Sunday, December 30, 2012

The blog now has a twitter account!

Hey everyone!  Hope the holidays have been treating you well.   I finally got around to establishing a twitter account for the blog - @dirtybrompton

Everything should be set up so that whenever I publish a new post, a tweet will be sent to announce it with a link.  I will probably also be tweeting bike-related photos from my instagram account.  Hopefully I can figure out some way to have tweets incorporated into the sidebar of the blog...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Just a quick post to wish everyone Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

1000 MILES!

The virtual odometer rolled over today and I surpassed 1000 cumulative miles ridden on the Brompton!!  It was quite a chilly ride this morning, with the temperature at 36 degrees Fahrenheit.  I was noticing new squeaking sounds on this morning's ride... wonder if it's the cold, the need for a tune-up, or even the Brompton toolkit (kinda doubt it).  The squeaking disappeared and reappeared several times, which was odd.

Anyone done a tune-up to their Bromptons?  What kind of schedule should I be following?

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).

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!