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Brompton in Dublin

  • 06-02-2023 1:41pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 42


    Hi guys- hoping to get a Brompton on the bike to work scheme in the coming weeks. I see brompton have disabled their 'build a brompton' option due to demand on their website so I'll go with pre-built options on BTW in a bricks and mortar shop.

    A cursory google shows penny farthing, cycle ways and cyclesuperstore all seem to stock currently. ?Am i missing any. Will get into those shops in person but would appreciate any feedback from recent Brompton buyers or recommendations on gearing, models etc



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,205 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep


    I can't help with the shops.

    Brompton have recently changed their model naming but in short, you have a choice of gears and handlebars.

    2, 3 or 6 gears. It is an odd system with a 3-geared hub and a 2-speed derailleur, but once you get used to it it is fairly intuitive. If you think you will have any hills at all, I'd go for the 6 speed.

    Then in the handlebars you have (or had) S, M and H. S is low almost gives you a road bike feel, M is normal, H is high or for taller riders.

    In terms of accessories I'd recommend a rack (makes it much more stable while folded even though you will rarely use it as a rack), a dynamo hub and a luggage block is a must have. There is a great range of bags of different sizes that you can attach on the front and it works very well.

    Let me know if you have other questions, I have both an acoustic and an electric Brompton.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,809 ✭✭✭fat bloke


    Hollingsworth Kilmacud sell them as well. Last week they had a gorgeous one in a Bianchi Céleste blue.

    I have heard that Cycleways are the biggest stockists of new and used Bromptons and accessories though. I've been meaning to go in myself for a look-see at their bags, maybe pick one up for myself.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,166 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder


    what are cycleways like these days? i haven't been in there since 2010 due to a two or three visits in a row where the staff were useless.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 19,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie




  • Registered Users Posts: 985 ✭✭✭Miklos


    I commute everyday on a 3 speed with mudguards, I had the M bars but changed them out for something lower. If I was going again I would go with the flat bars. A front bag is a gamechanger too.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 42 Los Cafeteros


    Thanks for the replies guys and the detailed run through of combinations @CantGetNoSleep .

    For anyone interested I managed to visit two bike shops in Dublin last week that stock Bromptons.

    Cycleways had a number of the 2022 c-line(mainly in picadilly blue), a few electric bromptons, and some new 2023 c-lines(with black components) in matcha green. They're unsure exactly of further delivery schedules but expecting to get more 2023 c-clines, p-lines and the David Millar CHPT3 special edition in the coming months. Customer service was good- guy dealing with me owned a brompton himself. Had the bigger selction of brompton accessories of the two.

    Pennyfarthings had 2022 c-lines(blue, green, coral), p-line and a barbour special edition in beige. Let me cycle one around the shop too! Lots of electric bromptons. Not expecting to get any of the 23 models until March /April.

    Will probably go with a 6 speed with S or M handlebars.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,809 ✭✭✭fat bloke


    I have a 6 speed S (I think? - the flat bar one?). I couldn't imagine having fewer than the 6 gears anyway, I feel it would be quite limiting.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,205 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep


    Best of luck with your search. I currently own about 8 bikes and I'm constantly chopping and changing. The only one I know I'll own for sure in 20 years other than something out of my control is my Brompton M6R. Just love that bike.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,740 ✭✭✭✭tomasrojo


    I've had a 3-speed for over a decade. I find it adequate for any journey I've ever undertaken. I guess I've never done much more than 30km at a time, but it's ok for that. Gone up Killiney Hill carrying a guitar a few times too. It's pretty easy to align the gears too.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,583 ✭✭✭traco


    Digging this up as it seems the most recent.

    @Los Cafeteros how did you get on? Did you go through the bike to work and any nuggets or pieces of advice?

    For others that operate in this miniture world have you any other words of wisdom? Research suggests that going 6 speed makes sense if staying traditional power. Also seems like the carrier with the wheels and front bag mount are a very good idea. In two minds about the electron powered version. Online info would seem to indicate that it is quite the machine as per the video linked below but not sure.

    My route would be northside dart to kildare commuter perhaps using luas or not. Dublin side 3kms and probably 5kms at the KE end. Regular bike would do but issues arise with train space so foldable seems to make all those problems go away.

    Other thoughts or ideas welcome. Also not sure how I would look on one given I'm well over 6 foot.


