Showing posts with label Brompton folding bicycles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brompton folding bicycles. Show all posts

Friday, September 20, 2013

A folding bicycle society on campus?

Perfect for living in small spaces and travel by train.
I attend ASU's downtown campus.  Over the last few years with the expansion of downtown campus city dwellers have enjoyed greater housing options with the construction of condos and apartment buildings.  Although downtown is not uncontaminated by parking, from what I understand, some of the new buildings have limited spaces for cars, with the understanding that many of the residents are less car dependent and more amenable to walking, biking and using public transportation.  As one might expect, many of the new apartments seem to be geared toward university students and the living spaces are smaller.  If you a student or downtown worker who gets around mostly by bicycle, storing it in an already cramped space, as well as rolling it into a crowded elevator, can be a bear.

Lisa and Joey's vintage Raleigh Twenty's.  Heavy as anything but oh, so cool.

I purchased my Brompton, partly due to the needs of living in a small space.   I keep it stored in the living room behind a stuffed chair, totally out of the way.  Recently, I've noticed a lot more folding bicycles at the bike corrals at downtown campus and have been wondering  if their owners chose their bikes for much the same reasons. It certainly makes more economical sense for a student not to have to worry about paying for either student parking or for a private space in the parking garage. Here's a few I've seen:

I think this little silver bike is by Citizen, but I'm not sure.  Very cute.


This orange folder is the Tokyo, definitely by Citizen. From a distance, I saw the young lady who owns it unfolding it and riding away quite elegantly a week or so back.  Citizen is one of the more conservatively priced but very stylish brands.  I've never been on one so I hope to run into the owner soon and find out how she likes it.  As you can see, it folds up very nicely.

This is a vintage Dahon I discovered a while back.  I had to get some detailed shots.

Here is another older model Dahon, nicely appointed with a trunk and a Brooks saddle. 

I don't think of Schwinn when I think about folding bikes but they do make them, as does Breezer, although I haven't seen any on campus.   I thought this one was very pretty; it has a spring rack on the back and a kickstand.

If anyone has any information or knowledge about any of the models shown in this post, please leave a comment with whatever you know.  It's always interesting to me.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New Product Review: The Detours Ballard Market Pannier - it's three bikes bags in one!

Lisa, on her vintage Raleigh foldy, with the Detours Ballard Market Pannier in her basket.
No, my friend Lisa and I normally don't call each before we meet for lunch and arrange to both carry the same bike bags!

The Ballard Market Pannier worn as a backpack.
Okay, maybe this one time we did, but it was just because she was helping me with a review of yet another great product from Detours - the Ballard Market Pannier.  Yes, we were also color coordinated but that was sheer coincidence.

Interior of the Phoenix Public Market.
We met at the Phoenix Public Market, one my very favorite new places to meet up for iced latte, pancakes or a sandwich.  You can eat outside under the misters but it was really hot outside so we stayed in with the AC talked about what we liked about the Detours bag. 

I have not gone Hollywood.  I shoot on an IPad only. 
We even made a video with my IPad about all the cool stuff Lisa carries in her bag (and yeah, I shot it vertically and that is called an "artistic decision", film critics!). 

You can fit a lot in the Detours Ballard Market Pannier.  I carry my IPad in mine.
You'll have to go to the Commute by Bike website to read the whole thing and watch the video though.

With my beloved Brommy.
I have a lot of Detours bags that I've featured on this blog and this is another winner.  I'm also wearing the Bikie Girl Bloomer Trio, which I product tested for another upcoming review on Commute by Bike.  That's about as far as I take multi-tasking.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Brommy rides the rail

At Encanto Station.
I've tested my Brompton on Metro Rail the last two Saturdays with visits to the northern end of Central Phoenix where my cousin lives.  I enlisted her help with a couple of class projects I was assigned this semester so the trips were perfect opportunities to practice the not-yet 15 second fold at the rail station and rolling my bike on the train using the Eazy Wheels.

About the fold - I am getting better but it might be a while until I am agile enough for the quick, Youtube worth fold as I'm hobbling due to a torn miniscus (surgery next month!) and a pulled muscle in my lower back due to knee giving out on me a few weeks ago.  Bicycling is much more comfortable than walking but the fold is still a bit tricky at the moment.

For now I leave the handlebars up after the fold so that my Carradice bag regains attached and I don't have to carry it.  Leaving the handlebars up also allows for me to easily roll the Brompton on the train so there's no bending or lifting.

Note the Eazy Wheels attached to the bke rack.
With the Brompton folded, I'm less self-conscious about taking up more than my share of space and, I don't hinder other riders in moving through the car. 

Still better, I get to sit down the newspaper during my trip.  I cannot  describe how much I enjoy reading the New York Times while riding public tranist. 

