As you know I have had my SL2 for a few weeks but have not taken it out at all. Various things have conspired to prevent me from doing this sooner. The holidays, weather and the fact that I didn't want it to get dirty! Well Yesterday I took my newly acquired Brompton out for a thorough test run.
I took my bike on quite an extended run, Maida Vale to the heart of the City, Hyde Park, South Kensington and back to Maida Vale. The S Type flat handlebars are excellent. I actually prefer the riding position to that of my M Type. Yes it was lower and further forward but I did not suffer any ill effects after what was quite a long cycle. Having opted for firm suspension, the ride felt responsive and very sporty. I found turning to look behind was easier than on my M Type as the flat bar, for me at least, seems to be more stable. Cornering also seemed that bit snappier.
This bike has 2 x gears. One to get you off and one to cruse. They are in many ways perfect for the urban environment. I did not feel that I needed more, plain and simple. I loved the simplicity of it all and the weight saving by not having the internal hub is substantial. This weight saving can be felt when carrying the bike folded of course but also when riding. It might be psychological but the bike felt nippier and more agile than my M Type.
As for the colour I love the Raw Lacquer. Seeing the brazing on the joints is something I will always enjoy looking at. It makes the bike look stunning and even though I love my Orange Brompton I must confess to liking the different grades of colour of the raw lacquer more!
I opted for Marathon Tyres and the ones supplied with this bike are very different to those on my Orange Brompton. First off they are a great deal thinner in profile which makes them more free wheeling. They can be pumped up to 110 psi as apposed to 85 on my Orange Brompton. Last of all as they look a thinner tyre I suspect they are much lighter than my original Marathons. All a welcome addition as far as I am concerned.
The brake leavers also seemed to have had a make over. They are squarer at the ends and look great. The folding pedal seems to have had a make-over too. The reflectors look better and are more substantial as is the plastic folding mechanism.
I love this new acquisition. It rides fantasically well and for someone over 6 feet with an extended seat pillar the ride and handling was near perfection. Those of you who have read my blog will know that a major concern I expressed was being a 6 footer on an S Type. I need not have worried. I love my S Type! The only decision I will be deliberating on in 2012 is what to take to the Brompton World Championships or which bike to use on my daily commute? Twice the fun for 2012!