Recommended upgrades for a 2002 Brompton?

Jenas

New Member
Location
New York
Hi all,

I just bought a M3 Brompton and discovered it is a fair bit older than the seller thought. He bought it second hand, and was told it was a few years old, but it seems to be a 2002 model. No serial number, so I am estimating based on online photos, and the frame number (170182 BS6102).

The bike is in good condition, other than the annoying automatic rear fold when lifted.

Would love some advice from Brompton experts as to whether it is necessary or even possible to retrofit/upgrade things like brakes, and the automatic rear fold.

Are there any upgrades you would recommend?

The seller has kindly offered either a discount or a return, but I need to make the decision soon. Advice appreciated!
 
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Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Calling @chriscross1966 who I'm sure can advise. I understand replacing the rear triangle is a specialists job.
What do you think it needs and what is the asking price?
 
OP
Jenas

Jenas

New Member
Location
New York
Thanks so much for the quick reply.

It needs the brakes adjusted, and the automatic rear fold when lifted is annoying when trying to get up or down stairs or a high curb.
Looking online, I found a reference to a Brompton rear frame clip retro fit kit sold in the UK that promised easy install. Beyond my tools and capabilities, but hopefully something I could get done as part of a full service if I can get the part here.

https://brilliantbikes.co.uk/brompton-folding-detail/340-brompton-rear-frame-clip-retrokit.html

Other than that - I am not sure. It was an unexpected surprise to discover the bike was vintage so I am still researching updates and which would make a significant difference to weight, reliability, maneuverability etc. Tips or recommendations much appreciated.

I paid 800US including handle, Brompton bags etc which seemed like a reasonable price for a 2014 model, but not so much for a 2002 model. The options are either return it, or seek a discount
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
I'm not much of an expert hence my call to another forum member.
Prices for Bromptons are quite buoyant in the UK but I've no idea of the US market. A quick look on eBay reveals a 2002 vintage or thereabouts would go for about £400 ($500) in good condition. I think you could negotiate a good discount if you are happy with its general condition. @chriscross1966 or other members should be able to tell you what to look out for.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
Thanks so much for the quick reply.

It needs the brakes adjusted, and the automatic rear fold when lifted is annoying when trying to get up or down stairs or a high curb.
Looking online, I found a reference to a Brompton rear frame clip retro fit kit sold in the UK that promised easy install. Beyond my tools and capabilities, but hopefully something I could get done as part of a full service if I can get the part here.

https://brilliantbikes.co.uk/brompton-folding-detail/340-brompton-rear-frame-clip-retrokit.html

Other than that - I am not sure. It was an unexpected surprise to discover the bike was vintage so I am still researching updates and which would make a significant difference to weight, reliability, maneuverability etc. Tips or recommendations much appreciated.

I paid 800US including handle, Brompton bags etc which seemed like a reasonable price for a 2014 model, but not so much for a 2002 model. The options are either return it, or seek a discount
Errr, 2002 is hardly 'vintage' Brommies are built to last
 

alicat

Legendary Member
Location
Staffs
All Brompton modifications are retrofittable. If it were me, I would prioritise the clip that keeps the rear triangle in place when lifting the bike.

Have you ridden it yet? Brompton introduced a longer main frame section in 2004 so yours could be a tad lively.
 

top-tube

Über Member
Location
Leith, Edinburgh
Rear fold problem can be fixed by Spa normally for £4.00, but currently reduced to £1. Simple solution, which works well on my 1999 brommie, and allows the 'auto fold' option when required.

https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m2b0s124p128/SPA-CYCLES-Brompton-Clip

Other upgrades by me have been a new saddle with brommie pentaclip (makes saddle much easier to adjust), schwalbe marathon tyres, and currently v-brake blocks to attempt to improve the awful brakes. And a bag of your choice to go on the luggage block - invaluable.

Other than that, just add rider.
 
OP
Jenas

Jenas

New Member
Location
New York
All Brompton modifications are retrofittable. If it were me, I would prioritise the clip that keeps the rear triangle in place when lifting the bike.

Have you ridden it yet? Brompton introduced a longer main frame section in 2004 so yours could be a tad lively.
Lively is a good description! It did feel short in the reach and the front wheel was very mobile. Haven't ridden a more modern one so can't compare it to one with a longer main frame
 

alicat

Legendary Member
Location
Staffs
Personally, I'd return it and get one with the longer wheelbase. Mine is 2009 and I love the ride. Responsive but definitely not lively.
 

