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Forums  >  Bike Talk  >  Folding, Mini-Velos, Commuter Bikes
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Topic: Brompton - A 'Nokia' in the making?
Posted on: 7th Mar 2013 9:34 PM    Quote and Reply

Like many foldies' owners, I did my fair share of research before deciding to purchase my first foldies, and today I own and had owned quite a number of foldies, e.g. Brompton M6R, Dahon Vitese D7, R&B Frog, Speedone TFS, Dahon Mu P8, and Dahon Jetstream P8. 

My first foldie was a Brompton and i was pretty much 'captivated' to it by the small fold and the 'made in UK' branding.  Despite knowing that almost the entire bike is made of proprietary parts, I jump into buying it. 

Five years after I bought the bike, I kinda have the view the Brompton is  going down the 'Nokia' road. Despite many of its promotional video indicating that the company is competing with other foldies based on the quality of the bike and not the pricing, I can't help but feel that Brompton is simply not innovating in its bike design, from the range of bike it is offering to the parts that it is using. 

Unlike other foldies which constantly innovate to build bike of better quality e.g. dahon and tern with their hydroformed frame, R&M with their monocoque frame, and even Moulton (another UK brand bike) offer a range of bikes with different bike quality, e.g. handling and material.

Yet till date, Brompton's notable 'innovation' are 1) different types of handlebars, 2) titanium fork and rear triangle, 3) e-brompton, 4) different color tones on the frame and brake levers.

In the simplest sense, are buyers of Brompton paying for quality and innoviation as seen in the bike market today or for a yesterday brand?


I have no respect for irresponsible drivers. Neither do I have any respect for irresponsible cyclists and pedestrians. Its not one rule for "them" and another rule for "us".
worldsofmind Portrait Uploaded
6th May 2010
From: Singapore
Total Forum Rep: 15
Posted on: 7th Mar 2013 9:59 PM   Quote and Reply



Nice post with some good points

To answer your question...

I bought an H6R as a third bicycle - already owning a road bike and an MTB

Why?

A friend of mine has an M6R - he is always raving about it - I gave it a try and liked the geometry, handling and solid design.

So for me it was about buying a fun recreational bike for casual rides, and I was impressed with the history of the company and the solid compact design.

There is also a value aspect. If you look at the used Brompton prices, they do hold their value!! So it is not a bad investment either.

By the way, regarding innovation: a local Brompton expert I was talking to had the opinion that some of Brompton's latest innovations to various parts have not really improved the design, he felt that the original design before the small innovations was actually better.

I guess it is like the old saying: if it ain't broke, don't fix it!


The Green Corridor Rail Trail
USER GUIDE (updated 25 October2014) AT THIS LINK:
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ttimlen Portrait Uploaded
28th Nov 2010
From: Singapore
Total Forum Rep: 6
Riding:
1) Scott Scale80
2) Felt F65
3) Brompton H6R
Posted on: 7th Mar 2013 10:11 PM   Quote and Reply


some company like to maintain the "vintage" look as their strength..

just like vespa.. or mini




kmax

15th Aug 2011
From: Singapore
Total Forum Rep: 4
Posted on: 7th Mar 2013 10:48 PM   Quote and Reply


I agree that the vintage look does contribute as one sale strategies, as I am a sucker for vintage look. But relaying on just the vintage look can be limiting.
 
For Vespa, the innovation and its quality did show marked improvement; the introduction of suspension, disc brake, different engines etc (A history of vespa model : http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/model/Classic/vespa_model_history.htm)

As for Mini, needless the say, the range of Mini available today with different driving quality and components, is on par and maybe even better than other car brands.

I signed up for Brompton newsletter quite some time back when news that Brompton is launching a new model, but to my disappointment, it was just an e-Brompton; which aftermarket components have already created 'e-Brompton'.  And more recently their H bar model was basically imho a M bar with a higher geometry.  I mean if I want a higher geometry handle bar, I can easily go to the LBS to get one of even better quality than the Brompton stock handlebar, which I did. And the constant marketing of the two tones frame, kinda has a perverse effect on me (if I want to have different colours on my frame I can easily go to a frame paint shop to get it done, and I believe the paint job and paint quality would be even better than the stock paint). 

