Monday 24 September 2012

Overtaking road bikes on a Brompton

If you own a Brompton I am sure you have done this! Tried to overtake a road bike? Come on, admit it.  We both know that you have either done it or thought about it at length.

What induces me to do this I do not know? Part of my short commute has a fairly long incline. I regularly see riders of road bikes, out of their saddles driving hard up this incline to get to the top and the liberation that is, the other side. It it at the bottom of this incline that the boy racer comes out in me and upon seeing a road bike go past, I find it hard to resist the temptation to try and overtake.

More times than no, I am successful. This is because the Brompton gearing is, well, bloody good. Many a road bike user had turned with disgust to see me nonchalantly riding past them, as casual as you like, wearing full formal shirt, tie and all the trimmings. The more lycra they wear the more satisfaction I derive as I glide past - in the saddle, not out of it. Of course once on the other side they soon ride off into the distance, but the psychological damage caused must surely last for years?

It is a terrible thing to admit but there I have done it. Now, I ask you the question again, have you, yes you out there with a Brompton, ever tried to overtake a road bike?


  1. Beautifully written and I love the way you said it.However,I am 60 years old,pedalling M3L Brompton and thank God that I could still ride 30 to 30km.

  2. Many thanks Mohd. I am sure that having a Brompton is keeping you fit and healthy. Keep riding until you're 70 and beyond!

  3. Like you, my commute to work also includes a longish incline, and I fairly regularly find myself overtaking road bikes. The thing is, I'm not even trying! I just find that the Brompton makes it effortless (I have six gears). OK, I'll admit to sometimes putting in a tiny bit more effort until I'm just behind them, then I will relax and put on my nonchalant face as I go past :-)

  4. Many thanks for leaving a comment Will. Do you find that road bike users are sometimes not as friendly as us Bromptonians?

  5. I can't really say that I've noticed a difference. To be honest, there are so many Bromptons here in Brussels these days that it's not at all special to see another one, so there's rarely much acknowledgement when you do. The rare time I've stopped to chat with a Brompton owner, though, they've always been enthusiastic about their bike!


Thank you for leaving a comment.