Author Topic: Six or Two ?  (Read 2685 times)

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Six or Two ?
« on: August 09, 2018, 07:52:13 am »
Having put down a deposit on a new Brompton nickel superlight cross town shopper, I need to decide on the number of gears and such stuff before it gets built in September.

So I ask the gallery........

2 or 6 ?

Kojaks or marathons ?

Big plastic luggage block on front or rack ?

Cambium black carved or Brompton generic ?

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 08:05:13 am »
2
Kojaks
Luggage block & S bag with the handle sawn off
I've just changed my Brompton generic for a Joseph Kuosac lightweight from SJS (much more comfortable)

ETA - I'd like to see that when you collect it.

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 08:20:28 am »
That can be arranged, I'll be in London town from October.

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 08:26:38 am »
Kojak Cambium.

Gears? if the two is the "auo change" cable-less, two.

If it's a shopping bike, whatever makes it easier to carry your shopping

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 10:12:16 am »
No, it's the regular derailleur type two speed.

Has anyone put a larger chain ring on theirs ?

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 10:35:20 am »
If you want blinged-up Bromptons with silly-big chainrings, the Brommie thread on LFGSS is probably the place to go looking. TBH I'd probably go for 6 speeds over 2; unless you're using it as a stripped down commuter on the flat I reckon the low gears are more valuable than saving the weight, and more so if you're going to be carrying loads.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2018, 10:47:49 am »
HK and I both have 6sp without racks. The 2sp doesn't have low enough or high enough gears for anything other than short flattish stuff in town (admittedly the B's design intent).
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2018, 10:55:25 am »
Has anyone put a larger chain ring on theirs ?

Yes. Malvolio, formerly OTP, very kindly donated a 56t track chainset to me when my original Brompton chainset disintegrated. It was originally a 3-speed, but I converted it to singlespeed. Bollocks to low gears. If/when I buy another Brompton, it will definitely be the 2-speed option. I suppose it depends where you ride. I had one significant hill on my regular commute route, which I could winch myself up in the singlespeed configuration without too much difficulty, but I might feel differently if I had lots of hills to tackle.

Definitely the front luggage block - not least because you can leave the luggage in situ with the rear triangle folded under. Also because the S-bag is great.

I'm not a huge fan of the Kojak tyres. I don't think they're actually faster than the standard Brompton tyres or Marathons, and they're definitely less puncture resistant.

Can't comment on the saddle. The current Brompton saddle is a vast improvement on the foam monstrosity that came with mine but I've not used a Cambium for comparison.

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2018, 11:16:14 am »
I'll be riding from West Ham/Fenchurch Street to Kennington, so it's fairly flat cross town stuff.

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2018, 11:24:03 am »
My choices were based around my folder, a Dahon Mu Uno; I love the simplicity of getting on and riding, virtually no cables (single speed, coaster rear brake), I think the gearing is about 65" and I find that's perfect for about town, including whatever hills you get in London.

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2018, 11:24:58 am »
I'll be riding from West Ham/Fenchurch Street to Kennington, so it's fairly flat cross town stuff.

I think the steepest incline on that route is on the south side of London Bridge.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2018, 11:25:52 am »
I'll be riding from West Ham/Fenchurch Street to Kennington, so it's fairly flat cross town stuff.

You certainly don't need more than two gears for that - one for pulling away from the lights, one for cruising.

The London leg of my regular commute was Victoria to South Bank and that was fine on singlespeed - like what Ham said.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2018, 11:30:59 am »
I think the steepest incline on that route is on the south side of London Bridge.

Or the south side of Southwark Bridge, depending on which way you go.

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2018, 11:33:44 am »
Indeed.
Neither is steep enough to warrant going 'Wheeeeeeeeeee!'

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2018, 11:36:09 am »
I'm waiting for a new Brompton to arrive, the old one having been declared uneconomical to repair after 11 years near-daily use.
I've gone for 3 gears which is what I had before, but I ride around Edinburgh and you've had better informed comments on gears from others.
I will shift the luggage block from the old bike to the new; front luggage is the way to go with stuff you are carrying regularly. I have also spec'd a rack, as I had on the old one; it is much more stable with a rack when you tuck the back wheel under, and the rack is useful for the odd bit of bigger/heavier luggage shifting.
I've gone for Brompton generic black but I don't care what colour it is!

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2018, 11:41:09 am »
6

If you're spending that much then it seems a shame not to have the option to take it touring with luggage at some point.  If you will never carry luggage, or go anywhere hilly, then 2.

