Bromptons! As a commuter

I have been wearing mainly Stan Smiths plus other random trainers or office shoes… honestly I don’t find the pedals too bad, they are slippy in the wet but it’s not like I am doing any gnarly mountain biking on them…


Just purchased one - collecting during lunch time. 2014 M3L with a new ortlieb front bag for 750 Euro. Looks in good condition. Think thats a pretty good deal?

Any advise on what to inspect on when i collect?

Re. the flat bar debate; I think I would be able to get an aftermarket shallow riser to get my position slightly closer to the S type. I’ve built all my bikes from parts including full-sus Mtb’s so I can’t imagine bromptons are more complicated than that. (Hope I don’t eat my words here).

Exciting times ahead!


The issue there is that the parts are different - the “stem” is an integral part of the bike/mechanism, it’s not like the stem on an MTB/road bike. And they are different lengths between the different models:

Plus cable lengths etc.

It’s obviously doable, it’s just the parts are going to be more expensive than for a regular bike and might involve a bit more work.

I think that price is reasonable - Bromptons are pretty bombproof and they don’t depreciate much. I am not sure what the consensus is for what to check for, but I’d check the 3 speed hub is shifting well myself, as they are a bit fiddly.

Check it unfolds and folds fairly smoothly (remember the rear triangle has a rubber stopper between it and the main frame which is meant to have a bit of movement for shock absorption, this feels a bit weird to begin with).

Other than that, Google :wink:

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Yes, any grips you like. The standard foam Brompton grips are glued on I think, messy to remove, maybe not worth the hassle? Plus you might need to trim MTB grips, the Brompton bars are pretty narrow. Good job for a shop maybe? (On a related note, adjusting the position and angle of the brake levers is really limited by the fact they need to go flush when folded.)

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The rear hinge pivots do wear out and start to play. I think it’s on a bushing; when the time comes it needs reaming out and replacing. Sounds like you’re a confident home mechanic, you can buy a kit with a drill bit and do it yourself or get your shop to do it, but I believe actual Brompton dealers have a specialist bit of kit for it. My local shop (who I really trust) just serviced my Brompton but advised me to take it to an official Brompton dealer for the hinge - they said they could do it but basically it would be a bodge. I expect it’s about a £75 job at an actual Brompton dealer when I get around to it.

Strava says I’ve done 19,500km commuting on my 2016 Brompton, I’ve had the hinge replaced twice so far in its lifetime and this is about to be the third.

Good luck! Hope you’re happy with what you collected!

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My Brompton came with lock on rubber grips (with a single lock on at the stem side, one piece rubber). I don’t think I specified those, although I know some Bromptons have got foam ones. Mine is the 6 speed, with rear rack, M6R. 2019 model. Over 2000km ridden, almost all 8.8km commutes :slight_smile:

Obviously didn’t commute with it over covid, but the rear rack was still really handy cos I can get a folding chair on it, then beers in a cooler in the front bag and cycle to the park when we were only allowed to socialise outdoors!

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This is exactly why i love bromptons.

Mine doesn’t have a rear rack but it is something I am considering - I find it difficult to wheel around - I understand you can buy oversized ‘easy’ wheels - but i am guessing it still wouldnt move around freely without a rack.

Will take something photos for you guys of my purchase when the weather allows!

Did my first commute today with the flat pedals and mtb shoes and it was great!

Re. Grips - the foam ones that came with mine are actually similar to ESI one’s that I would have put on. So will leave those on until they need replaced.


What tyres are you guys running? Would getting TPU tubes and faster tyres make a big difference?

Think I’d still like to get a reduced rise handlebar (maybe from 100mm to 50mm) - May need to buy a new seatpost as this one is 1-2cm too short, but okay for now (Considering aliexpress titanium for this). Brilliant bike so far, can’t wait to get some good utility out of it! Also would like to change the shifter - I have an old plastic shifter that I find quite difficult to use. May try to get a friction style one or a 3sp shimano one if they fit.

Just the stock ones on mine, the reflective strips around the sidewall are quite nifty.

I find keeping the pressures up makes the bike feel a lot faster, if you let the tyres go a bit soft it feels very sluggish to me, not sure what it is about the small wheels but it makes a big difference to the feel.


I too have the stock tyres, Schwalbe Marathon Plus. The priority for me is ‘don’t puncture’ and they do the job, they’re practically solid rubber :laughing: I think I’ve punctured once on a commute in eight years.

Sluggish is the word though! But I guess the feel will never be like a road bike…

Marathon Racers came on mine, they’re still on there after approx 1,300km and doing well (never punctured but now I’ve jinxed myself!). I run approx 70psi F/R and I weigh approx 70kg geared up. Anything much higher than that feels super harsh on the shite UK roads.

Here’s mine :slight_smile:



Here is mine. Fits with my other full black MTB. In great condition for a M3L from 2014 - Seems rarely used. Bargain for 750 euro and having a blast so far. Also the ortlieb front bag it came with has been handy already!

I find it a little too upright. Really wish It was an ‘S’ - may get 50mm rise bars to bring the cockpit down a bit.


Beware, some of them don’t flare out at the bottom, so you might end up with the saddle and seatpost in your hand when you pull up the seat.

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