touring brompton

Touring Brompton specs: “The Pedalshift Touring Brompton”

<disclaimer> Ok, ok it’s not technically a Pedalshift Touring Brompton in the sense it’s, well… it’s not official from Brompton’s perspective. Like, at all. Ok… </disclaimer>

However… I’ve had a lot of people ask me the specs on the Brompton I recommend for touring, so I thought I’d finally share them here.

Pedalshift Touring Brompton specs

Build: M6R

Oh, you don’t speak Bromptonese? Yeah, me neither… in fact, I had to look this up again! M is for the style of handlebars… they lend to a mostly upright riding position, which I know goes against most bike touring dynamics, but on a Brompton, it’s better in my opinion. I did a bunch of research on this and it seems most people who tour on them prefer the M bars.

6 stands for the 6-speed variety. It doesn’t say it here, but get the -12% gearing (hi hills!). We’ll be doing one more thing later too, stay tuned.

R stands for rear rack. You’ll want this for carrying stuff and things.

touring brompton

Color: Orange

Horror of horrors, I learned from Anna at Clever Cycles that Brompton is suspending orange as a color for bikes in 2016! A true Pedalshift Touring Brompton would be all orange. Yours may have to not be, barring a custom after market paint job or Brompton changing it’s mind in 2017.

Telescopic seat post

You may be the size of a small giraffe like our friend MJ, or you may be regular sized like yours truly. Either way, get the telescopic seat post for easier removal of the saddle while traveling.

telescoping post

Cushioning: Firm

The softer cush is too soft for handling with weight. Go firm.

Tires: Schwalbe Marathon

But, Tim! Rolling resistance! GRAMS!

Stop. Shake yourself. Say “Schwalbe Marathons.” You’re welcome.

Extras you probably want

Front carrier block

This gives you the option for any number of front bags, including ones you build or hack yourself using the Brompton luggage frame.

Brompton in SLO

Saddle bag & cover

I use these rarely, but when I do it’s in airports. Stealth mode is critical to get past some of the people that would stand in your way to overhead carry-on bliss.

stealth mode brompton

The key extra: ATS Speed Drive

This is a Clever Cycles recommended add on, and I have to say it’s pretty brilliant. ATS makes a gizmawahoo1 that effectively doubles your gears by effectively making a hub not unlike a double chainring. It’s an internal hub that is activated with a tap of the heel on the pedal crank. Remember when I said go for the -12% gearing? Well his helps to get you even lower at the bottom gear, getting you gear inches comparable to a standard touring bike. I’m here to say it’s awesome. I know Clever Cycles can do it… maybe your Brompton shop can too?

Maybes

Brompfication Ez wheels

I almost would leave this one off if you’re torn. I find the rubber “wheels” come off a little too easily when the bike is rolled on things like, say, Parisian cobblestone. Perhaps my standards are a little high, non?

Saddle: Brooks

I’m on record as a person who can handle stock saddles. If you spend this much on a bike, many would argue putting anything less than the king (or queen) of saddles on it would be a disgrace. I’ll let you be the judge… I happened to get a Brooks for this one.

detach your saddle while flying with your Brompton

So… there you have it! The completely officially non-official Pedalshift Touring Brompton. Chime away in the comments if you have thoughts on touring with your bike!


  1. technical term

What do you think?