Ride, read and relax.
Last week, I sipped a hot coffee in a travel mug that I slipped into the back pocket of the Carradice bag and perrused the Times. Pure luxury.  My Brompton doesn't have a coffee or water bottle holder attached to the frame, and I'm not even sure if it's possible but the two back pockets of the Carradice bag are perfectly sized for both.

Naturally, the best part of the Brompton and rail experience is getting to answer questions about my bike.  Last week a gentleman with his wife and child at Encanto station chatted with me about my experience  and said he was considering getting a bike to combine with public transit but wondered about having adequate space in their small downtown apartment.  I told him that a folding bike would be a perfect answer to that concern because, folded, it slips easily into a corner, behind a chair or under a desk.  For a city dweller with little or no storage space a folding bike is the ideal urban bicycle.  A number of people inquired about the cost, and it's a legitimate question that I don't mind answering.  It's a pricey bike but not when compared to the cost of car ownership.  I always explain that my bicycle is my  mode of transport 85% of the time (I've only driven the car one in the last two weeks).  I also told them the Portapedal, where I purchased my Brompton, has all the top folding bikes, some of which are considerably less expensive than Bromtpon (and a few considerably more so).   Most people, however, simply have no experience with folding bikes.  On this mornings ride, a little girl's eyes grew large in puzzlement when I rolled on board with it.  Her grandmother and I exhanged smiles and I listened as she explained what it was.  The little girl appeared to have her doubts.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A most welcome bike corral for a scuff free bike finish

This cable lock will only be used when I have my eye on the Brompton.
Blogging has been hit or miss these days since starting school.  Lots of reading, papers due and several group projects have dominated my days since the end of August.  Now November, I continue to struggle with time management.  Nonetheless, I get it all done and and still make a little time for cyber outreach. There's always something to report, especially if you like the coffee at Lola's at 3rd Avenue and Roosevelt where I enjoyed a delicious iced latte earlier this week.

A crafty bike corral at Lola's on 3rd and Roosevelt.
A nifty little bike corral wearing a crocheted sweater. Not quite sweater weather yet here in the Valley but it certainly protects my Brompton's currently pristine finish.  How thoughtful!

Love the shadow against the pavers.
A cool shadow lying against a pavered sidewalk.

My Brommy making friends with an elegant single-speed, just parked by a very tall young hipster.  I'm not sure what they talked about.

Friday, November 2, 2012

My little Brompton; some gratuitous shots. . .

My Brompton, loaded for a morning of studying at a coffee shop.
I've been out and about on my little Turkish Green Brompton - H6R model for those who are curious.  The gearing is adjusted -12% for out next jaunt to San Francisco (not on the schedule but we hope . . .).
A view of the black Carradice City Folder.
I've been taking it to my internship, my Carradice bag bursting with school materials, and parking it in my office.

Brompton, mid-fold.
Still haven't mastered the 15 second fold but I'm getting better.  So far, I'm enjoying the ride.  Lot of little things to get used to after the Breezer but I'm a quick learner.  The gear shifters have probably proved the most difficult to get used to but like anything else, the more I do it the easier it becomes.  One thing that I know I want to change is to add a rear view mirror to the handlebar - I refuse to wear one on a bike helmet.  I don't depend on the mirror 100% but it just gives me a little extra look-see of what's going on around me.  If any Brompton owners out there use a mirror that attaches to the handlebar that won't interfere with the fold, please share your wisdom.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Brompton has arrived!

Fold pose.
Donna and Al at Portapedal contacted me yesterday to let me know that my Turkish Green Brompton was ready to be picked up.  I had planned to pick it up after my Friday morning class but the Planner Guy was so excited that he insisted on driving down after work and getting it.  I thought I would lose my life on the highway getting down there he was in such a hurry.  But arrive in one piece we did and soon Al was instructing me on proper folding techniques and Donna and Bob were bonding over their Hungarian roots.  By 7:30 were out the door with my new Brompton and a Carradice Brompton bag.  Yippy!  We both took a test ride upon arriving back home but that's why I ordered battery lighting.

With the Carradice bag in black.
Oh, the excitement of pedaling off to my internship this morning.  Naturally, I don't have the 15 second fold mastered just yet but I'm working on it. 

Eazy wheels for easy rolling.
What I do have down pat is rolling my bike into my office.  I just left the bag attached so bending over when I needed anything out of it.

Carradice ladden with all my stuff.

Not surprisingly a couple of people at my internship wanted to see me fold and unfold it so I got in a little extra practice.  If only there had been enough time for a mid-day ride.  It should be a exciting next few weeks as I get my Brommy legs and feel totally at ease.  I'll keep you posted on my progress and post my thoughts on the experience within the next month.  As one might imagine, graduate school has put a crimp in the timeliness of posting but I'm challenging myself to write briefer posts more often.