Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 15, 2017

Small wheeled bicycles

Gail at Abike4allseasons has recently acquired a Brompton and asked how I used my small wheel folder. Now , I don’t have a Brommie, I have a larger 20″ wheeled Dahon Speed TR which I purchased a few years ago. It isn’t my go to bike but I have used it a fair bit in 2016.


The things I like about it are that it has 27 gears unlike the 6 on a Brompton. This is achieved using a 9 speed derailleur mechanism and a 3 speed hub that replaces a 3 ring front mech. I like it because, if I stop and am in the wrong gear , I can use the 3 speed mech and drop down while at a standstill.

The pedals are very easily removable when I want to fold it up and while not as compact as a Brompton , it is still small enough for me to fold and put into a carry bag and get on a bus with it. I know that some people use small wheeled folders with full size panniers , I haven’t found it so easy. Not because they don’t fit, but I use them with my Koga and it’s a mess on changing them about. Mind you, DH’s front panniers fit on Speedy without any alteration so I do pinch them sometimes.

Last summer , I hurt my knee and used Speedy when I was riding after a couple of weeks rest as it is about half the weight of the Koga Randonneur. Both bicycles have steel frames which I like.

I mainly use it when I want to visit someone – I occasionally use it for home visits for my occupation – or for when I want to  make a solo trip. I usually am only away for less than a week but because I can hop on a bus or a train without having to book. Using a free OAP bus pass with local buses  makes this a very attractive option particularly getting to a start point without cycling on well known local routes.


My favourite “accessory” is a Radical Designs trailer. This is a Dutch company who make durable, well constructed trailers that track beautifully behind the bike. I have hitches on both of my bikes. The above photo shows the yellow waterproof cover. This has faded with use but is still doing its job well. It keeps the rain out along with the cordura that the trailer bag is made of. There is an option, the Chubby, that a Brompton will fit inside when folded. Useful, if you fly with your bike.

I can’t ride at present but when I do, it will be Speedy  that I start on. At present I have begun physio and did some sewing but I think I have overdone it and am experiencing quite a bit of pain. It will pass though. I just have to be patient and remember that I am 66 , not 16 that I am in my head heehee!

No miles cycled so far this year 😦






  1. That looks like a very useful combination of bike and trailer. I hope you can mange your recovery well and will soon be back on your bikes.

    • Thanks TP . Patience isn’t my middle name unfortunately

  2. Thanks Brenda that info is really great to know and good to see your photos too. You’ve really got your Dahon set up well for touring. The extra gears would be handy. I can’t see myself touring on my Brompton but you never know. People do it and I’ve recently been reading some posts by The Bicycle Pedlar ( who toured on Bromptons in Tasmania. So you never know…

    Your foldaway also gets a good workout around town too by the sound of it. Short rides. And combined with the bus. That’s what I’m doing at the moment with my foldaway. I’m yet to try to get on a bus with it so that’s something I’ll give a go sometime soon.

    I hope the pain eases and the patience arrives and that you’re feeling better again soon.

    (p.s. To see the photo of the yellow waterproof cover, I had to right click the photo and open it in a separate tab – it’s a great photo!)

    • thanks Gail, I hoped it would help. That photo is odd but I never do anything different so don’t know why you had to click on it to see it.

      • I just looked at the photo on my iPhone and no problem 👌so must’ve been my desktop doing something weird 😳

        I really like that trailer. After reading your blog I looked at their website for the Brompton one.

      • A couple I know who have Bromptons have just bought one like I have. They only want one between them. While not cheap the quality is superb

      • 23 gears on your Dahon is a real advantage.

  3. I hope you are in the saddle – comfortably! – again soon. 😊

    • thank you Dayna, I hope so too. I am missing my daily rides

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