Changing times at Brompton

Running Springs is nice, AND all downhill to the OC from there :laugh: getting home is a different story:bicycle:.
 

steveindenmark

Legendary Member
I have a 6 speed, 9Streets Brompton. It is simple to use but is a bugger to fix if it goes wrong because the plastic gear levers are awful. Having said that I do not know why someone would choose a single speed over a 6 speed.

My gripe with Brompton is that every bike released is "A Special Edition". Special Edition as far as Brompton is concerned is a different colour and thats it. Its not Special. Its a different colour. They will not take any time at all in improving things like how they apply the paint so it will not rust through in 6 months or the useless gear levers. They are more concerned is selling over priced jackets and bags. There is no research and development to improve the bike and the price just keeps going up and up.

They released the all electric Brompton and that has proved to be a bit of a disaster. Even Brompton owners are getting fed up of the lack of progress and the future is not looking rosey.
 
I have a 6 speed, 9Streets Brompton. It is simple to use but is a bugger to fix if it goes wrong because the plastic gear levers are awful. Having said that I do not know why someone would choose a single speed over a 6 speed.

My gripe with Brompton is that every bike released is "A Special Edition". Special Edition as far as Brompton is concerned is a different colour and thats it. Its not Special. Its a different colour. They will not take any time at all in improving things like how they apply the paint so it will not rust through in 6 months or the useless gear levers. They are more concerned is selling over priced jackets and bags. There is no research and development to improve the bike and the price just keeps going up and up.

They released the all electric Brompton and that has proved to be a bit of a disaster. Even Brompton owners are getting fed up of the lack of progress and the future is not looking rosey.
Vespa (Piaggio) plays the same, stupid game in terms of “Special Editions”. Paint and stickers is all. Aggravating, and insulting.
 

berlinonaut

Senior Member
Location
Berlin Germany
I have a 6 speed, 9Streets Brompton. It is simple to use but is a bugger to fix if it goes wrong because the plastic gear levers are awful.
What's awful about the gear levers? What's going wrong with them that you seem to need to fix them regularly? What would you prefer instead?

My gripe with Brompton is that every bike released is "A Special Edition". Special Edition as far as Brompton is concerned is a different colour and thats it. Its not Special. Its a different colour.
What would you call a real "special edition"? Most special editions are - when you i.e. look at cars - normal versions in special color scheme and with a special set of accessories. Which is exactly what Brompton does. If you sum up the price of the components the special editions are neither cheaper nor more expensive than standard bikes. They are just, well, a special setup with limited availability. I guess that's why they are called "special edition". The number of special editions is btw. a fragment of the number of bikes they produce and it has gone down after a peak a couple of years ago while the number of bikes made of a certain special edition has gone up. Plus they sell like mad and people are even speculating massively with them - so possibly the problem is less the special editions from Brompton but your expectations and your understanding of "special edition".

They will not take any time at all in improving things like how they apply the paint so it will not rust through in 6 months
Hmm, I do not know of any Brompton that rusted through in 6 months. But of many that have been in service for 25-30 years w/o issues.


or the useless gear levers.
What's useless about them? They change gears and I guess that's what they are supposed to do. The actual version adresses the year long criticism about the optics of the older model shifters. There are random issues with some of the 3-speed levers but no one knows the exact reason and no one knows the exact numbers apart from that the affected ones are a small fraction of the bikes produced.


They are more concerned is selling over priced jackets and bags. There is no research and development to improve the bike and the price just keeps going up and up.
Are they? How do you know? Brompton is famous for incremental improvement of the bike while preserving backwards compatibility and the number of smaller or bigger improvements over the last decades is immense. There are just two parts identical between a 1990 Brompton and an actual one: The rear frame hinge and the small plastic knob on the stem. Everything else has changed at least once, often more than once. So claiming there would be no R+D is more ignorance and ranting than reality.

and the price just keeps going up and up.
I guess the same goes for your salary and prices for basically everything you buy, from trousers to houses.
They released the all electric Brompton and that has proved to be a bit of a disaster. Even Brompton owners are getting fed up of the lack of progress and the future is not looking rosey.
Brompton's production numbers are sky rocketing as are profits and the lead time for ordering a bike has become as immense as it was in the mid 2000s. So I guess they are doing something right, despite to what you claim. Regarding the electric: It is clear as water that the main stream of the commercial future of bikes is electric. Brompton committed early to that but suffered from a very long and embarrassing process to bring a product to the marked. They decided to develop their own solution from scratch instead of using standard components. This may turn out positive longterm but not too surprisingly there has been room for improvement in the beginning (and still is) and not everyone is happy with their product design. I.e. I dislike the bag decision that they made including dropping backwards compatibility for older bags (which has been a key feature of the brand) in favor of a new luggage block for the electric. But as far as I can judge the bike works well and most riders are happy with it. Again, there have been issues with the motor to a certain amount and again people a moaning and complaining in forums - ironically most of them do not even own a Brompton Electric or have ever ridden one...
Interestingly enough, if you look at the bigger brands in folding bikes you will recognize that Brompton has been way ahead of the market with the invention of the electric: Apart from Brompton only Tern has an Electric folder, heavy as a lump and based on standard Bosch components. It was there before the electric.
There was a BionX based Birdy around 2010 which was vanished from the portfolio quickly due to massive problems with it.
There is just now a Birdy with a standard Zehus motor (with all it's up- and downsides), but only the Asian Birdy version until now. Dahon just announced their first electric folder a couple of weeks ago, years after Brompton invented the Electric.
There are a couple of small manufacturers offering electric folders but nothing major and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. And there is a gazillion of rebranded el-cheapo chinese electric folders on the market for cheaper, but often still massively overpriced prices and of more than dubious quality. Most of them are illegal to use in Europe anyway (which does not stop them from selling).

So in the end your rant seems to lack it's foundation and basically mainly shows ignorance, exaggerations and personal expectations that seem not to be in line what the majority of customers feel. As you do already have a Brompton chances that you will buy another one quickly are not huge as - in opposite to what you claim - these things do last considerable years. So why should Brompton listen to what you say? You are not their actual customer and I heavily doubt that you get the bike that you desire from any other manufacturer anyway.
 

tinywheels

Well-Known Member
Location
South of hades
I've been thrashing my 6 speed for a year and a half now. no problems whatsoever, and I off road on it regularly. rode a 38 mile route on Tuesday ,I find it a really useful tool. I commute 8 miles a day in all weather, but it keeps going. I bought it as I thought the social side of brompton ownership looked fun. yes they could put some better components on it ,but that would detract from the enjoyment of pimping your bike.
 
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