    Leg power vs electron power:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwKD1dM4a44


    Pro leg power vs serious amateur road bike power for the laugh

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCAwg9OMa84



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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,205 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep


    I don't live in Dublin, but I have both a traditional and an electric Brompton.

    I live about 7-8km from where I work and the city centre with some small hills (maybe a total of 90m of elevation gain). If I am commuting in work clothes, I tend to take the electric version 90% of the time. If I am just going to the shops or a bar, or want a bit more exercise, or I am taking a train or bus along the way, I take the traditional. I don't find a huge difference in average speed between the two (maybe 1-2kmh), but there is a huge difference in effort and sweat to get to this speed. I also find the non electric slightly easier to transport folded (just a bit lighter and the bag is also a bit lighter with no battery).

    As you suggest I would go for six speed, rear rack, front bag mount (this is amazing), and maybe a dynamo front hub too.

    Happy to answer any questions. Don't worry about how you look - most of the people looking at you will be stuck in traffic and there is no better feeling than flying through traffic on a Brompton. I like both of these bikes, but the non-electric version is really an unconditional love! As I said above, it is the only one of my many many bikes that I know barring incident I will still own in 20 years.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,583 ✭✭✭traco


    Thanks for that - appreciate the feedback. You have kind of confirmed my thinking which is very helpful. Spin to the dart is about 2.5k, Connolly to Heuston 3.5k and then 5k at the other end. There is also the expressway bus at Heuston or the Luas between the stations depending on weather. So I think portability outweighs the electric benefits.

    Its hard to know whats in stock around Dublin as the websites seem to be listing the older models and not update with the letters.

    The C Line Urban seems the only current 6 speed option and there seems to be differences with some colours. Weight starts at 12.2kg. I'll need to make a trip into the city and see whats around for a test ride as not sure on the handlebar options either. For something so small they are a complicated little thing to configure.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,236 ✭✭✭Idleater


    There is a "longer" seatpost than standard. It gets you an extra 10 cm or something. Obviously the folded size has a higher saddle position. I specified it for my one when buying.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,166 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder


    i talked to a guy in the place out kilmacud direction a month or two back, he said they have approx 50 bromptons in stock.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,583 ✭✭✭traco


    Would that be Hollingsworth? Website is mycycle.ie and its showing a decent stock



  • Registered Users Posts: 488 ✭✭MangleBadger


    I always wonder about that website, as they seem to have stock of every size and every model for the brands they deal with.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,166 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder




  • Registered Users Posts: 11,740 ✭✭✭✭tomasrojo


    Hollingsworth in Kilmacud do have a lot of Brompton stuff. I go in there fairly often, as it's nearest bike shop to me. I bought a Brompton tube and tyre in there last week.They had it ready to go on a shelf, two varieties. I'd say their stock status on the website isn't far wrong.

    I never got the rear carrier installed. Does using it prevent you from using step 1 of the fold as the equivalent of the bike stand? I do that step 1 bike stand thing all the time.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,583 ✭✭✭traco


    My reseach thgus far has all been online but need to get over to have a look. Most of the videos I have seen online show the carrier and seems like one release and the rear wheel drops under and it just sits on the four little wheels. A popular cheap upgrade seems to be to swap those wheels to a slightly larger diameter to make it easier to roll and it also tils back better without rubbing the bump stop rubber suspension thing.

    I's still in two minds about one and considering another possibility but will start another thread on that to keep this one clean.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,205 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep


    I would say one Brompton thread is enough. The rear rack makes it a bit more stable when folded or when flipping the rear wheel to use as a stand. In about four years of Bromptoning, I've probably used it as a rack three or four times, always for packages. You can also get a back that goes on the rack in case you want to go touring etc, but that would mean you can't fold. Or if you don't want a rack, you can swap out the wheels to be more stable when folded



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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,740 ✭✭✭✭tomasrojo


    Yeah, that's what I meant, but I didn't phrase it very well: if you use the rear rack to carry stuff, you can't do step 1 of the fold without removing the load from the rear rack. I just use a backpack or a trailer when I want to carry more than will fit in the front basket I made for it, or the front luggage I bought for it. But, as you both say, it makes the kickstand-style Step 1 fold more stable anyway, so no harm in getting it at all.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,395 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    I think the upgrade to the rolling wheels might be more important somewhere in London where it's a long way in and out of stations with big crowds. In Dublin I just unfold my (not a Brompton) folding bike and walk it to where I'm going.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,395 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    The flatter the handler bars the sporter the riding position. People who want a more relaxed sit up position get the higher less flat bars.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,395 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    I think someone is either an urban commuter or touring. If someone's commuting with a lot of luggage they are doing it wrong. That said people might have a long cycle section on their commute and no space to leave a change of clothes etc.

