Thursday, October 1, 2009

Brompton Bits

I managed a 25 km ride on my new Brompton, without scalping my ankles.

But the concentration required, to keep my ankles out all the time & to pre-select then execute all those compound gear-shifts, meant I didn't really see much of the scenery.
OK – I was watching for gravel, pebbles, pot-holes & gullies too.
Honestly, it went much better than you could reasonably expect for a little folder on 16" wheels.

Soon noticed the saddle position was not quite high enough or far enough back, but there was sufficient adjustment available to fix that by inverting the saddle-clamp & sliding the saddle back.
Should be OK now.
While I was under there, I noticed the saddle has real old-fashioned saddle-bag fixing holes.

I think I will try filling-in or padding the little wheels so they are more ankle-friendly.
If that is not enough, then it may be a hacksaw job…

Reading the handbook a bit more, I notice they recommend new handlebars every 5000 miles because of potential metal fatigue in the aluminium.
Hope they are just protecting their *** (U.S.) / **** (U.K.).

Bought & fitted a "Zefal Spin" mirror.
I have a Zefal Cyclop on my normal bike & it has been very satisfactory where lots of other mirrors vibrate too much due to flimsy stems or fittings.
The Spin uses the same solid pivot system but with a smaller head.
That suits the smaller everything else of a Brompton (see illustration) but may prove too small in use.
Time will tell.
The Brompton will be a severe test for anti-vibration qualities!

One curiosity I have noticed is that if I back-pedal even slightly, then I can wheel the bike backwards without the pedals rotating any more…
Is this a cunning piece of design or a pending freewheel disaster?
Certainly it is very convenient to be able to manoeuvre the bike without the pedals moving.
If it had been a deliberate feature, I would have expected it to be mentioned somewhere.
Googling draws a blank.
I would like to know how this works (it sounds impossible) & why they do it without mentioning it.

Parting thot: "When it comes to sports I am not particularly interested. Generally speaking, I look upon them as dangerous and tiring activities performed by people with whom I share nothing except the right to trial by jury." - Fran Lebowitz