Guest Article: year one with a Brompton NYCeWheels.com

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Guest Article: year one with a Brompton

Brompton folding bike triumph

Here's a guest article from the author of The Dirty Brompton blog. Enjoy!


July 23, 2013 marked my first full year with the Brompton Bicycle. My Brompton is a raw lacquer P6R with -12% reduced gearing, SON dynamo hub and Schwalbe Marathon tires. It's pretty much maxed out with everything except the titanium option.

Here are my highlights of my year:

Receipt of the ODB (Olde Dirty Brompton):

Raw Lacquer Brompton with Brooks saddleI had to wait almost 4 months while my Brompton was being built. The day I got it felt like Christmas in July (even though I picked it up in Phoenix). When I picked it up, US Brompton rep John McConaghey also happened to be there and was happy to give me some pointers.

Starting TheDirtyBrompton blog:

This is my first (and currently only) blog. Up until this point in time I really hadn't been passionate enough about anything to start a blog. While it certainly does feel like work on occasion, it is nice knowing that there is always something to write about regarding the Bromptons. I've been able to reach people all over the globe with my experiences and knowledge (or lack thereof). Readers have been kind and have also reached out to me (NYCewheels being one example).

Getting a free beer:

A guy at the bar I was at was so interested in the Brompton that he bought me a beer. Your milage may vary.

Brompton and Gary Fisher Gary Fisher bike ride:

I rode the Brompton in a charity bike ride with mountain biking legend Gary Fisher. The ride was a hoot. It was at this event that I meet two other Brompton riders in town.

Starting the Tucson Brompton Meetup Group:

I started the Meetup group on the off-chance there might actually be more Brompton owners in the Tucson area. I thought it would be handy to say "Hey, come hang out with us!" and have kind of a formal way to do it. I have met a few really great people through the events we have done. Most of our events are us riding in another biking activity that is happening in town.

US Pro Cycling Challenge 2012:

Brompton in hard caseI flew to Colorado to follow the US Pro Cycling Challenge. This was the first time I had traveled with the Brompton. I had purchased a B&W hard case and it worked perfectly...no baggage fees from Southwest Airlines because it was within their size limits (or close enough!) I had a great time cycling throughout Colorado, jockeying for position to watch the pros and striking up conversations with fellow spectators about the Brompton!

El Tour de Tucson 2012:

In November of 2012 I rode the entire 111-mile El Tour de Tucson on the Brompton. I have ridden El Tour before on a conventional race bike, but this was a vastly different experience. While I was much slower, I had whole lot more fun. The constant smiles and high-fives I got more than made up for the increase in time and exhaustion.

Speedy raw lacquer Brompton

Brompton US Championship 2013:

I'd be lying if I didn't say that seeing videos of the Brompton World Championships played a major part in my decision to get into Bromptons. I felt an instant kinship...I saw all the happy riders participating and thought "YES! These are my people!" They were silly, but also serious! And it looked like a tremendous amount of fun! The fact that a company would support and encourage their customers to participate in an event like this (in England and in many other countries around the world) speaks volumes of their faith and commitment to their products.

I've ridden over 1500 miles and saved almost $200 in gas.

Things I've learned along the way:

  • These bikes allow you more opportunities to ride! This bike is awesome if you have friends nearby with whom you hang out and can drive you home.
  • Pretty much anyone can ride your bike. The easily adjustable seat height allows anyone to experience the fun! I can let my out-of-town guests borrow the Brompton for a ride and anyone who is curious about the bike can give it a test run without much fuss.
  • The luggage system is genius. The way that the handle on the bags can be used to help maneuver the folded bike is awesome, and the C-bag easily holds everything I need for the day and has the right amount of pockets.
  • The SON hub dynamo was totally worth it for me. Most of my commutes happen in the dark, so not having to worry about batteries to see (and be seen) is completely worth the peace of mind.
  • Brompton racing
  • You can tour with this bike! Russ and Laura from Path Less Pedaled show how this is done by riding throughout New Zealand on their Bromptons. I have dreams of doing a big tour on the Bromptons...either down the Pacific Coast or across the country. I've been gearing up, now I just have to get some practice by doing some S24O (Sub 24 hour Overnight) outings.
  • Every owner is an enthusiast! It's rare to find anyone who has a Brompton and is not absolutely in love with it. It is fun sharing stories and tips with them. I have three other conventional bikes... A race bike, a single speed and a mountain bike. Since I've had the Brompton, I've only ridden the single speed to try to sell it. Otherwise I haven't touched the non-Bromptons.

Excited to get a Brompton of your own? Order today! We have plenty in stock and you can always custom build one if we don't have what you want. Visit our Brompton folding bike page to get started!

(credit for the Brompton US Championship photos: Buffalo Dave from Flickr)