Sunday, 13 June 2010

Little lights

I am growing very fond of these little lights. They appear to be as bright as my large LED lights, give a good blink effect when needed and small enough to even carry in my purse. Best of all they remain out of the way when I fold the Brompton. I usually have to adjust the large LED light before I fold the bike when I am getting on a train and sometimes the handlebar doesn’t clip in properly because of the light is in the way. But no problem in the folding with these tiny lights.


Tomer said...


i ordered an m6l and i am waiting for it to arive.
i ordered the gears reduced by 12% but i am not shure about it.
it means that i'll have eazier time going up hill but will have one gear less going fast downhill.

what do you think about it.



Cycling in Heels said...

Hi Sharon

This is a technical question that is beyond my experience with the Brompton. I had to look up what a 12 percent gear reduction was.

From what I can see you get this primarily from reducing the size of chain itself and this allows you as you write to get up hills a little easier. The trade off is that you are not able to move as fast on the flat.

Not sure if that is a good trade off for me. I love my 6 speeds and when I first started to ride it was tough just moving along let alone getting up the hills but I slowly got stronger. I can do most hills now but I often choose to get off and walk the bike. What is more important to me is having the speed and flexibility to manoeuvre in traffic and I do more of this in London than climb hills. I mainly cycle in the highest gear now.

So having a gear reduction very much depends on what you plan to use to your Brompton for and how often you will use it. If you are worried about hills and will not be using the bike that often then the reduction sounds like a good idea. But if you plan to use the bike a lot then you will get stronger and hills will not be an issue in a few months.

Hoped this helped.

Tomer said...


thanks for your detailed response.

so if i understand correctly you mainly use the 6th gear ?

or do you use the 5 mostly ?


Cycling in Heels said...

Hi Sharon

This would be gear 6 (the gear that requires the greatest pedal effort).

Anonymous said...

I have found the gears of the 6 speed (BWR ) to be well spread. I intitially trialled with a M3L and even that was rather good, although difficult on some hills (surprise being I found it easier than my 21 speed chinese Raleigh) Although one soon adjusts.

I was initially considering the reduction in gears for the M6L, I definetly would have for an M3L, but the range of the standard M6L goes lower and higher than all variants (reduced or higher gearing) of the single, 2, and 3 speed. Therefore, I stuck with the standard.

If you live/cycle through very hilly areas, e.g. Hampstead Heath, then you may benefit from the reduction, if you are prone to knee problems you may find it useful as well. I however, have had little issue with the standard, and even though I have slightly achy knees at the moment - not strictly related :) - I would be content to buy this model again, were I to do chose again.

Erik Sandblom said...

I like the little lights too! The elastic on mine is too small to go around the Brompton saddle pillar. So I got a hair elastic and looped it on the light. Just the right length!

Tomer said...

hi anonym

the difference between the m6l and the m6l reduced is that i don't have your gear no 6 and instead i have one lower gear than yours.

that means that my highest gear is like the 3rd gear in M3L standard.

i tried the m6l bike before i ordered and found that gear no 6 is very high and i thought i'll use it seldom.
so i preferd to reduce even though
i don't live in a very heely area.

do you use gear no 6 frequently ?

wee folding bike said...

There is a gear calculator here:

which will tell you the inches of any standard Brompton set up.

Do you have a bike at the moment? You could calculate the inches of the gears you currently have and see how it compares with the Brompton.

You can use Sheldon Brown's calculator for cumbersomes:

Or work it out:

(chainring/sprocket) * diameter of back wheel

Sheldon also explains why we work it out like that:

Standard BWR has a range of 33 - 99 inches.

12% reduction is 29 - 88 inches.

It is a little more efficient using an SA hub gear in the middle gear so if you know what size of gear you are likely to use could aim to have that size of gear available with the hub in normal.

Gareth said...

Hi Tomer
Not sure if this message got through the first time.
If your lowered gear ratios don't work out and you find them too spinny then it's quite a straightforward job for your Brompton dealer to swap out the chainrings/sprockets to alter the ratios.

wee folding bike said...

It's straight forward for a person to do it too.

You're looking at £40 for the right hand crank/chainring and a tenner for the new chain because it will have to be longer so it would be nice to get it right first time.

I don't know how much it is to have a shop do it but the tools you need are a crank extractor and a rivet extractor which should be less than a £15.

Anonymous said...

I would have thought that the standard gear ratios would be fine given the 'wide range' hub. I bought a 2 speed then moved to Stoke - its kinda hilly but OK, although i can see that people might to have a more leisurely climb though.

And i did manage the Coast2Coast with luggage on it. But 6 would have been better. As would have a real bike ;)