Retrobike Forum Index

It is currently Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:14 pm

* Login   * Register * Search  * FAQ



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 46 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:50 pm 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:21 pm
Posts: 5784
Location: Lost in Translation
Rod_Saetan wrote:
Difficult to get the rear wheel out if you get a puncture? No, maybe if you don't know what you are doing, but its a damn sight easier than sorting out a flat on the back of a fixed gear bike, and definitely easier than a Nexus or Alfine drive.

I have to disagree with this part (and while I'm disagreeing, I'll take issue with a couple of your other points as well).

I don't have much experience of Nexus hubs, and none at all of Alfines, but removing and replacing a Brompton rear wheel is substantially more hassle than on a typical fixie, complicated as it is by the chain tensioner and the hub-gear's toggle chain. It's certainly not a deal breaker, and a straightforward job in the warm and comfort of a garage, but a pain if you need to tackle it out on the road in the rain. One advantage of a Brompton, of course, is that you can always take it home in a taxi to fix later, but that's not always practical.

Quote:
Hubs are cup and cone variety on the front, you know, like a Shimano M900

Well, they're like Shimano M900 in that they have adjustable bearings. Other than that the comparison is misleading. Brompton components are basic. Serviceable, given the relatively low mileages that many Bromptons see, but not of the quality that many cyclists might expect on a bike of comparable price. Of course that's because a handmade folding frame built in the UK eats up a larger chunk of the total price than is typical, and things like narrow front hubs are produced in small volumes at higher cost than their mass-market equivalents.

Quote:
A proper road caliper would mean you would not be able to route the cable from the bottom, hence metres of spare cable outer lolling around and getting in the way, they come as standard with 2 piece brake pads that take a slot in replacement pad too.

I don't know what Rob meant by "proper road calipers". Modern Bromptons come with dual pivot brakes front and rear, and they accommodate the reversed cable pull without problems. They're longer than most road calipers because they have to clear a fatter tyre and mudguard, but the design is pretty much identical. Older Bromptons had fairly basic single-pivot calipers, and mine didn't work all that well, but they did work. Given time (my bike was stolen before I got around to upgrading) I would probably have fitted Maguras.

If this sounds like criticism of the Brompton, it isn't intended to be. I was generally very happy with mine, and if I were to buy another folding bike today, it would probably be another Brompton. That's not to say they don't have failings that come from the compromises inherent in building a specialised machine to a reasonable cost in the UK. They are eminently upgradeable though, and the likes of Ben Cooper (Kinetics) and Steve Parry can do wonderful things for high-mileage Bromptoneers with deep pockets.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:00 pm 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:21 pm
Posts: 5784
Location: Lost in Translation
Because I like to quibble:

GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
A budget alternative would be an old folding Moulton. Compared to the Bromptons, the folding is rubbish, but they ride really well.

As I'm sure you know, Moultons don't actually fold. Moulton Stowaways were separable, but their rarity tends to add to the price they command, and a modernised model might approach the price of a used Brompton.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:09 pm 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:21 pm
Posts: 5784
Location: Lost in Translation
Rob Atkin wrote:
I tried the 6 speed one and the gears made no sense at all, 2 different shifting methods, derailleur and hub gear...

The gears make a lot of sense in context.

The Brompton was designed around a narrow rear end at a time when the hub gears available (Sturmey threes and fives) were narrow. That gives enclosed gears and a compact folded package, plus a reasonable top gear with an ordinary 52t chainring, but fairly large jumps between gears.

The Brompton needs a chain tensioner because the rear triangle pivots behind the bottom bracket. By making the chain tensioner into a derailleur, you get to halve the gaps between the gears (and extend the range slightly) while keeping the narrow rear end.

It may take a bit of getting used to, but once you're used to it it works well. If you need a more conventional range of gears, compromises have to be made elsewhere.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:04 pm 
Windmilling for a Scotch Egg
Windmilling for a Scotch Egg
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:27 am
Posts: 4840
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Rod_Saetan wrote:
Sigh, I'll try and tackle this one misinformed point at a time:


Excuse me - it's not misinformed, I've ridden one over a few days and quite a few miles. In return for using it I stripped it down and fixed a puncture and greased everything, adjusted the hubs etc etc. I also did quite a lot of research on folding bikes as I am very close to buying one.