12boy

Veteran
Location
Casper WY USA
You haven't said what use you plan for the bike, nor your height and weight. Commuting on flat streets is actually different than a lot of climbing or long distance. I ride mine up and down hills for about 20 miles per ride so here's what I have:
Ergon grips with bar ends can help with hand discomfort
I like SPD dual pedals...flat on one side and with SPD clips on the other. I usually use mtn bike shoes with SPDs because I like to pull up as well a push down on hills.
There is a seat post insert that you cut to fit which allows you to pull up to your desired seat height every time.
The rear triangle clip that doesn't let the triangle drop unless you want it to is essential.
If you are tall with long legs there are 3 sizes of seat post. I like my legs extended so my heel barely reaches the pedal at max downstroke.
USB rechargeable blinkies and headlight are nice, and help keep you visible. Those headlights are so much more powerful than they used to be.
You may want to replace your brake cables and cable housing if they don't work smoothly with good return. I buy my cable housing in 10 foot lengths and have the bike shop cut them to match the ones on there as precut ones cost twice as much. I would get better brake pads and a new chain if your chain is worn.
I like leather saddles but see how the one on your bike seems before upgrading to a Brooks or Velo Orange (if you like leather saddles).
Unhooked the rear triangle and pull it side to side to see how much slop there is in the bushing. Replacing mine cost 70 bucks or so.
The FAG bottom bracket ain't the best. A decent Shimano for around 25 is a good replacement. I only get BBs with a metal cup on the non-drive side.
I think alicat is right on....The longer wheel base is nicer, BTW, as I believe it smooths out the ride a bit.
So, I would check out the bike with these points in mind and take the cost of any or all of the mods off the asking price. Go to a Brompton shop website and use the Brompton bike builder and see what a new one would cost set up as you like. I bought mine as a one speed without fenders for around 1100. I would really consider a 2 speed if its fairly flat. They are cheaper and a few pounds lighter, which is nice if you are carrying it up stairs.
Pretty wordy, I know, but my 2 cents worth.
 

Kell

Über Member
I hired a pre-update bike before I bought mine and the most significant thing (to me) was how much better the brakes are on the new one I bought (2015 bike).

If the seller is willing to refund and you’re not willing to wield the spammers yourself I’d say it would be a very expensive project to improve it all. It could well be cheaper to return it and buy an updated one in the first place.

If you’re willing to learn (and happy to practice on your own bike) then it would be a great project.
 
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chriscross1966

Über Member
Location
Swindon
Right... 2001 model year, manufactured August or September according to the book... right, the good thing is that should have a dual pivot front brake..... aaand that's about it I'm afraid. It's a short wheelbase frame, if it's a three speed then that is a SRAM which is getting hard to find parts for, the entire driveline is a financial timebomb really, when the chainring wears out it comes with a big bill, as everything will need changing, bottom bracket, cranks, chain, sprockets... it'll also have single wall rims, I'd want a lot off if it were me, if the bike looks very lightly used then ok, otherwise every time it goes to the shop for a service you are sweating on a very expensive phonecall. I personally would be looking at changing the wheels and the drive line and getting the modern pattern brakes and the current type of rear frame clip and suspension block.... thats around 500 dollars in parts, though you can frequently pick up second hand lightly used BSR hub rear wheels from folks upgrading, and you have an option to go to a Sturmey 8-speed based rear wheel, the wheel costs sliggtly more but it gives you a better gearing setup than the current 6-speed and you'd have to fit a new triangle to go to six speed..

I consider bikes that old to be a good basis for a project as good condition parts have secondhand value, but to put it on the road every day I'd need to be certain that the parts were in very good condition due to the cost of upgrading something that old... maybe some of the upgrades have been done, if so then that's great, if not that has to be factored in.
 

12boy

Veteran
Location
Casper WY USA
I would suggest visiting the perennial cycles website for Brompton parts. They have a fairly comprehensive listing of parts and components and also the "build your Brompton" feature. Easy to see what replacements vs new would run. Bfold is a NY shop I've heard good things about too, but perennials parts /components is easy to peruse.
 
OP
Jenas

Jenas

New Member
Location
New York
My big thanks to this group - this has been extremely helpful. Special thanks to 12boy and Chris Cross for the very detailed explanation of different parts and modifications to consider.

I don't have the skills, tools or space to do the work myself, so this is looking like risk and repair than I want to take on. The bike looks to be in great condition, but my goal was a trouble free and fun commute (at least 3 days a week, about 20km return) so I don't want to be worried about major part failure.

The idea of better maneuverability, better brakes and better reliability with a newer model is also pretty compelling.

I will ask the seller for the option to return, and try to find another bike that is a bit more up to spec. From these comments, I think post-2014 will meet all my requirements.

Big big thanks to all member of the community for generously sharing your ideas and experiences. Very much appreciated. Hope to be posting again with good news of my future bicycle in the near future
 
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