Brompton - advice on rear fold problem after Nano conversion

Blaugrana

Über Member
Location
North London
I have had my 2009 M6R Brompton converted by Nano and it is now not folding right.

Part of the problem seems to lie with the rear of the bike, which *shouldnt* have been affected at all by the conversion, so I am stumped.

The rear wheel seems to be further from the frame than it should be and the seat post hits the stop and sits 4 inches higher than previously.

Any advice gratefully received, including ideas of places in London I could take it for them to have a look.

Thanks,

Jeff
 

Attachments

alicat

Legendary Member
Location
Staffs
What do Nano say about it? What happens if you just wind the stop in a bit?
 
OP
B

Blaugrana

Über Member
Location
North London
Thanks.

Winding the stop in didn't help. I may try again though.

My main bafflement is to *why/how*
this is occurring at all!

haven't asked Nano central yet. The London installer tweaked it after the initial conversion caused much worse fold problems. Unfortunately, they are M-F 9-5 op and not local to me so I am looking for alternatives.
 

T4tomo

Veteran
Nano drives the front wheel doesn’t it?

Hard to tell with out seeing, which bit of the fold isn’t working.

It may be an existing problem, that has manifested itself now, or a new problem that occurred whilst fitting the nano, but I can’t see how it’s the nano itself, as it’s just fitting a different front wheel.
 

gizmo1994

Active Member
Location
France
It looks like the front wheel hook my not be fully engaged on the rear triangle lock position, that would stop the seat post going all the way down. Difficult to see, but is the angle of the right pedal preventing the front wheel completing the full fold? Lowering the left pedal may give the front wheel more room to move into place.
 
OP
B

Blaugrana

Über Member
Location
North London
Thank you all for your replies.

They are very helpful.

The front wheel hook is definitely not fully engaging - it is better than it was at first, after a trip back to the installer, but could be better. That is a consequence of the conversion, as there is now a lot more going on at the front hub! I was wondering if I'd boshed something up recently and not noticed, but I think it is down to the conversion. Shows how tightly thought out the Brompton is.

The RH pedal doesn't seem to be the problem, but I can't see what is.

I spoke to the Brompton big shop in Covent Garden yesterday. Unfortunately, they won't touch conversions.

So, I think a visit to a good, Brompton-savvy mechanic is my next step. London Bike Kitchen sound good.

Thanks again for all your helpful replies.

Jeff
 

alicat

Legendary Member
Location
Staffs
Good idea to go to London Bike Kitchen. I learnt how to service my Brompton there some years ago.

I would also act daft and call into the Brompton Junction without referring to their brush off on the phone. They might be able to suggest what to do without actually undertaking the work. The worst you will get is another brush off.

Lastly, give the problem back to the installer. A folding bike is no good if it won't fold. :whistle:
 
OP
B

Blaugrana

Über Member
Location
North London
Thanks, alicat.

Sounds like a plan!

1st step would be the installer, BUT:
it is only open 9-5 Mon-Fri
location is not great
I'm not greatly impressed so far

Step 4 may be main Nano people.

Fingers crossed as maiden voyage is happening in five weeks - Bavaria.
 
I spoke to the Brompton big shop in Covent Garden yesterday. Unfortunately, they won't touch conversions.
At least your motor doesn't surge.

If they'd not taken eight years to develop an electric bike that still has a design fault, you wouldn't have needed to go to a converter.

I like Brompton as a bike, but there's always been a 'we know best' arrogance about them as a company.
 
OP
B

Blaugrana

Über Member
Location
North London
I hadn't heard about the surging.

I was thinking of an e-Brompton, but I want an R, and they don't do them.

Haven't got round to asking whether you can fit a rack afterwards.
 
Your Namo conversion is not cheap, but the factory e Brompton is very expensive.

It's a simple £100 hub motor and battery, no more than £500, probably less.

Charging about £1,300 more than standard bike for those bits is good business if you can get it.

Maybe if they charged a premium of £2,000 the poxy thing would work reliably,
 

berlinonaut

Active Member
Your Namo conversion is not cheap, but the factory e Brompton is very expensive.

It's a simple £100 hub motor and battery, no more than £500, probably less.

Charging about £1,300 more than standard bike for those bits is good business if you can get it.

Maybe if they charged a premium of £2,000 the poxy thing would work reliably,
I think the calculation is a bit too simplistic - while it is not completely wrong personally I'd look at it with a little grain of salt...

- the Brompton electric is priced at 2595 Pounds (M2L variant)
- a standard M2L is at 975 Pounds according to the Brompton bike builder, including the carrier block. To make it comparable you would however have to add a small bag and battery lights, thus ending up at 1175 Pounds including the Brompton battery lights and a mini-O-bag, leaving out that the electric is bascially built as a black edition which would add to the price. So your ~1300 Pounds extra for the electric seems about correct.

