6 speed Brompton

Location
Essex
What is the optimum order to change gear ?
Should I just change from 2/1 to 1/3 in one go ? or go from 2/2 to 1/2 and then 1/1 ?
 
Last edited:

Specialeyes

Veteran
Location
Essex
You *should* shift both levers at the same time, so:
1-, 1+, 2-, 2+, 3-, 3+

In reality, I often shift the 3-ratio lever and see how I get on with the new gear, and if it's too easy/hard, switch the derailleur lever :okay:
 

Tenkaykev

Veteran
Location
Poole
Brilliant Bikes have a YouTube channel with lots of excellent Brompton specific content. One of the videos is an explanation and demonstration of the Brompton six speed gear change.
 

steveindenmark

Legendary Member
You should just ride it, practice and work it out for yourself. I find it really simple to do. But complicated to explain.

If you are new to Bromptons there is 2 things you could do with learning.

How to change the rear tyre. Do that in the comfort of your own home instead of at the side of the road.

How to sort out out the gears when the rear mech stops working correctly. I still have not mastered that.
 
OP
mr_cellophane
Location
Essex
You should just ride it, practice and work it out for yourself. I find it really simple to do. But complicated to explain.

If you are new to Bromptons there is 2 things you could do with learning.

How to change the rear tyre. Do that in the comfort of your own home instead of at the side of the road.

How to sort out out the gears when the rear mech stops working correctly. I still have not mastered that.
I've already had to change the front tube. Pothole on Borough High Street on my first day commuting sorted that out. It was only a slow one and getting something similar to tank slap when passing a bus is a bit scarry.
 

shingwell

Active Member
How to change the rear tyre. Do that in the comfort of your own home instead of at the side of the road.
Call me a wimp but that is something I will never do. I have a folding bike that can fit in a car/taxi/bus/train, if it happens to me I will arrange alternative transport one way or another. For me it's another advantage of a Brompton: less stress and worry about a breakdown because I will not be left stranded. (Not a very popular view among cycling enthusiasts I know, but I am pragmatic in my old age :whistle:.)
 

Kell

Über Member
Agree that shifting soon becomes second nature, I see it more as a 3 speed with a trim function!

Removing the rear-wheel on a Brompton is not as difficult as people make it out to be. All it is is a 3 speed with a simple derailleur botched-on, so tackle appropriately, it all makes sense once you've done it!
It all does - once you've done it once.

But taking off the chain (and not losing it) etc etc is far easier to understand in a brightly lit workshop than on a cold and wet winter's morning by the side of a road.
 

Kell

Über Member
Ive got a 6 speed and have been changing gears the same way I would on any other bike.

Am I doing it wrong?
I'm not sure that's true. On my road bike, I mostly only use the right hand shifter until there's a hill.

I'd not ridden my Brompton for a while since the first lockdown, but took it out to do the virtual Ride London event and had completely forgotten how to change gear. Kept just using the right hand shifter and making huge step changes.

It is one of those things that should work better. There's only six gears, so having two shifters seems unnecessary and it would be easier if you had sequential gears on one shifter, But I understand why it's done that way, and having a hub and a chain pusher might actually be better than a derailleur due to how low it all is.

But, as said above, you do just get used to it. (And quickly get unused to it too.)
 

steveindenmark

Legendary Member
Call me a wimp but that is something I will never do. I have a folding bike that can fit in a car/taxi/bus/train, if it happens to me I will arrange alternative transport one way or another. For me it's another advantage of a Brompton: less stress and worry about a breakdown because I will not be left stranded. (Not a very popular view among cycling enthusiasts I know, but I am pragmatic in my old age :whistle:.)
What a wimp 😁
 

Tenkaykev

Veteran
Location
Poole
You *should* shift both levers at the same time, so:
1-, 1+, 2-, 2+, 3-, 3+

In reality, I often shift the 3-ratio lever and see how I get on with the new gear, and if it's too easy/hard, switch the derailleur lever :okay:
I also mainly use the Hub to change and do fine adjustment with the derailleur. I'm querying your statement that you should shift both at the same time, as it's recommended that you stop pedalling when changing the hub gear, and continue pedalling when changing the derailleur 🤔
 

berlinonaut

Senior Member
Location
Berlin Germany
I also mainly use the Hub to change and do fine adjustment with the derailleur.
I guess that's what most people do in practice (and what the whole half-step-thing is about anyway) but only using the hub side results in huge gear steps, so after short amounts of time you'll practically using both shifters as needed w/o even noticing.
I'm querying your statement that you should shift both at the same time, as it's recommended that you stop pedalling when changing the hub gear, and continue pedalling when changing the derailleur 🤔
Effectively those six gears stack on each other. Which means to make full use of the six gears you have to make use of both shifters, but you do not need both shifters for every gear step:
i.e. upwards:
1. L1 R1
2. L2 R1 (shifting on one side)
3. L1 R2 (shifting on both sides)
4. L2 R2 (shifting on one side)
5. L1 R3 (shifting on both sides)
6. L2 R3 (shifting on one side)

Now imagine to have an additional Schlumpf Drive in the bottom bracket, resulting in 12 Gears, shifted by three different mechanisms in combination. :ohmy:^_^
 

Specialeyes

Veteran
Location
Essex
Yes, I guess I didn't mean 'absolutely simultaneously', but rather 'in the same gear change', but that's my fault for sloppy wording.😊

Just to keep matters confusing round here, I've also got a very old Sturmey Archer 5-speed Brompton which has a 3-speed shifter on one hand and a normal/overdrive on the other, so that goes, from lowest to highest:
1 + O/D
1 - O/D
2 (Direct drive - overdrive doesn't do anything)
3 - O/D
3 + O/D
^_^
 
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