Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Back on the bike

My sprained ankle is almost healed. I can cycle and I don’t feel sore compared to when I walk. My biggest problem is carrying the bike up and down stairs as I am still a little worried about keeping my balance. The sprained ankle has made be think about what kind of Brompton I would next buy. Already I know I don’t want to give up the Eazy Wheels. I also noticed that I can carry my Brompton for a longer distance than I thought even with a sore ankle. Our weird weather continues. Lots of bright sun but bitterly cold.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Buying a Brompton - Step 1 Go the website

As it has been five years since I brought my Brompton and I am thinking about getting another I thought I would do the research and see what is different. I went to the Brompton website. It has changed and it is better but it still takes a little work to find out about the Bikes and what you can get. The information is there but you have to look for it and know what you are looking at. There is a lot of jumping back and forth on web pages when you are looking for information. Not sure why Brompton has not sorted out having a page that allows you to compare the basic specs of all the models at once. Complicated but not impossible. I like the brochure. If you are new to the Brompton or just trying to get an update the brochure does list everything in one place. It doesn't give you information about the weight of the various parts. For that you have to go back to the main site. When I was first looking at the Brompton 6 years ago I downloaded the brochure from the website, printed it off and read it on my commute to work. What has improved on the website is finding a Brompton supplier and the site gives information as to whether the supplier is trained by Brompton. They didn’t have this information before, they had a list of suppliers but not the training which can make a difference if you are worried about this. I originally brought my Brompton from Compton Cycles and they still tick all the boxes in having a large range of ‘off the peg’ Bromptons which mine was and they can order for you as they have a good relationship with the Brompton factory, they are friendly and know about the bike. But the downside for me this time around is that they don’t yet offer an interest free credit scheme and I know that my Brompton will not be cheap. The other issue is that my usual travel routes are going into the central London and I thought it may be easier this time around getting a bike from one of the shops that I usually pass on my various routes. But for me the most important thing is having a good relationship with a bike shop. I know I have had a Brompton for a long time but I still don’t remember the logic of the names of the different models. I look at the handlebars and I ask myself why is the T shape bike called S, why is the U shape bike called M and why is the W shaped bike called P? I know that the H bike is a taller version of the M but it still looks like a U. I know it is related to what they do, but that is how they look to me. I think Brompton should give them proper names but I guess letters makes the bike more teckie sounding and must be good for the market. Tips: 1. Go to the website and play around. You will get lost but you will find interesting things about the bike and the Brompton community. 2. Look at the brochure. This brings everything together in an accessible way. 3. Find your nearest supplier on the website.