Up until last year the only bicycles I owned were by Brompton. I have had a few many years before but that was so long ago I can hardly remember them. The Brompton gear shifters, although perfectly usable and reliable on all sorts of adventures I have been on, are universally regarded by many users as cheap, rattly and to be blunt more than a little crap.
Using the Shimano 105 shifters on my Condor road bike or the quite brilliant SRAM NX system on my Whyte mountain bike, I have come to realise that those on my humble Brompton bicycles were beyond crap by comparison. Both are quicker and easier to use. It is of course not fair perhaps to compare, however there is no comparison if that makes sense.
The new 2017 bicycles from Brompton came with a few updates and one of them was an integrated gear sector and derailleur shifter. This was a welcome addition as it seemed that of late Brompton only seemed to care about 'special editions' which were all about colours.
There are two downsides. First is that if you have an M-type or H-type you cannot upgrade easily as a new handlebar and stem is needed. Expensive and who knows when they would be available even if you wanted to be bothered with this.
Second, when would they be available to buy as an aftermarket upgrade? We have been there before with Brompton. Remember the double walled rims or the new brake levers? How long did we have to wait for them?? It was therefore with much shock that the all new integrated levers were out there and available to buy. Astonishing!
The levers with integrated brake levers and shifters certainly feel of much better quality than the older ones they have replaced.
They appear well made, solid and are made of what seems to be much better materials.
Owning a P-type and an S-type I can make the change quite easily and I have a normal sliver pair for my P-type and an all black set for my S-type.
The jury is out on these until I fit and test them out on my daily commute and weekend adventure. So, watch this space on what I make of them, assuming the DIY fitting goes well...