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Old 07-01-2016, 19:53   #1
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Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

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
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Old 07-01-2016, 20:46   #2
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

I have Dahon folding bikes. I think they are about the same size as a Brompton. I think the frames are steel but they are painted, but the rest of the gear is mostly non-ferrous except the chain. Some of the nuts on the wheels were originally steel, but I replaced them with SS nuts. The bikes have a 6 speed derailleur. They have racks on the back for lashing things and nylon bags in the front like a basket. You can get wire baskets, but you lose the ability to fold. I keep the bikes in nylon bags (made by Dahon) which I lash to the pushpit of my boat. The bags have handles, so I can lower them into our dinghy. We have a zodiac 310 which easily takes my wife and I and the two bikes. I unfold and fold them on shore. I take them home during the winter for a good cleaning and lube, touch up any dings in the paint, spray them with anti-corrosion spray (the same stuff I use on the outboard), and leave them in the bags tied to the pushpit all summer. They are quite handy.
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Old 07-01-2016, 21:31   #3
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

After riding both the Brompton and the Dahon (and several others) I chose the Dahon. It does not fold up as small, but it rode much more like a regular bike. My Dahon is aluminum. (It is the Mu SL). I have been pretty happy with it, and used it as a daily commuter for several years. (I would still, but I have no commute.)

But, I would give the Helix a serious look if I were doing it again. Unfortunately not yet available, but should be soon.
Helix - The World's Best Folding Bike
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Old 07-01-2016, 21:37   #4
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

My wife has a Brompton and loves it. Folds quickly and every detail is thought out she has the 6 speed version. I use it a lot and can cover good ground. I am 6 feet 220 so in the fat bastard division and the bike does not seem to care. My folder is a Birdy rides a bit better but does not fold nearly as well. I only have fresh water experience sorry.
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Old 07-01-2016, 21:51   #5
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_f View Post
But, I would give the Helix a serious look if I were doing it again. Unfortunately not yet available, but should be soon.
Helix - The World's Best Folding Bike
I took a good look at the Helix a year ago. Slick video, looks nice... but they're still not in production. We currently own 17 Cervelos, so I am partial to Canadian bikes. may consider liquidating a few bikes, since my wife is now hooked on riding her BMC Stromer assist bike. I can get the thing up to 40mph, what a kick! Too bad it weighs 40 pounds.

I need a good folding bike delivered before May 2016. Helix... Who knows when if ever?

I'm looking at a "plain Jane" black Brompton with maybe a front basket and possibly a hard case so they can be stacked on one of the bunks. Was first considering soft case for reduced size, now I'm not so sure.
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Old 07-01-2016, 22:12   #6
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Have you looked at Moulton bikes? They claim to ride like a full size bike, but fold in two.
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Old 07-01-2016, 22:34   #7
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Moulton absolutely do ride like a full size bike (in some ways better). I have done a lot of long distance touring with a friend who rode a Moulton. Great bike. His was a much older model, so I don't know how they have changed over the years, but it did not fold, it separated into two parts. And it was certainly not a few second operation like the modern foldables. And it wasn't nearly as small when disassembled. That said, if I were going to ride across the country on a collapsable bike, it would be a Moulton.
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Old 07-01-2016, 23:03   #8
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Friends have these: Folding Mountain Bikes | Montague Bikes

They're very good, ride just like a normal mountain bike, and are pretty light.
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Old 07-01-2016, 23:38   #9
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I took a good look at the Helix a year ago. Slick video, looks nice... but they're still not in production. We currently own 17 Cervelos, so I am partial to Canadian bikes. may consider liquidating a few bikes, since my wife is now hooked on riding her BMC Stromer assist bike. I can get the thing up to 40mph, what a kick! Too bad it weighs 40 pounds.

I need a good folding bike delivered before May 2016. Helix... Who knows when if ever?

I'm looking at a "plain Jane" black Brompton with maybe a front basket and possibly a hard case so they can be stacked on one of the bunks. Was first considering soft case for reduced size, now I'm not so sure.
When I was shopping, I did really like the way like the way the Brompton folded... way better than the others. And I liked the fact that you could roll it along using the handlebar as a handle while it was folded.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:06   #10
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Or you could try one of these

Explore the URB-E Foldable Electric Scooter
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:16   #11
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Quote:
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
The bromptons are the only folding bike thats folds and deploys such that they can be manhandled in the dinghy and down the companionway.

We've tried numerous alternatives and disposed of them all. A brompton in a bag would be a great marine option.

I dont have issues with 20" wheels. For paved surfaces i dont see much difference to a mountain bike. Obviously you have the miles to consider a brompton to be a good option. I assume you dont rack up 14k mile these days.

What stops us buying two bromptons is this one request. I want an internal shifting rear hub with a gilmer toothed rubber belt. No derailleur, no chain, no grease and no rust.

The external shifting derailleur and cassette system of gearing is a total pain on a boat.

I can certainly modify a brompton to take a shimano 9 speed hub and fit gilmer drives. If brompton dont offer this feature by 2018 i'll either build my own or modify a couple of bromptons.

I believe brompton offer a titanium frame. Excellent corrosion resistance but all the ancillaries will still have corrosion issues.

I see several people with bromptons on trains and buses. They fold and deploy really well.

The electric powered big wheel scooters are popular here in san francisco. They fold flat and can be worn like a back pack. Im now thinking they might be a better option for a liveaboard lugging groceries, amazon packages and boat parts.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:24   #12
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'd already looked into the titanium Brompton, the frame is still made from steel with only the fork and rear folding portion made from titanium for a smoother ride. The weight savings is only 1 pound but the price increase is $900.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:24   #13
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

We've had a couple of Montagues for many years & they've been great bikes. However, they are full size bikes do not fold up very small although they do fold up. There was a similar thread a few months ago in which the Strida got some good reviews. Looks weird but supposedly rides great & folds up very small.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:24   #14
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

I've had Bromptons, Dahons, a Moulton and others. For practicality and quality, the only one that worked was the Brompton. Mine has lasted 16 years mostly on a boat and somehow incredibly manages my 250 pound frame no problem. It folds and unfolds easily in less than 10 seconds and doesn't fall apart when I carry it. It folds the smallest by far and lightest and I've had no problem with the soft bag. It is definitely the most corrosion resistant of them all, my two Dahons were absolute rust buckets. Bromptons have simple and completely foolproof gearing not those bloody finicky derailleurs. There's no question they are the Rolls_Royce of the folding bike market.

I don't understand the comments about the ride - mine are very smooth and easy with the brilliant rear wheel shock absorber. But the most important features for a cruiser are 1. Size 2. Weight 3. Speed and ease of folding and 4. Durability is salt air - the Bromptons are easily the best in all those criteria but you do pay a premium for the quality.

I have no affiliation to the company except as a happy customer.

Quote:
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
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:26   #15
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Re: Brompton Folding Bike Reviews?

I recommend a fondable bike with 20 inch wheels, aluminium-frame and internal gear hub (the derailleur creates a lot of problems on board). Dahon and other manufacturers offer such bikes.
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