Brompton folding bicycle

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by scotjimland, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Does anyone own a Brompton folding bicycle ?

    Brompton Bicycle » Brompton folding bike

    I've never really considered one before but these look well made, get good reviews and they would be a lot easier to stow and keep away from the light fingered, ( had two bikes stolen already :Angry:) but can they really ever be as good as a regular bicycle ?

    Pros cons any one ?

    thanks

    jim
     
  2. olley

    olley Funster

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    The biggest "Con" is the PRICE!

    Olley
     
  3. Red Sonja

    Red Sonja Funster

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    Jim
    There is a guy who gets on my train in the morning. He has a brompton (and has had the same bike for at least the last 4 years) from getting off the bike to on the train takes him about 2 mins and the same the other end.

    He is about 6ft and with the saddle up it looks a bit strange but it is a sturdy thing and packs down pretty small. But the price is really large (but as they say you gets what you pay for) however this bike has probably paid itself back for the owner as the car park is £3.50 per day plus whatever he would have to pay on the bus or tube.

    Sonja
     
  4. bevo

    bevo Read Only Funster

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  5. ArenqueRojo

    ArenqueRojo Read Only Funster

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    Oldest Son, a bike fanatic, says ONLY a Brompton is worth having if you go for a folder.
    I wouldn't know - can't afford...:Angry:
    Patrick
     
  6. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi Jim I just bought two semi fold-ups from Argos in their sale here: Buy Challenge Folding City 6 Gear Bike. at Argos.co.uk - Your Online Shop for .

    They were £58 each, I see they are now £150, :Eek!: so it looks like I only just got them. Ordered last Friday, arrived Monday, easy to put together and seem good quality, they only fold in the middle, although you can remove the handlebars easily with an allen key. Made in Tunisia.

    Olley
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Millions of people !

    My daughter was one of them. She loved it to bits and she's a serious cyclist with half a dozen push bikes.

    Then her husband borrowed it to get round London. He left it chained to some railings, they left him the cut chain :Angry:

    That did not go down well, oh no, not at all.
     
  8. savantuk

    savantuk Read Only Funster

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    Hi Jim,

    I've been using folders for years, as they were excellent for folding and putting in the camper. I've had 3, and all ended up getting stolen, two in Holland, and one in Ireland. They are truly excellent bit's of kit, and they do offer a similar experience to a regular bike.

    I have however, after reading many reviews, and a lot of heart searching, replaced the Bromptom with a John Whyte designed Mezzo D9. It is similarly priced to a Brompton, around £700, but for me, it's a much better ride. Why?? The ALUMINIUM frame doesn't fold, so it's much more rigid. It has a much better component fit too, Shimano Tiagra/SRAM mix, all really good quality. Unlike the Brompton, where all the components are Brompton specific, all the Mezzo parts are easily available from your local shop, and this also allows you to upgrade to whatever level you wish. It does fold up to a package about the same size as a Brompton, though the experts say it takes about 5 seconds longer. My god, a whole 5 seconds!!!

    [​IMG]

    The biggest bonus however, is that it's not a Brompton, and because it is less well known, is less attarctive to thieves.

    Here's a good review: The Folding Society - Mezzo d9 - an owner's view

    Video here: http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/motorhome-chat/16984-brompton-folding-bicycle.html

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfsdyi13pRI[/ame]

    I can, if you wish let you have some close up pics of mine. It's beautifully made, and a tour-de-force of alloy welding. I have seldom seen better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  9. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Brompton are the classic commuting bike as they have 16inch wheels and fold small they are not really a touring bike IMO.Designed for carring on and off trains and stored under an office desk....totally over engineered and expensive from a motorhoming perspective.

    for motorhoming can I suggest the slightly bigger and a hell of a lot cheaper Dahon 20inch wheeled folders? larger wheels more comfortable for touring and loads available on ebay...there are a lot of models so choose carefully. try one at a bike shop to be sure. we carried them for years when we had a demountable.

    but you can carry conventional bikes on a PVC with a door mounted rack......A far better ride
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  10. Toffs-G

    Toffs-G Read Only Funster

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    I worked with a guy in London that swears by them and has had Bromptons for the last 27 years or so. I beleive this is his 3rd they are very well made and from what I can see the folding mechanism is about the best.

    Price is of course steep however as I understand the build quality is excellent. I have a Dahon which I bought in Halfords in Belgium for a fraction of the price. If you are using for train travel etc i would suggest the Brompton folds better. If for convenience of storing in the MH etc then there are much cheaper and very good ones (like the Dahon) that would do the job

    Hope this helps
     
  11. savantuk

    savantuk Read Only Funster

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    Brompton are great bikes for touring - I used to ride sometimes as far as 50 miles a day on mine. They may have small wheels, but the gearing is such that you don't notice. Having smaller wheels means that the bike accelerates much faster than a 26"/700c model, and smaller wheels also make it much easier to pedal uphill. Bromptons have been ridden round the world, across Australia, across the arctic circle, and have made other epic rides which many 'larger bikes' would be pushed to make.

    Brompton bikes make great tourers!!
     
