3Sixty vs Brompton

It’s a common debate among the cycling community, Brompton vs similar tri folded bicycle brands. 3Sixty(SGD $850 +-) and Pikes(SGD $1000+-) are the most popular one, other brands like litepro (SGD$1000+), GoGoBike (SGD $800+), weekeight (SGD $800+) also start to popping up in the market.
Let’s start with the folding system, they all fold the same way with the same steps. The end result measurement up to 585 x 565 x 270 mm only and it can fit into a standard size suitcase easily.

3sixty

I only have experience with 3Sixty and Brompton so I can only share the differences I observed between these 2 brands. Some 3Sixty owners comment the welding is not as nice as Brompton but that’s not true, my chrome 3Sixty came with quite a good weld finishing and comparable to my Brompton so probably depend on your luck.

Next let’s look at the parts. 3Sixty does come with an integrated shifter, I got mine from BikeRepublic and it included but excluding the bell and the signature logo.
3Sixty come with CSTtires (est 20+- each) whereas Brompton come with Schwalbe Marathon Tyre (est 70+- each), you can easily feel the different when riding on wet condition that’s why tyre is the first item most 3Sixty owner upgrade.
3Sixty provide a 3Sixty branded crankset which really not much different comparing to Brompton’s stock crankset apart from the design, so purely aesthetic. Most riders (including me) upgrade their chain ring to bigger one with more teeth to be more efficient. Similar for the brakes, 3Sixty come with their own branded brakes which I personally felt it’s a decent brake so really not much different comparing to Brompton. Brompton give a very solid left foldable pedal and non-foldable pedal on the right comparing to 3Sixty’s plastic pedals definitely a much better one.

Both 3Sixty and Brompton uses sturmey archer internal hub but 3Sixty probably use different type of nuts therefore the tuning gear hub guide on Brompton site will not work on 3Sixty.

Lastly, most important differences is the frame. Brompton spend lots of efforts on the frame, the folding system is actually protected under the patent system. There’s a file against a Korean company Chedech that produce bicycle which is very similar to Brompton, you can read more about it here.

Every unit of Brompton come with a unique serial number to certified the authenticity and come with a 7 years warranty, that’s very important when come to the quality of the bicycle, especially the clamp. The clamp holds the bicycle together when it’s unfolded, you can see from this diagram how the pressure is apply and transfer to the clamp.

Here’s the comparison, You can see the Brompton clamp is much thicker than the 3Sixty’s clamp, the thicker clamp give a better force absorption, better contact surface for the joint and hold the bicycle together sturdily.Here’s a picture of a Pikes clamp I found online and you can see the clamp is not align.

This is definitely a concern, in long run the bike might not fold properly or even post a risk when cycling.
Conclusion, they are all very similar in terms design, the way it fold and the parts they use. Very compact transport that let you explore around the island and you can just fold and hop on to public transport if it start to rain. If you plan to keep it for long, then you might want to consider investing on a Brompton, it’s about SGD$1700 different and give you 7 years of warranty and confident on the quality of the frame.

The Brompton B75

I started cycling way long long ago, as far as I remember my first self owned bicycle is a black Cannondale 27.5 trail bike. Although it’s a MTB, suppose to get dirty in Bukit Timah trail, I never ride with it on a trail before. Most of the time riding with group on road doing half or round island and that’s explain how the bike got sold after a few months.
That’s when the hobby get seriously, invested in my first road bike a Felt F95 Garmin edition.So I start to learn about drafting, important of aerodynamics and becoming a weight weenie. I got another Colnago road bike due to my height and to better match my riding posture but it doesn’t last long as well. I ended up selling all the bikes and invested in a German road bike “Storck Scenero G2“, very stiff and aggressive geometry carbon bike at affordable price. For people that are into roadies, I highly recommend to it out. I got mine from https://www.bikesnbites.com/ but not sure if they still carry it, they also shutdown the shop along Thong Soon Avenue so probably hard to find a Culture Storck in Singapore now. That’s pretty much the evolution of my road bicycle and the hobby last me for years. I join my kakis at least twice a week and occasionally for oversea trips. The best part about this cycling group is that they are super organised, there are rules and regulation to follow in order to be part of the group. They brief you about hand signals, route that we are riding, ensure everyone have their safety equipments, making sure everyone ride safely according to traffic regulations and trying our best not to affect the traffic. Yet the unfortunate happen, we crashed into a lorry along Changi Coastal Road during one of the RI ride. Many was badly injured and I was fortunate to escape with minor bruises, It was devastating event for me and ended my road biking journey since then.
Well, but it still doesn’t stop my enthusiasm for bicycle therefore I decided to pickup foldable bicycle. The whole idea of riding on PCN at a much slower speed and still get to explore different part of Singapore is just too interesting not to do it. And with foldies, you basically can just fold and dump it in your car boot or hop on into public transport, very portable and easy to move around with it. I bought a Tern Link P9 for a start, very nice foldable bicycle with 6 speeds allow you to ride on different terrain with no problem. The only thing I don’t like is the way it fold, I will elaborate more in another post. So following the trend, I got myself a tri fold bicycle, 3sixty. It looks and fold like a Brompton, come with sturmey archer internal hub just like Brompton but half the price of a Brompton. Interestingly when you strip it apart beside a Brompton, you will realize the different. I will share in details the differences I observed between these 2 bicycles in my next post, for now that’s how I ended up with a Brompton B75.

Brompton B75