For those who have owned a Brompton for a while, you will undoubtedly be aware that over time the paintwork can be damaged at certain vulnerable points. These tend to be where there cables rub against the frame over a prolonged period of time. This blog post will highlight some key locations you might consider protecting.
You might be the type of Brompton owner who doesn't have the time or inclination to be bothered with this, which is fine. However, Brompton bicycles aren't cheap and it only makes sense to protect your investment.
First thing you will need is to find an outlet selling 'helicopter tape.' This is quite simply a stronger and more durable version of sticky back plastic. It is used to protect the surfaces of helicopter blades. It can also be used for protecting specific surface areas of expensive cars, motorbikes, road bikes and of ours your Brompton.
Fellow Brompton Club member David brought helicopter tape to my attention over a year ago. I have bought matt and clear versions and have been very happy with both.
|Clear tape on the bottom and matt on the top (tape on white backing)|
I bought mine via an eBay seller called 'Paragon Tapes.' You can put in 'helicopter tape' when searching items in eBay and you should be able to find them. There are lots of sellers who sell this tape but I have bought two lots of helicopter tape from Paragon and services was excellent and fast. You can buy it in different lengths but typically you'd be paying under £8 and that would be enough to do your bike 2-3 times.
Okay, so you have bought your helicopter tape. Next you will need to give a really good clean to the areas you want to protect. This will make the whole process easier and prevent oil, stains and dirt showing through.
Another thing you might have to do on some areas is to get some touch up paint, specific to the colour of your Brompton to dab on to any areas that have had lots of rubbing and taken off some of the original paint.
|Touch up paint|
The first two areas I would go for are either side of the fold on the main frame. Both areas have cables and with folding and unfolding there will be some cable rub. I have to say that on these areas on three Brompton bikes the only thing going on in this area is the black of the cable transferring to the frame.
Next the main stem where the cables cross over and travel down as you can see in the picture. Again not any serious damage will be caused by this other than the colour of the cable transferring to stem.
An area that really can see some action is the front brake cable where it makes contact with the front left fork. On my Original Orange Brompton the rubbing has taken the paint off to the metal. It is therefore worth protecting it.
Another area that seems to have lots of cable rub is the bottom of the seat post stem where the cables travel around it as you can see in the picture below.
Where the rear triangle attaches to the bottom of the main frame there can be quite a bit of cable rub from all the folding and unfolding.
The last place is where the hook on the front wheel sits on the bottom of the rear triangle when the bike is in the fold position.
I have posted a link below to an item on eBay sold by Paragon Tapes but bear in mind if you view this in a few weeks time it will probably not be there.
These are the areas that I have protected on both my Brompton bicycles. There may well be more than I have mentioned but I am happy that these are the highlights. As I wrote earlier, this might not be for you but anything that keeps your Brompton looking better can only be a good thing.
Link to an item on eBay sold by Paragon Tapes.