Bye bye Citroën, hello Brompton

Forgive the interruption to the Hebrides write up… there’s more to come in due course. I’m just wandering off on a tangent to bring you some pics of the new bike, a Brompton H6L.

As explained in a previous post, my old car has now gone and the Brommie is a ‘transport solution’ for my forays to the dirty old Smoke.

The build on the bike was delayed  – predictable really, as Brompton can’t make these bikes fast enough and most seem to go for export nowadays.  It’s a pretty standard spec from the factory with the addition of a telescopic seat post, cover/saddlebag, firm suspension elastomer and a luggage block.

The SPD pedals are my addition, as are the stubby bar ends, which do not interfere with the fold. Talking of the fold, it is as good as you’ve heard. The bike snaps together into a fantastic compact, contained package.

So what’s it like? It’s a different experience, no doubt. There are certain compromises you have to make when riding one of these machines, not least the flex in the stem. This, initially, is a wee bit disconcerting but you soon get used to it. The handling is sharp, but not unduly so, and with the addition of the bar ends, the bike feels surprisingly comfortable.

As for like-for-like comparisons in the cockpit, the saddle height is the same as a regular bike thanks to the extender post while the reach comes in the same as the ‘flats’ on my tourer and audax bike. Considering I ride on the hoods most of the time, that means it’s shorter, even when using the bar ends.

Anyway, here are some shots (forgive the bunting, these were taken post-Jubilee party although provide a fitting backdrop for the Brit Brommie). I’ll report back after a few weeks on the road.

6 thoughts on “Bye bye Citroën, hello Brompton

  1. Interesting that you’ve fitted SPD pedals. Do you not find that the loss of the folding pedal makes it a bit more awkward to carry when the bike is folded?

    1. Hi BigCam,

      It’s early days to be honest. However, if you carry the bike with the protruding pedal on the outside, it makes little difference. The folded package is not so neat, though.

      I think the folding pedal is ingenious, but the liberal use of plastics in its construction means it’s not going to last long (based on previous experience with cheap pedals in the past).

      I think MKS make a folding pedal which is more durable and there are demountable options which allow you switch between spd and flat pedals. I think this is best option long term for ultimate versatility, but it comes at a cost.

      1. Thinking about it, I often forget to fold the folding pedal anyway, so I might well give some SPD pedals a go!

      2. Having done my first commute is week, the spd is not a problem. However, I made the classic error of carrying the folded Brommie too much. It’s too heavy for long portages!

  2. I would love to ditch the car (well maybe ditch it more, rather than altogether!) enjoying your blog.

    Long time MTBer and hoarder of bikes I don’t ride enough – just getting a taste for the touring bug

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