Home Brompton Which part of the Brompton needed protection?

Which part of the Brompton needed protection?

by Petrelli

We recently received a viewer comment from Gilbert inquiring about the recommended areas for providing additional protection to the Brompton bike. We fully recognise the importance of maintaining a well-preserved Brompton frame and body. Not only does it retain the bike’s value, but it also enhances the riding experience.

There are areas of the Brompton that require additional protection.

Brompton bikes come in a range of beautiful color options and finishes, making it natural for us to want to protect them.

Let’s take my own Brompton, which I personally powder-coated a couple of years ago, as an example. The first area to consider is the top tube, specifically the section where the cables connect to the rear brake, rear derailleur, and are contacting the main frame. To prevent cable rubbing against the frame, I recommend using a frame strap for the protection. If you don’t have a strap, applying some protective material in that area will help avoid damage.

Another area susceptible to rubbing is the front part of the top tube, where the front brake cable comes into contact with the frame. This rubbing can occur when steering the front wheel. It is important to inspect both the cable and the surface where it meets the frame for any roughness or signs of wear. Over time, the plastic surface of the brake cable may wear off, necessitating replacement.

At the left side of the front fork, the brake cable consistently rubs against the fork’s side. This friction not only causes the cable’s plastic surface to erode but also results in thinning of the paint surface on the fork. Applying protection in this area can prevent damage when steering.

The stem is another critical area that requires attention. The brake and shifter cables come into direct contact with the stem, resulting in friction during rides. Additionally, vibrations during cycling can cause the cables to rub against the frame. Considering protective measures in this area is essential.

Moving to the rear end of the Brompton, just below the seat post, there is a specific area where the three cables of a six-speed Brompton (two shifting cables and one braking cable) pass through. When folding the Brompton, these cables tighten up and experience slight movement, leading to rubbing and potential damage. It is crucial to monitor this area and take protective measures accordingly.

Lastly, the most critical area to protect is the rear chainstay. As you ride over rough terrain, the chain can bounce up and down, coming into contact with the top part of the chainstay. Additionally, the underside of the same chainstay faces rubbing issues caused by the “front wheel hook” when folding the Brompton.

Several aftermarket protection options are available for these areas, including thin sheets made of metal, carbon, or even plastic. However, it is worth noting that these options may have a limited lifespan once applied.

One of our preferred methods for safeguarding this part of the Brompton bike is to use a soft, padded chainstay protector commonly used for mountain bikes. These chainstay protectors are typically around 20 cm in length. We usually cut them into four or five equal pieces. These protectors are soft, securely fastened with Velcro, and fit well. They can be washed and reused. 

This protector effectively addresses the issue of chain contact and protects against the rubbing caused by the “front wheel hook” when folding the Brompton.

In this video, we will also discuss the protections for the bottom bracket area. We hope you will find it informative and enjoyable.

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