Author Topic: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton  (Read 4264 times)

Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« on: September 28, 2020, 08:24:37 pm »
I know I'm mad - but it must be a "laugh" to ride!!

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2020, 08:30:03 pm »
They have to be ridden ‘sympathetically’, particularly if you are larger than average. Don’t bother riding out of the saddle and don’t pull on the bars in any way. The later editions had extra bracing (and I think a steel seat tube) and ride a bit better. The gearing was always set too high.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2020, 08:35:05 pm »
A chap I know - Tarpaulin Dave notp but known by many here -  rode a Bickerton through Israel many years ago.

In a moment of foolish nostalgia he acquired another a few years back. At Birmingham NEC station he put it back from folded to, arguably, bike shaped, jumped on and peddled down the platform.
Regrettably the front wheel was not connected to the handlebars and as he looked along the platform it took him right to the very edge. I was impressed by his exit from the bike.
It was very funny.
He sorted that out and 10 minutes later the gear cable broke.

I'd not bother if you value life or limb. :)
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2020, 08:38:13 pm »
A friend has one.
I had a go.
It isn't an experience I'd care to repeat.

Tim Hall

  • Victoria is my queen
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2020, 08:42:01 pm »
Hasn't Adam got one, with frame stiffening modifications?
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2020, 08:45:44 pm »
Dunno about frame stiffening, but the handlebars are all over the parish.

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2020, 08:48:55 pm »
you're not putting me off this marvellous machine!!!

how was it possible that so (many) even some were sold?

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2020, 08:50:33 pm »
It's a dog.

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2020, 08:51:39 pm »
It's a dog.

I really miss our Springer Spaniel - my daughter had 3 days off work when she, the dog, died

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2020, 09:04:07 pm »
The Bickerton was the first compact folding bike. There was literally no competition until the Brompton and Dahon blew it away.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2020, 09:09:28 pm »
Lt. Col. Larrington (retd.) had four (4).  They all broke.  Eventually he got a “Bickerton Californian”, which was a rebadged Dahon and didn’t break.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2020, 09:12:28 pm »
I have one. If you can get past the wobbly handlebars they actually ride pretty well. It's slightly lighter than the equivalent spec Brompton and a much nicer shape to carry. They take decades to fold and unfold though.

I never figured out how they're meant to hang together when folded, or if you're meant to always put it in the bag (I don't have one).

And yes, the gearing is ludicrously high for a bike that physically prohibits the rider from applying much torque to the pedals. Easily fixed with a bigger rear sprocket.

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2020, 09:24:59 pm »
We inherited one a couple of weeks ago. It had been in a loft in its bag once the owner established that it didn't go too well with his 6' 4" 17 stone frame. About half a mile I believe. It's effectively brand new.

Everything pretty much appears to work, but don't pull back on the handlebars.

I wouldn't do an FNRttC on one.
Rust never sleeps

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2020, 10:19:22 pm »
I know I'm mad - but it must be a "laugh" to ride!!

Yeah, they're interesting as in trying to ride a bike drunk.  There is play in every part of the bike.


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2020, 10:20:17 pm »
I've never seen YACF so unanimous about bicycles.  What's going on?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2020, 10:24:58 pm »
We inherited one a couple of weeks ago. It had been in a loft in its bag once the owner established that it didn't go too well with his 6' 4" 17 stone frame. About half a mile I believe. It's effectively brand new.

Everything pretty much appears to work, but don't pull back on the handlebars.

I wouldn't do an FNRttC on one.

Best bit about mine was someone giving me £150 for it.  It was in poor condition and needed work.

In my defence, he offered me £200 cash and his travel card to get home.  Who carries £200 in cash to buy a bickerton?

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2020, 11:20:11 pm »
I've never seen YACF so unanimous about bicycles.  What's going on?

We have all ridden Bickertons and can directly compare them with Bromptons.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2020, 10:41:07 am »
I haven't but I've ridden a 20" wheel Dahon and that put me off small wheeled folders

Though the engineer in me does like a Moulton  :hand:
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

sprogs

  • from your big sister, Steve.
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2020, 05:07:33 pm »
I've had two, and I'm trying (unsuccessfully, so far) to persuade my friend Ian to sell me his. I put drops on one and they both rode fine once I had become familiar with it.

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2020, 05:34:10 pm »
I haven't but I've ridden a 20" wheel Dahon and that put me off small wheeled folders

Though the engineer in me does like a Moulton  :hand:

I've always liked my 20" Dahon Speed TR. It rides like a big bike on the road.
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2020, 07:36:57 pm »
I got a Bickerton a few years ago.  After a quick ride of 100m (that's metres, not miles), I quickly concluded that Harry Bickerton could never have ridden his own invention. 

There was so much flex from the ridiculous handlebars, that it was not possible to safely ride it other than at low speed, in a straight line, not helped by the daft 14" front wheel.  So I swiftly found a donor unbranded folding bike and nicked the forks with a conventional stem and folding steerer, added Brompton wheels front and back including an 8 speed Sturmey Archer hub, and a rack which can take panniers, and it's a much better bike. 

Four years ago it went on the Eurostar to Avignon and Rebecca (on a Brompton) & I had 2 lovely weeks touring around.  And I went up Mont Ventoux on it.  A few people were a bit miffed to be overtaken by me on a Bickerton!  I still use it regularly to pop into town.

No, it doesn't fold as neatly as a Brompton if you're going on a train.  But everyone has a Brompton.  So it's nice to be a bit different.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2020, 07:42:09 pm »
I haven't but I've ridden a 20" wheel Dahon and that put me off small wheeled folders

Though the engineer in me does like a Moulton  :hand:

I've always liked my 20" Dahon Speed TR. It rides like a big bike on the road.

In my defence I had ridden 99%+ of my miles that year on a recumbent and it may have just felt very odd.  I'm nearer 50:50 this year, and I might feel a bit different.

I did manage to sell the Dahon for a decent profit though
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2020, 12:47:50 am »
I rode my Bickerton on a 10 mile each way commute for a few months before I got my Brompton. The constant flexing and creaking made me constantly fear it was going to snap in two, but in its defence it never actually broke  :) My favourite thing was that the central hinge lever would constantly work its way undone as I rode along but I could just tap it back into place with my foot as I pedalled  :o 

It’s been sat, unloved, at the back of my garage for the last 10 years.

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2020, 05:56:52 am »
I haven't but I've ridden a 20" wheel Dahon and that put me off small wheeled folders

Though the engineer in me does like a Moulton  :hand:

I've always liked my 20" Dahon Speed TR. It rides like a big bike on the road.

In my defence I had ridden 99%+ of my miles that year on a recumbent and it may have just felt very odd.  I'm nearer 50:50 this year, and I might feel a bit different.

I did manage to sell the Dahon for a decent profit though
No defence needed  :) Think I am going to sell mine now I have a Moulton.
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2020, 12:31:06 pm »
just bought one that needs some work - as they say "watch this space"