Zipping up a Brompton M3L

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ugo.santalucia
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Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby ugo.santalucia » Tue Oct 23, 2018 07:35 am

Predictably, my wife no longer uses her Brompton, as her new commute can be done by train.
I am thinking of using it in the cold season, maybe Bus in the morning and Brompton on the way home, to avoid morning ice.

I find it very sluggish and I wonder if there's anything I can do to make it a bit zippier. I could fit SPD pedals, maybe a non padded saddle, which seem the obvious thing to do... anything else that doesn't cost money?

I seem to recall removing mudguards will affect folding or something... can't remember what the problem was there

SloppySchleckonds
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby SloppySchleckonds » Tue Oct 23, 2018 08:23 am

Sounds like you need to start doing some Vo2 max intervals again Ugo
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Asprilla
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby Asprilla » Tue Oct 23, 2018 08:37 am

Aero is everything.

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Fenix
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby Fenix » Tue Oct 23, 2018 09:18 am

Schwalbe Kojak slick tyres pumped up correctly ?

It's not mudguards slowing you down....

I find the standard Brompton saddle fine - but maybe yours is an older one.

Clipless pedals will help too - but check out the Brompton World Champ videos - these bikes can shift.

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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby ugo.santalucia » Tue Oct 23, 2018 09:59 am

Fenix wrote:Schwalbe Kojak slick tyres pumped up correctly ?

It's not mudguards slowing you down....

I find the standard Brompton saddle fine - but maybe yours is an older one.

Clipless pedals will help too - but check out the Brompton World Champ videos - these bikes can shift.


Yes, on the flat it's fine (The worlds are on a flat course), but the undulations seem to kill the momentum. Do Kojaks really make a massive difference? I have the standard Brompton tyres, which are quite puncture resistant and I would avoid a puncture if possible

Fenix
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby Fenix » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:45 am

I've only had one puncture on the Kojaks when i hit something nasty. Otherwise they're pretty good. Got to be better than the standard tyres but I've not compared the two.

paul64
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby paul64 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 14:38 pm

I know what you mean about sluggish Ugo compared with all of my other bikes. I have the same bike and same tyres and have found high pressure makes a big difference, the tyres say 100psi and I do go for 95-100 with the track pump and check them regularly.

After one ride I checked the bike weight at circa 12kg (with lights and a couple of other bits) and the Brompton bag with laptop and a a few bits another 8kg! No wonder with it's limited gearing it felt slow compared with even my winter bikes and their traditional-type groupsets (hardtail 15kg, gravel bike 12kg).

I still love the Brommie though!

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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby ugo.santalucia » Tue Oct 23, 2018 15:51 pm

I might need the longer seat tube... that might be the issue going uphill... 5'10" on a good day... seems to be the limit for the normal one

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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby vpnikolov » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:52 am


Fenix
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby Fenix » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:01 am

Something like this would save you a chunk of weight - https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/seat-posts/ ... n/?geoc=US

But a lot more weight from the wallet.

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Asprilla
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby Asprilla » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:04 am

Fenix wrote:Something like this would save you a chunk of weight - https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/seat-posts/ ... n/?geoc=US

But a lot more weight from the wallet.


I got mine on eBay. Exactly the same, but was about £50 and didn't have a brand etched into the side.
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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby ugo.santalucia » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:30 pm

I guess the only upgrade I would be prepared to pay for is tyres if they were really life changing... not bothered about the 3 Watts... but if it turned out to be 20, then I'd want them

elbowloh
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby elbowloh » Wed Oct 24, 2018 13:57 pm

I don't think Zipp do Brompton wheels...
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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby ugo.santalucia » Wed Oct 24, 2018 15:34 pm

I think I need a longer seat pin.

Even with the clamp done as high up as it's safe to do and flipped to provide a more rear-ward sitting position, I am still about an inch lower than I would be normally. Typically I keep a top of the saddle to pedal spindle distance of 93 cm, and here I barely make 91.

20 quid for a longer pin might well solve all my woes

cougie
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby cougie » Wed Oct 24, 2018 21:13 pm

There's the long version and also the extendable version that Dave Miller uses. Might be worth looking at that.

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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby ugo.santalucia » Thu Oct 25, 2018 05:29 am

A lot more money though

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meanredspider
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby meanredspider » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:03 am

I looked at the extended seat post but, with it, the “bike” wouldn’t have fitted between Dutch train seats. Added to which, my CofG would have been even further back.
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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby ugo.santalucia » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:19 am

meanredspider wrote:I looked at the extended seat post but, with it, the “bike” wouldn’t have fitted between Dutch train seats. Added to which, my CofG would have been even further back.


Luckily, I don't need to take trains... I might need to take it on a bus on icy mornings, but I don't think it will make a great deal of difference there... it's also a rather non-busy bus route.

Alternatives would be to use a "taller" saddle, although there aren't many taller than a Brooks and normally they are only taller because of padding that gets squashed once I sit.

It's a £ 20 upgrade, which might make a significant difference to whether I use the Brompton or not... so really keen to give it a go.

Worst case scenario, I have a £ 20 steel bar in my rucksack to persuade motorists to behave... :mrgreen:

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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby TGOTB » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:32 am

I did a shedload of Brompton pimping a while back, and extending the seatpost was probably the single most effective change (followed by changing the bars, which moved the C of G, but that was a far bigger exercise).

I did it by cutting off the tapered top of the tube, cutting a short vertical slot, and then fitting a "normal" seatpost clamp and seatpost, as if it was a frame tube; that also allowed me to fit a normal saddle with rails. That said, it probably cost me more than £20.
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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Zipping up a Brompton M3L

Postby ugo.santalucia » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:13 pm

TGOTB wrote:I did a shedload of Brompton pimping a while back, and extending the seatpost was probably the single most effective change (followed by changing the bars, which moved the C of G, but that was a far bigger exercise).

I did it by cutting off the tapered top of the tube, cutting a short vertical slot, and then fitting a "normal" seatpost clamp and seatpost, as if it was a frame tube; that also allowed me to fit a normal saddle with rails. That said, it probably cost me more than £20.


I'd love the S type bars... it was my initial gripe, but my wife was adamant on the M... there is no way back, as a new stem would cost me an absolute fortune.

I also have the feeling with a better sitting position I could put down so much more power...


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