Sunday 20 November 2011

Second Test Ride of a Brompton SL2

Yesterday I managed to get a brief test run on an SL2. Today a fellow Bromptionian allowed the chance to have a near two hour ride on his month old SL2 while tea rode my beloved Orange Brompton.

There are no pictures from my test ride as I didn't bother to bring camera or iPhone - I was too excited for that. The SL2 in question was a steel frame, all Turkish Green in colour, extended seat pillar, Brooks saddle, firm suspension and Marathon tyres. (All in all very sound set up).

The first thing to say is that coming from my 6 speed, there was a discernible difference in the weight by not having the gear hub on the back wheel. When I tested the 2 speed I hired it had a front light hub dynamo. I could still detect it was a lighter package than my 6 speed but this was quite a shock to notice such a difference. I suspect in full racing trim with Kojaks etc.., things would be lighter still.

The ride again surprised me. Yes, further forward and lower but I liked it a lot. The handling was very firm, precise and stable. I rode this bike for getting on two hours and did not suffer any back strain. My arms were not in any way fatigued from the lower and more forward position either. I loved it!

The thing I liked best about the whole SL2 set up is that the S Type with 2 gears seem to be made for each other. I felt that I could go hell for leather if I wanted to but at the same time ride safely on the daily commute. Visibility was very good and my neck suffered no strain.

Again I have to report that I loved the gearing of this 2 speed. The starting off gear was perfect and when I reached a sustained incline there wasn't a problem. I certainly didn't fell I needed anything else to make things easier. The cruising gear was again bordering on perfection. Coming down a steep hill on 6th gear means that I can start peddling sooner but the free wheeling didn't bother me at all.

I was rather sad to part with it. Many thanks to the very kind Bromptonian who let me borrow their pride and joy. For those of you tinkering with the idea of buying your first Brompton I have possibly thrown a huge spanner in the works. I can hear you saying, do I go for an M Type or and S Type? The should it be a 2, 3 or 6 speed? I love my 6 speed M Type, but if I was doing it all again...I'm not sure that is what I'd get???

Saturday 19 November 2011

10,000 page views!

Wow! I have just looked at my stats and can hardly believe that I have had 10,000 page views! I am amazed. It doesn't seem like that long ago since I was trying to drum up trade so i could hit 1000!

Many thanks to anyone out there who reads my blog and please spread the word.

Brompton SL2 Test Ride

Well I've bloody done it! Yeah! I managed to give a Brompton SL2 a test run.

As you know I recently tested a 2 speed Brompton that was an M Type and liked the simplicity of the gearing. My worries over an S Type have always been, will it be too low or uncomfortable for a 6 footer with an extended / telescopic seat post? After today I have to say that I need not have worried.

The S Type is lower of course but not low enough to cause concerns. I only had a brief go but I was pleasantly surprised. The flat bar felt firm on the road and less shaky than my M Type. Everything just seemed firmer and more responsive. I liked it a lot. One is further forward and lower but it actually felt comfortable. I liked the riding position dare I say it...better than my M Type!

I do know S Type riders several inches taller than me, older than me and who have a longer daily commute who swear by the S Type. I am beginning to see what they are on about.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

A very loud and scary Saturday night!

On Saturday evening I sauntered down to Alexandra Palace to attend a concert of the great, Alice Cooper. It certainly a night to remember.

The night started off waiting in line. This was made all the more interesting by the effort many of those attending had put in to their outfits. Soon some zombies started to walk up and down the line. I don't know if they were concert goers but their makeup and costumes were fantastic.

Upon seeing them my trusty G11 was out and I began taking photos. I thought they were wonderful. I suspect they realised this as they seemed drawn to me. Quite a few people waiting didn't seem to like them but I thought they were great.

Once inside we were treated to the support act, the 'New York Dolls' who were pretty good - but I must confess to not knowing any of their songs.

The waiting and anticipation began for the main man, Alice Cooper. After what seemed like an age, where we watched the stage crew set the stage up, the volume seemed to have been quadrupled as Alice Cooper burst onto stage.

He played all his greatest hits and a new song and was incredible! Alice Cooper must be over 60 years old but he rocked and rolled for getting on for two hours. 'Poison' brought the house down with audience participation a must.

His support band were unbelievable. The two guitarists were amazing but I thought the drummer and bass player were on another level altogether.

I took copious photographs some of which didn't turn out too bad. The photos above that I took of Alice Cooper I am rather proud of as they were fairly in focus.

If you like your rock on the heavy side and you have not seen Alice Cooper live, I strongly urge you to do so!