Brompton owners

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  • Finally bit the bullet and have won a brommy on eBay. It’s a ‘97 so short wheelbase which might not be the best for my height but hey ho. Anyone know where they put the extra length in by the way? Could I simply extend the bit infront of the hinge?

    Think it’s going to need some stuff like new pedals, I fancy those clamps that don’t spin around (?), the brakes look a bit shonky…

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  • Definitely get the new style dual pivot brakes and levers, makes a massive difference to feel and power imho. Be careful though as post 2019(?) they change the mounting hole diameter from 5mm to 6mm (or something like that) is if you’re getting new brakes then you may need to drill the holes in the frame ever so slightly wider.

    I had a short wheel base model, sold it and got a newer long wheel base oriel and I couldn’t tell the different between them at all once it’s got luggage on and going through traffic etc whilst commuting.

  • Yup, the extra length is in the front section - the main frame is the same. I’ve ridden loads of both and I can’t tell the difference so I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.

    Upgrades? Brakes, definitely. The old single pivot callipers are pants. The new levers are much nicer. Crankset too, depending on your budget.

  • Brakes and levers, but levers are a minimum.

    Check the seat frame insert as issues on the plastic thing in the seat post could mean the frame will crack. Check rear triangle bottom cross brace for rust.

    Oh and play in the pivot hinge.

  • You can’t tell the difference? It’s night and day chap.

    Swb bikes ride so so different.

    Is honestly consider flipping that to get a newer one.

  • nyone know where they put the extra length in by the way?

    The extra length is in the hinge. The SWB hinge is just two flat plates, the LWB hinge is a more substantial cast item.

    My first Brompton was a SWB. My second was a LWB. Buggered if I can tell the difference.

  • No they don’t. What’s the difference, 25mm? It’s bullshit. You’d make that up by moving the saddle. There’s so much nonsense written about bicycle geometry. I’ve ridden literally hundreds of Brommies over the years, I’ve ridden and raced bikes with all manner of angles and wheelbases and it’s largely bollocks.

  • absolute codswallop dude.

    the frame alone is noticeable, plus you have pretty much every other part of the bike changed when looking at a post 2017 bike they ride like two different brands.

  • another not, yes, you could move your saddle, but that doesnt change the wheel base of the bike and therefore the handling / stability ... try no hander a swb, then a lwb, its completely different

  • plus 1

    I'm with you on this Sir. Rode many a Brompton (and most brands, raced too) and before the fanboys/girls knew about Bromptons. SWB and LWB no difference on handling for me. Still noodly as fuck. Still love it for <3 mile journeys.

  • no hander test - love it. When I was 8, that was the test to measure all bikes by.

    I don't do no handers on a Brompton unless I love a spill.

  • Still noodly as fuck. Still love it for <3 mile journeys.

    I'm with you on this aspect. I did find a difference in handling and stability for the LWB, but my wife fits the SWB better so this is the one we have kept -- I just put in a firm Scrowave spring to cut down the kangaroo bouncing.

    No hands riding on a Brompton sounds like a recipe for a face-plant.

  • We were taking about the difference between an lwb and swb only, not the components. The difference is actually 30mm, and it wasn’t even done to improve the handling, it was because they redesigned the front section using a different construction method. I honestly don’t notice the difference between the two, altho tbh I don’t see many swb models these days.

  • I meant by moving the saddle around you change your weight distribution a little, and that will affect the steering a bit. You’d notice a longer wheelbase more if the rear triangle was lengthened rather than the front end, because of the way the bike pivots around the front it increases the steering moment. Extreme example - Mike Burrows’ 8Freight cargo bikes have the loading bay behind the rider instead of the more usual front loaders, because it makes it far more stable.

    I wouldn’t like to try riding any Brompton hands free, short or long. All I was saying was that 30mm is a small amount and in the real world you’re not going to notice the difference. This doesn’t just apply to Bromptons of course, I used to ride ridiculously short time trial bikes back in the 80’s only because it was the done thing. It wasn’t until I started looking into bike design I realised that most of it came from folklore and it had always been done that way, and nobody challenged it. Same with crank lengths too, but that’s another story.

    Btw, I’m not trying to undermine your knowledge of Brommies, you’re far more knowledgable about them than me!

  • Saw a guy doing this the other week, my arse went all clenchy just watching him.

  • Wanted; someone to help me churn out 9 bike builds... frame up, my shed is full!!

    Stolen the wife’s little wheels today, no hands to let kiddo hold is a whole series of fantastic sketchiness

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  • I think we shall agree to disagree!

  • So on the brake lever front, I've seen a listing for the newer levers that says "Not suitable for Brompton B75 or pre-2017 model M-type or H-type Bromptons". Is that a handlebar diameter thing or what?

    (Realise this might be more obv once I have the bike in hand)

    I'm sure my mate has one of the older Brommy levers on the bars of his fixie so presumable the older bars at least were 22.2mm, and therefor I could use almost any old (short pull) lever rather than being limited to those with Brommy tax?

  • Both bars are 22.2mm and both lever are short pull

    The difference is bsr shape;

    Just get a Joseph Kuosac full rise bar, for any levers / grips then

  • I'm REALLY jealous AND I wished I could pop down and help you out!

  • Everywhere I look... another box of parts 😂

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  • Sounds like a dream, happy to help out if needed!

  • Next sjs build, free stock!

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  • Picked up my brommy from the dx depot today as they failed to find the door to my flat yesterday.

    Identified a few things it needs.

    Brake callipers
    Brake levers (maybe, I might just go with Shimano or something)
    Rear frame qr and clip kit
    Pentaclip (looking for a cheap one, otherwise I’ll just steal the one from my clunker)

    Anyone got any of that stuff before I splash out with sjs or something?

    Thinking I’ll chuck new cables on it too, if I use the existing cables to measure new ones against that’ll be fine right? Means I can use Jagwire and go with coloured cables and compressionless brake outer that’ll improve the braking feel and hopefully be a bit better with the folding and unfolding.

    Oh and a front luggage block too.

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Brompton owners

Posted by Avatar for worrywort @worrywort