Boy Gets Brompton, Part 1

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This series of articles will document my time and trials with my new Brompton folding bicycle.   The title is a play on words from a book I read in my youth.   While I was enjoying bike riding as a child, I was dreaming of the day I could join the car crazy generation.   Who knew that it would come full circle, and now when I am forced to drive, I dream of bike riding.   Follow along while I learn about, and experience what is touted to be the best folding bike available to the riding public.

Bob waiting for the Brompton foldign bike to arrive

Bob waiting for the Brompton

I really don’t need another bike.   But the concept of a compact, comfortable folding bike has become to interest me in many ways.   My previous experiences with folding bikes were not that good.   I found them to be a bit unwieldy and un-friendly.   Not to mention the lack of stylish lines and appeal.   But since learning of the Brompton, my mind set has been changing.   In fact, the name has been echoing in my brain frequently.   Kind of like a favorite song, Brompton, Brompton, Brompton.   I can’t get enough of that tune.   And now the day is nearing for that new bike to arrive at my doorstep.
Thanks to a generous offer from Bert at NYCEWheels (NiceWheels), my new bike is heading my way via a major shipping firm.   It made it to New York from London, and now is on it’s way to sunny San Diego.   Although this is just a one month loan, I am sure that Bert thinks I will fall in love with this bike, and send him back a check, instead of the bike.   He may be right, but we will see what the bike has to offer first.

Coming my way is the Brompton M3L model.   With a 3-speed hub and fenders, it should fit the bill for my riding needs.   Bert has told me he will include a telescopic seat post that will fit my 6’2″ frame and also allow my wife to easily ride it too.   The package will be rounded out with a clip-on front bag to carry my goodies and camera.   I wonder what color it will be.   It comes in a wide variety, even a natural color that is becoming very popular nowadays.   I bought a white Schwinn Varsity as a teenager, that is a great color.   Dark green metallic would match my main bike.   Of course, dark blue is my favorite color.   The orange Brompton’s I’ve seen on his web site are wild.   I will be happy for Bert to send me the Brompton color of  “his” choice.
When the bike arrives, I will give it a one-over and fill the tires to spec.   I will mount a front and rear LED blinking light set.   I always use them day or night.   I fully believe that the safety added by them is necessary for any rider.   That is all that will be needed.   I fully trust Bert, when his firm says the bikes are shipped completely checked, tuned, and ready to ride.
I am looking forward to the compact package of this bike.   It will fold to the dimensions of 21″x11″x22″.   With a weight of just over 24 lbs, it will be easy to lift and maneuver into any spot needed.   That will make it so convenient to take it where ever I like, to enjoy some great rides.   When we take our bikes in my small Toyota wagon, it takes both of us to load and unload them.   It is not that hard, but it will be good to be able to just place it in the back with no fuss.   When I go by myself, I take my lighter Schwinn, that I can load by myself.   But that is still a strain, and it isn’t my favorite bike for most rides.   This new Brompton should make those rides a breeze.   Yes, to say I am excited would not cover the way I feel.
Another reason I am looking into a folding bike, is our yearly trip up the coast to ride.   We load our bikes on the Amtrak for a long 4-day weekend.   It is not hard to load them on the train, but on some occasions, they will only let three bikes on the train.   We have seen people left behind because the bike rack was full.   The Brompton would guarantee that will never happen to us.   We like to invite friends along, and sometimes the extra bikes can ride in the baggage car.   On the high use trips, that is not an option.   If we all had Brompton folding bikes, we would never be left behind.   That is a nice thought, when on a fun weekend ride.

When viewing the list of Bromptons available, you will see many options.   Two, three, and six speed models are on the list.   Titanium or chromoly frame, your choice.   Different handlebars, racks, and the color selection–oh my–you could have a field day picking the perfect bike for you.   And the available option list is not that long, due to the high level of factory parts fitted to the bikes.
After the bike arrives, I will let you know my first impressions.


“The bicycle is its own best argument. You just get a bike, try it, start going with the thing and using it as it suits you. It’ll grow and it gets better and better and better.”—Richard Ballantine

Thanks for reading, TURBO BOB