Brompton: Why wait?

by Jack on April 19, 2014

One of the great things about Brompton Bikes is that they come in so many different models and in so many different colors. Of course this poses its own challenges. I remember being a kid, waiting at the ole’ icecream dispensary, trying to decide between rocky-road and strawberry. Hmmm….. Sweet chocolatey crunch? Tangy berry? Or should I mix half and half, Rockyberry swirl has a ring to it….Brompton Color options

Trying to figure out exactly what you want can be overwhelming if there are so many options, and then once you make the hard choices, you still have to wait….

Brompton Bike ColorsUsing NYCeWheel’s Brompton Configurator you can design every aspect of your folding bike, choosing handlebar type, frame color handlebar color, and accessories, but because they are built up in Brompton’s factory it can take up to 10 weeks to receive a new bike.

Here at NYCeWheels, we work hard to keep a huge selection of Brompton bikes in stock and available for immediate delivery. A stock bike ordered today would arrive on the east coast in 2-4 business days and the west coast in 5 -7. We replenish our stock every week, and at any one moment we will have at least 80 Bromptons in stock, including all the most popular configurations.

Bromptons we always have in stock

Certain Brompton configurations are in higher demand, and we make sure to always have these tuned up and ready to ship out:

1) M3L’s, M6L’s, M3R’s, M6R’s, H6L, and H6R’s in Black/Black or White/White. For those who aren’t familiar with the code, these are Brompton bikes with 3 or 6 speeds, M or H style handlebars, fenders, and the option of a rack in solid black or solid white – these are very popular and we always have plenty in stock and ready to ship.

Brompton Bike M3l Black

2) S2L’s, S3Ls, and S6L’s in black or Raw Lacquer

We also always have 2 speeds, 3 speeds, and 6 speeds in stock with the flat S bars, fenders, and the option of a rack. These are especially popular in solid black or the special Raw Lacquer finish.

Raw Lacquer Brompton Bike

3) Titanium Bromptons!

Although Titanium Bromptons can be notoriously hard to find, this year we have a steady supply of the ultralight TI brommies available in 2,3, and 6 speeds and a wide range of colors!

Titanium Brompton Bikes

Stock Bromptons with Colors!!

There is also huge selection of colors available for stock Bromptons. Some of the more popular colors like solid Cobalt Blue:

Cobalt Blue Brompton Bike

Racing Green:

Racing Green Brompton Bike

Apple Green:

Apple Green Brompton Bike

More standard models like these we reorder every two weeks and almost always have in stock.

But we also try to mix it up a bit and order some new color combinations each week – orange frames with black extremities, Red and Black, Claret, Yellow set against black. We try to keep things interesting so it’s always worth it to browse our live Brompton inventory to see if something catches your eye.

Bromtpon folding bike

Choosing the perfect Brompton

Remember, all stock Bromptons can be modified to custom specifications. The most important thing to decide is the number of speeds, the handlebar type, and the color. These are all features about the Brompton that we can’t alter, so we always try to keep plenty of these options in stock. However, pretty much everything else you can tinker with. An “L” bike can be converted to and “R” bike by adding a rack. Fenders can be added or removed. Gearing can be raised or lowered up to 8 percent in either direction. And of course you can still fit a stock bike with all the important Brompton accessories like easy wheels, brooks saddles, carrying cases, and front bags.Brompton Bike Colors

All stock bikes will be shipped on the next business day and arrive in less than a week. So as you begin to design the bike of your dreams, keep an eye on our live Brompton Inventory. Chances are we might already have what you’re looking for and we’ll be able to get you your Brompton folding bike to you in days rather than months.

Best,

Jack

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Brompton for a Great Cause

by Jack on April 15, 2014

Brompton bike

What do Bromptons and great causes have in common? They both make you feel good. Giving back to the community is one of the most rewarding things you can do and there are so many options. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, use your skills to help build a home for someone who may not otherwise have one, or if you are ambitious, organize your own event. The list of ways to give back is endless. Speaking from first hand, on-the-road experience, giving back to the community, the Brompton folding bike is perfect transportation for those volunteer opportunities you find yourself participating in.

Visiting non-profits on the Brompton

I’ve been using my Brompton to travel to cancer centers all over the country. I travel to nonprofit organizations

that assist survivors of many of life’s challenges. My most recent stop found me at a local breast cancer coalition. The Brompton looked great sitting in front of the pink ribbon. It also made the trip much more enjoyable. There was the usual excitement from the staff when they saw a Brompton folding bike for the first time.

Every stop I make whether it is a large cancer center, a local cancer survivor support organization, a domestic violence organization, or any one of the other places I may go, there are always curious onlookers that have never seen a folding bike. Then the questions begin. Can you show me how that folding bike works? How do you ride something like that? Where did you get it? Why did you decide to ride a folding bike and not a regular bike?

Brompton speaks for itself!

