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Old 08-01-2016, 13:50   #31
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

I purchased a Cyclomatic folding 20" 6 speed E-bike 6 months ago. Finish is holding up well. A few non stainless bolts/nuts will need to be switched out sometime in the next 6 months. Bike is very easy riding (but the Keys are dead flat).
My impression was it ran half the price of the other electrics. .
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Old 08-01-2016, 13:56   #32
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

The detailed Brompton review above by Greg matches my experience; have had one aboard for 16 years; one full rebuild at year 10, minimal rust, and rides well for what it is. There are other higher performance folders as noted (Moulton, Friday, etc) but for 2-6 mile errand running and exploring she's great; locker to dinghy, up and riding in 30 sec's, folded in 30 more and dinghied back to the boat. We love ours
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Old 08-01-2016, 13:58   #33
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anacapaisland42 View Post
Or you could try one of these

Explore the URB-E Foldable Electric Scooter
I would hate to face plant on that thing at 15mph, otherwise pretty cool.
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Old 08-01-2016, 18:18   #34
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

My wife and I both have Montague Paratrooper folding bikes. They are heavy and don't fold up very small, but they are tough full sized mountain bikes that can really perform. They just fit into the two cockpit lockers on the Bavaria.
We have had Bromptons and we would still have them if we didn't ride on forest tracks and unsealed roads. The Bromptons were much lighter, smaller and just as good (or better) on sealed roads. But the Hauraki Gulf in NZ is covered in Islands with great forest tracks and unsealed roads.
My wife and I still ride around 10,000 miles a year and typically do a long Europe ride once a year on our carbon road bikes; 2015 was Paris to St Petersburg in 30 days. So our training is still important to us and the Montagues let us push ourselves hard on the tracks available to us whilst cruising the northeast coast of NZ. If I was cruising the Med I would definitely buy another pair of Bromptons.
It would be wonderful if the Helix could do the job of the Montagues with the weight and portability of the Bromptons; but life is too short to wait.
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Old 08-01-2016, 21:28   #35
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

I've looked at Bike Friday, Brompton, Montague, Tern, Citizen, Dahon, Birdy, Strida, and a few others for commuting. But I want something I can travel with.

On the top of my list right now is the Tern Verge Tour:

Verge Tour | Tern Folding Bikes | Worldwide

This replaces the Tern Verge 27h 2015 which got great reviews for a folding tour bike you can pop on a plane.

Tern Verge S27h - Bay Area Bikes Oakland CA

Both have 20 inch wheels.

Want bigger 24 inch wheels?

You might look at The Tern Eclipse Tour

Eclipse Tour | Tern Folding Bikes | Worldwide
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Old 08-01-2016, 21:36   #36
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
Funny, the OP asked for Brompton reviews and mostly got reviews of other bikes, friends had them, considered them once...

After years of lusting I bought a Brompton in 2001, right after Sturmey Archer (UK) went out of business. Brompton had a stock of the 3 speeds so that is what I got. Since then the design has continued to evolve, with a slight stretching of the frame and many component upgrades, so the newer models are somewhat better. For my use I added a Swiss Mountain drive, a 250% reducing planetary drive inside a crank and spider assembly. This yields a 6 speed system with almost perfect spacing. I also added system (clipless) MKS removable pedals - a nice upgrade. I bought the model that had the rear rack, but deleted the lights/generator option (I use separate rechargeable lights). I also bought the large front bag.

I rode the bike nearly every day in the Mediterranean, running up a few thousand miles. N.B.: the tires do wear faster than larger tires so keep spares. It is definitely worth getting the optional Schwalbe Marathon tires for the quality and durability; if you prefer performance then buy the optional slick Schwalbe Kojaks but avoid the stock tires (the ones included when I bought were different, and not very good).

For shopping the large front bag is incredibly useful, and capacious. I used the rear rack less often, but for large and boxed items it is useful. I have hauled serious amounts of provisions with this bike, so it has been very valuable. BTW I am 6' and 220# so technically I have been overloading, to no ill effect.