  12. nomadic

    nomadic Funster

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    Folding Bromptons

    Hi Jim

    We have a couple of six gear Bromptons, and yes they are a tuch expensive, but that price includes two "free" services, at six months and one year.:Smile:

    Thay were the only cycle to fold down small enough, to fit the available space in our Bessy E760, now with the Hymer they roll around the garage and have to be tied down, plus they are secure and out of sight!:BigGrin:

    In use they work as well as any "full size" frame, and the gear ratio works very well for us, they are also one of the lightest cycles available.

    Hope this helps

    Neville & Lynda

     
  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for all the good advice .. lots to ponder..

    the Mezzo looks like a serious contender to the Brompton .. and both are made in the UK :thumb:
    Next thing to do is to have a test ride on both.. and save up :Laughing:


    cheers
    jim
     
  14. gwnking

    gwnking Read Only Funster

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    I recently bought a fold up bike off Ebay, real bargain at £35 and it was brand new, the seller bought it and realised he couldnt "off road" on it, durgh. His loss my gain. Doubt very much it would get pinched as its bright yellow and your not easily missed out and about. Sorry couldnt help re your query about Brompton but have heard they are very reliable but expensive. Mine is a Sunlova.

    Dale
     
  15. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Don't forget to test ride the electrics too. We have a folding electric for less than a Brompton. Not the same quality of course.
     
  16. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Brian ..
    never tried a leccy bike.. never felt the need to but , not getting any younger and there is the odd occasion when a wee help would be welcome.. however, the main reason for looking at a folder was the ability to take on public transport and get full benefit of the bus pass :Laughing:

    jim
     
  17. patr

    patr Read Only Funster

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    Jim

    I bought two Dahon Speed 7 folders from J E James cycles of Sheffield in March. They were the 2008 models and at that time they cost £200 each. The 2009 model on their website is currently £279, I would expect that price to drop as the 2010 models come on stream.

    Dahon Speed D7 Folding Bike

    I had never ridden a folder before so did a bit of research, wobbled along like an advert for Chivers Jellies on some, felt amazingly cool and re-assured on the Brompton and dismissed some of the cheaper ones sold in the Marine Chandlers stores as visually attractive but less than rigid (cracking value for around £100.......but very heavy). Then I had a go on the Dahon. It ticked all of the boxes, folded in about 20 secs into a manageable lump of tubing and cables, was rigid and comfortable on roads, surprisingly good on well made paths and looked far more expensive than £200. It has good quality components, is very well made and finished and even came with a small pot of touch-up enamel.

    By registering on-line, a very kind Mr Dahon gave me a lifetime warranty on the frame, forks and handleset and JE James gave a free first service on the bikes.

    They are excellent bikes, perfect for the motorhome and they fit beautifully into a big blue IKEA bag when wet and dirty. Our first venture was along the Mawddach Estuary from Dollgellau to Barmouth which is a firm and level gravel path. The 20" wheels gave a very good ride and the tyres were wide enough to avoid tramlining in ruts. The riding position is upright which suites my back and although the return journey was about 18 miles it was a very comfortable ride.

    I would have loved a Brompton but for less than the price of one we got two Dahons which hopefully will avoid the attention that Bromptons and other expensive bikes attract from the light-fingered community. In the end the wallet over-ruled the heart but after about 400miles of use in all weathers we are delighted with the bikes. We did however replace the standard saddles with Sportourer gel saddles which have made a real difference to ride comfort.

    The only disadvantage we have found vis a full size bike is the need to remove the saddle post when chained up, as all it takes is a flick of a lever and its gone.

    All in all a smashing purchase, easy to ride, easy to fold, easy to pack into a car boot or a motorhome and ready from folded to ride in about 20 secs. Perfick.
     
  18. savantuk

    savantuk Read Only Funster

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    You could consider changing the quick release seat clamp for either a standard one with an allen bolt (all you'd need to do is carry an allen key), or a QR clamp with removeable lever. Both, however would be quickly overcome by a determined thief who probably carries both items with him.

    My last Brompton was stolen from outside the Gaasperplas Metro station in Amsterdam. It was chainded, with my wifes 'bike in a bag', to a tubular steel bike tack bolted to the pavement. It was chained with two HIGH SECURITY chains with 1/4" hardened links and an unpickable Abus lock. The thieves cut through the tubular steel rack and took both bikes. The whole thing was recorded on a security camera. Nobody seemed to notice???:cry:
     
  19. chigman

    chigman Read Only Funster

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    Hi Jim

    We have a couple of six speed Brommy's and cant rate them highly enough. They fold up to not much bigger than one of the wheels so brill for the precious space of a motorhome.

    They ride very similar to a full size bike and I often ride upto 20 miles on mine and I'm just under 20st, so they are built for the job.

    There are also several bags and carriers made for the brommy too, so shopping for bits and bobs should be a doddle if you need to re stock.

    The only down side again is the price I'm affraid.:Sad:

    steve
     
  20. johngee

    johngee Read Only Funster

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    We looked at many folders a few years ago, and decided on Bromptons. Expensive, but should last forever. We carry them unfolded on the bike rack, but can be put inside the van as necessary, and will fit in the car if required.

    Fine on hard surfaces, but not suitable for anything remotely off road, so if you are thinking about rough forest trails, heavily shingled paths etc this (or any small wheeled folder) is not for you.

    People seem to fall into two camps:

    1. The Brompton is a design classic which just works and is worth the money.
    2. The Brompton is overpriced and they are taking the p***.

    Naturally, as an owner, I'm in camp (1)

    Go on, you know you want it.
     
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