Brompton M6L - 6 Speed - Raw Laquer
I finally have a Brompton! My dream folding bike. I wasn't that fussed about the color at first but it is growing on me. If I have to get rid of every bike in my collection then this will be the one to keep. Takes up the least space and rides like a full sized bike. Even though it has 16" wheels. It has 6 speeds with a custom gear system that maintains chain tension no matter how much you shift or what gear you are in. Fully engineered and made in the U.K. I will add more specs and a full review once I have ridden it later on. This bike is about 10 times better than my previous Dahon Mu Uno. The Uno was a single speed and was just as light as this, if anything a bit lighter. This bike though is in a class of it's own and in my opinion is the worlds best folding bike when it comes to the folded size, build, portability and the ride quality.
What I've Added to It...
Biologic Water Bottle Cage
Sadly the only flaw with this bike is that it does not come with bosses on the frame to mount a bottle cage. I thought about the rear saddle mount like my other bike but then I didn't want to block the bag loops on the rear of the seat. Just in case I ever wanted to mount a bag there. So I searched the web and came across this clever little bottle cage made by Biologic. Intended for Dahon and Tern bike users I guess, it is perfect for what I need. Has a rubber piece that sits against the frame and the velcro strap holds it on tight. Doesn't move at all. Had to wait for about 2 weeks to get it from Germany of all places!
Planet Bike Blinky's - Front and Rear LED Lights
I added these lights for functionality. The Brompton does come with dynamo lights as an option but I did not have a say in it as I bought this bike as is. Still, these lights are super reliable and are waterproof and easy to install and turn on/off. Got them from the U.S.A.
So this is how the bike folds:
Bring the rear wheel under. This is done by the flick of a switch just under the rear triangle.Lift up the bike by the seat and the rear wheel folds under the bike. This is also known as the 'parked' position, negating the need for a bike stand.
Unscrew the front hinge and the front wheel moves to the center of the bike, all while still facing forward. There is a black hook that hooks onto the frame. See the pictures above.
Drop the seat post. By bringing the seatpost all the way down, it locks the frame together. The bike will never come apart. It can also now be rolled on the three small wheels it sits on.
Fold down the handlebars. Unscrew the second hinge clamp and the handlebars drop on their own and click into a pressure lock that is located at the top of the front fork. The bike is now completely folded.
Trip to Canberra - ACT (Oct 2013)
My wife was was heading over for a conference. I hadn't been back to Civic for ages and used to go heaps when I was a kid. I absolutely just love this city. Thought I'd take the Brompton there for a full test along with the kids scooters. We all had a mini holiday! To be honest I had already ridden the Brommie to work a couple of times but seeing that Canberra is so bike friendly with so many lanes, I thought I'd use the opportunity. I'll be adding more text later but to sum up, it was one of the best rides I had and I will be coming back for more. See some pictures below showing the bike lanes, parliament house in the distance, and some general photos of the city near London Circuit.
Brompton M6L Meets Tern Verge S11i
Recently a colleague at work discovered that I was into folding bikes, more specifically a Brompton. A bit hard to miss considering my wallpaper on my pc is plastered with Bromptons and I've got the Brompton logo stuck on my monitor. So we got talking and turned out he rode a Tern. So we decided to meet up at a park near the office and take each others bikes out for a test ride and look at the differences between the two. I found the Tern Verge S11i to be a very classy and rock solid bike. It has 20" wheels compared to the Brommie which has 16". The shifting on it is super smooth too with 11 speeds. The handlebar can be adjusted to almost any angle with a simple system. A very comfortable bike to ride and like the Brompton, it also comes with Schwalbe Marathon puncture resistant tyres. See some pics below taken at Parramatta Park, NSW.
Christmas Eve 2013 Ride Into Work
It's December 24th, so why am I at work today! Yes I am updating the website at work. It's not like I'm going to be productive or anything, especially on Christmas Eve! Yesterday I gave the mini velo, my Gios Antico, a ride into work. Today it's the Brompton's turn. One of the reasons I rode this bike was because it has a large touring bag which attaches to the front. Also it saves me carrying anythign on my back as this bike has a more upright riding position. My wife is off work and has gone to do some last minute shopping for x'mas. The in-laws are looking after the kids. So I told her if she forgets or couldn't find what she wanted then I'd be able to buy it next door. I'm work next to a huge shopping mall. The bag has heaps of space left in it. Plus it comes with it's own rain cover and I also packed my rain jacket. We've been having some pretty hot days lately, so most late afternoons it starts to rain a bit. So I am well prepared. Plus the bike also has fenders and mud flaps to help keep me dry ('ish!). The ride into work was great and the bike performed well. As usual I got a few stares from people as Bromptons are abit unusual looking.
Update March 2014
Rode the Brommie into work on 14/3/2014 (Friday). Was gonna be heading into the city straight after work so took the folder instead. My wife picked me up from work and I just chucked the bike and bag into the car and off we went. I have finally installed the Brooks saddle onto the bike and it took a bit of fiddling due to the technical difficulties with the seat post and pentaclip arrangement, but I got there in the end. Well worth the effort as this seat was so comfortable on the ride in. It's like it was built for the bike! Also I had about three changes of clothes and two pairs of shoes i the bag as well as my toiletries and a towel. And it still felt fine riding it. Mainly because the bag and mount are attached to the frame and not the handlebars. This means it doesn't turn with the bars and throws you off balance. Below is a shot of the seat installed and the other photo is of my bike in the car park bathroom with me when I had just arrived at work in the early hours. Didn't have to lock it up or anything. Just rolled it into the bathroom and started getting sorted.
Time to update the grips! - Biologic ARX Grips with T-Tool
Got some new grips for the Brommie. Have been looking to replace them for a while now. These are new old stock (NOS) that I scored for $20 on ebay. They are Biologic grips which are normally used for Dahon and Tern folding bikes. They look more like Ergon grips. They also feature a hex tool or ‘T-Tool’ inside the right grip. This gives three common bicycle hex keys – 4mm, 5mm and 6mm.. Handy to have for a quick tighten/adjustment whilst on the road. Will update the site when they are fitted.