Monday 24 October 2011

Road Test of 2 Speed Brompton

Well the day finally arrived. This afternoon I collected the 2 Speed Brompton from a cycle shop in London. Here are my impressions.

The bike colours are a fetching purple and apple green. Not really to my taste but that isn't what is important.  After cycling a few miles it was quite obvious to me that I really did like the simplicity of just having two gears. I did managed to go up several small hills and one that was quite steep. The start off gear was pretty good at assending and I didn't seem to need anything else. Quite impressed.

A fetching colour?

The bike I hired had a great big front hub light. Totally pointless as far as I am concerned as it adds a great deal of weight to the bike. I suppose the hire shop needs to cater for people who might need the lights. The weight saving despite this, is noticable and I would imagine that without the light hub it would be quite telling. Certainly comparing my beloved orange Brompton which is a 6 speed to this, I really did notice the weight saving. This is something I didn't think would be as noticeable to me.

The simple rear wheel of the 2 speed without the extra weight of the hub gears.

Just one gear lever makes things very easy.

Hub light. Is it really needed??
I cycled down Oxford street, the Edware Road and eventually ended up on the Harrow Road. As I knew I was not too far from Kensal Green Cemetery I decided to pay it another visit. I am going to Whitby in a few days time for the Goth week. I am not a Goth but I have occasionally worn black and like those old RKO and Hammer House of Horror films so this location gets me in the mood for Whitby.

Very Gothic.

I am taking the bike back tomorrow but I already know what I think of the 2 speed. I love it. It is just so efficient and simple. The weight saving is considerable and it just seems like a great option for City riding.

When I cast my mine back to the Brompton World Championships I am coming to the conclusion that the 6 gears on my orange Brompton were actually a hinderance. I was up and down the gears and not ever seeming to find the gear I wanted. Going up a sustained incline bordered on the ridiculous as I desperately tried to find traction. After riding this 2 speed today I am convinced that I would have had a more successful and less stressful ride. I could of course be wrong and those of you our there reading this might very well have an opinion you'd be gracious enough to comment on.

What I am still not so sure about is an S Type. The being over 6 feet tall and riding comfort thing, does bother me. Added to this if I did get an S Type, my C Type bag wouldn't fit. This would mean another added expense. In addition as I need an extended seat pillar, my ride is fairly sporty on my beloved orange Brompton anyway. There is also a part of me that likes the tradition of an M Type. This combined with raw lacquer and the brown Brooks saddle I took off my orange Brompton in favour of the black one, would certainly create the look I'm after. So...I really am not sure?


  1. Interesting what you say about the weight saving - tempted to try it myself! I have a 6-speed myself and really liked the advantage of all the gearing at Blenheim this year, but I'm willing to try something new!

  2. I liked it Rach but I suspect you could be on a penny farthing with me on a 2 / 6 speed and you'd still click a faster time!

  3. I like the look of the bike but I especially like the location you chose to photograph it in! Kensal Green Cemetery is my favourite burial ground!

  4. Soy de Mexico, y en mi ciudad (Torreón Coahuila), no hay distribuidor, por lo que quisiera saber tu opinión. Mido 188 cms de estatura y me gustaría inicial en el mundo Brompton con una Linea A, con asiento extendido y manillar M. ¿Cree que me funcione bien?


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