maximum luggage size, really heavy, and then customs tore it apart prising it open when it was unlocked.

    The B-bag was much better, especially with some tactically-placed cardboard to stiffen the walls a bit. Suspect the new one is a bit better balanced, too.

  • I've used one of these a few times https://www.bicyclehero.com/gb/vincita-b­132b-soft-transport-bag-for-brompton-bik­e.html padded out with clothes and a bit of bubble wrap and had no issues. A few people have borrowed it and didn't have any issues with bike damage (although one airline managed to break a wheel off the bag).

    Goes through as a normal size bag so you don't need to bother with bike allowance, oversized, etc

    I did pay much less than that though, if you can't find it cheaper I'd probably get the hard case unless you're short of storage space. Although it is worth thinking about who you'll be flying with and whether you pack light or not. The Brompton and the hard case will actually be heavier than some luggage allowances on some airlines.

  • Thanks for your feedback! I’m flying to Poland with Wizz air, and back with Ryanair so should be an interesting experience/experiment. I managed to get it to fit inside my eBay samsonite so I’m hoping it’ll be okay. I just had to remove the saddle and pedals. There’s still a little room for a few items of clothing too. I’ll report back!


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  • Having had a loan of a super-fun, but tired 3sp Brompton last summer, I am still itching for one. I'm uncertain of the exact model I was riding but there were a few things I didn't get on with - mainly the handlebar setup - IIRC was an H setup.
    Could someone direct me to a noob friendly guide to all of the standard options for a Brompton - have had a long trawl through the thread but was wondering if such a thing existed. Apologies if the answer is just: Brompton website. Cheers all.

  • I'm researching... going to buy one on next c2w window
    https://www.cyclist.co.uk/brompton/8859/­brompton-folding-bikes-a-full-guide-to-t­he-range
    Think I'm going to go for a S2L-X standard powdercoat and swap bars to NITTO B220AAF & seatpost to brompfication ti 580mm

  • Brompton website is probably a good start, or your nearest stockist to see in person (Brompton junctions have a good selection of in London). https://www.brompton.com/bikes/help-me-c­hoose

    In my experience:

    • upright position = m or h bar // Sporty = s bar
    • You can’t change easily between the two, as the stems are different so try both and see.
    • Mudguards = a must for general use.
    • Rack is useful if you’re rolling it a lot, but most of the time is not needed as anything on the rack needs taking off before it can fold.
    • A wider bar makes it feel more like a road bike, Joseph Kousac options on SJS are a popular choice.
    • Gearing choice = depends where you live and it’s use. Single speed is lightest but I found it hard work. I liked my 6 speed, but would possibly go with three around London.
    • Luggage mount = a must. Choose your bag depending on use.
    • Dynamo = nice to have as you never need to think about lights and can just jump on and go, but does come at a price.

  • I've flown lots with Bromptons. I got the EVA Brompton Folding Bike Case, which was being discontinued at Evans and cheap. It's been really good, the bike just fits in. With nothing removed and no tinkering, just folded normally. The case is also light enough (4kgs) + Brompton (11kgs) to stuff loads of stuff around it. Even with a 20kg luggage limit I can stuff 5kgs of other shit inside. .

    The only issue I've had so far, is the last trip just before lockdown there was a little damage to the pull out trolley handle. It looks like a few things were stacked on top of it and the mechanism has dented a little and doesn't move smoothly. But the case have flown enough trips now without any excess baggage fees, so they've sort of paid for themselves a few times over. At least that's how it feels in my head.

  • 3 handlebars;

    S -Sport
    M- medium
    H - high

    3 gear options;

    2 speed derailed
    3 speed ihg - most reliable and easy to use
    6 speed 2x3 - widest range, 2 shifters tho

    Choose colour

    Mudguards + pump yes or no (yes)

    Rear rack - good if you NEED to roll the bike along, otherwise waste of £120

    Front bag blocks are included on every bike

    Seatpost length; standard, extended, telescopic - the measurements for each are online.

