Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

Brompton - S2L or S3L

Coach HCoach H Posts: 1,287
edited April 2014 in Commuting chat
Thinking of getting a Brompton as a utility bike.
To be used for riding with kids (under 10), trips to chippy/pub, putting in car for holiday duty, folding for smaller garage storage, being cool (even if its only me that thinks so :D ).

Fancy the idea of the hub gear on the S3 but the cable guide block seems an ugly solution to a non-existent problem. Thing is can I get away with only two gears and is the mech robust? At £15 between the two options, cost is not an issue.

Opinions gratefully received.
Coach H. (Dont ask me for training advice - 'It's not about the bike')

Posts

  • ex-pat scotex-pat scot Posts: 939
    S2l(x) for me. Had 2, and wouldn't go for the SA 3 speed hub.
    Nice. Light. Simple. Easy (ish) to get rear wheel out.
    Commute: Langster -Singlecross - Brompton S2-LX

    Road: 95 Trek 5500 -Look 695 Aerolight eTap - Boardman TTe eTap

    Offroad: Pace RC200 - Dawes Kickback 2 tandem - Tricross - Boardman CXR9.8 - Ridley x-fire
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    I've got a 6, and the hub gear is annoying when changing a rear, but I have used all the gears. More is better I reckon - but also more to go wrong... The cable guide thing never even crossed my mind.
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Hub gear is more resilient and lower maintenance than the derailleur, plus you get a bigger range. Yes it's very marginally heavier and slightly more complicated to remove rear wheel, but on balance the better option.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    I've got the S2L.

    I picked it because I didn't need any more gears. Isn't the 6 speed a combination of 3 speed hub gear and 2 speed derailleur?
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    asprilla wrote:
    I've got the S2L.

    I picked it because I didn't need any more gears. Isn't the 6 speed a combination of 3 speed hub gear and 2 speed derailleur?
    Yes it is, and the gears are alternate on each sprocket so you have to double change to move up one gear. Not a bit advantage over the 3 speed really. The gaps between gears are so big you can't live with them
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I have the 3-speed (no idea why in Amsterdam but it's all they had second hand - seems people need them "for the bridges" - I laughed quite hard) and it has been fine. If I'm honest, I don't much like the Brompton - it's a bit small, but it is useful for my trips to HTC at Eindhoven where I can cycle to and from the stations during rush hour and the Brompton just slots between the seats on the Intercity train. Since I've been training for The Alpe, I've started pulling involuntary wheelies in first gear away from the lights :oops:
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    I have the 3-speed (no idea why in Amsterdam but it's all they had second hand - seems people need them "for the bridges" - I laughed quite hard) and it has been fine. If I'm honest, I don't much like the Brompton - it's a bit small, but it is useful for my trips to HTC at Eindhoven where I can cycle to and from the stations during rush hour and the Brompton just slots between the seats on the Intercity train. Since I've been training for The Alpe, I've started pulling involuntary wheelies in first gear away from the lights :oops:
    Or when riding into a howling gale, you get a few of those in Holland, very few natural wind breaks. My Dutch colleagues do tell me they have a hill somewhere down near the south east border.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Yes but not many gales in town. My regular ride is a Paddy Wagon SS and even a standing start on the steep parking garage slope at work is possible.

    Limburg is a different story - 20% is not uncommon
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    My take, having owned 6-speed and 8-speed Bromptons is that the hub gears are not as efficient as a derailleur drivetrain. So, if the 2-speed gives you all the gearing you need, it's a better option. If I was going to do the Brompton World Champs again, I'd go for a 2-speed this time (assuming a relatively flat course).

    I rather got the impression (though you should check) that the same hubs are used for the 3- and 6-speeds, which means that the 6-speed doesn't give you a lot more range, but does fill in the (rather large) gaps. If you're used to riding a road bike and change gears quite a lot, you might appreciate this.

    The actual shifting mechanism for the 2-speed is pretty robust (though very bespoke). The most vulnerable part is the chain tensioner, which all the other bikes have anyway (in slightly different variants) because it's needed for the fold.

    No real substitute for test-rides.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • It really does depend on the type of rider you are and your commuting needs. If your commute requires that you carry your bike often and you don't need to go very fast, the s2l is a great choice. If you love higher speeds, it's definitely worth getting the three speed model which has a much higher gear range.

    Also, sometimes the specific bike model you purchase has more to do with what may or may not be in stock. Here's a blog we just uploaded which should be a good resource for anyone looking for specific brompton models, but doesn't want to wait the 8 weeks required for custom orders: http://blog.nycewheels.com/bromptons-stock/ - Jack
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,279
    When I considered a Brompton, the only option for me was the single speed one. Gears just clutter the bike

    I think this is how a Brompton should be, clean, simple, decluttered and light to carry
    2103610332_ed8b1657d8_o.jpg
  • jamescojamesco Posts: 687
    When I considered a Brompton, the only option for me was the single speed one. Gears just clutter the bike

    I think this is how a Brompton should be, clean, simple, decluttered and light to carry
    It looks very nice, but not at all practical!
    • Brompton riders are surely more likely to be wearing nice work clothes, so it'll need mudguards (and flat pedals for regular shoes - can't quite tell).
    • Working late in the evening? Gonna need some lights, too.
    • Man made the bike to carry heavy loads, so add a rack for holding things rather than getting a sweaty back.
    Unless it's only used for Brompton-racing, one might be better off sacrificing looks for practicality :)

    I'd definitely get multiple gears; my girlfriend's folder has just one gear and while it's nice for quick starts it spins out at anything over dawdling pace; a 3-speed hub keeps things tidy and Marathon tyres make punctures very infrequent.
Sign In or Register to comment.