Bicycle safety is all about risk versus reward. Stunt riders take extreme chances with the desire of celebrity or personal satisfaction. They work up to the big tricks by starting with the small. They practice to gain the confidence it takes to ensure success. They minimize the risk with repetitive training and meticulous bike preparation. To this, I think we can add, having a good attitude about your riding. So, the three keys to safe riding are having a well maintained bike, practiced techniques, and a smile.
The last thing I want to do is to tell you or anybody how to ride safely. That is a personal matter that comes from within. If you want to ride your bike sitting on it backwards and jumping through a hoop of fire, that’s your choice. This segment is how the Brompton and it’s features can keep you in one, undamaged piece as you enjoy it.
Your new Brompton folding bike will come to you ready and tested. It’s not a bad idea to take the correct tool to each fastener to make sure it is correctly tightened. A constant vigil to keep the tires inflated and check on things like the brakes, is your responsibility. These are minor things on a bike that need periodic attention. While you ride, keep a sixth sense on the bike and what it’s telling you. Thumps, bumps, noises, and looseness will be noticeable if you are one with your bike. If you are up to the challenge, take care of them yourself. If not, get a experienced mechanic to deal with any issues. The quality built into this bike should keep the need for repairs to a minimum.
Getting your seat height to a comfortable place can make a big difference in keeping yourself in position to maneuver out of trouble. Take the time to set it right. If it is not right, stop and change it, until it is. It might take a little while to find that sweet spot, but once you do, you will know it. You can make minor adjustments to the angle and the fore/aft setting. Make sure it’s pointed straight ahead and that the quick release clamps are secure. Loose seats and handlebars have been the cause of countless scrapes and worse.
I have been very happy with the brakes on my Brompton. They have a good feel and stop the bike nicely. The design is solid and the cables are of high quality with dust boots on the ends. The hand levers are well placed and give smooth control. The pads are nice sized and made of a material that should give good service.
The rigidity of the frame and components add to the secure ride. The geometry allows the bike to be maneuverable, but not twitchy. The seating position lends to the feeling of worry free riding. The bike’s handing will give you confidence to ride safely. You might find yourself riding quite fast at times because of the secure footing the Brompton provides. Consider slowing, but go for the speed if you must.
It comes with quite a package of reflective pieces. Although there are no plastic reflectors in the wheel’s spokes, the tires have a built-in glow that is amazing. More flash comes from the reflectors mounted in the pedals, and on both ends of the bike. The C-bag I have been using, also practically glows in the dark.
I have mentioned the Brompton light package already. I was initially unhappy that the rear light wouldn’t blink. I have heard that, in Europe, blinking bike lights are not allowed. Something to do with drivers more easily determining closing speeds with a constant light. I have been quite happy with the rear light and am especially impressed with the brightness of the front LED light. This is a nice unit, driven by modern technology. At first, I considered recommending not purchasing this light package with your new bike. Now, I am fully convinced that it is a ‘must have’ for your new Brompton.
The tires on the bike are great. NYCeWheels offer two other options. I can’t comment on those, but I am pleased with the ones installed on my bike. The traction is good, as is the ride. I have ridden this bike on many surfaces, including wet conditions. Never once was I left with wanting more than they delivered. No up-grade is needed in the tire department. Remember to give a little more respect to ridges and ruts because of the small diameter of the tires. So far this hasn’t caused me any problems.
It’s up to you, ride safe, or ride crazy. Just ride. Continue to ride with me as the Brompton test keeps rolling, Turbo Bob.
“Never use your face as a brake pad.”—Jake Watson.