Now let's look at the Nano:

According to their price-list the base price is 750 Pounds with a 4Ah battery and 899 Pounds with a 13Ah battery. The Brompton electric comes with a 8,55 battery, so calculationwise to make it comparable we could use something like 825 Pounds. You will need a bag fitting kit at 35 Pounds, lightening at 100 Pounds, fitting at 100 Pounds and shipping at 50 Pounds. A total of 1110 Pounds plus the basic bike - 1095 Pounds for a M2L with mini-O-bag but w/o battery lights. A final total of about 2200 Pounds.

So the price difference is in the ballpark of 400 Pounds. The differences are:

- The Brompton electric comes as black edition wether you like it or not, worth about 100-150 Pounds. It has a strengthened frame which possibly it an advantage (though I am not aware of steel Brompton frames or forks breaking on Nano bikes). It has a torque sensor in the bottom bracket which i consider to be a huge advantage and a major difference between the two - not available on the nano (of the aftermarket kits only ebikes.ca offers one as an option), as a spare part from Brompton it is listed at about 120 Pounds. Plus the thing comes directly from the factory, adding an emotional premium on top. Brompton has spent considerably time and money (which they have to get back) to develop a custom motor, battery and integration which hopefully leads to a very well integrated system (but also to downsides like limited choice of bags, a proprietary battery and an incompatible carrier block). However: The problem the OP is having would possibly not have raised with a Brompton electric as it would either work or it would go back to the dealer and the buyer would not scratch his head about what the root cause may be and if it may have been his fault.

- The Nano on the other hand can be retrofitted to an existing bike (which is a huge advantage), it uses any existing bag (and can use any Brompton bag in opposite to the Brompton electric), you have total freedom of battery choice regarding size and make. In general it is a pretty open system in opposite to the closed one by Brompton. The thing has been in the field for about ten years, so there's a proven track record that is works reliably. Still the parts are genuine asian parts (leading to some compromise here and there, though probably tolerable) and the build, while working well, has the aftermarket factor, being not as perfectly integrated and partly - looking at i.e. the Bosch-Adaptor - offering a very handcrafted atmosphere (at least for my German mind ^_^), while as an idea being again a clever solution.

Which basically means: of the 400 Pounds difference in price arguably 250-280 Pounds are already spent/justified by the additional features on the electric through torque sensor and black edition. Which lowers the "real" difference to as little as about 120 - 150 Pounds. The Nano and the Brompton electric are simply different products, more different than noticed on first look.

There are also a lot of other retrofit solutions in the market that compete with the Nano, all with different advantages and disadvantages like i.e. the Swytch which with it's currently discounted offering at 699 Pounds with a 10Ah battery at the lower end of the price range (but from my experience with it the price also comes at a price). So in general of the retrofit-solutions the Nano is one of the best ones I'd say. When starting from scratch, not owning a Brompton, the price difference to a Brompton electric is there but maybe it is not as huge as one would imagine. if you already own a Brompton it is a completely different story. But in the end I'd make my decision dependent from my needs and if possible an extended test ride with various solutions. The Brompton electric is expensive, but on the other hand most ebikes from a well known brand are, the more the folders. If you look i.e. at Tern's Vectron Q9 with the Bosch drive the list price for this is 2999.-€ while it's cheaper sibling Vectron D7i goes for 600€ less with a Chinese made Bafang drive - still a lot of money in comparison to what a non electric Tern Link is priced at...

Not in the defense of Brompton but I thous would not wholeheartedly agree with your statement about the electric: "It's a simple £100 hub motor and battery, no more than £500, probably less." It may be true (but I am not at all sure about that) if you just take the materials into account but clearly not if you consider the r&d and the extra variability needed in the factory let alone the positioning in the market, astonishingly despite all delays being a early player in the electric folding range and therefore having a huge competitive advantage (and in opposite to the Nano being available worldwide w/o issues). I am still wondering why people are making these kind of moaning statements as soon as it comes to bicycles but at the same time order expensive aluminium wheels for their cars (that add no value apart from optics), buying new smartphones every two years or clothes from brands like Adidas, Nike, let alone the more luxurious branded ones... :blush:
 
Last edited:

berlinonaut

Active Member
I was thinking of an e-Brompton, but I want an R, and they don't do them.
Haven't got round to asking whether you can fit a rack afterwards.
You can w/o any issues. The reason why it comes w/o one at the moment is possibly saving of the additional weight and variability in production - same as why there's just black and white and just 2-speed or 6-speed. No technical reasons for that. Plus marketingwise the rack would add to the price which is already considered to be high as you can see already in this thread.
 
OP
B

Blaugrana

Über Member
Location
North London
Well, here's the story:

Went to London Bike Kitchen - chatted to mechanic there who inspired much confidence. I planned to go back and have them coach me through fixing up the bike.

Then on to Brompton Junction where man told me that no Brompton dealer is allowed to touch bikes with 3rd-party conversions. Ouch!

He then had a look at the bike and pointed out some major problems:
rear hinge needs replacing;
main frame needs replacing as I have over-tightened the seat post (hands up) and cracked it.

SO, I have just thrown significant money at a dead bike, which no Brompton dealer will fix.

And the Tour de Bavaria on a Nano Brompton is a goner.

Aaaaaaaaaaaggghhhh!
 
Top Bottom