Information needed regarding Brompton gear changing.

Discussion in 'Folding Bikes' started by Bill, 2 Sep 2017.

  1. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Hello, I am debating wether to buy a Brompton cycle. It's basically the small fold I am interested in. I visited a main Brompton dealer in Birmingham to look at the bikes. Now, the chap in the shop described the method of changing the two triggers and what they are changing...but me being profoundly deaf I am none the wiser!! Could some kind soul on here tell me how the two triggers work on a six speed Brompton please? If I still don't understand it I gather from other forums that the three speed Brompton with a 18% reduced chain wheel may suit me as I walk up most hills...I need to as my legs pain me if I pedal too much. Please help!
  2. annedonnelly

    annedonnelly Girl from the North Country

    Hi Bill,

    Left hand shifter has two positions (1 and 2); right hand has three (1, 2 and 3). Left is the derailluer; right is the hub.

    Lowest gear is L1,R1
    Highest gear is L2,R3

    If you wish you can leave the left in the same position and simply change up and down on the right.
    If I wanted finer changes I'd go L1, R1 -> L2,R1 -> L1,R2 and so on.
    Does that make sense?

    I have no problem shifting both triggers at once when I need to.

    The shop I bought mind from offer a day's hire. The hire cost can then be deducted from the price if you buy. I had one for a day to try out and see if the gears were what I wanted.
    tinacha2 and classic33 like this.
  3. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...

  4. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    Another way to think about it is 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5.

    As Anne says, you soon get used to it.

    However, I think I'm right in saying you cannot have the lowest gearing with six gears.

    So the advice you've been given about a three-speed with the lowest gearing being most suitable for you may be spot on.

    Brompton dealers are obliged to have an up to date demo available, so you ought to be able to get a decent length test ride, although the demo bike may not be your chosen spec.
  5. simon.r

    simon.r Person

    Last edited: 3 Sep 2017
    Pale Rider likes this.
  6. OP

    Bill Senior Member

    Thank you for the kind help. I did read on another forum that it might be wise to buy the six speed and then remove the derailuer lever and go with the one cog and simply use the hub?!....too many choices...Pity I have so many bits added to my Dahon Vitesse, otherwise it too would be a small fold!
  7. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    That pretty much sums it up.
    Honestly, you don't think about it after the first ride.
    And if there's any chance at all that you'll ever need six gears, get them from the outset.
    Adding them afterwards involves buying a new wheel. Ker-Ching!
  8. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Don't fret, the 6 speed soon becomes second nature.
    the_mikey likes this.
  9. Kell

    Kell Über Member

    Is that true?

    I was under the impression that on a standard 6-speed, you got two lower gears and one higher, or two higher and one lower. Can't remember off the top of my head, but definitely more either end. So theoretically if you went for a low gear 6-speed, then surely it would still be lower than a low gear 3-speed?

    It's too complicated without reference, but I do know that I checked before ordering my 6-speed to ensure that the gearing would give me higher gears as I used to spin out on a 3-speed, as well as a lower gear as I have a 12% climb for half a mile at the end of my commute home.

    What I would say is that the system is archaic and seems counter-intuitive at first, but becomes second-nature in use.
  10. Kell

    Kell Über Member

    So on a standard 6-speed, both first and second are lower gears than 1st on a standard 3-speed and 1st on a standard 6-speed is lower than even 1st on a -18% 3-speed?

    I did think that was the case.
  11. chriscross1966

    chriscross1966 Senior Member

    You could spec the bike as a single speed and get a Sturmey 8-speed hub fitted in the rear wheel, has slightly more overall range than the normal Brompton 6 and with slightly closer gear shifts too... And all on one controller.
  12. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    You can overthink things you know.....
    the_mikey, simon.r and dave r like this.
  13. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    A six speed Brompton will get me up any mountain I've ever tried, and I spin out at 40 mph. That's as much of a range as I need. It'll probably do you.
  14. OP

    Bill Senior Member

    Many thanks for further help. What does "spin out at 40mph mean".... Doc? I have not heard that phrase before. If mountains were involved I really would have to walk/push my cycle up them.. (the Beta-Blockers I take would make me do it)'s no slur to get off the bike and walk a bit anyway.
  15. Kell

    Kell Über Member

    I think he means when pedalling downhill.

    I spin out at a much lower speed on my standard one - or at least feel it's pointless keeping the legs going much past 30mph. (downhill)
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice