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Old 04-22-2015, 07:37 AM
fuzzalow fuzzalow is offline
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Brompton: There's more to life than FTP and 53x11...

In celebration of all things bike, I present you a view of a happy odd couple pairing in the world of bikes.




NYC is not the most friendly bike city but it's getting better and it isn't all that bad really. I fold the Brompton and carry it into shops and stuff to do things I wanna do. I haven't been stopped, refused entry or been ejected from any establishment while carrying my folded up Brompton yet. Most view it more as a curiosity.

This is a great city with lots to like whilst on a bike although inattentiveness might get you squished - cabbies can get aggressive racing to nowhere and they are looking for their fare pickup instead of seeing pedestrians & bikes. Sometimes the food delivery guys are running the wrong way against traffic. Doesn't detract from smelling the flowers on a beautiful spring day even in NYC. On a bike anywhere south of 14th Street there are changes that can be seen and felt on the complexion of the city. Bikes used as far as the prevalence and use of bikes to get around, run errands and function as a part of life apart from the corrosive assault of car culture. That happening of more bikes is truly a welcome evolution.

The world looks better on two wheels.
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2015, 07:54 AM
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rwsaunders rwsaunders is offline
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Jolly good show, Fuzz.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2015, 08:06 AM
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weisan weisan is online now
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Low pal, is it just me or the English language just become a tab more polished and actually sounds better when they ended up in your hands, not just bikes.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:23 AM
OtayBW OtayBW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weisan View Post
Low pal, is it just me or the English language just become a tab more polished and actually sounds better when they ended up in your hands, not just bikes.
I don't know: the third from the last sentence seems a little 'iffy' (I am diagramming it as we speak....).

The Brompton certainly seems interesting.
Q: Without a stem how do you adjust the length/reach on the Brompton?
Q2: What is the range of gearing on that thing? I mean, for city commuting, etc., you're good. Can you get one of these things that's adaptable to longer rides over diverse terrain?

Thx.
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Last edited by OtayBW; 04-22-2015 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:36 AM
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FlashUNC FlashUNC is online now
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The most fun bike I rode at NAHBS a couple years back. And it wasn't even really close. Probably the perfect city bike.
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2015, 08:50 AM
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goonster goonster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtayBW View Post
Can you get one of these things that's adaptable to longer rides over diverse terrain?
Yes.


(not mine)

Reach is adjusted by rotating the "M" bars back and forth, and hand positions are added with bar-ends.

As someone who has ridden brevets fixed, I don't think gearing range is necessarily crucial to longer rides. What does take some getting used to on the Brompton is the steering geo, with essentially zero wheel flop.
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2015, 09:01 AM
Jesper64 Jesper64 is offline
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A nice pair. I love how the seat height is exactly the same on both bikes.
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2015, 09:47 AM
Mark McM Mark McM is offline
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Just curious, but how does the Brompton handle at high speed (such as descents)?

Much is made of the role of steering geometry, particularly the trail dimension, on stability and handling. From the photos, it appears that the Brompton has almost no trail at all.
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2015, 09:58 AM
Ken Robb Ken Robb is offline
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One of these days I'll have to take a photo of my bikefriday next to one of my "regular" bikes. FWIW bikefriday will make steerer tubes and stems in various sizes to help get bar position just right. This can be really nice for buyers of used bikes because they can change the "size" of an existing bike very easily at reasonable expense.
I bought my New World Tourist model from them as a "pre-loved" trade-in. When I ordered it they asked about my size/measurements and how I liked my bars. The bike arrived with perfect contact points. If someone else wanted lower bars I think it would be easy to cut the steerer down at home.
It looks like Bromptons fold into take-it-into-the store size faster than my friday. BF has a model called Tikit that is designed for quicker/easier folding but I think it gives up some of the "rides like a real bike" performance/versatility of other BF models.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark McM View Post
Just curious, but how does the Brompton handle at high speed (such as descents)?
Surprisingly well. Stability is very good at higher speeds, and the faster you go, the more it wants to track straight.

The difference in steering feedback is more pronounced at lower speeds, and I can't track stand on it.
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:09 AM
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Second on all counts. Bromptons are wicked-cool and NYC is becoming more and more bike friendly seemingly every time I'm there.