The great advantage of the Brompton over other small folders is the geometry when open. Most other small folders have distorted geometries which make riding them painful for a large man - take a look at the distance between axles on a Brompton vs. full size (similar) and vs. other folders (too damn short). The long distance with small wheels makes the Brompton look a bit funny but that is the reason they are comfortable to ride. I strongly recommend a try before buy for any folding bike.

The small folded size is a huge win, and not just aboard the boat/dinghy. When shopping at a supermarket I put the folded bike into a shopping cart and don't worry about theft. I have often carried the folded bike into shops as well. Bike theft is a reality pretty much everywhere so keeping it with me is comforting.

The Brompton does seem to resist rust better than most other folders, but it is still something to avoid with good maintenance. Many components, esp. brakes, have plated screws which will eventually rust if not kept clean - unavoidable. Some plated steel parts can be replaced with SS but many are unique. So clean and wax whenever it is convenient.

When I returned to Portland I tore the Brompton down and rebuilt it. The frame hinges were worn loose and needed replacing, the paint needed some touchup, the cables and housings got replaced along with the brake levers (the new Bromptons have much-improved levers). I added Ergon grips for improved comfort. Also Brompton now has different shock absorbers for rider weight, so I added a stiffer one. The only major problem was a cracked rear assembly, which results from rough handling when folded or folding; as durable as this bike is it can't take abuse. One maintenance issue for any bike with small wheels is broken spokes; spokes absorb impacts and the shorter ones don't hold up as well. It is important to keep the spokes tuned correctly, particularly with heavier riders and loads.

I have not seen a small folder that rides as well, but this is at a price. DaHon makes some quite adequate folders at a lower price point; the range is wide and offers something for most tastes. Larger folders (20"+) can ride better but not enough for me to justify the larger size. YMMV. No folder is going to give the feel of a full size road bike: that is an unrealistic expectation. But for 10-20 mile shopping excursions they can work well.

Greg
Excellent review Greg, just the stuff I was looking for prior to committing. The folded size of the bike is very important to us because of space limitations. I plan to also ship a Cervelo S3 carbon Campy road bike for the extended rides, so the Brompton will just be for city exploring and shopping. The ability to put the folded bike into a shopping cart is HUGE. The reason for shipping a road bike to Italy, will be for me to get back into shape via group rides with the Italian teams, since I'm presently 20 pounds heavier than when I used to race three years ago.

When I tell people now that I used to race... nobody believes me. I miss the cycling culture, and riding with the Italians will help force me to practice speaking their language.
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Old 08-01-2016, 21:44   #37
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anacapaisland42 View Post
Or you could try one of these

Explore the URB-E Foldable Electric Scooter
impressive
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Old 08-01-2016, 21:53   #38
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

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impressive
Top speed of only 15mph?
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Old 09-01-2016, 00:26   #39
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

I use my Friday folder with a sack and a Bob Yak which goes into a large REI duffel (reverse the yoke). So two bags to fly with. I SPRAY both with Boes Shield before passsge. I love the 27 speeds especially when towing provisions, outboard, etc.
I love the Brompton for flying and short trips, esp as a carry on (it's my mobility device).
But for cruising and hauling crap, it's the Friday.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:44   #40
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

We have had two standard Brompton folding bikes on our boat continuously for 22 years. They have lived in a lazarette uncovered and have endured rain, cold, high heat and humidity and intermittent salt water spray for 60,000+ miles of sailing including two transatlantic trips, winters and a few summers in the tropics etc. If they get salted I usually hose them down with fresh water afterward and let them air dry when I have the opportunity. No service has been required except a few new tires. About once a year I may do a wipedown type cleaning and apply some WD-40 on the chain and where the gear hub chain exits. They no longer look great but continue to function perfectly. Only rust is on a few screws beneath the seats and the wheel cover supporting parts. One of the best features is the large canvas folding basket that mounts directly on the frame in front of the steering hub. They are very sturdy, carry huge amounts of food and weigh nothing on their own. The frames of these baskets will rust if the metal is exposed and we have had them sanded and re-painted twice over the years. A really great product overall.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:33   #41
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

