Best Phone Mount for Brompton

Phone mount is really useful while cycling, providing a stable and safe way to mount your phone to your bike allowing for navigation and notifications to be clearly visible while cycling. The typical phone mount design mount in the centre of the handlebars over the stem and typically compatible with all current handlebar types. Most of them require to stick an adapter behind the phone case or replace the phone case that come with an adapter.

I’m searching for a phone mount that can hold my huge iPhone 13 Max but at the same time doesn’t requirement to change the phone casing and allow me to fold the bicycle without causing any issue. Here’s some of the popular brand that I found and one that fit my requirements.

Quad Lock

Quad Lock is one of the most popular brand. Designed by Brompton, it come with a nice and sleek design. Come with 2 mounting points on the handle bar, it’s more stable and steady. But on a M or H bar it’s hard to get the right angle to twist and lock the phone in. Another things that I don’t like about it is the phone mount needs to be purchase separately and you need to change the phone casing in order to mount on it which I find it troublesome. The price is definitely on the high side at $90 SGD on shopee.

Trigo Mount 

Trigo is another interesting one that I found online (Amazon Link). It come with a plastic adapter to stick on the back of your phone case so technically no need to replace the phone casing. The adapter slot horizontally from top down so it works perfect for M and H bar. The down side is the mounting point is on the stem so you will need to unscrew the stem and slot it in between and lock it back, not as straight forward for beginner. I also dislike leaving the adapter at the back of my phone casing, making it very uncomfortable to carry around in the pocket when not cycling.

TRIGO Mobile Phone Mount TRP1820P - B-Spokes

Trigo Mount 

After searching around I found the ideal phone mount for me. Sukou phone mount come with an extended mount so it extend your phone forward giving a better visibility while cycling. The mount can be clamp on any part of the handlebar which is nice and also with the extended arm it make it easier to mount and dismount the phone on all type of handlebar. My favourite part is there’s no need to replace the phone case or stick anything on the phone, it come with a hard rubbery adapter that can be rubber strap on the phone. Another plus point is the price, selling at only $10 SGD on shopee.

The installation was very simple so I will not go into detail. After installation, it kind of get into the way when folding the stem, it prevent the stem from locking properly but because it can be mount at any part of the handlebar and I’m using a straight bar, shifting it a little bit solve the problem. The rubber strap does obstruct the top and bottom of your phone but it’s not a big problem for me since I usually only look at google map only while cycling and does not message or anything like that. (Can be dangerous!). It’s unexpectedly steady and firm, I did a 50km ride over bumpy road, jumping up and down curbs and my phone stay firmly on the mount.

Overall very happy with the purchase and definitely recommended !

3 things to know before changing to oval chainring

I been looking for a replacement for my B75 Chainring, it come in size 44T and I been riding like a hamster on a flat road. I need a bigger chainring to optimize my drivetrain efficiency. Oval chainrings had become very popular lately, the design increase pedalling effectiveness thus lesser force waste means more energy saved which allow longer ride. But oval chainring is not for everyone and not all size can fit onto a Brompton, here’s 3 key things I learned before changing into an Oval Chainring.

Chainstay length and Chain length

Sizing for Oval Chainring is same as normal chainring, it go by number of teeth, but since is oval in shape the length of the chainring will not be consistent when it rotate. The longest side of the chainring it’s known as the Recovery Zone and when it’s parallel to your chainstay it might hit your front hook. So we need to be sure to pick the right chainring size. I cannot find any standard sizing guide for oval chainring, every brand come with different sizing guide but the maximum teeth we can fit onto a Brompton without hitting the hook is 56T so whatever brand of chainring we just need to make sure the maximum Teeth is 56T (about 12cm from center of bottom bracket). I realise the longest axis of an Oval Chainring is usually size + 4T , example if the size indicate 52T the longest axis is usually +4T = 56T.

oval chainring

Bold Circle Diameter (BCD)

BCD is the diameter of the circle within the chainring, it’s important to select the right BCD that fit your crankset. I’m using the original Brompton crankset so I will need a 5 bolt 130 BCD chainring.

Ring Orientation

The orientation of Oval chainring is extremely important, when position right we will be able to transmit more power to our pedal but if position wrongly will cause it harder to pedal and not able to transmit power to pedal effectively. The logic of Oval chainring is to position crankarm at about 110 ° to the longest axis of the chainring so when we are pedalling downwards and pushing the longest axis forward generating higher power outputs with same effort, this is call the power zone. It’s a brilliant design and because of the irregular rotation, there’s always a powerzone (hard to pedal) and recovery zone (easy to pedal) making it ideal for climbing steep slope.

AbsoluteBlack vs Stone vs Ridea

Once I got all the facts right, I start searching for one that fit my requirement. I need a size 52T-56T, 5 bolt, 130BCD Oval chainring. There are few different brands and I narrow down to these 3 brands, AbsoluteBlack, Stone and Ridea.