    There's a bit of trial and error getting the compute load right.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,583 ✭✭✭traco


    In the interst of anyone else searching a looking for info its only right I should update.

    So I went to mycycles in Kilmacud on Wednesday (AKA Hollingsworth). Lads were very sound and Tony knows his stuff and a serious amount of nice stock. There is a nice street outside the shop that has a bit of an incline as you go away from the shop. Its also concrete so probably the nastiest stuff to ride on with ridges and joints. So it was good to get the feel of the bike on a bit of a drag, then freewheeling back down and also to experience ride on the poor surface. I’d say its only 2 or 3% incline. Road is about 350m long, flat for about 150m then climbs.

    Started on a single speed, I'd say they have it while for demo or loans and did a spin up and down. I was expecting a bone jarring run but the total opposite, a bit like a sofa, mainly because the rear wheel was way to soft. Back in and pumped and a few up and downs. Firmer ride but perfectly acceptable. There is a big rubber damper that sort of acts like a suspension bush where the top of the rear triangle contacts the seat tube so that also gives a bit of suspension, You do notice some flex in the frame when hard on the pedals or brakes but nothing that you don't adapt to after a few mins. Its just different than a traditional frame. I could hold about 20kph going up but it was work, not excessive but I wouldn't like to be doing it for a few km in work gear. So I was impressed but I don't think a single speed makes sense. Any steep hill would be really hard and you spin out around 27kph ish?? So more gears for me I reckoned.

    Back into the shop and a bike swap to a six speed electric. It's nose heavier when you lift it but I didn't notice anything much when riding it. Started on Level 1 and repeated the route on 2 & 3 and then with the power assist off just to see. The battery pack and the front motor seem to add a little stability compared to the other, hard to explain but it felt more "planted" and I had more confidence in it.

    On L1 I had to do a little work on the incline but it zipped along pleasantly on the flat, L2 was spot on and as I could drop to a gear that allowed me to spin at a nice rpm it was handy to maintain 22 kph (again watch was slow to react so may be closer to 25kph who knows) on the incline and on the run back down it tipped along nicely and shifting up you need to be really pushing on to spin out if its even possible. L3 was a bit like being a passenger but you still have to work the pedals as it’s a torque sensor I think although the rate of work is very low so you aren't getting away with an entirely free ride.

    Final test was done with the power off completely. When off it rides fine and with the extra gears it was easier to maintain a nice cadence rather than muscling it on the single speed so I would not be concerned about having to cycle it a distance with a dead battery. You won’t be winning any races but aside from the weight you aren’t fighting the battery like you do with some electric bikes. The hub motor has actually less drag than the factory hub dynamo for anyone interested.

    Overall I really enjoyed them both. My background is engineering and I really like the little quirky funny shaped bike. I found both of them a lot of fun even if I look goofy being so big on such a little weird shaped bike. It really is a great example of the final product being so much greater than the value of individual parts would suggest.

    So watch this space……….



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,395 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    Best electric motors they spend a lot of time getting the drag down.

    Nice summary thanks. I'd like one but there's nothing enough wrong with my current dahon (20"), to justify upgrading other than its more compact and has some neat features.

    Brompton have a tri fold and steel frame. Others have an aluminium frame and bi fold. So there's quite a difference in geometry and concept. Brompton just has the edge for compactness and proven design features.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,145 ✭✭✭✭Hurrache


    Nice review/update.

    Pre covid I was in the market to buy one, not sure electric versions were even around then, but post Covid with little time in an office anymore I don't really need one.

    I walked by Cycleways on Ormond Quay the weekend and they had a full display in their window made up of a host of folded up Bromptons.



  • Registered Users Posts: 42 Los Cafeteros


    Ended up getting a P-line back in May 23 from penny farthing in city centre. Was debating between C vs P-line(extra cost and gearing) but a few months later I/m very happy with the choice. Makes carrying up to 3rd floor apartment + in and out of shops easier. Gear range is narrow but find it perfect for urban cycling. Got the borough medium roll top bag for the front block- again perfect for lunch box, rain gear +/- small amount groceries. Didnt get the rear rack as wanted to keep the weight down and didn't think I'd have a reason to roll the bike when folded given the lighter weight of the P-line. Good luck with your purchase.



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