Brompton: One Year On

It’s been just over a year now since I picked up my Brompton M3L on a trip to London. Since then, more than any of the other bikes I’ve owned, it has become almost like a limb. Whenever I get on the train without it (a rarity) I inevitably have several “Oh crap! Where’s my bike‽” moments during the journey.

The Brompton was in a reasonable condition when I got it, although the previous owner had opted for the high-gearing option and the Brooks B67 which came with it was in need of a bit of repair. Over the past year the bike has had several modifications and upgrades:

Whilst the DL-1 is still my first choice for local trips, the fact that I can easily take the Brompton with me on train journeys has meant it has seen as much, if not more use than the DL-1 in the past year. In the time I have had it, the bike has paid for itself in public transport and taxi fare savings alone. I have also used it for several longer rides, including on Boxing Day when I cycled from Macclesfield to Rochdale due to a lack of public transport. The Brompton performs extremely well on these rides, due in part to the fact that knowing it can be folded and taken on a bus. Knowing I can give up makes me more ambitious with the distances I ride, so far I have always seen these rides through.

The Brompton has been one of those purchases which makes you think, “I should have bought this years ago.” The many ways in which this bicycle makes its usefulness apparent has often left me wondering why everyone doesn’t own or aspire to own one of these extremely useful machines.

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8 thoughts on “Brompton: One Year On

  1. Couldn’t agree more! Thirteen months now since I bought my S-6-L (new). Quickly followed by my wife buying an M-6-L (good as new). Never looked back. Recommend Yahoo group forum “BromptonTalk” at sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/BromptonTalk/. Cheers, Ian.

    • I like the idea of more gears than my current three, although I’ve always been a bit baffled by Brompton’s choice of a 2-speed dérailleur with 3 speed hub when Sturmey make an 8 speed hub whose design is ideal for small-wheeled bikes. However, I suppose the redundancy is always a good thing if you’re in the middle of nowhere.

  2. I am really looking forward to my Brompton being delivered. As a tall rider, the Brommie has never quite been an option. However, the H-type ‘stem’ now make the bike viable for 6 foot sixer with a relatively short reach. A change of job will see me in London for the majority of the week from June and I expect the Brompton to become my new best friend. I’m selling the car to cover the costs of the purchase… seems like a fair trade to me.

    • I haven’t ridden a H-type yet, but I want to. I had a good look at one at Bike Factory in Chester and it definitely seems like a worthwhile addition to the fold (sorry). I doubt it’ll be long before you find you’re wondering how you ever managed without one.

      I take it you will be having the telescopic seatpost too? I just got one myself and I’m quite happy. Details to come tomorrow.

      • just commented on your new post… yes the telescopic post is an essential upgrade. It looked a little flimsy but works very well in practice. Don’t see the point of the aluminium model, steel gives me a bit more confidence (but that says more about my own stupid prejudices!)

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