Widening Brompton rear triangle

Widening Brompton rear triangle

I've got to that dicey part of a Brompton 8 speed conversion where I open up the rear triangle to take an Alfine 8 hub. As posted elsewhere, the dropouts on a Brompton are 112mm apart. Shimano hubs are typically 135mm, so that's asking the tubes of the rear triangle to bend apart by 23mm - quite an ask when the tubes themselves are only 180mm long from the point where they are braced together, to their rear end at the dropout. On this job I'm experimenting with swapping the large serrated 10.7mm locknut on the non-drive side for a much smaller 4.4mm one. (From SJS Cycles).   This saving of 6.3mm width brings down the requirement to widen the triangle to just under 129mm. The good news is, I've achieved this already - well nearly. By opening up the triangle to 150mm under compression, I found it sprang back to 128mm - nearly there! However, I decided to try a little experiment. Intuitively,...
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The B75 – review

The B75 – review

My's son's Brompton was stolen in London last week. It's his main mode of transport, and was a gift to him nearly 5 years ago when he left for Uni. It's a very unique bike - converted to an Alfine 8 speed hub, with 32 spokes in the rear wheel.       If you come across it, look for the frame number: 436821 Thankfully the bike was insured - but how to replace something quite so unique? I decided to buy the stripped down version of the Brompton - the B75 - and use this as the basis to recreate the old bike. The B75 first came on the market at £750 - pretty reasonable for a three-speed Brompton - but has since gone up to £850. (Pandemic? Brexit? More people cycling?) At the same time, other Brompton versions have also shot up in price. I bought my M6L 4 years ago through cycle to work, and the shop price was around £1000. Today, a typical price...
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Don’t upset the apple cart

Don’t upset the apple cart

It's doing a great job! I picked up this old Brompton basket second hand a while ago, and it has done great service carrying messy loads of fruit and veg from the allotment. And this time of year, it's apples. I love the big capacity bucket this things has, and the ease with which you can clip and unclip the whole load and carry it off. And because it's mounted on the frame (not the forks) it feels very stable. When you've unloaded, the basket folds down flat - easy to store - like the Brompton itself. ...
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A breeze over the bridge

A breeze over the bridge

Its 31 years since I cycled over the Forth Road Bridge on my way from Edinburgh to the Isle of Iona. Last week it felt like time to do it again - on the Brompton this time as a family day out. A modest 26 mile round trip, across the lovely centuries old Cramond Brig, and through the leafy Dalmeny estate to Queensferry for some post- lockdown ice-creams. Once again the Brompton gave a comfy, untiring ride!...
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Brompton Explore – suburbia in a pith-helmet

Brompton Explore – suburbia in a pith-helmet

Perhaps Brompton Suburbia would have been a better name for this new edition, which looks like it's dressed up for a fancy dress party, not for serious touring. Donning a pith helmet and plus-fours doesn't make you an explorer. I'm disappointed because I'd hoped that Brompton would have used their engineering genius to solve some basic problems that make the Brompton inadequate for touring. Like the fact that the rack can't take panniers. And the gearing is too narrow and still too high. And there are no mudguards. And I'm frustrated, because the Brompton has a lot going for it as a tourer. I've taken mine twice round the Scottish isles of Mull and Iona, and wild camped on remote beaches and hillsides. It's not  a fast touring bike, but with its small wheels it doesn't tire you out (getting going is always easy), and its frame suspension keeps you comfortable. And I'm suspicious, because this edition feels more like a marketing ploy...
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