52T$160 ~ $173$78$155

AbsoluteBlack is the premium brand amount the rest, the 53T is available at their official website at $173 excluding shipping fee or $160 from CANNASIA website. AbsoluteBlack claim that their oval chainrings are designed with optimum percentage of ovality and shape, allow optimum angle of the crank arm to achieve most effective pedalling power. They provide a lot of great explanation and research in their website but the price is on the high side and not within my budget.

Ridea is another popular option, the 52T is available on Shopee at $155 and come in 5 different colours. According to Ridea’s website the hollow design create a laminar flow to reduce drag which help to keep momentum. not sure how much does it really contribute to momentum but I like the look of the hollow design.

Stone is the most affordable option I can find in the market, the 52T is available on shopee at $78 only. It comes in hollow and non-hollow style, the 52T weigh only at 112g. Pretty good deal at half of the price of rest of the brands, so I decided to go with Stone.

It fit nicely onto my Brompton, the hollow design look great and the black blend in well. I did a short 50km test ride with slight elevation and I must say it really helps in term of climbing and on flat road the bigger chainring definitely allow me to pedal harder and generate more power but I do not feel the different intern of the shape. It still roll smoothly and I realise it exactly allow me to be more consistent on my pedalling. Given the price, it’s very worth it and definitely a good upgrade that I will recommend.

Why I change my EZ Wheel

A good EZ wheel is essential when pushing your Brompton around the super market or anywhere when folded. The original EZ Wheel doesn’t come with bearing and it just doesn’t roll at all, definitely needs to be upgraded.

If there’s a rack attached, there will be 4 wheels nicely spread out allow the bike to sit steadily when folded and offer a smooth pushing. Most weight weenies will remove the rack and mudguard to save significant weight but also means the bike will not be able to push around easily and stand stable.

Biscuit Wheel

Previously I replace the original EZ wheel with a OEM biscuit wheel from Taobao which cost about SGD$18 per pair. Really good upgrade, it roll smoothly, weigh about 80g only and give the bike a very classic original look. It’s made in one piece so very solid build and durable.

The only problem is the wheel measure at only 58mm by 10mm and weigh about 80g while Brompton’s weight when folded is pretty much tilted to the handlebar side with a 565mm height, the little wheels cannot stable the bike and likely to topple over. Most of the EZ Wheel will have the same problem as they are usually about the same size and weight. I did some research and found some larger EZ Wheel and extender that can keep the bike on the ground when folded and allow us to push the bike around easily.

80mm EZ Wheel

This 80mm EZ Wheel from 808 Cycles is by far the best EZ wheel I can find. It come with sporty multi-spokes design and Japanese ceramic ball bearings to ensure a smooth rolling. The 80mm height keep the bike higher off the ground when folded making sure the handlebar do not touch the ground. The 20mm width also provide more stability, allow to roll the Brompton around easily. The price is on the higher side at $50 a pair so 4 wheels will cost $100.

EZ Wheel extender

Another solution is to install an extender, the extension provide more stability to the bike when folded and able to retract when cycling. There are lots of different extender in the market ranging from $13 ~ $50 on Shopee without the wheel. Most of them come in same size and similar design. They typically come in a 117mm +- width which doesn’t fit nicely on the original Brompton EZ Wheel Rack. Since Brompton frame are handmade, the EZ Wheel Rack length might vary from 110~115mm. The advise I found online is to add washer to fill up the gap.

Alternative a better one is to get the adjustable version, the extender can be adjusted according to the length of your Brompton giving perfect length and fit nicely to the rack. You can get this on Shopee about $20

I found a semi carbon one on Taobao and thought it will look really nice on my bike. Price about $50 with shipping, the quality is really impressive and steady build. Unfortunately the black looks odd on my water blue B75 therefore I decided to let it go on carousell but it definitely looks better on a Black or Red Brompton, here’s the link if you like to get one.

Roller skating wheel

This is another cool one shared on cycling group, replacing the EZ wheel with inline skate wheel. Inline Skate wheel are designed to be super durable with the rubber tyre absorbing impact and the bearing ensure smooth rolling for Skating, very good replacement for EZ Wheel. Typical inline skate wheel come in 60,70,80mm with a width of 25mm, when installed as EZ wheel it hold the Brompton steadily when folded. Oxelo skate wheel from Decathlon is one of the popular one, pricing at only $10 for 4 pieces it’s always out of stock in most of the Decathlon store.

Since they are out of stock, I went Taobao diving for alternative. As usual there are millions of inline skate wheel on Taobao and I manage to find some really nice inline skate wheel that are within 80mm x 25mm dimension. Eventually I bought this design at about $40 ($35 + $5 shipping) including 4 wheels and 8 ABEC-9 bearing. The shipping took forever, about 3 weeks to arrive but the quality is really good. Very durable build and not too heavy, nice design and hopefully fit nicely on my Brompton.

The installation is not as straight forward, the original 5mm bolt is not compatible with the bearing, I will provide more detail of the installation in another post. Here’s the end result, I like how the design blend into the colour of my B75. It’s heavier than the typical EZ wheel but I like how it hold my bike steadily and push around smoothly when folded.