Friday, March 9, 2012

My Brompton Folder: One Year Summary of Technical Problems

A bit of pecking
I have been riding my Brompton folding bike for over a year now.  During  this time I have written in this blog  about my experiences with the bike.  As any reader will know, my Brompton folder has been a lot of fun, especially because I have been able to expand my circle of riding activities by carrying the Brompton in my car and by taking it along on public transport.
It seems,  everybody who is writing  about his Brompton bike experiences is only full of praise.  In this posting, however, I will tell you of my list of technical problems.  As I have had a number of good bicycles  in my life, I had expected that the Brompton, being a bike of a great reputation, would give me at least one full year of reliable service without a single problem.  Far from that.  This is my list of complaints:
a)   Plastic snatch broken. It catches the handle bar when   
      the bike is folded up.
b)   Plastic hook on front wheel broken twice.  The hook comes to ´
      sit on the frame when the bike is folded.
c)  Metal fender of front wheel broken twice.
d)  Back wheel out of balance, spokes needed to be tightened by a 
e)  Flat tire (back wheel); the mechanics did not detect any obvious
f)  Gears needed readjustment by a mechanic.
g)  Roller casters on the back of frame and small rollers on rear
     rack are not quite functional.  Poor plastic material, one roller is 
     broken to this day.
h)  Rubber mud flap of back wheel got lost.
i)   Drive chain guard broken twice. Its plastic material is not doing
     the job well enough.
Now, call me a madman, but I still like the little folder.  Yet at the same time I am wondering what kind of first year riding experiences the owners of a Birdy folding bike can report.  The Birdy, in case you don`t know about it, is a folding bike with a suspension system,which does not fold as small as the Brompton, but which may boast its German engineering quality.
In case you want to read more: In previous posts I have already talked about most of the issues.
Folding, Riding, Fixing
Brompton psssss...


  1. The Birdy is not built in Germany..and these faults with the Brompton would not happen if you took more care..

  2. You are right:
    "The Birdy is a folding bicycle designed by Riese und Müller in Germany and produced by Pacific Cycles in Taiwan." (Wikipedia)

  3. My issues with my H3 here in Canada have solely been tire related. The Marathon plus require 80 psi. The rear tire wore in 6 months. I noticed the whitewall band started to peel at the ends first. It's replacement another Msrathon plus has held up well over the past year and does not lose 10-15 psi on a weekly basis like the first did. My bike shop had a 24/7 air hose around the back which I visit religiously every Saturday. The front tire is now losing 10-15 psi a week and has the same peeling of the whitewall. I think Brompton had either an old or deffective baych of Marathon Plus.

    I am very happy with bike and in two years have had no other issues other than tires. Everything else works fine and I have had no problem with the plastic parts you mention.

    I love my sage green - now discontinued.

    My advice to any potential Brompton buyer - watch your tire pressure.

  4. I am always getting a flat back tire, so much that I tried to take it back under warranty and tried to get it replaced. I bought a Dahon ( but wish I got a bloody brompton..


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