I have had two Bromptons uncovered in my lazarette for 22 years. They have endured every insult imaginable over 60,000 miles of sailing in tropical and cold venues. The only maintenance has been freshwater hosing and air dry when possible after being obviously salted, a few new tires and annual chain cleaning and lubrication using WD-40. They have developed some rust on the wheel cover supports, around the seat mounting hardware and in a few of the washers at various points but everything still works perfectly. Zero problems with gears. We love the large, frame mounted canvas baskets, but the basket frame has also rusted where the metal has become exposed needing some sanding and re-painting. Great bikes for a boat with these minor issues the only things I can say needing improvement.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:45   #42
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Montague Paratrooper. I love it. TOUGH, strong, powerful. No compromises.
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Old 10-01-2016, 22:56   #43
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
The day has come.... I can no longer lug our heavy, rusty mountain bikes to shore on our dinghy. It's just too difficult to balance them on my shoulder while climbing from the stern sugar scoop platform into the dinghy, plus... there isn't enough room in the 11ft dinghy with center console for the two of us and two mountain bikes. It's only a matter of time before I go swimming with one of them... again, or get hurt lifting one of them... again.

The only folding (circus-type) bike that I can get even remotely excited about is the Brompton. Has anyone used one of these bikes in a marine environment? If so, how have they held up? Rust, cables etc. They seem to be the only ones that fold up small enough to be stowed where I have room indoors on the boat, plus they seem to be a small and easy package to move onto the dinghy by myself. I plan to store it in a soft case with some sort of moisture absorbing device.

I also plan to have one of my nicer road bikes brought over to Italy this year which I can break down into a soft bag when not in use, but I need one or two folding bikes for the daily stuff. Something even small enough to fold up and put in a shopping cart inside a soft case while getting groceries.

Point of information: I'm a competitive cyclist who up until two years ago, would ride over 14,000 miles per year and race on the Olympic velodrome. So you see why it's difficult to get excited about a "monkey bike." But now... I need something more practical.

Any Brompton reviews?

Thanks

Ken
Hi Ken...I gotta say that I love my Strida with the aluminum cast wheels. Folds up and down in less that 30 seconds. Tiny when folded and stays folded as one wheel hub has a disc magnet that snaps into the other wheel. Takes up almost no room. I hang mine on a hook (with one hand) and half to point it out if the conversation comes up as they are not aware of it since it's so small. Kevlar belt (no greasy chain) Aluminum everywhere else (no rust).
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:49   #44
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
I've looked at Bike Friday, Brompton, Montague, Tern, Citizen, Dahon, Birdy, Strida, and a few others for commuting. But I want something I can travel with.

On the top of my list right now is the Tern Verge Tour:

Verge Tour | Tern Folding Bikes | Worldwide

This replaces the Tern Verge 27h 2015 which got great reviews for a folding tour bike you can pop on a plane.

Tern Verge S27h - Bay Area Bikes Oakland CA

Both have 20 inch wheels.

Want bigger 24 inch wheels?

You might look at The Tern Eclipse Tour

Eclipse Tour | Tern Folding Bikes | Worldwide
Those are lovely bikes, and I've heard Tern workmanship is second to none.

But for any small wheel bike (20" or less), unless it's used exclusively on smooth roads and short distances, I suggest looking for something with a SUSPENSION. It makes an enormous difference on small-wheel bikes, as small-wheel bikes have correspondingly shorter forks and shorter spokes, and have far less ability to absorb shocks than full sized bikes, especially good small wheel bikes with rigid frames.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:57   #45
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

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But for any small wheel bike (20" or less), unless it's used exclusively on smooth roads and short distances, I suggest looking for something with a SUSPENSION.
I have a Giant Expressway foldable right now. My arse agrees with you totally. Get a suspension if you can. Foldable bikes are lightweight and you will feel every jolt.
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