Thursday 24 May 2012

DIY on a Brompton

Regular readers will know that I suffered a puncture while on the London to Cambridge ride. You will also know that I purchased a pair of the new Schwalbe Marathon tyres and inner tubes.

Yesterday I fitted them. Before doing this I watched the Brompton video on how to take off and then put back the rear wheel and how to change ones tyres several times. I laid out all of the tools required for the job neatly on the living room floor. Latex gloves were put on and I began.

To digress slightly when I was a child I used to love those Airfix models but would always have parts left over. I loved Meccano as well but again always have parts left over. I am not keen or have any talent at manual labour of even the most basic sort. I felt I needed to write this.

Nuts were undone. Hub gear cable successfully unscrewed. Derailer taken off. Everything laid out with military precision. Old tyres off. Old inner tubes out. New rim tape on. Tubes and tyres placed on to the wheels pretty quickly and back on my beloved Orange Brompton.

I pumped up the tyres to 100 psi and all looked wonderful. Even better I
All the bits were put back where they should have been and I had none left over. I felt proud. I walked a little taller as I checked the tyre action...

To my horror I discovered that my derailer no longer shifted the chain over. I watched the appropriate Brompton video to no avail. I couldn't get it to work despite my efforts!!

With a heavy heart and equally heavy tread I today took my beloved and slightly interfered with Orange Brompton to Specialized this afternoon for them to give it a full service and sort out the gears. Luckily it was that time of year to have it serviced anyway so all is not entirely maudlin.

I suspect until I go on some sort of maintenance course I will leave it to the professionals!


  1. I haven't taken the back wheel off yet, but I find the Brompton videos slightly annoying and not always informative. In my bike, the mudguard kept rubbing the tire and the only workaround (initially) was to lower the air pressure from the rear wheel. I didn't find anything on the Brompton site that would help me with this issue. I eventually moved the mudguard, loosening some bolts and there.

    I am sure you will soon learn the tricks of the Brompton.

    As you do, we would appreciate it if you could share them here or on the web elsewhere.

    Have a good one!

    Paz :)

    1. Thanks for the comment as always Paz. Yes I'm sure that will gain more confidence in this as long as I keep having a go at the smaller jobs. Hopefully I will try to get on to a Brompton specific maintenance course here in London which would be great.


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