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.


My Orange Brompton said...

Hello Grace.

Your blog was the first port of call for me when i was thinking about buying a Brompton.

Great to hear that you're thinking of getting a new Brompton. I just have and from Compton's. I had to travel quite a way to them but they are so good I'd do it again.

Have you considered one of the many cycle to work schemes? You can spend up to £1000 and make a worthwhile saving. in addition payments are monthly.

As for the colour, it has to be orange surely!

pearcie said...

Very interesting post with good advice.
I found to be a helpful site. Going through the videos certainly explained some of the choices available but a good LBS together with research on the interweb can be great help.
I wasted hours looking at blogs and reviews :)
Had my H6R for a week now
with best wishes

Anonymous said...

Hi, just wondering why you're looking to replace your bike? Problems? Some of the dealer sites, like nycewheels, have fun colour selectors that are fun to play around with if you go down the bespoke route...Happy Shopping!

Grace Black said...

No problems. My bike is just fine but I am considering getting a lighter bike.

ACL said...

Hey G, surely you can't get the bike much lighter than it already is? I can't imagine living without the luggage rack to push the bike around on (it works so well for me because I'm so short!), so that stays... I went for a Brooks seat, which is a bit heavier, but it's so beautiful that it's a big part of the pleasure of riding the bike, so that stays... I got the Brooks handles as well, which are in keeping with the rest of the bike but aren't so well thought out. After the year we've just had, mudguards aren't even up for discussion. Nothing's going to reduce my weight significantly short of going titanium... and the cost is astronomical for, what, 1.5kg max? Are you going the ti route? What I'd love to do if I had the dosh would be to get an S-type in titanium, the same colour, and deliberately trick it out to be as light as possible for fair weather riding. It would do double-duty as a backup in case my main bike ever was lost or stolen, and as a loaner if I wanted to ride with a friend. SO not going to happen in the immediate future though. :-(

Grace Black said...

Hi A. Yes I am thinking of 'going titanium' but I have been considering the very things you raise in your comment including the S-type.

aedan said...

Well I can see two reasons for superlight. One is if you carry it a lot and you can shave a wee bit off.

The other is too get a wee bit more acceleration.

If it's the second reason then I think you need to go for the S2L-X. I've got M6R, S6L and S3L-X. The S2L-X is lovely but has nowhere to carry stuff, no lights and limited gearing so you run out of top gear fairly soon.

It's still lovely.

Grace Black said...

Impressive collection. I do carry stuff and it is about the weight not the speed.

Thanks for the info.

aedan said...

Ooops, fat finger syndrome. I don't have an S3L-X, just the S2L-X.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on the model naming problems. I'm shopping for my first Brompton at the moment and it has taken hours of research to understand 'S' means the T-shaped ones, 'M' means the U-shaped ones, etc.

They could improve that, and they certainly could add an easy to use Configurator on their site. nycewheels and Compton show it can be done.

Good luck in your purchase.

She Rides a Bike said...

Hi, Grace. I've had my Brompton since October and love it! I purchased the H model with 6 speed gearing and battery lighting. I like the higher sitting position offered by the H model, just a bit more upright than the M. Despite how flat the Phoenix terrain is the dealer recommended the 6 speed since I might want to take it with me on a trip to Denver or San Francisco or eventually move to a hilly city. I'm glad I have the 6 speed regardless since I just like the range it provides. I decided that I just find LED lighting too unpredictable to invest in that on the Brompton. The lighting on my Brompton sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I'm happy with the battery lighting on the Brompton and so far, have not had to change the battery on either light.

For people considering a Brompton, I recommend finding a dealer and testing a few models before coming to a firm decision. My dealer talked with me a lot about my needs and went with his recommendations. The EAZY Wheels are a must for me since I take my Brommy on the Metro and on the city bus a good bit. I also recommend going ahead and purchasing a Brompton specific bag for carrying your school or work necessities. Reading your blog was a big help as well in making my decision. It really helped me get a feel of what to expect.

Anonymous said...

Speed can be a red herring, my two speed with the 44 chain ring tooth gear reduction can still do 20 mph on the level. I bought a 2 speed to save wieght on a 6 speed. Much cheaper than going titanium and you can choose the colour. Only problems are with steep hills, but then going down I can top 40 mph.
No way would I lose the rack. Now already having a 2 speed, a second B would be a 6 speed for the hills. If my 2 speed is stolen it would be replaced with another 2 speed. Iain