Brompton Advise £1000

supermoocow

New Member
Hi,
I have up to £1000 cyclescheme option and was initially thinking of getting a road bike to replace my Hybrid (thanks guys for advise again). I have been working in London again lately and popped into Evans and test rode an S2L whic was great fun. V. fast off the mark and in higher gear quite quick...

This made me think... Hmmm I would quite like one of these :whistle:

Any pointers on the model. I cycle in the Coventry, Leicester, Daventry, Rugby areas and would be aiming to take the bike with me for overnight stays away from home to look around towns etc (at present I use a push scooter).

I was thinking of the p6r with brooks saddle and some front luggage to carry laptop in.
Maybe the shimano or SON hub lights aswell?

I need to order the voucher by 26th of this month so any pointers as to which model I would be greatfull.

I am fairly fit (getting fitter...) and commute 6 miles each day at present.

I have to take a laptop with me at pretty much all times due to a support job role :rolleyes: so luggage ideas would be great too...

Many Thanks
 

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
The standard front bag on the Brompton is pretty good for a laptop in a laptop bag. It's also amazingly capacious.

The rear carrier is also worth having - it's the one thing I miss from my previous Brompton. Three gears are fine - I had a 5-speed and only ever used three of them,
 

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
Location
Reading
My main reservation with a Brompton P6R, especially if equipped with a dynohub, it that you might find it a bit heavy when you have to fold it up and carry it any distance.

I have a SON dynohub on my Brompton. It works great, although the LED lamps are probably sufficient and a lot cheaper. Dynohubs mean you don't have to remember to take your lamps off all the time, but that's not such as issue with a Brompton because you can take it into the office with you.

Carradice make two Brompton front panniers. I believe they both have an internal laptop pouch.

http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?page_id=product&under=type&product_id=65
http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?page_id=product&product_id=17
 

Jugular

Well-Known Member
Location
Manchester
I recently bought an M6R and I've been very happy with it. With £1000 you can pretty much forget the titanium options.

Shimano vs SON. I get the impression SON is the more efficient but the price difference is just massive. I would be surprised if that fits within you £1000 either. I opted for the Shimano hub and it's been fine so far, it is so much cheaper that I'm happy with my choice.

The advice I received was that the P bars are not as good as either the S or M bars. The S bars are very agressive but have more space on which to attach gizmos and gadgets if you so wish. The M bars suit me fine in height and I have lots of comfort due to the Ergon bars & grips that I had fitted.

I went for the BWR as it's really handy and worthwhile having more gears in my opinion especially if you intend to carry any sort of weight on the bike, which the front carrying block is excellent for. The C-bag would probably suit you but I went for the T-bag as it has an immense capacity and two handy bottle holders at the back. I do intend to tour on it occassionally too. Further, I feel the bags are all very expensive and the weight difference will be small so the T-bag offers most versatility and should save further purchases.

I went with a rack, mainly for touring but in practice the heel clearance is a major issue with carrying anything on the rack. The rack has been very useful for maintaining stability when 'parked' and the occassional bulky item to be lugged over a short distance. I now use a Carrry Freedom City trailer whenever I intend to carry much bulk though.

I think the easy wheels are a must (the small ones that come with the Brompton don't effectively lift it off the ground so they don't even roll), the larger of the two sets of wheels also consistently fouls your ankles as you cycle, so I ended up replacing them all with inline skate wheels from eBay, they now work like a dream.
 

Jugular

Well-Known Member
Location
Manchester
People will often mention that the wieght of the Brompton is very important because you might be carrying it. I find that, with 6 wheels on the bike, carrying is fairly unusual or very quick so the weight is pretty irrelevant. I still wonder why people go on about it...
 

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
Location
Reading
When you're carrying up several flights of stairs or across a railway bridge then the weight can become a problem. Not for me obviously, but for less athletic specimens.
 

JensR

Über Member
Location
Norwich/York
I think there are 2 extremes with the Brompton - light and simple, and heavy but versatile (in model terms, they would be S2L and P6R).

I've had my M6L since December and it is definitely my most practical bike for city use. It is heavy though, especially noticeable when I have to lug it around the London underground with the C-bag and a rucksack. People pick it up and it's always heavier than they expect.

I went for M handlebars because I wanted the C-bag but not the added positions/weight of the P-type bars. I did not get a rack, which would have made the bike more stable when folded and would also protect the rear mudguard; but with any bag on it the bike cannot be folded, plus it adds weight.

I'm not sure about the terrain in your area, but for Bristol/Somerset with (easyish) hills the BWR 6 speed is very good in terms of range. But when I'm not in stop-start traffic mode or up/down hill mode, I find the lack of close gears (between 4th and 5th) a real pain for cruising. If I was back home in Norwich or York then I would definitely have considered the 2 or 3 speed.

The SON hub is regarded as one of the best engineered dynamo hubs you can get. It is a big price upgrade though, and would not really be necessary unless you plan to do a lot of night-riding (dynamos will always add a bit of drag).

Hope some of that helps,
Jens
 

Rohloff_Brompton_Rider

Formerly just_fixed
the rack is not worth the weight penalty. the 'c' bag is ok but the 't' bag is far more versatile. the 'son' is the best option regards lighting, however if your supplier can get or build a drum brake front wheel that would be a better bet as the brakes are an area which could, shall we say, be vastly improved. the 'p' bars are floppy, 'm' bars can be bent (i did 2 sets before i realized a cross bar can be bought). £1000 is going to be your limiting factor as prices have been increased (although 'evans' have some green and yellow ones in stock at 2009 prices). i would go for reduced gearing as well (50 tooth to 44t chain ring). easy wheels are a must or you will end up with sore ankle bones. oh and the brooks upgrade and the hand grips are pretty naff (and now boody expensive). upgrade the tyres to m+ from the start if any town or city riding is to be expected. hth.
 

