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Just out of curiosity

Discussion in 'Folding Bikes' started by Mad Doug Biker, 13 Oct 2016.

  1. Mad Doug Biker

    Mad Doug Biker Bikeoholics Anonymous

    Craggy Island
    Last edited: 16 Oct 2016
  2. Rockymountain

    Rockymountain A Scotsman abroad

    It looks like it needs new cables, a rear mudguard, new brake blocks a new chain, and a serious clean. You wont be able to get rid of all of the rust - some of it looks pretty deep seated. You may need to check the 3 speed still works - and that the operating linkage isn't cross-threaded. I'd guess there's a day's labour and about a hundred quids worth of parts. Might be a nice little project for someone. 50 squids seems a good price but I wouldn't go much beyond that.

    BTW, the chain is slack.......
    mjr and Mad Doug Biker like this.
  3. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    Lots of rust. The drive-side chain stay rust looks severe. If that's a cup-and-cone BB, then at least the lockring is rusted, which could be awkward. Can't tell exactly what needs doing. I think lots of Brompton parts are custom, aren't they? So it might need something expensive replacing. It's a gamble: could be a bargain project, could be a money pit.
    Mad Doug Biker likes this.
  4. Cycleops

    Cycleops Veteran

    Accra, Ghana
    I do love those glib ebay sellers comments 'It'll be good for another few years'.. Priceless.

    I'd say it'd turn out to be a bit of a Trigger's broom.
    Last edited: 13 Oct 2016
    Mad Doug Biker likes this.
  5. 12boy

    12boy Active Member

    Casper WY USA
    Besides probably needing new wheels, bottom bracket and headset, obviously chain, tires and tubes, brake pads etc, refurbishing this little beauty would involve a modicum of mechanic skills or some fairly hefty LBS labor charges. I would be surprised if all the bearing surfaces were not rusted/pitted. I would give $100.00 for it though because I'd enjoy spending some winter days in my bike shed rebuilding it. I would think a used Brompton in good shape would cost less than restoring this bad boy.
  6. Mad Doug Biker

    Mad Doug Biker Bikeoholics Anonymous

    Craggy Island
    Aye, I know about the rust, etc etc, but I was wondering if there was a specific Brompton component that was wrong with it, i.e. something in the folding/locking mechanism that could maim you at any given moment, etc etc.

    I am not thinking about buying specifically, just faintly curious as to whether there was somehting badly wrong with it. You see, to me, these bikes always look rather odd and a slight mess anyway (no offence, but they do), so I need an expert eye to look at it.

    Last edited: 13 Oct 2016
  7. Kell

    Kell Well-Known Member

    It's almost impossible to tell from photos.

    The biggest worries from a safety POV would any of the three main hinges.

    Would probably need someone to physically examine it.

    As mentioned above, might be worth a punt if you (someone) could get it for £50.
  8. teaboy

    teaboy Active Member

    west sussex
    Brought my first folder a week ago a 1981 Dawes Kingpin 15 quid and I love it! The Brompton looks like a money pit heap to me
    the_mikey and Cycleops like this.
  9. Kell

    Kell Well-Known Member

    Mad Doug Biker likes this.
  10. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    I'd say that judging by the photo, the current price of £127 is already a lot more than it is worth so wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Not only is it in poor condition, it's very old and many of the parts are obsolete, having been replaced on newer Bromptons by far superior components.

    My own Brompton isn't in much better condition - in fact, it has got to the point where it would cost more to repair it than it is worth. It is still rideable, just, but really is on its last legs. I don't mind though - I've had it more than 10 years (and it was second hand when I bought it) and have done a lot of miles on it. I just wish I could afford to replace it.

    Here's a list of what's wrong with my Brompton, which might be a guide to what problems you could expect to encounter when buying an old model from ebay:
    • Head tube stretched so headset can no longer be made to fit snugly (this is due to rotational forces under heavy braking due to the long steerer column/stem)
    • Seat tube deformed so it's impossible to securely clamp the seatpost (this is my fault for not replacing the shim inside the seatpost when it disintegrated)
    • Rear hinge shot to pieces (normal wear and tear; it has been replaced twice before, an expensive job requiring specialist tools)
    • Big dink in rear wheel rim, probably not entirely safe to ride but not cost-effective to repair given the many other problems with the bike
    • 'Arms' for eazy-wheels broken off (due to rust)

    The rear hub still works well. The great thing about those old three-speed hubs is that they are almost indestructible, and they are surprisingly easy to maintain too - I used the traditional schoolboy method of taking it apart to see how it works. You may find that the one on ebay only needs a bit of a clean up and some fresh grease. Beware though, I damaged the cone on the non-drive side of mine when I accidentally over-tightened it - it still works fine but just needs care when reassembling.

    The current Brompton chainset is a spider with a replaceable chainring. The one on ebay has the old style non-replaceable chainring. I had to replace mine some years ago when the chainring sheared off the crank.

    I also had to replace the left crank after the original one snapped in half when pulling away from the lights one day! (To be fair, it had a dink in it that had probably created a weak point that allowed it to crack.)

    The original pedals were binned some years ago after the bearing in the folding LH pedal disintegrated. I use SPDs on my Brompton now.

    I see the one on ebay has the original foam saddle. That was a really nasty piece of work. The saddle that comes with new Bromptons is much better. My Brompton is fitted with a Brooks B17.

    I have also replaced the brake levers on mine with the newer version, which are infinitely superior. The original brake levers are truly awful. The one on ebay has the original brake levers.

    Maybe I should put it on ebay. It looks like there are plenty of mugs out there willing to pay silly money for dead bikes.
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2016
    teaboy and Mad Doug Biker like this.
  11. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    My Brompton came with a cartridge BB with square taper axle. It's a proprietary part but cheap and easy to change. The one in the link looks older than my Brompton, but I presume it's the same style of BB.
  12. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    Mad Doug Biker likes this.
  13. Mad Doug Biker

    Mad Doug Biker Bikeoholics Anonymous

    Craggy Island
    £127? Wow, that surprises me. £50, yes, but not any more.

    Thanks for the info, I know next to nothing about these bikes so, as the thread title suggests, I was curious.
    smutchin likes this.
  14. T4tomo

    T4tomo Über Member

    Bromptons hold their value extraordinarily well, so price doesn't surprise me despite the condition.
  15. Mad Doug Biker

    Mad Doug Biker Bikeoholics Anonymous

    Craggy Island