One of the ancillary benefits of immersing oneself in a Brompton weekend like the BNC is the opportunity to see, up close, a lot of the after-market stuff Brompton owners try out and use on their bicycles. Dr. Diarist and I were very interested to see the Off Yer Bike handles.
The eagle-eyed will have already spotted the OYB handle on Basil in a previously published picture:
I’d seen these online, but, as ever, was reluctant to actually buy one without trying it out in person. Everyone who had one of these on his or her bike in DC raved about it, and now I know why. My hands are too small to wrap around Basil’s frame, so I can’t easily lift him at the best fulcrum point; as a result, I’ve been wed to the Brompton stock saddle, with its handy grip just under the nose. That worked, but the balance when lifting Basil was never quite right.
The Off Yer Bike handle changed all that. Even Dr. D, who easily carries both our bikes at once, is very pleased at how much simpler it is to wrangle our Bromptons with these handles attached. I couldn’t be happier with it, too. Lifting and manipulating Basil is a whole different, better, story now that he has a handle!
Installation is really simple, and just requires attention and a modicum of brute force to ensure that the velcro and straps are pulled tightly around the Brompton’s mid-section.
The down side? It’s pricey. But it’s strong, appears to be extremely well-made, and I expect it to last forever. If you ship yours individually to the USA from the UK, you can expect to pay even more, but a few dealers in the US are now carrying it, which should save at least a little on p&p.
I bought ours from Bay Area Bikes in Oakland, California — they were fantastic at communication, gave great customer service, and shipped promptly. If you are near Washington, DC., BicycleSPACE, hosts of this year’s Brompton National Championship, carries them, but they do not ship.
The other bummer? I hate the way they obscure that beautiful Brompton frame. But, you know: function over form*. I don’t think that handle could be transparent and still do the job.
Also, I love the Off Yer Bike logo, and I’m happy that the OYB handle is made in the UK instead of in a city-factory in China, but I’m cutting that white tag off ours. It’s distracting to have a white blip flying on the frame, and white? That tag is going to be really filthy in no time.
*Edited: originally wrote the line wrong. Grrr. Busy week; no time!