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
Location
Reading
I agree handlebars can be a bit flexy. I have the M-Bars which flex a bit. S-bars are cooler but are not compatible with most pannier options. I have shorty bar-ends on my M-bars, which look a bit naff, but I find they help with climbing hills. I also have a Brooks Brompton saddle. I find it a bit creaky tbh. I might have been better off buying the Brompton version of the Vitess Fi'zi:k. The newer standard Brompton saddles seem better than the one my Brompton came with anyway. I did not know there was a drum brake option. I used to find the brakes adequate, but now they seem to require a bit more forward planning. I have to admit I eventually had my gearing reduced too. Mine was a 3-speed and it seemed a bit high geared. The LBS put a bigger sprocket on the back. I gather the newer Brompton hub gears have a wider range.
 
OP
S

supermoocow

New Member
Cheers chaps,
So basically it looks like the following:

M6L (or would it be better to get M3L with lower gearing? Will this still have a decent top speed?)
T Bag
Standard saddle rather than Brooks
Lights sounds like the dyno hub maybe pretty good? Is the Sona that much better?
M+ typres
Are easy wheels still needed without rack?
Shorty bar ends
Can't find any option for drum brake...

I can spend more than £1000 if worth the extra cash (is titanium worth it?).

Thanks again :laugh:
 

Jugular

Well-Known Member
Location
Manchester
Yes, easy wheels are still needed as without the rack the two offending ankle bashers are still in the way on the back triangle.

I would still suggest a rack even though it adds 430g of weight because I find it useful. Not groundbreaking, only enough that I'm glad I got it, but I can fully understand that it's not an easy decision for all.

I would recommend the Shimano hub for the price difference (£225!). The Shimano hub will undoubtedly be slightly worse in quality... but tbh can anyone tell you what the difference is? No, I thought not.

Titanium will make the bike 1kg lighter of about 11.5kg which is less than a 10% weight saving. For £475 I reckon I could find a better use. Maybe pay for a year worth of personal trainer bills to build your upper body strength. Or buy yourself a whole new Brompton? Maybe a single speed, no mudguards S-type Brompton. That'd be light.
 

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
Location
Reading
It's probably worth going for the six gear option, although I get about fine on my 3-speed. If your commute was reasonably flat then a 2-speed would probably be fine.

The T-bag is probably the best.

I'd go for the standard saddle, since they look to have improved.

I'm not sure the dynohub is really necessary. Some standard lamps will be a pain because you'd have to take it off every time you folded the bike up, but the smaller LED lamps should be fine. There is a Brompton LED set. The Schmidt XS SON is an excellent dynohub, but I hear the Shimano hub is pretty good too.

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/category-Brompton--Lights-and-Fittings-621.htm

I'm not sure what M+ tyres are, but puncture resistant tyres are a very good idea. Trying to get those tyres off to fix a puncture is a nightmare. You need a very long, very strong tyre lever. Taking the back tyre off requires being careful in noting the order all the washers and bolts came in. You have to take the rear brake and the mudguard off and disconnect the gear cable. It's a big pain. I have Schwalbe Marathons on my Brompton. They don't roll as fast as some, but I hardly ever get a puncture.

You still get those coaster type wheels without the rack. I rarely use them personally.

Shorty bar ends are personal preference. I find mine handy, but I rarely see any other Bromptons with them. They have to be short and straight enough not to interfere with folding.

I think you'd have to find a local bike shop to build you a special Brompton wheel with a drum brake. I've never heard of one before. You'd probably need to source the hub yourself and look for an especially narrow one. I remember the XS SON dynohub for the Brompton was especially narrow. The standard SON hub wouldn't fit without bodging the forks wider.

The titanium bits save a couple pounds of weight, but I don't think they're worth the money myself.
 

Rohloff_Brompton_Rider

Formerly just_fixed
ColinJ said:
Shaun - I know you needed lower gearing up here but honestly there aren't many big hills round the...


I happily cycle round there on a singlespeed bike whenever I go back to Coventry! :laugh:
ahh...but the bwr 6 speed gives 302% range and you have to be going downhill regular to make use of the bottom gear (or the legs of chris hoyle). having a top gear in reserve is wiser. it's a brompton thing colin.

ot. we still on for wed?
 

Rohloff_Brompton_Rider

Formerly just_fixed
Yellow Fang said:
I agree handlebars can be a bit flexy. I have the M-Bars which flex a bit. S-bars are cooler but are not compatible with most pannier options. I have shorty bar-ends on my M-bars, which look a bit naff, but I find they help with climbing hills. I also have a Brooks Brompton saddle. I find it a bit creaky tbh. I might have been better off buying the Brompton version of the Vitess Fi'zi:k. The newer standard Brompton saddles seem better than the one my Brompton came with anyway. I did not know there was a drum brake option. I used to find the brakes adequate, but now they seem to require a bit more forward planning. I have to admit I eventually had my gearing reduced too. Mine was a 3-speed and it seemed a bit high geared. The LBS put a bigger sprocket on the back. I gather the newer Brompton hub gears have a wider range.
interesting, i will investigate this as i have a tiny creaking noise, its not the usual suspects of suspension block or hinge (new one under warranty).
 
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