This post has been prompted by Barbara who left a comment asking how the Bromptons were performing …
The Bromptons are fabulous little machines and have done everything we had hoped … and more. They fold brilliantly so we never have any problem getting them into airbnb accommodation and they fit very tidily inside our tent at night or when we go for an evening stroll around the local ‘ville’.
They have been very comfortable to ride, especially now our Brooks saddles have softened up a bit. However, the Husband wishes he had gone for the more sit-up style of handlebars rather than the flat bar he chose (mainly for vanity reasons!) because he is feeling the pressure on his wrists and back after a few hours in the saddle. My ‘H’ bars are excellent and very comfortable all day. The only problem I am having is with my feet as they go a bit numb if I don’t take breaks … but this is a problem I have on other bikes as well so it isn’t the Bromptons, just my dodgy feet. I broke some toes falling down stairs several years ago and they’ve never been the same since!
The electrification has also been really good. We don’t use it that much at the moment with the Loire valley being mostly flat but a few times a day we are glad of the extra pulling power for the trailers up the steep bits. I tend to do as much as I can myself and just add minimal power to get up the hills (it’s the challenge, you know). The Husband is the other way and tends to blast on a bit of electric juice for any occasion! Consequently, I go about 5 days between charging at the moment and the Husband goes 2 or 3 days. We have also used the electric motors when in a hurry to make an appointment or to get over a busy bridge. In these cases we crank the electric up to full power, put the Bromptons in top gear and zip along and an excellent rate of knots. So in summary, I am either in the lowest (slowest) gear and 1 on the electric or in the highest (fastest) gear and 3 on the electric.
We’ve had a couple of hiccups with parts of the electric setup but the Nano people have been fabulous and have sorted it out for us very quickly and efficiently … I can’t recommend them highly enough. When we were looking for an electric supplier from NZ, one of the key criteria for selection was communication and response time, and Nano have been amazing.
We have made a few adjustments as we have gone along. We have added small mirrors … not so much for the traffic but to see if the other one is still behind. We’ve had a few occasions where one of us has stopped for something and the one in front has not realised. I have also rigged up a map holder, that works quite well. I can’t read it while moving but yet again this is more to do with my eyesight than the position of the map holder! Attached to the map holder is a compass … and a magnifying glass (plastic). I wonder whether other intrepid explorers have these problems?
You’ll also probably notice in the videos that we keep the fluoro rain covers on the trailers all the time, even when it isn’t raining. This is partially for visibility and partly to keep the trailers clean because when we go into accommodation people generally don’t like clumps of mud left on their carpet. We just whip of the covers and they’re ‘good to go’ in any marble lobby or shag-pile boudoire!
I’ve also just put up a Youtube video of the Bromptons and when I have time, I’ll do one about how we have our kit setup and what’s in all our bags. I love those sort of videos so hopefully it won’t be too hard to make one 🙂