Saturday, December 1, 2012

Brompton Toolkit Review, Part 1: Component Breakdown

This is the first of several review posts about the new Brompton Toolkit.  The second post can be seen here.  Today I'll be covering the components of the toolkit and some of the specifications I measured.  Future reviews will cover storage on the bike and the use of the tools.

The complete assembled toolkit weighs 6.0 ounces (approximately 170 grams) and the longest dimension was approximately 5.4 inches (13.7 cm).  These initial run of toolkits were rushed out without any nifty packaging, just a foam envelope similar to what most electronics are protected with.

The weight of the total Brompton toolkit was 6.0 oz.

Brompton Toolkit maximum length was approximately 5.4 inches.

All of the tools are stored in the compartmentalized internal structure and covered by an aluminum tube.  The internal structure is mostly plastic but also has rubber-encased magnets to secure the toolkit onto the bike.  There is a notch on the aluminum cover as well as a "key" on the internal structure to aid in alignment while snapping them together.

Brompton toolkit with cover removed.

Compartmentalized internal structure

The aluminum cover has no protrusions into the middle of the tube.

The kit consists of the following parts (and their respective weights):

  • Aluminum cover tube (1.1 oz / 31 gm)
  • Compartmentalized internal structure (0.9 oz / 25.5 gm)
  • 15mm wrench & ratcheting head (2.1 oz / 59.5 gm)
  • 8 & 10mm wrench and tire lever (0.6 oz / 17 gm)
  • 8mm wrench and tire lever (0.6 oz / 17 gm)
  • Phillips & Flathead bit (0.1 oz / 3 gm)
  • 2 & 6mm hex bit (0.2 oz / 5.5 gm)
  • 2.5 & 5mm hex bit (0.1 oz / 3 gm)
  • 3 & 4mm hex bit (0.1 oz / 3 gm)
  • Sandpaper and tube patch (less than 0.1 oz combined)

Tools in the Brompton Toolkit
The drive bits, sandpaper & patch are standare fare, so let's dig deeper into the other components.

15mm Wrench & Ratcheting Head:
The 15mm wrench is used for loosening and tightening the wheel axle bolts.  It can be used on its own or while it is sticking out of the assembled toolkit.

The ratcheting head uses magnets to secure the drive bits during use.  The bits only attach from one side, and of course the ratchet is reversible.  There is a vertical significant offset between the wrench and ratcheting head.

Tire Levers with Built-In Wrenches:
The tire lever with the narrower edge has a combination 8 & 10mm wrench cutout.  This lever also has a spoke hook to anchor it when removing a tire.

The tire lever with the wider edge has a single 8mm wrench cutout and no spoke hook.

Steel runs the entire length of both tire levers (I checked with a strong magnet).  A plastic coating helps protect the rims.  The tips of the tire levers seem sharper than most of the ones that I am accustomed to... hopefully this will make it easier to remove the smaller tires!

Tips of the 8mm (top) and 8 & 10mm tire levers

Profiles of the tire lever tips.
From top:  PDW, Pedro's,  Brompton 8mm, Brompton 8 & 10mm. 

Profile of the tire levers stacked as they would be when stored.

Another view of the stacked tire levers.

A latch on the internal structure keeps the tire levers secure.

The Brompton logo etched / embossed onto some of the parts adds a nice touch:

Comment with any questions!


  1. Great post! I like your Project Mat! Not sure if you can view this, but just got this email from Clever Cycles in Portland, Oregon:

  2. I was at PortaPedal today and Al showed me the Brompton toolkit. Like everything else Brompton makes it's well thought out and meticulously executed. Very impressive!

    1. Agreed! I kept telling Al that Brompton could have probably gotten some off-the-shelf tools and jammed them in a roll-up canvas bag and sold a ton of them. But Brompton being Brompton, they went the extra mile and designed something that addressed a need with elegance and cleverness (if that's a word).

  3. If you have the shorter wheelbase model like myself this kit is of no use. You may wish to consider a "Scicon Elan 210" saddle bag that is fitted by a Velcro strap underneath the seat rails where it is hardly visible. It is exceptionally tiny but holds a spare tube + all the tools needed in their basic form. Levers, spanners, allen keys and a few stick on patches. the whole package weighs 8oz and cost me less than £15. The bag came from "Wiggle" and the tools from Wilko's and Poundland.When it is fitted it is hardly visible.