I personally don't like the Brompton for longer rides. It's fine descending at speed, but at the more typical city speeds you tend to ride on them, they're pretty squirmy. It's the last bike in the world I'd ever attempt to ride no-hands. And generally, I'm pretty well sick of riding one by about 15 miles or so. That said, I remember reading a tour report of an old Brit who rode his 3 speed on the famed Lands End to John O'Groats ride from the south end to the north end of Great Britain. With a touring load! Not me, though!

It's perfect for hopping on a train and then riding at either end of the rail trip. Or just for minimal storage as a city bike. I have a six-speed, a SA 3-speed hub and two cog arrangement with a little binary derailure in back. I don't have as many uses for it as I did when I bought it, so it's sort of neglected, but I use it pretty much anytime we take one of our cars in for service. Although now that both of our cars are Honda Fits, even that may not be necessary, since I can get any of my other bikes in the back of those cars...

I should probably sell it, but I don't think I can bring myself to...

-Ray
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  #12  
Old 04-22-2015, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzalow View Post
In celebration of all things bike, I present you a view of a happy odd couple pairing in the world of bikes.

NYC is not the most friendly bike city but it's getting better and it isn't all that bad really. I fold the Brompton and carry it into shops and stuff to do things I wanna do. I haven't been stopped, refused entry or been ejected from any establishment while carrying my folded up Brompton yet. Most view it more as a curiosity.

This is a great city with lots to like whilst on a bike although inattentiveness might get you squished - cabbies can get aggressive racing to nowhere and they are looking for their fare pickup instead of seeing pedestrians & bikes. Sometimes the food delivery guys are running the wrong way against traffic. Doesn't detract from smelling the flowers on a beautiful spring day even in NYC. On a bike anywhere south of 14th Street there are changes that can be seen and felt on the complexion of the city. Bikes used as far as the prevalence and use of bikes to get around, run errands and function as a part of life apart from the corrosive assault of car culture. That happening of more bikes is truly a welcome evolution.

The world looks better on two wheels.
Love this. My Brompton hangs out with my Lynskey all the time (also in NYC). They are good buddies, but can get a little competitive at times.

I agree 100% about the changes in the city. It's no Amersterdam, but is slowly improving in both infrastructure and mindset. Here's a shot of mine under my desk. Give me a shout if you see us out there.
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  #13  
Old 04-22-2015, 11:27 AM
fuzzalow fuzzalow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtayBW View Post
I don't know: the third from the last sentence seems a little 'iffy' (I am diagramming it as we speak....). :cool
Ruh, row! Here come the grammar police! None of my posts get sent to a editor before publication, they are all words spontaneously up chucked from a malformed consciousness. Then again, it's just a post and we're just talkin' here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark McM View Post
Just curious, but how does the Brompton handle at high speed (such as descents)?

Much is made of the role of steering geometry, particularly the trail dimension, on stability and handling. From the photos, it appears that the Brompton has almost no trail at all.
How big a hill can I find in Manhattan? Harlem Hill, the downhill on Riverside Drive into 110th St.? No problem on stability in hills. Frankly, I'd guess the bike is ridden with a light touch on the bars as should any bike be ridden anyway, right? And if you do that, there should never be a problem irrespective as to steering geometry. The bars are not a weight bearing platform but if they are used as such that results in a twitchy handling bike.

The Brompton is ridden as its own unique mechanical contrivance. I approach it that way rather than as a folding replica of my existing road position and bike handling characteristics. In this instance, the driving motivation isn't anything to do with the bike and the activity of biking - it is what the bike brings to augment the things that I wanna do. Live a life and sometimes there's a bike convenient and nearby. That's a Brompton.
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2015, 01:37 PM
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Nags&Ducs Nags&Ducs is offline
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Completely agree with you Fuzzy! I've always loved races road bikes, but I've recently become enameled with classic-styled city bikes and folders. Especially the likes of Pashleys and Bromptons.

Hope you don't mind if I show off mine and my wife's Brompies. I've had mine for a couple of months, and my wife just got hers the other day. Mine is the raw. Just put the O-bag on it to imagine what it'll look like when we do city touring.
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Last edited by Nags&Ducs; 04-22-2015 at 03:28 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-22-2015, 03:30 PM
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Nags&Ducs Nags&Ducs is offline
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With the O-bag by Ortlieb.
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