The first thing I do is a demonstration. I unfold, I fold, I unfold and I fold again. There have been stops where I think I have gone through the demo a dozen or more times. I explain all the conveniences that come with commuting on a Brompton bike.

Brompton bikeWhen most bicycle commuters are strategically planning stops according to where they may be able to lock up the bike, I’m just heading to the next stop. I don’t need to worry about locking a folding bike, I fold it and take it with me. The places I stop usually have an office to tuck the Brompton into or in some cases an officer that is more than willing to make a compact folding bike part of his patrol duty.

I’ve given it to administrative assistants who have tucked it under a desk. It has been behind the receptionist’s desk as I talk to survivors. My Brompton has been in the back of a pick up truck when I got lost on the way to my host family’s home. This folding bike is so compact I’ve put the cover on it and tucked it in front of my feet on long distance train rides and no one even knew it was a bike.

My custom Brompton Bag turns a few heads

When I’m really in the mood to mess with people’s minds I have a clear garage storage bag that I found through a friend that is almost the exact size of my folded brompton. The bag has handles that are just long enough for me to able to put the Brompton bike in the bag and sling it over my shoulder. Try heading up an elevator in an upscale office building with the bike in a bag. It is quite the head turner. I was stopped by someone thinking I had a suspicious package. You can imagine my laughter and their embarrassment when they realized it was a folding bike.

No matter what your reason is for wanting a folding bike, I’m sure there are things you can do that you haven’t even thought of yet. The Brompton will always be part of my charitable efforts. What will you do with your Brompton folding bike? You are only limited by your imagination.

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Kick Scooters for kidsWhen I was a kid I had kick scooter with a big picture of Snoopy on it. This was circa 1987 – 1993, I’m not sure if kids even know who snoopy is any more, but I loved that scooter, went everywhere on it and I think my favorite part was being able to speed away from my parents and experience the sweet albeit ephemeral taste of freedom. Unwheeled, my parents had no way of keeping up with me and I was free to launch off decks, roll into bushes, or smash into our neighbors unsuspecting cat at my leisure.

Good grief! It must have driven my parents crazy and I lived in a tiny forest town where one car was considered traffic, and I was more likely to hit an animal than a pedestrian. In a busy city like New York the stakes are much higher.

Fortunately, these days parents can buy their own adult kick scooter to keep up with their kids. The sight of an entire family riding by on City Kicker kick scooters is becoming more and more familiar to us here in NYC. Still, with all the cars and people, New York can seem like a war zone and it’s important to pick your routes.

Best places to Kick Scooter in NYC

027Carl Schurz Park

For Manhattan locals who live on the upper east side, Carl Schurz park is a perfect place to ride a kick scooter with kids. The park is beautiful and relatively secluded, with nicely paved paths for the kick scooters, and plenty of groomed grass to stop and take a breath, or do a nice solid cart wheel before moving on. I like this park particularly because it’s one that tourists don’t often make it to, and has a much more local community feel to it.

Roosevelt Island

055Another great place for kids to ride is Roosevelt Island. From Manhattan all you need to do is fold up your kick scooter and jump on the sky cable car thingy that leaves from 2nd ave and 56th street. This is fun in itself, as you get to see the city drop away beneath your feet and for a brief moment rise above all the hustle and bustle.

In a few minutes you’ll arrive smack dab in the middle of Roosevelt island and can spend the day riding your kick scooter along the beautiful bike path that follows the entire circumference of the island, right on the water. Towards sunset, nowhere will you find a better view of the city skyline, I promise.

Explore Central Park on a Kick Scooter

Adult Kick ScooterMy last suggestion is a classic, and one that has likely been made to you before: Central Park. Spanning 2.5 miles, this is the largest stretch of park Manhattan has to offer, and while bikes must stay on the main drag, there are miles and miles of beautiful sidewalks that criss cross through the park, just waiting to be explored.

My favorite sections are near the north. Just below the lake at the very top of the park, the paths wind amidst gorgeous trees and fountains, manicured french lawns, and statues that look like they are straight out of ancient Greece. And again, not so crowded as the lower sections of the park.

That’s all for now! The sun is finally making an appearance, spring is on the rise, and it’s a perfect time to get some quality family time on some kick scooters in New York City!

Jack

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Being new to the world of folding bikes, there has been a lot to learn about the brands, parts, and technologies that are completely alien to someone who has been riding a full sized bicycle since elementary school. So, it’s safe to say I’m intimidated by them. My first time on a Brompton M6R (I LOVE their naming convention)I was immediately converted to the Brompton fold – in the space of the first five minutes I went from “am I going to break this?” to “I can’t believe I’m riding something smaller than my BMX” to “I want one and I want it NOW!”

After my little joyride around New York City’s Upper East Side, the time came to return to the shop and put it away.  The first time you fold up the Brompton bike it can be a bit tricky, so my coworker Jack was nice enough to give me a step by step demonstration.

The Fold:

Folding the Brompton Bike

Place the Brompton bike in front of you with the handlebars to your left. Beneath the suspension located at the base of the seat post you’ll find a small latch pointing down.

