Author Topic: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?  (Read 5953 times)

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« on: 19 June, 2022, 05:33:16 pm »
Looking at my brompton, it was a bit wobbly to ride.  It had been allegedly serviced when it had a new rear triangle and forks.

So went through the bike, as the headset was loose and leaking oil, and felt loose.  Regreased and the cleaned regreased and properly adjusted the front wheel cones and then tweaked the rear sturmey archer rear wheel as there was too much play at the wheel.

Rides nicely now but still the frame feels wobbly.

Is that the usual.

rogerzilla

  • When n+1 gets out of hand
Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #1 on: 19 June, 2022, 05:48:53 pm »
They are twitchy, yes,  Small-wheeled bikes are, unless the designers compensate with a slack head angle and less fork offset.  But with a folder, those things are constrained by where the front wheel ends up when folded.

You get used to it quickly but right turns (or left turns in France) will be a bit nervy, and it is near-impossible to ride one hands-off.
Hard work sometimes pays off in the end, but laziness ALWAYS pays off NOW.

Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #2 on: 19 June, 2022, 07:32:17 pm »
Do you have a front bag?  I bit of weight on the front settles the steering down a bit.

Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #3 on: 19 June, 2022, 07:45:50 pm »
After a slight starting-off wobble, I've found ours handles well.  A friend has been known to descend at speed on his, with his hands behind his back in a sort of reverse superman pose.

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #4 on: 19 June, 2022, 08:43:25 pm »
Do you have a front bag?  I bit of weight on the front settles the steering down a bit.

No, have a bag but no block.

After a slight starting-off wobble, I've found ours handles well.  A friend has been known to descend at speed on his, with his hands behind his back in a sort of reverse superman pose.

Genuine wow.

Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #5 on: 19 June, 2022, 09:45:42 pm »
I ride Moultons, they similarly feel wobbly at first. (I also owned a Brompton about ten years ago, but didn't enjoy riding it due to the lack of front suspension, which necessitated watching the road surface very attentively to avoid road defects.)

The true term is more responsive! I have always (so far) been able to catch the bike when the front wheel has slipped sideways on a wet patch, something I have never managed on a large wheeler. Yes, it does mean you can't ride no-hands (at least for most of us), but who wants to anyway?

rogerzilla

  • When n+1 gets out of hand
Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #6 on: 19 June, 2022, 09:54:13 pm »
F-frame Moultons are less twitchy than the spaceframes, possibly reflecting market preferences at the time.  I don't ride hands-off much these days, not since Chris Froome torpedoed his remaining career.
Hard work sometimes pays off in the end, but laziness ALWAYS pays off NOW.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #7 on: 19 June, 2022, 10:31:02 pm »
I tried riding no-hands last weekend, rapidly decided I was very out of practice. I'm not 15 any more
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #8 on: 20 June, 2022, 12:31:16 am »
F-frame Moultons are less twitchy than the spaceframes, possibly reflecting market preferences at the time.  I don't ride hands-off much these days, not since Chris Froome torpedoed his remaining career.

Having ridden both, and prefering my 20inch moulton but the F I rode was very worn and unlooked after so not sure I agree.




The true term is more responsive! I have always (so far) been able to catch the bike when the front wheel has slipped sideways on a wet patch, something I have never managed on a large wheeler. Yes, it does mean you can't ride no-hands (at least for most of us), but who wants to anyway?

One handed so I can chat on the phone, drink a milkshake....no handed so I can juggle three batons ;)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #9 on: 20 June, 2022, 08:29:46 am »
Twitchy is a better word for it than wobbly. Certainly very 'responsive'. It is possible to ride a Brompton no-handed, but not easy.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #10 on: 20 June, 2022, 08:43:08 am »
I don’t find them wobbly but I think it depends what you are used to riding.   I switch between a recumbent, road bike and Brommie.  When you first ride a Brommie  they feel twitchy till you adjust your muscle memory which may be more accustomed to a road bike.  I remember after I’d been riding a tandem with a blind friend, I’d get back on my road bike to ride home, I was like a drunk man riding my road bike as I was still compensating for having a rider on the back of a tandem. The more you ride your Brommie your muscle memory will adapt to its characteristics to eliminate that wobbly feeling. In summary it is you that is causing it to wobble.

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #11 on: 20 June, 2022, 11:15:25 am »
They are specially if you haven't ridden one for a while and come from 26" and up sized wheel.

I was just on one after nearly 3 years not being on a bike at all. The first mile or so I was wobbly but then I was nice and straight.
Current mood: AARRRGGGGHHHHH !!! #bollockstobrexit

Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #12 on: 18 March, 2023, 09:49:04 pm »
I bought one and was just getting used to the twitch and was getting over confident and riding faster after a week. I then went over a pothole that my 700c wheeled bike rolled over.  I think I came round quickly with a sore wrist and an unknown number of people asking if I was alright. 7 weeks later my broken elbow was no longer painful I got back on it and had to learn to cope with the twitch and a reasonable fear of dodgy road surfaces. I am no longer confident riding it at speed  after 2 years of commuting.

Yes,  they are twitchy but you compensate for it quickly.

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #13 on: 18 March, 2023, 10:01:06 pm »
I found the S-type Brompton considerably easier to control than the M-type, though the natural oscillation frequency didn't seem any different.

The limitations of small wheels in the face of crap road surfaces (without the aid of suspension) is another matter.

My confidence with riding the Brompton at speed is limited by having to book the braking in advance.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #14 on: 18 March, 2023, 10:33:56 pm »
I found the S-type Brompton considerably easier to control than the M-type

Interesting. I’ve never ridden an S apart from one short test ride when I was thinking of buying one, so that never occurred to me. Makes sense though - S bars are lower and wider.

Quote
My confidence with riding the Brompton at speed is limited by having to book the braking in advance.

That’s another thing you learn to compensate for. The current generation of Brompton brakes are considerably better than the older ones.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Are all bromptons wobbly to ride?
« Reply #15 on: 19 March, 2023, 04:06:54 am »
Lower bars tend to be more stable because of more weight on the grips. Bromptons use a low-trail geometry and they are more stable with additional weight (loaded Brompton bag) on the front tyre. Together with the grips being ahead of the headset axis, which increases self-centring, despite the low trail.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...