New Brompton owner 6mth update

pbkclements

Active Member
I thought why not post a brief update of my ownership as its been 6mths now. First off i know Brompton strongly market their bikes. Some are suspicious and some feel they are over hyped and selling a lifestyle. But hand on heart this is the best bike I have ever owned. And boy im so pleased because I bought it with some trepidation. Especially as I was warned its not a bike you buy untested. However the old rona put paid to that and I just pulled the trigger when I found a bike meeting my requirements. I am also pleased it was a smaller independent, Damian Harris Cycles.

It took me a few weeks to become very comfortable with the quick steering but love it now. Now and again I think it would be nice to raise the bars a little but otherwise I adore this bike. My rural commute involves filthy mud strewn and occasionally flooded country lanes so usually its caked in crap. I just keep the drive train clean & oiled but it still rides beautifully. Today following a mod to the gearing I gave him a wash and he came up like a new penny.

Bloody brilliant bike it just seems to do everything I need. Highly recommended.
Totally agree & great you've enjoyed it so much. I brought one in 2008 with similar nervousness, but like you - best bike's I've owned & given me great fun. I say bikes - the first one got nicked in London after about 5 years ownership - I then brought a pretty old brompton, which I've kept going til this day, though the hinges are showing their age. About 4 years ago I splashed out & brought a new 6 speed & currently combine usage of both bikes to eek out their life.
 

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
I rode a friends brand new 2 speed about a week ago and it felt tight as a drum. However both my friend who owned it and I agreed surprisingly that my restored 1995 Mk2 was nicer to ride, it just felt a bit more loose and "vintage" it had character.
 
OP
macp

macp

Veteran
Location
Cheshire
I rode a friends brand new 2 speed about a week ago and it felt tight as a drum. However both my friend who owned it and I agreed surprisingly that my restored 1995 Mk2 was nicer to ride, it just felt a bit more loose and "vintage" it had character.
Happy new year
Im not disagreeing with you but I feel a Brompton of any age has character but I can see an older one having more of it.
 

12boy

Veteran
Location
Casper WY USA
A little off topic, maybe, but do you feel your Brompton, at least without a big bag on the front block, is more aero than a bike with 26 inch or 700 c wheels? How about being affected by cross winds?
 

TheDoctor

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe
Moderator
Location
Stevenage
I can't say I've noticed winds being an issue, particularly. My average speed is certainly lower than on any of my big-wheeled bikes, especially if I have the T-Bag on board. The top speed going downhill seems little different, so the Brom seems as aero as any other bike. Either way, I get a little nervous at speeds approaching 50mph, which does need a longish hill. Such as this one...
brompton up ventoux.jpg
 

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
What’s different about the JK ergonomic S bars compared to the std? Was thinking about putting a low-rise bar on my S6L.
Also I don’t have an issue with my T-bag with S bars unless it’s very full.
 

Rocky

Reprobate
I've got an M6L. Like @TheDoctor I've never noticed any difference with headwinds or sidewinds compared with my road bike. Speed downhill is an issue - my maximum was 37mph down a bumpy road in the Yorkshire Dales in the middle of a group of other cyclists. Needless to say, I had to pull over and let my heart rate drop before climbing up the next hill.
 

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
Happy new year
Im not disagreeing with you but I feel a Brompton of any age has character but I can see an older one having more of it.
My 1995 bike has a shorter wheelbase and probably more worn out hinges so it just feels very different.
 

Kell

Über Member
I think it depends on the 'other bike' you're comparing it to.

Most (i.e. >90%) of what's stopping you from moving forwards on any bike is air resistance. The more you can do to cut more cleanly through the air, the better.

Bromptons by nature are very much sit up and beg compared to a modern road bike. So that's the main reason why they're slower - it's aero drag, rather than wheel size or anything else. Whenever I've done the same route on my Brompton and Road bike, I've noticed around a 2-3mph difference on the Brompton.

That said, in the summer I did the same 19 mile route on my Brompton as on my Road bike and my average speed was only one mile an hour slower. But then the wind speed on the road bike was 15mph while it was only 5mph on the Brompton and I did take in a detour on the road bike to take in a different hill.

Top speed was 34.9 on the road bike and 33.3 on the Brompton. And I know that on my normal commute, top speed is almost identical at 44mph. But then, I'm not pedalling on that downhill and trying to get as aero as possible.

Brompton:
Brompton.png


Giant TCR Advanced:
Giant.png


It was surprisingly similar over that relatively short distance. But where this will really start to take it's toll is on longer rides. You're putting in the same effort and going slower, so therefore you tire more quickly because it all takes longer to complete. Or you have to work harder to complete the same route in the same time.

Either way, the end result is that you're more knackered.

I've not been out on my MTB in years, but went out with the missus at the weekend and it felt like a right slog. She's got an electric bike so that she can come out with me on my road bike and not hold me up (too much). But on the MTB, I could not keep up with her at all on the tarmac sections. Big fat tyres and upright riding position certainly didn't help.
 
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12boy

Veteran
Location
Casper WY USA
My S type B with a flat bar and bar ends provides about the same amount of bending over as my mountain bike with flipped North Road bars or my Steamroller and Holdsworth Special which have moustache bars. It's too windy here to enjoy the sitting and begging position. I feel the B maybe a bit less draggy without a big bag on the front facing into the wind than the other two and their slightly faster speed is more down to bigger wheels with less pressure bouncing around less on bumpy, cracked pavement. Studded snows on the mtbn bike and the Steamroller are heavy and take away that advantage. I do feel somewhat safer on the B with gusty crosswinds, maybe because the low top tube makes it easier to get my feet on the ground.
 

Archie_tect

De Skieven Architek... aka Penfold + Horace
Location
Northumberland
I'm feeling left out of all this Brompton loveliness, I've only borrowed one for an emergency dentist visit while on a narrowboat holiday on the Llangollen canal, so had to get to a remote Shrewsbury practice from Chirk by train and Brompton which was fantastic and great fun [despite the dentist visit to drain an abscess]... one day I'll be able to invest in one!
 
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