Saturday, December 8, 2012

Brompton Toolkit Review, Part 2: On the bike & what it can fix

This is part 2 of the Brompton Toolkit review.  To see the first part, click here.

The toolkit only enters the bike in one way, with the wrench closest to the hinge.

And the way the toolkit sits in the bike leads me to this minor caveat for a the few owners who use the Brompfication hinges:

THE TOOLKIT WILL NOT FIT IF YOU USE THE BROMPFICATION LEVER BOLT AND LOCKING NUT!  The longer bolt will interfere with the wrench during closing.  You must switch back to the stock length lever bolt in order to use the toolkit as designed.

Locking nut is impeding the path of the wrench into the bike.
The stock lever bolt provides sufficient clearance for the wrench.

Once the toolkit is installed and the bike is ready to go, the toolkit is essentially forgotten.  You don't notice it at all while riding... no weird sounds or anything of the sort.

As for the using the tools themselves, I am going to shamelessly copy and modify the list that The Bromptontalk Wiki has for which tools fix what.  I have not personally confirmed all of these, so if a correction or addition needs to be made please let me know in the comments.

15mm: Back wheel and standard front wheel, chain tensioner.
10mm: Brake arms, brake wire, brake central bolt, front light (Edelux, Cyo), seat post clamp, suspension unit.
8mm: Back light, back fender.

Allen Keys:
6mm: Handlebar.
5mm: Brake arms, brake pad holder, brake lever (Shimano BLR5500), gear lever (SA SLS50 T5), Pentaclip.
4mm: Front wheel (SON), front light (Edelux, Cyo), gear lever (SA SLS50 T5), luggage block, back frame hinge.
3mm: Powergrips, Blackburn mirror.
2.5mm: Alignment brake arms, back fender.
2mm: Brake pad insert.

Slot: Front fender.
Phillips: Luggage block lever, gear lever (SA SLS3C R3).


  1. Thank you so much for pioneering the way with your (unfortunate) discovery that the toolkit doesn't work with the brompfication lever bolt and locking nut mod. I have that mod as well and I was planning on making the toolkit my next purchase! I actually like the brompfication mod even more than the toolkit because it really does make it easier to fold. Were you upset that you had to revert to the stock brompton lever bolt? It's a good thing that you kept the parts...(i did too!) Make sure that the brompfication guy reads your entry so that he can begin working on a solution (if he hasn't already).

    1. Hi Eric,

      I wasn't terribly upset that that the toolkit doesn't work with the Brompfication's not up to Brompton to make sure that their products are compatible with 3rd party modifications. Sure would have been nice though if it did!

      Not too upset about reverting back to the stock bolts. The bolts seem to operate a little smoother over the Brompfication bolts, although it's a little slower due to the hinges flopping around. For the time being I'm gonna ride with the stock bolts, but perhaps I'll change them back in the future.

      Also, you could always get the toolkit and keep it handy in any bag! I'll give the Brompfication guy a shout out.

    2. Like the detailed photos! Looks like the bolt on the Brompfication lever is just a tad too long for the wrench contained in the toolkit. Do you think purchasing a shorter nut and filing down the bolt would give enough clearance for the toolkit?

    3. I have the toolkit and just installed the brompfication hinges (before reading this blog.) I noticed this problem and was at first dismayed, but then realized that if you leave the locking nut off the interfering hinge clamp bolt and give the clamp an extra few twiddles before using the hinge, the toolkit will slide in without a problem. The toolkit doesn't interfere with the bolt once the hinge is closed, so it doesn't interfere with your ride. True, you lose the locking nut's ability to give you the exact clearance for a quick fold, but it allows you to keep the look and the spring action.

  2. Good detailed write-up, Fernando.
    I am planning to get one, but interesting to learn about the Toolkit.
    Peace :)

  3. Hello,

    Yes, small problem for those who bought the Brompfication kit. Brompton Ltd is not responsible.

    Better than a simple lock nut, read: "Hinge clamp plate" ont his page:

    A pic of a friend of this mounting:

    Olivier, from Belgium,
    Abeillaud []

  4. Sadly this lovely gadget just doesn't work. The tip of one of my tyre levers broke the first time I used it and the knurled wheel on the end of the spanner bites into my hand painfully when applying force to a tight wheel nut.
    And before anybody says Brompton know about the tyre lever problem and are fixing it, the fix appears to be to make the narrow lever wider and the wide lever narrower, the one that broke for me is the wide one.

    1. Thanks Chris. This seems like an important oversight on Brompton's part. I'm going to do a new post that'll link to yours regarding your experience with the toolkit.

    2. Hi Chris!

      Did you keep the two tyre levers clipped together when trying to remove the tyre or did you separate them? Apparently, it is designed to be used with the two tyre levers clipped together, and then to separate them as in this diagram:

    3. Don't you keep the spanner in the container when you're using it? That's how other toolkits work.

    4. Yes, I think the spanner was intended to use while inside the cylinder cover.

  5. Have you tried to use normal nut with loctite instead of lock nut? Of course you have to use hacksaw also. I was just wondering if that does the job and maintain the function.

    1. Harri, sorry for the late reply... I imagine that a thin nut with loctite could work. I'd use one of the medium strength loctites (blue 242 or 243). Good luck!