I have a 3spd and I fitted larger chainring so I wasn't spinning-out on the flat.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2018, 11:41:46 am »
Something else worth considering is that it actually handles a bit better when there's some weight over the front wheel.
I can't comment on how handling is affected when there's weight on the rack.

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2018, 11:46:36 am »
Something else worth considering is that it actually handles a bit better when there's some weight over the front wheel.
+lots. It makes a big difference.
Quote
I can't comment on how handling is affected when there's weight on the rack.
One problem with the rack is you can't have anything sticking out to the side very much or you get heel strike (even something like a big shoe box is an issue).

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2018, 12:24:04 pm »

You certainly don't need more than two gears for that - one for pulling ......... one for cruising.

Beginning to sound like Rogerzilla's ....

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2018, 12:50:22 pm »
2 or 6 ?

2 is best regarded as a single-speed with a bonus extra gear that doesn't cost any real weight.

6 if you actually need gears.  Or buy a single-speed and retrofit a 8 or more speed hub at vast expense.


It mostly depends on whether you're optimising for weight of the folded bike, or ability to ride up hills [without sweating like a cyclist].  The Brompton drivetrain is a crud-magnet and the derailleur is the first thing to suffer.  There's merit to a hub-only solution on this basis.


Quote
Kojaks or marathons ?

I went for the Brompton ones, which they've now retired in favour of non-plus Marathons.  It's a reasonable compromise.  Kojaks aren't especially fast (but grip nicely on tarmac), and are a liability if you ever do any off-road at all.


Quote
Big plastic luggage block on front or rack ?

Definitely get the luggage block, even if you don't plan to use it.  It's cheaper to get it with the bike than as a retrofit, and the front luggage is one of the cleverest things about the Brompton.

The rear rack is best regarded as a stability enhancement for the folded bike with added mudguard protection.  It means you can flip the wheel under in lieu of a kickstand, and makes the easy wheels work better (particularly important for shorter riders who can't carry the folded bike with a straight arm).  Rear rack luggage can't be trolleyed around on the folded bike like front luggage can, and the rack is too low down for panniers.  I use it as overspill luggage capacity only.  There's a clever technique of resting a full-sized rucksack on the rear rack and securing the straps to a dowel attached to the saddle rails that works well for multi-modal touring.

Saddlebags work well with Bromptons.  Especially if you're too tall for the standard seatpost.

The bike's handling is somewhat improved with some extra weight on the front.


Quote
Cambium black carved or Brompton generic ?

YMMV.  I was quite impressed with the Brompton generic, although not to the point of keeping it.



Other Brompton specification tips:

Get the firm suspension block unless you have spine problems or weigh as much as a fairy fart.
Don't get the Shimano dynamo hub; it's crap, and built into a pointlessly heavy wheel.  Get the SON lighting or build a decent wheel around the Shutter Precision one for half the price.
Titanium is a rust-avoidance strategy, the weight saving is negligible.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2018, 12:54:32 pm »
Titanium is a rust-avoidance strategy, the weight saving is negligible.

Agreed. If/when I next buy a Brompton, I will choose the Superlight model if I can afford it, but only for rust-avoidance reasons.

If I wanted a genuinely superlight folder, I'd get a Hummingbird, which is a thing of much loveliness.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2018, 07:07:28 pm »
Six gears but then I live in the land of the hills. Despite that, there's still no gear for headwinds, though possibly that's because such a thing has to be discovered. I like the bag on the front, it looks like it shouldn't work, but in practice it's super-fine. My only disappointments are that it is quite heavy to lug around and that I didn't get decent wheels for lugging it around. The ones that come with rackless Brommies are shit (though I think they improved them in more recent editions). I avoid rust by ensuring a protective coat of dirt at all times.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2018, 09:35:34 pm »
I'm waiting for a new Brompton to arrive, the old one having been declared uneconomical to repair after 11 years near-daily use.
Curiosity demands that I ask what wore out?

Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2018, 10:03:40 pm »
2 speed can easily be upgraded to 6.

Kojaks only if you enjoy repairing punctures and replacing slashed tyres.

A front luggage block is a very easy retrofit, so you can leave it until you acquire a bag.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Six or Two ?
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2018, 10:23:03 pm »
Having put down a deposit on a new Brompton nickel superlight cross town shopper, I need to decide on the number of gears and such stuff before it gets built in September.

So I ask the gallery........

2 or 6 ?

6

Quote
Kojaks or marathons ?

Marathons,

Quote
Big plastic luggage block on front or rack ?

Both. Rack makes it a lot easier to manipulate when folded, esp for wheeling round a shop. Block makes it possible to put the basket on the front,

Quote
Cambium black carved or Brompton generic ?

The Brompton saddle sucked for me, YMMV.

J
--
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