Please convince me of M6L or M3L Brompton

philepo

Über Member
I'm not going to argue, would just appreciate some opinions: I did test ride a 6 and 3 speed. I preferred the range of the 6 as it's close to my 5 speed, but the double shifting was annoying (from a "this seems like a rather Heath Robinson solution)... but the 3 speed gaps in the ratios are a little large.

I will not argue, just would appreciate some pros and cons. I would probably choose 6 speed standard or 3 speed 18% as the middle gears are similar and I am a very leisurely rider.

Cheers!
 

Nufab

Über Member
Location
Birmingham
Neither.. get an S2L!

If you’re going for the extra weight of the hub gear, surely it’s worth having the 6 speed as it adds very little extra weight over the 3, and as you say the gaps between ratios are tighter.

Personally I wanted something a bit lighter and simpler so went with the 2 speed..
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I have a 6 speed. It does feel a bit Heath Robinson. To go up and down in sequence requires a double change half the time. To get to the next gear, change left first. If that's in the direction you want to go (up or down) job done. If not, now change right in the direction you want to go.

But that said, I don't personally find that a problem at all. It just is what it is. I'd say get hold of a gear ratio chart and if the range you want is only provided by a 6 speed - go for it. If you want less range go for a 3 speed.
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
One thing I found about the 6 speed is that the gears can be really troublesome in bad weather. Because of the the low slung derailleur, it has to be kept meticulously clean to make sure the gears work properly.
 

cougie uk

Senior Member
I have the s6l.

Coming from road bikes with 20 gears I thought I would need 6. I probably use 2 of them mainly but have used all 6. Never noticed any issues with the gears but I look after the bike.
 

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
I have an S6L and am a lot less fastidious than @ianrauk but have never had an issue due to crud build-up (and it does build-up - just de-gunked mine for the first time in ages to fit a new chain) and I ride a lot of grit tracks. So far, no worries for me at least.
The gear-shifting soon becomes second nature.
A Brompton is not a 'normal' bike, it has its own set of idiosyncrasies....
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
I have an S6L and am a lot less fastidious than @ianrauk but have never had an issue due to crud build-up (and it does build-up - just de-gunked mine for the first time in ages to fit a new chain) and I ride a lot of grit tracks. So far, no worries for me at least.
The gear-shifting soon becomes second nature.
A Brompton is not a 'normal' bike, it has its own set of idiosyncrasies....
It must have been a crap put together Brompton then. But then again it did come from Evans.
 
OP
philepo

philepo

Über Member
Thanks all. When i borrowed a 6 speed to ride i mainly used 3 and 4, 2 and 5 occasionally and 6th was just ridiculously pointless (one of the reaspns it seems a bit heath Robinson). Though i can see having a super low 1st would be handy niw and again. The 3 speed might have been a -12% but am not certain. 2nd was ok if a luttle low but 3rd was a little high. So that's why i was thinking -18% giving 69 gi in 3rd as a normal level cruising gear and 2nd would be 52 gi (this is same as the 2 speed -12%). So one person recommended the 2 speed, which i really like from a lightness and efficient drive pov because both gears are direct, but obviously you're missing the bail out 1st gear...
The other thing i wondered was does the BWR hub have less efficiency than the BSR as the little planet cogs are smaller?
As people have said, it is easy to convert a 6 to a 2 speed, but going from 3 to 6 is expensive compared to buying it new.
I do like simplicity tho..

Blimey, i am so indecisive!
 
OP
philepo

philepo

Über Member
I think i am leaning towards a 6 speed, as this, as someone pointed out, gives the option of getting a 2 speed wheel fairly cheaply as a commuter setup. Then I'd have the 6 speed for the taking the bike on holiday setup... still not keen on that double change tho! 🤐
Thanks v much for the suggestions 👍
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I think i am leaning towards a 6 speed, as this, as someone pointed out, gives the option of getting a 2 speed wheel fairly cheaply as a commuter setup. Then I'd have the 6 speed for the taking the bike on holiday setup... still not keen on that double change tho! 🤐
Thanks v much for the suggestions 👍
Whatever you get, I doubt you'll regret it.

If you do get a 6 speed, I'm sure all worries about the Heath Robinson nature of it will soon melt away when you have ridden it for a bit, as they did for me.
 

alicat

Legendary Member
Location
Staffs
I've got a six speed. Yes, in a perfect world there would be no compromises. However, double-shifting is really only like anticipating a hill or downhill section on a 'normal' bike and doing a shift of both the front and rear derailleurs.
 
OP
philepo

philepo

Über Member
That makes a lot if sense... my resistance to the 6 is mainly because my 5 speed is so sensible in using obe shifter the 6 seems a backward step.

By the way, have you noticed the crazy prices of bromptons on ebay? 15 yo bikes going for 900. That's why I'll be selling... then buying new once the demand settles.
 

E14JMC

New Member
Location
London.
I swear by the 3 speed hub on the Bromptons' I have, bomb-proof and maintenance free. I did notice the Chain Tensioner on 6 speed bikes is different to 3 speeds. I was talking with Mechanics at Brompton Junction recently and they did say that the original 3 speed Chain Tensioner is actually the more robust!
By the way, have you noticed the crazy prices of bromptons on ebay? 15 yo bikes going for 900. That's why I'll be selling... then buying new once the demand settles.
I have a 2012 Silver Jubilee Union Jack Limited Edition Brompton been kept in a box for 9 years. I may be contemplating selling, an idea how to get an idea of it's value?
 

chap

Über Member
Location
London, GB
You will get used to the dual shifter. I use my M6L as a 3 speed, but on that very odd occasion I sometimes go into 1st gear.
So 3 speed for aesthetics and utility; 6 speed for versitility.
 
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