Wednesday 28 December 2011

Full Test of SL2 Raw Lacquer!

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!


  1. Very nice, I think my next Brompton will be a lacquer one too :), Are you sure about the 110 psi on the marathons? I think you might be confusing them with Kojaks check the official site says they should go no higher then 85 psi, i normally inflate mine to 90 without trouble though.

  2. Hello Rob. Thanks for leaving a comment. Yes I have checked the tyres and they are definitely Marathons and can be inflated up to 110 psi. Like I said they are a much thinner tyre in profile. They are almost like the Marathon Plus Tyre but they aren't marked up as that. I am going to email Brompton in the early new year as I want them on my Orange Brompton - they are that good. Will post a pic so you can have a look.

  3. Oh cool, I just checked mine and they have the same 110psi rating, I guess I can pump mine a bit more then :D. I upgraded mine myself, I got a set of tyres and inner tubes (you need new tubes too) on ebay for £35 (2 tyres and 2 tubes) so if you're looking to put some on your old bike might be worth thinking about :)

    Infact they still have them

  4. I love the raw lacquer look! I'm taking the plunge and ordering my Brommie very soon.... How has the lacquer held up? I really want it but I've heard the older version of the lacquer had issues with markings, rust, streaks etc. Any of this on yours?

    1. Thanks for the comment Ben. I don't have this bike anymore but there were no issues with the lacquer.

    2. Hi
      I've just started reading your blog, before buying a Brompton of my own. It's really informative - thanks!

      Apart from the fact that it didn't "go" with your Title, can you say why you swapped this bike for your new Orange Titanium?

      I'm torn between an S and M model (6 speed) and wondering whether to pay for the superlight version. I'm 6'2" and will be commuting about 10 miles each day.

      If you were starting from scratch, and had the cash, what would your ideal bike be? I'd be interested in your thoughts

      Thanks - Greg

    3. Hello there and thanks for leaving a comment.

      I really liked the SL2 in Raw Lacquer and convinced myself that the lovely brass brazing was almost orange in colour. There were no issues at all with the SL2 for me. It was really fun to ride while I had it and being 6' 1" it was fine for me. In fact I know a few people taller than me with S-types and they love them.

      I do like the M-type:

      You have more front luggage options.

      It gives a more upright ride and is easier on the back and wrists for longer rides.

      It is the original, classic Brompton shape.

      I'd probably go for a 6 speed as you have the extra gears if you need them. For longer rides (which you will almost certainly do at some point) those extra gears really help - especially on hills.

      I'd possibly go for the standard steel version (orange of course) and get a Brooks saddle, Marathon tyres, Eazy wheels and a front carrier block for the front luggage options.

      If I can be of any further help please let me know and keep reading!!


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