Saturday, 15 December 2012

Why I bought the Brompton Toolkit!

Oh dear. Your blogger writes this entry with a heavy tread. I am going to have to admit to being a great big hypocrite of the first order. Not long ago I blogged about how I was not going to buy the new Brompton Toolkit. It wasn't worth it. It was too expensive for what it was I blogged. The picture below tells the current state of play.




Yes, I have bought it! Now that it is in the shops, actually examining one in detail brought me to only one course of action - I simply had to buy it. I will try and explain.

The first thing to report is that the toolkit is incredibly well made! Everything and I really do mean everything is of obvious high quality. Nothing is going to snap, break off or become damaged in normal use. The black housing tube is aluminium and everything fits inside perfectly - not a hint of that will do.




There are rubber coverings at both ends. The toolkit fits inside the main tube of your Brompton perfectly. The rubber insulates from vibration but the items inside the black aluminium do not rattle or make any sounds. When riding you would not detect it is even there.








The 15mm spanner remains in this position and acts as a handle to get the toolkit in and out of the bike frame. It's a clever idea. In this position you can use the toolkit straight away on the wheel nuts but if you prefer you can take it out and use the naked spanner.




















Inside the kit there are some hex bolts and a cross head and flat head screwdriver. The opposite end to the 15mm spanner has a ratchet which is of course reversible for clockwise and anticlockwise. As with the rest of the toolkit, the switch is solid and reassuring.








The tyre leavers also have other functions at the top and are magnetised so that they fit together seamlessly when storing back inside the kit. Again clever engineering.




Last items are an emergency tube patch and small piece of sandpaper for preparing the area prior to applying the patch. You also get a small supply of additional patches.




The Brompton moniker appears frequently just to remind you what you have bought.




This little toolkit is brilliant and the design and engineering is bordering on perfection. I can see it winning lots of design/engineering awards.

I have to say that I was wrong. This toolkit is worth the £48 retail price. It exudes quality and like the Brompton bike it sits inside, performs a function that something similar cannot do. The midget spanner I bought is good, but comparing the two would be ridiculous. The toolkit is going to be more convenient to use, easier to carry and last longer.

My advice if you have any doubts is to try and see one in the flesh. I suspect the second you hold one, examine the quality of the materials, the fit and finish and see how easily it fits inside your bike you will like me change your mind. I have two Brompton bikes and I can see myself one day getting another toolkit.

14 comments:

  1. A pox on you, Mr. Orange! I had just talked myself into buying the Tern toolkit, at half the price, though it's got none of the engineering or sleekness of the Brompton kit. Now I'm re-thinking the whole thing.

    I'll see the Brompton kit in January. I suspect it will come home with me. When the domestic budgetary committee meets, I'll blame it all on your great review!

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  2. It really is an excellent little piece of kit. Quality always shines through.

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  3. I swore that I'd never spend that kind of money on a hand full of small tools. I already have a decent toolkit assembled which I take with me on whichever bike I'm riding that day. But I made the mistake of asking to see the Brompton toolkit while visiting my Brompton dealer last week. Darn it all! Now that I've actually seen and handled it my resolve is dissolving at a rapid rate.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. I was in the same position as you and the more I thought about how useful it would be - travelling even lighter - the more I knew I wanted it. I was adamant that I wouldn't get it but look at me!

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  4. After reading your review on said item I popped out to the nearest stockist that had the tool kit in. I was surprised at how small it is but not at the quality of it. It's almost a crime to hide it away inside the bike,I feel like showing it off.!! A really well thought out & designed piece that shows that the Brompton brand thinks beyond stuffing a few tools in a bag & that's your lot.

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    1. Many thanks for the comment. You don't say if you bought it but they are great aren't they!

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    2. Yes I bought it. As soon as I saw it the money was leaving me & in return I had in my possession the ultimate tool kit. It's the iPhone of tool kits if there can e such a thing.?

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    3. I suspected as much. I tried my hardest to resist but upon seeing it in the flesh I couldn't. They are great though aren't they!

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  5. Hi, I'm waiting for mine (Brompton accessories always come a little late and in small quantities to Mexico).

    But I have one question, where does you keep a spare tube? I usually have one folded in that part of the frame.

    Thanks

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    1. Many thanks for your comment. I usually carry a spare tube tucked into the metal rails under my Brooks Saddle. I have done lots of miles with the tube stored in this way and it had not yet fallen out!

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  6. Lovely bit of bling but still very practical. I went to my local bike shop who had two in stock, now they have one. Usual online sources were out of stock. Now I can leave tools out of the C Bag & pack a spare tube in the rear pocket

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    1. Many thanks for leaving a comment. The toolkit is a great little idea!

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  7. Hi - it's been a while since you posted this article. How has the toolkit fared? There have been, well publicised, problems with the
    tyre levers snapping. Have you used them and found a problem?

    I am actually taking delivery of my first Brompton on Tuesday (Aug 20th) and am looking as forward to it as when my son was born 22 years ago!

    I am considering buying one of the toolkits when they become available again with the re-designed levers as the build quality and convenience, i feel, are worth the price.

    BTW what lock(s) do you use?

    Laurie -

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    1. Hello. Thanks for leaving a comment. I have to admit that I haven't used the toolkit in anger for this very reason. I know that Brompton are offering a replacement but as I bought it second hand and don't have a receipt etc.., I doubt very much whether Brompton would replace the levers for me unfortunately.

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