Folding the Brompton Bike

Press this latch into the brompton, lift, and the rear wheel will swing underneath the frame of the bike.

How to fold the Brompton BikeRemember to offset the front and rear wheel slightly or they will bump into eachother and scratch the fender over time.

How to fold the Brompton BikeNext, unscrew the clamp which secures the hinge in the center of the frame.

How to fold the Brompton BikeGrip the handlebars, move the handlebars to the right, keeping the wheel facing forward.

 

How to fold the Brompton Bike On the left side of the front wheel, you’ll see a little black hook. Continue bringing the wheel around, and set that little hook onto the rear triangle so that the front wheel fits flush against the frame as shown below:

How to fold the Brompton BikeNext, loosen the bolt at the base of the handlebars.

How to fold the Brompton Bike

That’s the hinge there.

How to fold the Brompton BikeAnd allow the handle bars to fall towards the frame where they will clip into the wheel with a satisfying ding.

How to fold the Brompton BikeLastly, you release the clasp at the base of the seat-post, and lower the post into the frame.

How to fold the Brompton BikeOnce the seat post is down, the bike will be locked together in folded position allowing you to easily carry it where ever you might be heading!

Thanks to Jack for showing me how to fold the Brompton bike! After the first time it was easy to get the hang of and now I fold like a pro.

Till next time!

Dylan

 

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Tern for the Better? The Node D8 (Part II: The Fold)

(click here for part 1)

What a folding bike does is fold. I’m not so much interested in the ‘how’ as I am about the ‘why.’ The easiest box to check off if you are a folding bike manufacturer is ‘the bike will take up less space’ but some of the ones I’ve seen don’t even bother to check that one, and others have folding mechanisms so cheap-looking I’m compelled to check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website before mounting up.

As I’ve already established, the Tern Node D8 seems pleasantly overbuilt and I was already convinced the folding mechanism wasn’t phoned in when I sat on the bike for the first time. So it is time to actually fold it.Tern Node D8 Folded

As a matter of personal preference I do not favor folding bikes that require a degree in mechanical engineering in order to fold. But having dealt with bikes with similar styles, I decided to go ahead and fold the bike under ‘guy-on-Christmas-morning’ conditions without looking at the instructions.

First: the pedals. To fold them you have to loop your fingers on the inside, pull away from the bike and fold in either direction. It’s nicer than pedals that make you grip the sides to fold but you’d probably have to remove your gloves in order to do so – not a problem but it is a heads up given the Hoth-like weather in a good chunk of the country.

Great hinges on the node d8!The central hinge just above the crank features a metal tab that one has to move forward before pulling back on the lever that actually opens the hinge, so I have to give Tern credit: they seemed to figure out the perfect balance to making a folding bike that was easy enough to open with one hand but not so easy it would could become unfolded accidentally while riding (the lever is so large it would be almost impossible to even set off without noticing it wasn’t closed properly).

The handlebars fold down with the same sort of mechanism and it is a simple task to push the bike closed and match the metal tab on the front fork with the magnet on the seat stay which holds the bike shut.  A small but tough-looking rubber strap under the down tube holds the handlebars against the front wheel.

 

Larger wheels but a small folding size!

Mike Norris with his Tern Node D8When the seatpost is lowered just enough so the crank doesn’t hit the ground, the Node D8 ends up as a relatively tidy-looking package that is about 30″ high, which means it might fit under a high desk. Tern’s website gave the folded dimensions as 15.4″ X 33.9″ X 33.1 inches, so I imagine I could have/should have pushed the seatpost in even more.

Tern’s own website also suggests the fold time is 10 seconds. I have little to say on that other than ‘myth confirmed.’

At nearly 30 pounds, the bike isn’t too difficult to lift and the folded size is just small enough and just light enough to carry – at least briefly – in front of you through a narrow door and hallway (like a city bus). It’s too big to be considered a piece of carry-on luggage for Amtrak (their policy is 28″ X 24″ X 14″) but Metro North conductors probably wouldn’t even glance at it. So for a bike with 24″ wheels, the Tern Node D8 is a pretty impressive when it comes to being a folder. Now I’ll see what – if any – compromises are made when it comes to riding it.

Next: The Ride

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Dahon IOS S9 Review

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Tern for the Better? The Node D8

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Best Folding Bikes for Touring!

March 8, 2014

A folding bike is a great way to commute in a crowded city like New York. They are compact enough to store in a small closet at home or under a desk at work, they can easily be taken on public transit, or fit in trunk of a taxi when inclement weather prevents riding. Because [...]

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Forward folding bike – looking past the snow

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Four most common folding bike mistakes, and how to avoid them!

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Folding bikes are pretty straight forward for the most part. They ride just like regular bikes, shift just like regular bikes, brake just like regular bikes. But if you’ve never heard of them before or have only just started to research them, they can seem very new and a little overwhelming. Here are a few [...]

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