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 😦