Ok, I may be ready to, what I always thought, buy one of the weirdest bikes made. I am thinking about a Brompton. So tell me what do you think of them, how do they ride, is it really that easy to fold them? I’d be using it for the commute to work which is about 7k each way with some little hills thrown in. I dont want to break a sweat, I want to be able to ride in normal clothes and be able to store the bike at my desk, under my desk or somewhere where it doesn’t take up too much space.
I may want to got the pub on the way home, pick up a six pack, pick up some groceries and have a way of storing them easily. I also want to be able to attach a light cause its dark sometimes and at the end of the day I want to have fun riding that thing.
And are we all over over finding it ridiculous riding a folding bicycle?
They hold their value really well, The S2L is probably the pick of the more basic options (no Ti etc), flat bars that aren’t super high up, 2sp drivetrain. M3L is more common, higher bars and 3sp hub.
If you’re really tall the seatpost might not be long enough, telescoping / extra long available but that affects the fold. Likewise setback/reach might be too short, but for short trips who cares.
I have an M3L (3sp hubgear) and a Bike Friday tikit (1x8 derailleur), the Friday has better brakes, more gear range, much faster fold, normal cranks/levers, more seat height and reach. But it doesn’t fold as small by any stretch.
I worked opposite a bloke who had one for a year. He rode in normal clothes and stored it under his desk. He seemed pretty happy with his life and I think he was doing about double the commute distance you’re up for. I’d do it if I was needing to put my bike under my desk, for sure.
i hate bromptons with a passion. it isn’t rational, they work well, fold up really quickly and seem to make their owners happy. i have a customer with one with replacement ti bits everywhere and its pretty cool as much at it hurts me to say it.
as blakey says, their resale is better than any other bike bit.
I am exactly like you but I wonder if I should get over it. One would make a lot of sense for me. I can’t take my bike with me to the office (if its a real one), I can’t take bikes on the bus (a real one I mean) and my commute will only be around 8ks. Maybe I should just get some beaten up city bike that I am not too worried about if its gets stolen.
I owned a M3L for a few years with a T bag up front. Rode to work in plain clothes and kept the bike under the desk. Having the front load stabilises the ride somewhat and keeps the weight off your back (no bag sweat). My brompton also had the SON Dynamo and lights and they are very good. I’ve taken it to cafes, on trains and even into a resturant once. It all works seamlessly together … Just don’t expect it to ride like a regular bike. You get used to the way it handles anyway. Getting a rear rack is a good idea even if you don’t use it for carrying stuff. When folded, the rear rack keeps the bike from toppling over. Good for when you’re on a moving train or tram. It’s also easier to roll the bike when folded with the rack … Something I wished I had considered as the entrance of my building to my actual office was quite a distance.
never ridden a brompton but do have a da-hon folder.
As others have said the small wheels do ride a bit different, due to lower rotational inertia i think.
It makes it much easier to turn the bars which means you’re constantly over correcting at first which makes it feel twitchy
any folder isn’t gonna be super stiff either, Moultons aren’t folders they’re demon-tables
I’d grab a Brompton in a heartbeat if I had any sort of use-case for one. The tiny folded size means I’d use it a hell of a lot, pretty much anytime I need to use public transport outside of a work/home commute.
Disclaimer: I’ve never ridden one, I just think they’re a pretty sweet bike.
I’ve been commuting on a Dahon for nearly a year now, and how much I like it it has really surprised me. It doesn’t fold up as small as a Brompton, but it’s steel, has 2 inch Big Apples, and is mostly compatible with normal bike parts. It’s fun to flick around, like a BMX, handles well and I paid 10% of the cost of a Brompton for it.
I live 40ks from work and commuting all the time was too much, so now I spend half my commuting time on a train half on a bike. The folder makes it easier to get up and down stairs, into lifts, it doesn’t fall over and get in the way on the train. I never thought I’d say it, but I’m a convert.
Because our office doesnt allow bikes, therefore it has to be so small to fit under my desk, beside it or whatever. I also dont have anywhere nearby to securely lock my bike. I’d love a commuter bike with dynamo and all the bells and whistles but it be gone in a heartbeat. I work in the middle of the CBD.
Thanks guys, sounds promising. The more I look into them, the more I start to actually like them.