Quote:
No, the 'cheapest' Brompton is £700, that is a single speed with no mudguards or rack, however, for that amount of money you get 4 choices of bar, 4 choices of colour (64 combinations), a choice of normal or extended seat post, a bike built in England and the smallest folded bike available to buy. And before anyone says 'why would you buy a single speed folding bike?', Kansai have just released one, as have Dahon in the past. (Incidentally, list price on a 3 speed Kansi is £725, it comes in one colour, and with one bar type, and does not include a rack or mudguards.)


A single speed Dahon is £350, you can easily get spares, it's lighter, has better brakes too.

Quote:
The handlebars do not slip easily, or rather, that is the first time I have ever heard that accusation.


I'm surprised at that, lots of leverage and only 1 bolt!

Quote:
A proper road caliper would mean you would not be able to route the cable from the bottom, hence metres of spare cable outer lolling around and getting in the way, they come as standard with 2 piece brake pads that take a slot in replacement pad too.


But they aren't very powerful, no matter what the excuse is for using them! They were very worrying on wet Sheffield hills...

Quote:
The grips are not to everyones liking, I would probably spend a whopping £7 and put some ODI Attacks on there, some people do like them though, just like they like the grips on a million other bikes similarly priced that are regarded as inferior.


No sorry, the grips are AWFUL. £100 BSO's have better grips. And if a £700 bike hasn't got a basic quality set of grips it's a bit of a poor show.

Quote:
Cranks are square taper, like what we all ride? Pedals are OK, one of them folds, which is very clever, have you seen the pedals that come with a £5k Trek Madone? The Brompton ones are better.


Not a fair comparison - the Trek, like all road bikes, has very basic pedals as people like to choose their own clipless pedals. The Brompton ones are very slippy when wet.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:06 pm 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:40 pm
Posts: 3460
Location: The Royal Society of Insobriety
I think tiredness and a certain malaise may have got the better of me last night, what I basically meant to say was:

We are bike people, and not just bike people, but bike people with enough savvy to buy well built second hand bikes for a mere fraction of their original cost (on the whole). Thus, when we see a new bike we often compare it to what we see sell here, or our own builds, often rose-tintedly pedestalling these 'classics'. Further, we ride bikes for fun, and often as a tool, we would have a bike regardless of whether we needed one for work.

The Brompton is a bike ideal for someone who wants a tool, a tool to do a sinple job with little fuss, little maintenance and taking up little room in their house (I know, I'd have all my bikes on the walls if I could!). This it does very well, people ride 3 miles to the station, they stick it on the train, they ride 2 miles t'other end, its not quick enough to test the weak brakes, they dont require the pedals and grips to be refined, they care not a jot that it could be lighter. They take it into a shop when it gets a flat, they take it into a shop when it creaks, the chain slips or the brakes feel soft. They love it. They sell it 2 years later for 75% of what thy bought it for, hopefully they go on to buy more bikes and love cycling.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:24 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:41 am
Posts: 1217
Location: bedfordshire
ebay watching (and a few stella tinnies) forced a 'trigger finger' moment... :shock:

was quite exciting driving to pick this one up tonight.

cheers for all the replies, really did help.

al

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:26 am 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:40 pm
Posts: 3460
Location: The Royal Society of Insobriety
Looks like they ticked nearly every box!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:31 am 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
Posts: 11105
Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
ti-fat-man wrote:
ebay watching (and a few stella tinnies) forced a 'trigger finger' moment... :shock:

was quite exciting driving to pick this one up tonight.

cheers for all the replies, really did help.

al

Image


Wait until you sober up, though.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:36 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:41 am
Posts: 1217
Location: bedfordshire
seller rode 10 miles and sacked the cycle commute idea in. he bought a vespa instead. however he does like the 'bling' and visited the niche framebuilders show (name eludes me now but near that smart engineers bridge :oops: ) dropping cash on brass mini bells and valve caps. loved the hand-over... :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:43 am 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
Posts: 11105
Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
...and if you are not already a member, you can join the Folding Society.

:)

http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 46 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: kermitgreenkona88 and 34 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

About Us

Follow Retrobike

Other cool stuff

All content © 2005-2015 Retrobike unless otherwise stated.
Cookies Policy.
bikedeals - the best bike deals in one place
FatCOGS - Fat Chance Owner's Group

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group