I guess I am just being a typical singaporean that wants a bang for every dollar he/she is spending.


I have no respect for irresponsible drivers. Neither do I have any respect for irresponsible cyclists and pedestrians. Its not one rule for "them" and another rule for "us".
worldsofmind Portrait Uploaded
6th May 2010
From: Singapore
Total Forum Rep: 15
Posted on: 8th Mar 2013 1:13 PM   Quote and Reply


Quote:
"Formerly posted by worldsofmind: I guess I am just being a typical singaporean that wants a bang for every dollar he/she is spending. "


Ok, like what I mentioned earlier - Bromptons do hold their value well on the resale market. Have you compared Brompton resale values with other foldie brands?


The Green Corridor Rail Trail
USER GUIDE (updated 25 October2014) AT THIS LINK:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zm-k4-KgqwoA.k9gUwceJLAk8
ttimlen Portrait Uploaded
28th Nov 2010
From: Singapore
Total Forum Rep: 6
Riding:
1) Scott Scale80
2) Felt F65
3) Brompton H6R
Posted on: 8th Mar 2013 2:25 PM   Quote and Reply


I still haven't seen anything fold up as easily, compact  and neat as a Brompton - I know a couple of guys who commute from house to MRT and MRT office it takes them about 30 secs to fold unfold. Then they shove it in a bag and none of the SMRT goons are any the wiser they are rule breaking.
For that kind of stuff Brommies are still the best - maybe those Pacific Cycles things with 6" wheels that look like scooters on steroids maybe close but they are not as pleasant to ride and they look ridiculous

Zappadeedoohdah

22nd Feb 2012
From: Singapore
Total Forum Rep: 119
Posted on: 8th Mar 2013 4:13 PM   Quote and Reply


Actually the Flamingo London NX 7 and the Ori foldie fold to approximately the same size as a Brompton.

Flamingo London NX7



ORi

 


I have no respect for irresponsible drivers. Neither do I have any respect for irresponsible cyclists and pedestrians. Its not one rule for "them" and another rule for "us".
worldsofmind Portrait Uploaded
6th May 2010
From: Singapore
Total Forum Rep: 15
Posted on: 8th Mar 2013 4:21 PM   Quote and Reply


These 2 models mentioned got upgrades potential, can use aftermarket components and much flexible of future upgrades. Much easier to tune/repairs and affordable than Brompy. Alot competitors recently in market to compete in folding market as it has a certain number of these folding supporters/followers.

kona-bros Portrait Uploaded
4th Oct 2007
From: Singapore
Total Forum Rep: 1
Posted on: 12th Mar 2013 5:51 PM   Quote and Reply


Quote:
"
Unlike other foldies which constantly innovate to build bike of better quality e.g. dahon and tern with their hydroformed frame, R&M with their monocoque frame, and even Moulton (another UK brand bike) offer a range of bikes with different bike quality, e.g. handling and material.
"

Hi..just to correct a Moulton is not a foldie lol! 

rosewood1969

10th Jul 2012
From: Singapore
Total Forum Rep: 0
Posted on: 13th Mar 2013 10:30 PM   Quote and Reply


Quote:
"Formerly posted by Zappadeedoohdah: I still haven't seen anything fold up as easily, compact  and neat as a Brompton - I know a couple of guys who commute from house to MRT and MRT office it takes them about 30 secs to fold unfold. Then they shove it in a bag and none of the SMRT goons are any the wiser they are rule breaking.
For that kind of stuff Brommies are still the best - maybe those Pacific Cycles things with 6" wheels that look like scooters on steroids maybe close but they are not as pleasant to ride and they look ridiculous"


You are actually allowed to bring folded folding bikes into the MRT. I've seen many do it. In fact they have signs that say the limits on size of folded bike. That's all.

30 seconds ? That's an eternity.  Try 3 seconds.

http://youtu.be/fQscBxx7wLE

Maxxevv

20th Jan 2003
From: Singapore
Total Forum Rep: 0
Posted on: 27th Mar 2013 2:19 PM   Quote and Reply


3 seconds??

lestertt

29th Jun 2012
From: Singapore
Total Forum Rep: 0
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