Keen to have a 44t Brompton Chain Wheel. To buy or to trade with my 52t.

Hello all,

I have a T5 and reside in a hilly area and only use gears 1 to 3 and find I walk up most hills. I have come to the conclusion that a 44t chain wheel would be more useful than the 52t chain wheel.
Wondered whether anyone has a 44t for sale?

Alternatively I would be happy to trade my 52t Brompton chain wheel with someone who finds themselves in a similar but opposite position with a 44t chain wheel andantes a 52t chain wheel.

44t chain wheel.

573970


52t chain wheel.
573971


Thanks.

Happy riding.
 

berlinonaut

Senior Member
Location
Berlin Germany
I'd assume your current one is probably a 50t, not a 52t. Worth mentioning that it is of the older, fixed chainwheel style where the chainwheel is fixed to the crank and it uses an ISO bottom bracket. So all Bromptons before 2013 are potential partners to trade. Unfortenately this older style crank/chainwheel is no longer available as a spare part from Brompton which means either you get a used one (or some new old stock from a longterm dealer) or you are out of luck and have to switch to the newer style cranks and the newer style JIS bottom bracket. Of course there is always the possiblity to go for third party parts, but as far as factory parts go these are your options.
 
OP
Mr Cotter Pin

Mr Cotter Pin

Regular
Hello Berlinonaut,

Your post is much appreciated.

I've just checked the paperwork which dates back to 1999 and you are spot on, 50t.

573831-661f8ed40bb42a7f310893e4831190a6.jpg


Thank you for bringing that to our attention.

To avoid any doubt I have just counted the teeth and sure enough there are 50.

"new old stock from a longterm dealer", umm, food for thought.

Of note there is also a transfer of the word "Brompton" in a box on each of the crank arms.

573829-cefdecd1101cda5e0475a38ca266a16b.jpg


573830-052dd40126d5e43f2f714890f7eb9aac.jpg


Thank you.

Happy and safe riding to all.
 

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berlinonaut

Senior Member
Location
Berlin Germany
BTW: If I remember correctly the T5 Bromptons of the MK3 generation (2000-2003) had a 46t chainwheel as standard from factory (which was considered to be a pretty perfect choice for the T5) but these are not too many due to S/A going bust in 2000 with the lack of Sprinter hubs and as a consequence of T5 Bromptons shortly after that. I think the latest T5 were probably built around late spring 2001 but I may be wrong. Anyways yours seems to be a MK2 Brommi if you have the bigger chainwheel.

Also worth mentioning is that the older chainwheels are a tad thicker, needing a wider chain than later ones. I do not know when the switch was but I assume sometime in the early to mid 2000s. Which means: No problems for you (slimmer chainwheel can use a wider chain w/o issues) but if you trade with someone owning a newer Brompton he or she might need a wider chain to make use of your chainwheel.
 
OP
Mr Cotter Pin

Mr Cotter Pin

Regular
Hello Simongt,
Thank you for your post regarding chain length. I'll be sure to do one of your two suggestions.
Although the chain is the original I think it is still ok.
 
OP
Mr Cotter Pin

Mr Cotter Pin

Regular
Hello Berlinonaut,
Thanks for your post. Mine was bought and made in 1999.
According to my Brompton Bicycle - Owner's Manual, which came with the bike.
"Alternative gearing: different size chainwheels and rear sprockets may be used in the following combinations, (the third figure is the number of links to be used in the chain): 54/13/100; 52/13/100; 52/14/100; 48/13/98; 46/13/96; 44/13/96; 44/14/96
 
OP
Mr Cotter Pin

Mr Cotter Pin

Regular
Hello Byegad,
Just to let you know. I gave Spa Cycles a call. Sadly no Brompton items, new or old in stock.
 

T4tomo

Veteran
Your best bet is to "upgrade" to the new style chainset (& matching BB) with detachable chain rings - like the ebay one linked above or new somewhere.

finding a decent old style 44T will be like finding rocking horse poo.
 

12boy

Veteran
Location
Casper WY USA
If you bite the bullet and go with a new bottom bracket and 130 or 110 BCD crankarms, you will be able to switch chainrings at your pleasure and at far less expense. I have never seen a Sturmey Archer 5 speed hub, but depending on your existing sprocket, you may be able to mount a bigger sprocket without changing your crank-chainring combo. A 2 tooth difference in the sprocket would have a similar effect as dropping 6 teeth on the chainring. if you are not already aware of it, Sheldon Brown's gear inch calculator is useful because it provides gear inch numbers for the Brompton 16 inch 349 wheel and tire. Very easy to see what effect the sprocket or chainring changes would give you. Sprockets are a lot cheaper than chainrings.
 

berlinonaut

Senior Member
Location
Berlin Germany
finding a decent old style 44T will be like finding rocking horse poo.
Depends. I own two - one in use and one spare. But wrong country... I'd guess that some longterm Brompton dealers may have a box with used parts and if they have been in business for a long time chances are that a 44t may be in it. Nothing wrong in switching to the new style post 2013 cranks, just that this is a relatively expensive exercise.
 
OP
Mr Cotter Pin

Mr Cotter Pin

Regular
Thanks everybody for your inputs.

In a perfect world I'll encounter a 44t from the same era and hope the wait while searching won't be too long.

Fortunately I'm not in any great rush.

I'll try C H White tomorrow, thanks Justinitus.

Thanks 12boy for the suggestion of increasing the sprocket, not something I had thought of.

Thanks Randomnerd for posting the link to the 44t on ebay.

(I must be a bit of a purist because I'm really only looking for the 44t version that would have come with the bike back in 1999).

Saying that I have just become rather excited having stumbled upon this article

https://chestercycling.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/re-gearing-the-brompton/

which could be the answer if I do not come across an original Brompton 44t.

The writer replaced both the chainwheel and sprocket.

What is more the chainwheel is more widely available, here for instance

https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m8b0s109p2188/STRONGLIGHT-ST55-Single-Chainset

and on ebay too, search for Stronglight 55s.

furthermore I understand that Stronglight were the suppliers of chain wheels for Brompton at the time.

I must confess, I am warming to this idea.

This might be the answer.

Does anyone think this replacement would be a good/perfect match or indeed have reservations?

Many thanks for any views on the subject.
 
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