    Tyres; low stock, OE is a marathon racer which is fine for most. Marathon / marathon plus for heavy duty commuter or continental for good grip / durable a balance, Schwalbe one for ultimate lightweight and comfy

    Any bike you buy can have the stem / bars changed / drivechain etc it’s just not the cheapest.

    Aftermarket options include 18/20” wheels tyres up to 2.7”, disc brakes, carbon / Ti stuff, Alfine / Rohloff gears etc

  • 6 speed 2x3 - widest range, 2 shifters tho

    The number of cases where somebody bought a 6 speed for their less-experienced-with-bikes partner/relative because they might struggle with just 3 gears, only to find that the complexity of dealing with 2 shifters was too much for them and they spend all their time in 2nd gear anyway... well, that must be pretty high.

    I imagine.

  • I tend to offer a reduced gearing 3 speed if after a test ride they are a million miles away from it

  • THIS!

    @doc_si

    More than anything else, get some demo bikes and try them out.

    Here's my experience:

    All my bikes (3 of them, yes 3 Bromptons) are M bars as that's what suits me.

    Have a single speed, 3 speed and 6.

    Single speed is a M1E with no mudguards, M3L is 3 speed with mudguards and M6R-X Titanium with mudguards and rack.

    There's also the gear ratios if you choose 3 or 6 speed, my 3 speed is regular while the 6 is wide range.

    They are different bikes for different needs.

    Love the single speed for lightweight and nippyness , 3 speed is pretty much the loaner for visitors who pop around or any trips to pick up stuff (now passed on to my mum who love it!), Titanium one for office and suit days (Yup! Got to impress!)

    Conclusion: horses for courses so try as many as you can.

    There's a few 'options' which I should feel should be standard (Of which I do have across all of mine):

    • Schwalbe Marathon tyres ! Not Racers, not Plus! Best balance between puncture resistance and comfort. Little bird tells me that ALL future Bromptons will have Marathons as standard.

    • Ezy wheels + an aftermarket fender wheel, the former all around if you have a rack. In both instances, it makes the bike pretty much like a tiny luggage when you do your shopping or have to roll around.

    • Grip wise, I'm happy with Bromptons lock on non-foam, foamy ones just don't feel right, get Ergon if you're planning for long commutes.

    Hit up @sbbohr for more info, not affiliated and well legit.

  • Thanks everyone that’s awesome.

  • Marathons fitted due to stock issues, no mention of this going to happen long term!

    Ergonomic grips are essential IMO

  • rack essential to collect pizza

  • 3 gear options;

    2 speed derailed
    3 speed ihg - most reliable and easy to use
    6 speed 2x3 - widest range, 2 shifters tho

    So is the singlespeed version no longer available? That would be a pity as it made for a neat, efficient and lightweight titanium version, for less hilly areas.

  • not from brompton, but any non shit dealer can just change it

  • Single speed has only ever been a custom option. You can make one from a two speed by swapping cogs and tensioner.

    Ergonomic grips are essential IMO

    I’ve done thousands of miles on the factory grips and never get the need for anything else. The factory saddle is an abomination.

  • Single speed has only ever been a custom option

    I bought the Ti version once through a Cycle-to-Work scheme, just within the price limit. It was brilliant for cycling round Cardiff where I lived at the time.

  • Single speed has only ever been a custom option - not true?

    factory grips are just trash, hello numb fingers..

    whereas the OE saddle is okay, depends on your butt!

  • The factory saddle is an abomination.

    Factory saddle is the best. I have it on all my chill bikes as well as brompton. So comfy. And the best way to pick Brompton too.

  • For saddle I'm thinking selle italia flite 1990... Anyone tried?

  • Fancy build complete today


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  • After upgrading my 2013 S2L to the new gear shifter (highly recommended) I now have a left hand brake lever, old 2-speed shifter, and old anchorage available for free to anyone who wants to cover postage, or collection from Stockwell.

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Brompton owners

Posted by Avatar for worrywort @worrywort

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