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Brompton in Bristol - madness?

EssexSuffolkEssexSuffolk Posts: 112
edited July 2011 in Commuting general
Fellow commuters,

Living in a terraced house (tired of dragging bike through house each morning) and commuting partly by train, I'm thinking of getting a Brompton. Although pricey, at circa £900, a six gear model appeals. Is this madness in a hilly city like Bristol? My commute doesn't take in any extreme climbs (i.e. no Park Street), but undulates.

I like the compact nature and versatility of the Brompton. The alternative is something like a Specialised Sirrus (lighter than my current old steel MTB), but still awkward hauling through the house.

What do people think? Have read countless web reviews etc, but would value some opinions from fellow commuters!



  • chillingchilling Posts: 267
    As far as I know, if you want the convenience of a folding bike the number one choice is a Brompton. You see loads in London, some going surprisingly fast.

    I can't see why you wouldn't want the gears, unless you are one of those Fixie weirdo's
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,920
    Bromptons have gears so you shouldn't have any rpoblems unless you're riding up Summerhill in Totterdown from the A4. I get by on a SS roadbike.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,014
    I recently met a bloke at the top of Mt Evans in Colorado - the highest paved road in the US at over 14,000 feet. He'd ridden up on a titanium Brompton. He must have been at least 70.
    chilling wrote:
    I can't see why you wouldn't want the gears, unless you are one of those Fixie weirdo's

    I think you may have misread the OP
    Faster than a tent.......
  • PoacherPoacher Posts: 165
    +1 for a Brompton.
    The 6-speed with standard rear sprockets (13 / 16) and BWR (Brompton Wide Ratio) hub - standard with 6-speed - will give you gears of 33, 40.5, 51.5, 63.5, 81 and 99.5 inches. The 33" will get you up most hills, and you'll find it hard to spin out on the 99" top gear, at least on the flat - I wouldn't like to push a Brommie hard downhill!
    For Bristol hills you might want to consider the lower gearing option (-12%, but extra expense, for some reason!), but I'd advise sticking to the standard offering - it's got me up some fairly daunting hills in Nottingham wthout difficulty.
    Also worth bearing in mind is the way Brommies keep their value if you ever need to sell.
    Ceps, morelles, trompettes de mort. Breakfast of champignons.
  • Another +1 for the Brompton... I ride one to work... 14 miles each way (although I do sometimes get the bus for half of that journey) and it can be quite undulating.

    I've got the 3 speed and haven't got any problems with it but would probably opt for the 6 speed if buying again.
  • EssexSuffolkEssexSuffolk Posts: 112
    Thanks all, I think I've more or less decided.

    Figured out I can get 10% discount via my Tri club, so £800 a bit easier on the wallet. @Poacher, you're right about holding their value, which is also reassuring.

    So, an S6L it just to choose blue or orange!

  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Thanks all, I think I've more or less decided.

    Figured out I can get 10% discount via my Tri club, so £800 a bit easier on the wallet. @Poacher, you're right about holding their value, which is also reassuring.

    So, an S6L it just to choose blue or orange!


    If you're 80Kg or prefer sharper handling I'd seriously consider the "firm suspension" option, where the elastomer block is replaced with a much stiffer one. I got one last week for the bargain-Brommie I found recently and it makes a big difference- with the standard block the bike flexes as you crank the pedals going uphill, it's much better with a stiff one(!).

    Cobalt blue looks nice in the pictures.

  • bromyGbromyG Posts: 59
    +1 for Brompton too

    I have been commuting on my S6L for two months now and I love it!

    Buying new is expensive - I got mine on eBay - only 2 years old, pristine condition and saved several hundred £s.

    Excellent folding easy to take on train.

    Good luck!

    Red Brompton S6L
  • Rule74PleaseRule74Please Posts: 307
    -1 for brompton - You look like a kiddy fiddler on one
  • ClankClank Posts: 2,323
    How tall are you? If your inside leg is 34" or over, consider the optional longer seat post (standard on Bromptons in the Netherlands, but not here).

    I've got a 36" inside leg and defo need the longer post. It's like riding a kiddies bike otherwise. :lol:
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.
  • PoacherPoacher Posts: 165
    As clank said, extended seat post if you have an inside leg of 34" or more - much more and you're looking at extra expense with a telescopic post. It's probably worth opting for an extended post even if you don't need it, as it costs no more, only slightly increases the folded size, and widens the market if you do ever need to sell. I'd also concur with Buns regarding both the firm suspension (which I specified but didn't get, 'cos they were out of stock at the time!) and the gorgeous cobalt blue colour. Mine's black, 'cos I'm cheap!
    Be very careful if buying second-hand; many Brommies offered on fleabay are distinctly iffy. If you can't see the serial number sticker under the seat tube clamp, alarm bells should start ringing. This constitutes the frame warranty; why would any genuine owner remove it? If you do buy secondhand, check the frame number with Brompton ( 020 8232 8484) - they'll be able to tell you when it was sent out from the factory - your "as new" 2009 model may turn out be a 2006, and in a very different configuration!

    Buy one (preferably new, for ease of mind) - you'll never regret it!
    Ceps, morelles, trompettes de mort. Breakfast of champignons.
  • EssexSuffolkEssexSuffolk Posts: 112
    Thanks for the further advice, much appreciated.

    Think I will be buying new - will be paying perhaps a couple of hundred pounds more, but I think worth it for the spec/colour I'd prefer. Arctic Blue is my current favourite. Still wavering between M and S types, but think it'll be the S.
  • Have put a few miles on the folder in the past couple of weeks. It isn't a Brompton but a 6 speed Phillips (Dahon) Broadwalk, so my observations may not apply to your situation. I find it fine to ride on relatively shortish leisurely trips (after about 12 miles or an hour in the saddle I start to wish I was on one of the other bikes). The other thing that I have noticed is that is seems to develop a few creaks and a general lack of 'tightness', so requires more regular attention than my rigid bikes. The Brompton being more expensive and better quality is no doubt much better than my folder but you will be making compromise in ride for flexibility as I'm sure you realise.
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
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