|My trusty Brompton with me and friends on a nice Mekong ride|
Now I am not a bicycle guru and this will surely piss the true blue Bromptonites ("how dare you... it must be the best bike in the world!!!") For Brompton Zealots... Please kindly tune off as this will not be your cup of tea.
Sorry mate... But I am of the opinion that there are many good bikes in the world. One of them also happen to be the Brompton. And I will share my own personal opinion after riding it for 2.5 years and with several overseas journey with the iconic bicycle.
This is what I have done over the years
Japan - Business trip and extended to explore more of the place
Terrain is City flatish, with train rides (folded brompton)
Distance cover roughly 30 km
Transport by DIYed Carton box.
Mekong area, Thailand - Self supported cycling trip
|Exploring ulu area has it challenges.. like no escalator... gulp|
Terrain is mixed of tarmac, mud tracks which became quite gooey. Lots of slope and downhills. Rain big time.
Distance covered roughly - 200km
Time: around 1 week
Transport by Lojel luggage case. The Luggage lock portion broke because of rough handling.
|Some where near Chang Khan, Thailand|
Taiwan - Supported cycling trip with family and van support.
|Manning the rear with my M bar Raw Lac 6 Speed|
Terrain is good tarmac with hill elevations of around 300m (mount Faber is 100m). Strong head winds
Distance covered roughly - 150km
Transport by Original Brompton Box
|I got another Brompton for my wife.. haha.. buy in Taiwan and ride directly|
|Cranking it @ Taiwan. It's a P bar which give more position to reduce frontal drag. It works!|
- The legendary fold is neat, strong and good for packing. Excels in mixed multi transport mode(Bus, Train, Van, Taxi)
- The frame and ride geometry is stable and good for riding around. With the rear supported by rubber suspension(Got soft and firm- get the firm one if u are doing more touring and heavier loaded) and adding a brooks B17. The Brompton is one comfortable ride.
- Front Mount Touring (aka T) bag is roomy enough put my clothes, and all other stuff. It is also supplied with a flour-yello waterproof cover... which I tested in a full day rain ride in Mekong.
- When you ride and get tired. You can fold and take a taxi. Or hop into the support van or flag a horse cart in ulu conditions.
- The small wheel run true and spin well. Over all the bike keeps going and going.. slowly is how it likes it.
- The Clunky SA hub just keep going and going. Best in wet conditions as it is protected from the elements.
- I really hate the SA hub wide gearing. In a City environment, it is ok. But when u are in a constant hilly terrain. The wide gear spacing really gets to you. It is either too light or too heavy.. to compensate, you need to adjust your cycling Cadence to accommodate.
- Shifting of the gears are quite your English quirkiness. The plastic casing of the shifter look flimsy by over 3 years.. they shake but still shift fine. It just don't look robust and refined. This is year 2012.. Brompton company pls consider something simpler and more intuitive.
- Rear tyre change is more troublesome. You need to have 2 spanner size - 8, 15 to loosen the brake clamp, wheel axle. Also need to unscrew the Internal hub gearing key link. I resolved this by buying the most puncture proof tyre. Yes I do lose some speed but in return, I get more "puncture insurance". I don't fancy changing tube in the middle of the blazing sun at the side of the road... with no shade.
|This is Encik George Lim. Don't be fooled by his pink bike. He is V8 on Steroids. We nearly died trying to catch up with him haha. |
Brompton is best suited for the city landscape. This is where it thrives. Fold it, take a train to the near by location, unfold, ride. It is unbeatable.. or the gold standard.
For touring.. it is a mixed bag. The small wheels are not too good for bad potholed mud paths and the wide space SA hub reduces cycling efficiency by around 20 percent at least. Get the Tbag if u are intending to tour unsupported. It carry suff easily and makes the bike handle well. It is big and placed in the front of the bike.. your aerodynamics will suffer. But if u go slow and smell the roses..it is fine.
Would I take the Brompton on a tour?
It depends on the location and terrain elevation. If City like- I will confirm bring it or the Carryme.
If it is slopely slopes galore... I will bring my Alex Mouton TSR with triple crank to spin up any hill. Hope this gives you more insights of the wonderful bike called Brompton. Any questions still in your mind.. just ask.