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The Brompton Folding Bike

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Hey TT,

 

does anyone on here have experience with a Brompton folding bike, and might care to share some thoughts of their commute on the German roads?

 

We are two considering getting 2 that would fit in the trunk of our Smart where our space is knapp. We've tested out a few models by Dohon and Tern but they just weren't that smooth.. and we're waiting to hit up a Brompton dealer to check out the real thing, something we have been drooling over online at http://brompton.co.uk/.

 

If anyone has some thoughts to share on life with their Brompton (or their folding bike generally) please feel welcomed!

 

Thanks in advance and happy biking this summer...

post-172199-13387036048173.jpg

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I've been commuting on my Brompton for a month or so (must be my mid-life crisis coming on...).

 

First leg of my commute is from home to the train station in the morning. I then fold my bike and cover it - this means DB treat is at a suitcase rather than a bike and I can get away with not buying a bicycle ticket.

 

It also means I can sit in the "proper" seating areas and leave my bike in a luggage space rather than have to go to the specific bicycle areas with folding seats. A far more comfortable experience!

 

In town I get off the train, unbag and unfold and cycle to work.

 

The return trip is obviously similar, but in reverse.

 

With practice, the folding/unfolding can be performed in around 20 seconds. Get used to some funny looks and a few questions from interested passers-by!

 

For me, the biggest annoyance is that the small wheels amplify bumps in bad road surfaces - it helps to plan a route with prior knowledge of if there are cobbles on the way!

 

Also don't expect to be jumping up and down from kerbs too easily, quite an essential skill for the urban cyclist.

 

A big plus point is that you can take the bike almost anywhere, be it under your desk at work or in a college class. It does a lot for my peace of mind knowing my wheels are somewhere safe rather than chained to a lamp post asking to be pinched.

 

It's also great to be able to go on a ride at lunchtime or after work on the spur of the moment and also hop onto a bus or tram if it starts to rain!

 

One day maybe I'll be able to do this stuff...

 

 

 

Apart from the bit where they cycle through the shopping centre. That's just silly and a little dangerous.

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wow kludgie - epic answer thank you so much for sharing your grind. That video was crazy! Now I am all fired up...

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For a folding bike with a smoother ride consider one of these:

 

http://www.montaguebikes.com/folding-mountain-bikes/

 

X50 model maybe for commuting.

 

post-184097-13397737200397.jpg

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BTW, you don't have to cover your folding bike on the DB trains:

 

 

Falträder können in allen Zügen, auch im ICE, im zusammengeklappten Zustand kostenlos als Handgepäck mitgenommen werden, sofern diese "unter bzw. über dem Sitz sicher verstaut werden können". Falträder müssen seit Sommer 2007 nicht mehr verpackt sein!

http://www.fa-oeffentlicher-verkehr.adfc.de/Service.html

 

And

 

 

Für verpackte/unverpackte/demontierte handelsübliche Fahrräder ist eine Fahrradkarte zu erwerben. Zusammengeklappte Fahrräder (letztere auch unverpackt) können mitgenommen werden, sofern diese wie Handgepäck unter bzw. über dem Sitz sicher verstaut werden können.

http://www.bahn.de/p/view/mdb/bahnintern/broschueren/MDB105478-bahn_bike_folder_2012.pdf

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ok very interesting... but size matters for us... Bromptons were extra attractive for that reason because setting one up isn't just fast but practical to traipse around the city... what do these mountain bikes fold down to, do you have one? are you happy with it?

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Montague Model X50

•Speeds: 18

•Wheel Size: 26"

•Folding Time: 20 sec.

•Folded Size: 36"x28"x12"

•Approx Weight: 32lbs

•M.S.R.P: $649.00

There are several clips on youtube to give you a better idea.

I cannot even find the weight of the Brompton on their web site.

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really cool, but you lost me at "32 lbs". I want to be able to carry this baby around town without it cramping my style, I'm ok with the bump ride. This must be a superior allrounder though, especially the wheel size definitely looks more rugged than my cityslicker Brompton. Thank you so much for the tip Surfer!

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Longtime TT lurker (since 2009) and Brompton folder owner since 2010. During a 6-week visit to Europe, I purchased my Brompton in July, 2010 from an Evans Cycles shop located down the street from Buckingham Palace, London. I then transported it back to Hessen, Germany after a one-week stay in the UK, primarily in Felixstowe.

 

Never had a problem carrying my folder on DB trains or private buses in Germany. Yes, you will receive numerous questions about the bike. A Brompton folder is the most unique such bicycle on the planet -- period. People are interested, very interested, in this fashion statement, er, bicycle. By itself, the bike generates more interest than a cute puppy.

 

On May 25th, I transported my Brompton in a hardshell case via Greyhound bus to east Tennessee. I purchased a folding Wike trailer prior to the trip. All worked out good for a 20 mile trip through the mountains.

 

I return to Germany on July 2 for three weeks, but plan to leave the bike at home this year.

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BTW, you don't have to cover your folding bike on the DB trains:

 

The problem is that the Brompton won't fit under a seat and the shelves are too narrow on the double-decker DB Regios I usually travel on.

 

This means the rules are somewhat open to interpretation. Far better to bag it (it takes seconds) and have it treated as luggage.

 

The bag helps with the German commuter crush on exit/leaving the train. I certainly don't want to be accused of getting oil on anyone's trousers in this litigous land!

 

I also find it easier to carry for extended periods when bagged as my clothes are liable to catch on the umpteen endges of an exposed bike (especially the folded pedal).

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On 6/15/2012, 8:41:53, FLAexpat said:

Longtime TT lurker (since 2009) and Brompton folder owner since 2010. During a 6-week visit to Europe, I purchased my Brompton in July, 2010 from an Evans Cycles shop located down the street from Buckingham Palace, London. I then transported it back to Hessen, Germany after a one-week stay in the UK, primarily in Felixstowe.

 

Never had a problem carrying my folder on DB trains or private buses in Germany. Yes, you will receive numerous questions about the bike. A Brompton folder is the most unique such bicycle on the planet -- period. People are interested, very interested, in this fashion statement, er, bicycle. By itself, the bike generates more interest than a cute puppy.

 

On May 25th, I transported my Brompton in a hardshell case via Greyhound bus to east Tennessee. I purchased a folding Wike trailer prior to the trip. All worked out good for a 20 mile trip through the mountains.

 

I return to Germany on July 2 for three weeks, but plan to leave the bike at home this year.

How did you transport the bike from London to Germany?

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