Thursday, August 11, 2011

Brompton bytes

Richard Banks reports from Shropshire: "I have acquired via eBay a Brompton, about two years' old, six gears, lower gear ratios, butterfly handlebars, factory lights and bottle-type dynamo, rack and fitted bungees, Schwalbe Marathon tyres, Brompton pump, all in seemingly good condition. I just need to get a front luggage block, front bag, and lock.
"T-bag and front luggage block supplied next day by Websters Cycles (special delivery for just 20p!), and block fitted. I have also resolved a problem with the front light. The quality of the Brompton engineering is superb, but the Basta lights are of poor quality. The problem lies in very poorly designed (non-robust) electrical connections, now addressed by what I believe is known in engineering circles as a kludge."
Meanwhile on my Brompton I've experienced tire/tyre inner-tube failures around the base of the rear valve stem. We went to Curbside Cycle here in Toronto for a fix on the latest episode.
If tube replacement is required I recommend Schwalbe inner-tubes with the metal threaded valve stem, and locking nut. Looking around the bike store it would appear that the cheaper bikes lack this feature. I also recommend careful attention to wheel rims in this area with proper tape and possible sharpness around the valve-stem hole. Nothing alarmist here just some hard-earned experience on what to avoid. By the way I also had fitted a new Sturmey Archer SLS50 T5 shifter, suitable on my year 2000 5-speed.
On a test ride in downtown Toronto we spotted the Google Maps Street View car and pursued it, lost it and finally tracked it down here:

Pics by Richard Banks and RLT.

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