It’s not often you see one of these, in such good condition. An original Brompton T5.

 This pristine model illustrates so many of the characteristic features of the Brompton of 20 years ago. Here on the left is the rather rigid plastic handlebar grip, and the slim, rod-like brake lever with a bulbous end. On the right is the 5-speed shifter, which operated the 5-speed hub gear. Below you can see the older form of narrow, sandwich type hinges, discontinued in 2002 due to a high incidence of failure in the weld (or brazing). (I know this from my own painful experience!)

The T5 came with its own dynamo and lights (a good idea then, but battery lights have become so much better since then).



The rack had these funny, tough little wheels attached, one of which from my old 1995 Brompton has survived as a replacement pan lid handle on one of my saucepans!


This model even has the original, not-very-thrilling right hand plastic pedal, which on most old Bromptons will have been replaced by the aluminium version. (Below)

And finally, there’s the original rack, (below) with its built-in black bungees, and the 5-speed hub. The original chainwheel takes a wide 1/8″ chain.

A few years ago I competed in the Brompton World Championships, and every competitor was given a ‘medal’ made out of the rear sprocket of a Brompton. And yes, it was a 1/8″ width – making me wonder if Brompton had been left with thousands of these things unsold, when they switched to the more convention 3/32″ chain width.

Anyhoo… it was a pleasure to stumble upon this museum-piece, which must have been wrapped in cotton wool for decades. Either that, or it had one, very careful owner.

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