Alternative Saddle for Brompton

The Brooks C17 is aesthetically pleasing on the Brompton giving a very classic english look, but really not the right saddles for me. I really like the Boira Duopower, the no-nose design reducing pressure in the groin area giving a more comfortable long ride, But it’s sold out everywhere.

I ended up going back to Selle Italia, an Italian brand and they make very good saddles primary very popular for road bikers. Wiggle carry a good range of Selle Italia saddles and I found the Novus Boost Superflow at a super good price.

The quality of the saddle is really astonishing, weight at 182g comparing to Brooks c17 at 464g still give a very sturdy feel. I like the short nose not putting too much pressure on the groin making long ride comfortable and enjoyable.

The white color looks good on water blue as well, personally I preferred it over the c17.

To the next upgrade, ride safe, have fun.

Front Carrier Block

The front bag are really practical add-on for all Brompton, very useful when you want to carry things around while cycling.

Brompton B75 doesn’t come with a front carrier block so before I can get a bag, I will need to fix a carrier block first. The other range of Brompton should come with a black plastic front carrier block which works for all the Brompton front bag and most of the after market bags but if you want to get something matching, there are variety of colours for you to choose from.

Don’t under estimate this little piece of block, some could cost up to $80 SGD ! Check out this H&H front carrier block . The block weigh average 70~80g and the design are all identical, furthermore it’s not visible after attaching a bag. Therefore I don’t really think it’s worth to spend too much money on it. I think as long as it’s compatible to most of the bags, any block will serve the purpose. So after some research, I found one at only $20 SGD on Shopee. It’s by this brand Muqzi which come in 5 different colour, weigh about 68g and took only 5 days to arrive.

Installation is very straight forward, it will take probably about 5-10 mins.

First remove the original screws, if the bicycle doesn’t come with it, it’s totally fine. The front block carrier should come with 2 compatible screws.

Installation is easy, it will take probably about 5-10 mins.

First remove the original screws, if the bicycle doesn’t come with it, it’s totally fine. The front block carrier should come with 2 compatible screws.

Next screw the base into the nose, follow by the plate onto the base.

That’s it, easy and cheap add-on.

Brooks England Ergonomic Rubber Grip upgrade

The original “toilet roll” grips is not going to last you round island, the constant holding onto the grips usually cause soreness and discomfort to your hand after 40-50km ride. So to get a more comfortable long ride, I upgraded my handle grips to an ergonomic grips. Ergonomic grips originated from Ergon Bike, I was using their GP1 on my first foldie and immediately felt the effect. The grips come with a support allowing your palm to rest nicely on it, also relieves the pressure on holding on the the grips causing discomfort. Here’s their professional explanation on how the grips help:

There are lots of different model and make of Ergonomic grips, you can easily find one on Shopee, lazada but some of them seem too cheap to be true. I have not try any replicated one before but I guess the material and grip will be different from an original one.The GP make really nice grips but they do not have a pure black version, after some shopping, I found Brooks England Ergonomic Rubber Grip on amazon. Black, premium design and most importantly water proof, giving it’s rubber I think it will not smell and probably give a better grip. It’s about $68 SGD + $10 shipping on Amazon SG and it’s original so if you are getting anything above this price, I suggest just order from amazon.
Important things to note, grips normally come in 2 different size. 100mm and 130mm, some even come with 100 on each side and 130 on the other side, design for grip shifter which is normally not for your Brompton, 3sixty or pikes. The original Brompton grips are 130/130mm and according to Brompton website “2017 model Brompton folding bikes had a revised handlebar on the M-type and H-type model allowing these 130mm (the S-type already took 130mm grips)” so 130/130mm grips should fit all Brompton nicely.

Brooks England Ergonomic Rubber Grip

The process is pretty simple, first remove original grips with a 2.5mm allen key. The grip should come off easily after unlocking the grip. Next slot in the new grip and adjust your palm to rest on the grip nicely.

Once you are comfortable with the position just tighten the screw to lock the grip in place.Put on the handsome cap and done ! 15 min job for a more comfortable ride.

Best EZ Wheel upgrade

The original EZ wheels from Brompton are made of plastic with a spacer as the center core. It’s attached to the frame or rack with 35mm M5 screws. There’s no ball bearing therefore creating a lot of friction when rolling and that’s why almost every owner upgrade the EZ wheel on the first day.

There are many different types of aftermarket EZ wheels, ranging from SGD $15 all the way to few hundred ! No kidding, check out this beautiful Koeing Hanami with a hefty price tag. I got the OEM classic biscuit EZ wheel from Taobao about SGD$18 per pair. Remember to get the 58mm, I tried the 46mm and it’s too small to keep it the bike above the ground. You will need a M5 25mm screw, 2 nuts and 2 washers on each wheel, this is the order of how I install the wheel. Result in smooth rolling, easy to push the bicycle around when folded and very affordable modification.

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.