Brompton Talk

Basil and I encountered Hugo, a Brompton evangelist, on the West Side Greenway in New York City. Hugo’s Brompton bicycle is a sleek white H6L

Hugo was extolling the virtues of the Bromfoot; Bromptons built before 2012 have a folding pedal that is smaller than the non-folding one, which has always been a bit of a bane for riders.

A Bromfoot replaces the smaller pedal, making it larger and easier to grip, and also protecting the frame from scratches. Basil is a 2012 Brompton; beginning with his model year, Brompton supplies a larger folding pedal, and added a “catch” so that the pedal fold doesn’t hit the frame unless it’s folded carelessly.

Hugo said he found out about the Bromfoot when riding in Central Park one day.  Another Brompton rider asked him how he liked his folding pedal; when Hugo made the obvious complaint, the other cyclist hauled a Bromfoot out of a pack, and sold it to Hugo on the spot.  He was Bromfoot’s inventor — and, apparently, a pretty clever marketer, too. Owners of beloved older Bromptons might want to check out the Bromfoot; I notice it now comes in colors, too, for a little added pizazz.

This was my first chance to take a look at the Ortlieb Mini O on a Brompton.  If you’re going for style alone, you probably couldn’t do better than Hugo’s combination:  The black-on-black Mini O looks smashing on that all-white B frame.

Seeing how small the profile is, and how easy it is to access the inside of the bag when it’s mounted convinced me:  I’ve since ordered one — it won’t look as nifty as this one does (no real Basil-compatible colors available), but I’ve had little success at making my own bags truly waterproof.  The Mini O should make it easier (and safer, as far as camera and phone are concerned) to ride in mist or rain.

Apparently Hugo is pretty good at sales, too, because he also convinced me to get my Ergon GP-1 grips, and to install them myself.  Even better, he’d purchased his at a small shop in Washington Heights — one I hadn’t known existed — so I was able to chase them down before going home.  As with the Mini O, seeing them on the bicycle — and being able to check the size —  made all the difference.

Hugo’s were set at a sharper angle than I ended up using for mine, but they are infinitely variable (within ergonomic reason), so it’s easy to customize the angle to any personal preference.

Hugo, on his Brompton, and I, on Basil, headed out in opposite directions on this beautiful day,  Basil and I with a list in hand, and an agenda:  Changes ahead for Basil!

4 replies on “Brompton Talk”

Seems to have been a really worthwhile encounter & I’ve found that seeing the Brompton mods “in the wild” makes all the difference (just hoping that I won’t be overwhelmed in the UK soon?). Now for some ingenuity for a new posting category? (“Bike-Spotting” doesn’t seem worthy for Bromptons?)

It was a great encounter, and, as you note, Ian, seeing the mods up close is so different from contemplating them in the abstract. Your head will be spinning in the UK!

Yes, “Bike-spotting” is pretty dull, and, I agree, not one bit Brompton-worthy. That category was originally meant for sightings of non-Brompton cycles. Last fall, I saw very few Bromptons out-and-about, and was able to photograph almost none: How things have changed! I’ll take up your suggestion, and give the Bs their own category.

I love seeing other Bromptons flash by on the Hudson River path (my daily commute)! You will love the Ergon grips; they’re a snap to install, and make a great ride even better. The mini O is calling to me also…

I envy your commute, Cathy — views on and off the path! The Ergons are looking great; I can’t wait to get out and give them a real test. (And my Mini O should arrive today; I hope it lives up to its reputation!)

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