Brompton DIY full service

Discussion in 'Folding Bikes' started by confusedcyclist, 4 Mar 2019.

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  1. confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    Is there anyone out there does all their own servicing on Brommies?

    I understand they have a lot of proprietary components and the fold means extra work on hinges etc, but having never had one in front of me, I was wondering how feasible it is to do all the maintenance oneself? I understand the hinge contacts wear, are these easy to repair/replace?
     
  2. Kell

    Kell Über Member

    I have done all of mine so far. And I consider myself to be mechanically retarded.

    Most of it is common sense, but from what I've read, the hinge-bushes are technically possible for the enthusiastic DIY-er, but very hard and needs specialist equipment.
     
    confusedcyclist likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    Any idea how much it's going cost to get a specialist dealer to do that job? I haven't paid a bike shop for labour in years, I'm competent enough to do wheel bearings/bottom bracket replacements etc. Paying sky high service costs would be a deal breaker for the brompton I have my eye one, cycling for me is all about super low travel costs for me, replacement proprietary parts are already quite expensive, but I could live with that for a special bike like this. Labour costs on top might be one step too far.

    I don't ride much on trains, but the flexibility to pop it on the bus folded up after a session at the pub on a Friday night is appealing... too often I have had to turn down social stuff because of the full size bike I normally use.
     
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2019
  4. rogerzilla

    rogerzilla Guru

    Done all the jobs except reaming new rear hinge bushes, for which the local dealer charged me peanuts. The worst thing is removing the old hinge bolts; it took me about an hour to drill the heads off them. Apparently it's much easier to saw through them. Once the rear triangle is off, you screw an M10 tap into the plastic bushes and drift them out from the opposite end of the hinge tube, That's the easy bit.

    Brompton, increasingly, won't sell you spare parts. They are trying to protect dealer business, I think. I wouldn't buy another one because of this; the best thing about a B was that you could get everything for it, whereas a Dahon or something might be impossible to repair.
     
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  5. chriscross1966

    chriscross1966 Senior Member

    Location:
    Swindon
    You need a couple of uncommon tools to do two of the less regular service jobs. The seatpost tube liner needs a 32mm reamer which is a socking great thing, but you might pick up one cheap on ebay, the job also needs a rather specialist glue. The hinge pin bushes might need reaming and that's a clearance fit on 3/8" IIRC.
     
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  6. chriscross1966

    chriscross1966 Senior Member

    Location:
    Swindon
    A Brompton dealer should be able to do both seatpost liner and the hinge pin done in a couple of hours tops...
     
  7. OP
    OP
    confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    Thanks guys. I could probably live with having a local dealer do the occasional seat post liner and hinge repairs. I'm not likely to use the bike every single day, and I wouldn't bother folding at home, so based on some googling these particular maintenance jobs are unlikely to be annual affairs. In any case, I can't really complain, because the only real alternative to my needs is a personal car and all the expense that goes with that.
     
  8. jiberjaber

    jiberjaber Über Member

    Location:
    Essex
    Out of interest - what's the typical lifespan of these hinges and seat liners?
     
    Blue Hills likes this.
  9. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    Location:
    Stevenage
    I've had my Brommie for over 9 years. I've had to dribble some oil onto the centre hinge, and the seat post liner is still working fine.
    I've replaced the tyres, brake pads, and the transmission - chainring, chain and sprockets. That's it.
    @mickle is probably the best to advise about replacing the rear pivot, but I believe that's a once-in-a-blue-moon job.
     
  10. jiberjaber

    jiberjaber Über Member

    Location:
    Essex
    Given mine is a 2017 I suspect it's not something I have to worry about just yet then :smile:

    (I've already replaced the rear sprockets and a chain when it came into my possession... )
     
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  11. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    Location:
    Stevenage
    I really ought to do the cables sometime!
     
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  12. Kell

    Kell Über Member

    Had mine almost three and a half years. use it pretty much every work day and, according to Strava, have covered 7,049.3 miles.

    I've not had to replace the hinge or seatpost thingy on mine. Although the drive side hex bolt did start to come loose and create some play. Tightened that up myself and it's been fine. I hop up and down the occasional kerb too.

    I replace the chain, sprockets and chainring every six months or so.
     
    jiberjaber likes this.
  13. ABikeCam

    ABikeCam Throwing Frazzles at a badger

    I've just had my seat post sleeve replaced after about four and a half years of commuting with my current Brompton. That's Monday to Friday on the train, three lots of folding and unfolding a day.

    I can't give any idea of the lifespan of the hinge as I snapped mine after going up and down kerbs a bit too much. That tends to reduce the lifespan of the hinge somehat...

    I think I've replaced the chainring, sprockets and chain twice in that time, the most recent at the same time I got the seatpost sleeve changed (although the sleeve and hinge I wouldn't be able to do myself.)
     
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  14. chriscross1966

    chriscross1966 Senior Member

    Location:
    Swindon
    Utterly dependent on usage, I've seen them ten years old and working fine and I know folks that knock out a set in less than a year.... I do about 4000kms a year and the seatpost liners will last me two years, hoping that goes up as my weight goes down, the hinge pins, the stock ones generally last me about 6000kms, the titanium one in there now seems to be doing a bit better than that..... frequently seem to get two pins through one set of bushes.... remember on other folders those parts are not designed to be sacrificial and replaceable, when they wear out, that's the frame done for...
     
    Tenkaykev and jiberjaber like this.
  15. sheddy

    sheddy Guru

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Do you know the age of your Brompton ?
     
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