Monday, 8 February 2010

Happy Anniversary to my Brompton


I have been a Brompton owner for two years! I can barely believe it. The reasons why I started this blog was because I needed the motivation to take what was for me a huge challenge and then I wanted a record to remind myself that in the beginning it wasn’t easy. It was fun but not easy.

What has changed in the last two years as a Brompton rider? I see lots of Bromptons as I cross London these days. A neighbour now has a pink Brompton.

I see lots more folding bikes in general, particularly the Mezzo. More commuters are using cycling as part of their journey and I think this will increase in time.

I am certainly fitter and stronger. As a Brompton user who has carried her bike up and down stairs (avoid Kings Cross Station in rush hour) on a regular basis, in flats and heels my muscles had no choice but to toughen up. Who knew fresh air would give me such a buzz.

I see a lot more of London on a bike. Obviously I would, but this is an unexpected delight. I tend to stick to the same route when I travel by public transport and in a car I have to focus on the traffic I don’t see much. On a bike I am always finding new routes through traffic and then finding lots of places that I didn’t know existed.

I have more conversations with non-cyclists. Other travellers will ask questions, smile, and at the beginning helped me carry the bike. Typical question is ‘how much does that cost?’

Finally I have discovered the wonderful ‘slow and stylish’ cycling community that exists everywhere. I believe cyclists will change their communities, the environment one pedal push at a time.

Thank you to all who read and or comment on this blog, your support is appreciated.


tarin v said...

I like to read your blog very much.
I ordered a brompton,will get in Febuarary.

tricotmiss said...

Congratulations on the anniversary! Definitely inspirational.

Joseph said...

Congratulations. So any lessons learnt, anything you would have done differently, e.g Brompton set-up?

Glad to see that you're still going after 2 years, keep up the fine work.

Cycling in Heels said...

Thank you. Thank you.

If I was starting again I wouldn't get the dynamo lights and I wouldn't have brought any of the bags. I rarely use mine.

wee folding bike said...

Do you know there is a cheaper hub generator available from Shimano now? Hub generators don't slip in the rain, make noise or rub away the side of your tyre.

I've got a SON on my winter bike. I live 400 miles further north than you so in the winter there is a lot of darkness. Having lights which work whenever you're moving and not having to bother about batteries is great. I carry wee battery lights too as an extra.

I got the SON in 2002 because I was fed up with bottle generator bearings getting seized up with grit.

Why don't you like the Brompton bags?

Cycling in Heels said...

I’ve just checked the price of the Shimano set on the Brompton website and it is £133.75. The SON Hub light is currently £336.76. For me this a lot of money for something I am not sure will work in the long run. Not to mention the additional weight it give to the bike. I lost a tyre to my old dynamo set too. So it’s LED for me.

Brompton Bags
My opinion is based on the bags I got 2 years ago. But I think that Brompton spend so much attention to the detail of the bikes it seems a pity the same wasn’t given to the bags. 1. Only available in Black. Why when the bike comes so many great colours. 2. Black interiors. You cannot find anything. Large bags need light coloured interiors. 3. The carry straps are too thin. You need wide straps to carry the load. I think you get the bag that fits your style of riding. I am constantly getting off, folding the bike and carrying the bike so a messenger bag is best for me.

wee folding bike said...

It seems they agree with you on the black interiors. The new ones are yellow on the inside. I do sometimes lose things for a while but they turn up when I decant the accumulated cruft.

Black on the outside is fine with me... I like black. All of my bikes are black. It's also quite handy for the grubby environment in which we often find bikes.

Anywho, there are no kids in school today so I'll be cycling there in some ordinary out door activity trousers so I can save time changing in the afternoon.

Joseph said...

Like all technlogy, it is best to wait for a while. The Shinamo hub obviously is a large improvement to the slipping tyre-destroyer that was the bottle-hub; however, I have not heard how it compared to the much more expensive SON hub, how restrictive its weight is, and how effective it is.

Plus, it will cost more money to install it as an after-purchase accessory. Personally, I like battery lights, I may end up getting magnetic ones such as Reelight when they launch more products (they are getting better and looking sharper through time.) The standard Brompton battery lights are good enough, the back light is slightly inflexible (no flash) but still does the job. I suppliment it with a £9 SMART back light, which is excellent.

You have got me interested in those Timbuk2 bags, they are pricey but I imagine that they must do their job well. I must say I love the basket, I can put my shopping in it, recycle papers, bottles, and generally carry heavy loads without any weight on the shoulders. I will definitely use that, and a small holdall, for the next Paris trip.

Chdot said...

Nice blog.

One of your other commenters put me on to it.

I've highlighted some of your words here

Cycling in Heels said...

Thanks to you and 'Wee Folding Bike' for the mention.

RidingPretty said...

Happy Anniversary to the Brompton!
Thank you for your charming blog :)

Cycling in Heels said...

Thank you. I also love reading your blog too!

Jorge Coelho said...

Late, but happy aniversary!

Cycling in Heels said...

Jorge, thank you.

Elizabeth said...


Cycling in Heels said...

Thank you for reading and the comments. It will soon be the third birthday so I will get more cake.

John Honan said...

Love your blog. It's great reading about some 'real life' Brompton experiences.

I bought my black M6R about a month ago. I sent it in for it's first tune-up last night and really miss it - It's funny how you get attached to them!

I use it for commuting here in Dublin (folding it up to get on the tram for a few miles). And I get questions/comments every day. You're right about the most common question being 'how much did it cost?'

I often wonder what the best answer to give is. I'm worried if I tell them the real price they might try to steal it! lol