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  • Feb 05 2018

    NEW: Souma Handlebar Bags for Brompton

    Anyone who has stopped into our shop on Hennepin Avenue (or browsed our website, for that matter) knows for a fact that we absolutely love bicycle bags. We have bags to fit just about any bike, and our selection of Brompton-specific bags is especially formidable. So we were thrilled to find out that Souma, a tiny company operating out of the Czech Republic, is making a handlebar bag that's unlike any the ones we were already stocking. We knew we had to get them in the store!

    Souma bag for 2017 handlebar in Topaz (show on a Brompton H2L in grey/black)
    There are many handlebar bags that could be used on a Brompton, but nearly all of them fit weirdly, or get in the way somehow, or simply flop awkwardly onto the concrete when you're folding the bike. These Souma bags, on the other hand, perfectly fill the unused space in the middle of your M- or H-type Brompton handlebars. They're easy to mount up with four leather straps and four heavy duty snaps. They don't flop around or interfere with the fold, and they keep your essentials within easy reach. A snap closure keeps your stuff inside when the bike is folded and the bag is upside down. It's a design that we've never seen before, and as soon as we saw it we wondered why the heck nobody had thought of it until now.

    Handmade in Brno, Czech Republic from full-grain leather, Souma bags are available in two versions to fit either your pre-2017 or current model M/H bar (for those who don't know, Brompton modified the shape of the M/H handlebar back in 2017 - see photos for clarification). The 2017 version is slightly smaller to fit the updated handlebar, and comes in three colors: Topaz (which matches Brooks "Honey" saddles), Brown, and Black. Folks with pre-2017 bikes can choose a brown or black bag.

    Souma bags for 2017 and newer bikes (left) and pre-2017 bikes (right), in black
    Souma bags for 2017 handlebar in (from left) black, brown, and topaz
    If you need color suggestions: Topaz looks especially nice with softer colors like grey and turkish green. Brown looks excellent on our nickel edition bikes. When in doubt, black looks good with everything (but we like it especially well with bright colors such as red or lime). Like any quality leather good, your Souma bag will acquire a unique and beautiful patina with time and use, so buy it, use it, and love it and know that you're only making it look cooler. Click here to check out Souma bags on our website.

  • Jan 25 2018

    Upgrade Your Brompton: Pro Front Wheels!

    Pro Paired Wheel Brompton CHPT 3 w/American Classic Pro Paired Front Wheel

    Brompton Bikes are a favorite here at Perennial Cycle. We pretty much love everything about them. The things we don’t love, we improve. The front wheel is a great example. If you have a standard front wheel on your Brompton, then you have a hub that is not meeting the quality of the rest of your bike. It passes as OK, at best.

    Brompton Front Hubs Standard Brompton Front Hubs

    I try not to be snobbish about bike parts as that can be a very deep hole to jump down, and for the most part I am very clear-headed about these things. I really doubt many would challenge me when I point out the front hub as a weak spot in the components on a Brompton.

    Perennial Cycle Pro Wheels for Brompton


    Our Pro Wheels solve this problem. The Pro Wheels for Brompton are built in-house with either Phil Wood or American Classic hubs. Both these hubs are manufactured to the highest standards. DT Swiss spokes and Velocity Dyad (previous named Aeroheat) rims are used so that the end result is a lovely, yet long lasting premium front wheel for your Brompton Folding Bike.
    The Phil Wood hubs are world renowned for their ever beautiful and bomb-proof designs. Phil Wood manufactures in the US to the absolute highest standards. A wheel built up with a Phil Wood hub is going to be the envy of any bike nerd.
    American Classic is a company known for high quality, smooth hubs that keep a very close eye on weight. The American Classic Micro hub is designed to handle the stresses of a paired spoke pattern without allowing those stresses to throw off the smooth-running stainless cartridge bearings. This hub is a minimalist’s dream.

    American Classic Pro Wheel for Brompton


    We hand build the American Classic Micro hub into a beautiful paired spoke wheel for your Brompton. Our American Classic Pro Paired Front Wheel is a very lusty wheel at an ultra-light weight. This would be a great fit for any bike, especially if you dream of racing (and winning) the Brompton World Championship.

    Brompton Front Hubs The Three versions of Phil Wood Pro Wheels


    We use Phil Wood Hubs to build paired spoke wheels in addition to two different straight radial wheels. If you dream of touring with a T-Bag overstuffed with camping gear, you will love the Phil Wood Pro 28. It will handle your load and your miles with ease. The Phil Wood Pro 14 and Pro Paired are plenty durable for the typical commuter’s load. The Pro 14 would be a bit more durable than the Pro Paired, but you'll be able to ride hard and ride far with either of these options.

    Phile Wood & American Classic Hubs


    Links:
    All Pro Front Wheels for Brompton

    Phil Wood Pro 14 Front Wheel for Brompton

    Phil Wood Pro 28 Front Wheel for Brompton

    Phil Wood Pro Paired Front Wheel for Brompton

    American Classic Pro Paired Front Wheel for Brompton

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    As a side note, between mid-2013 and 2015 there were a number of Superlight Bromptons sold without Superlight wheels. Brompton had trouble sourcing the Superlight hub, so these bikes came with a wheel built with fancy spokes and the same hub and rim as the standard model bikes. These bikes are great candidates for a front wheel upgrade. You have a beautiful titanium bike with a hub that looks and feels like it belongs in the 80’s. The Pro Wheels are clearly what we at Perennial Cycle think would be your best choice, but a Brompton Superlight Wheel would at least get you up to stock for those bikes.

    Wondering if your Superlight Brompton has a Superlight front wheel? If your front wheel is attached with axle nuts it is not a Superlight wheel. The Superlight Wheel by Brompton is secured to the fork with an allen head skewer.

    If you have any questions, or would like to discuss building up a wheel that you are not seeing on our website, feel free to contact Perennial Cycle.

  • Jan 22 2018

    Brompton Limited Editions + Design Collaborations @ Perennial Cycle

    As anyone who has waited for a B-Spoke or custom ordered Brompton can attest, every Brompton is special. Whether you purchased your bike off the shelf at a dealer like Perennial Cycle, ordered it online at PerennialCycle.com, or developed your own special configuration in the Brompton Bike Builder, your bike was spec’d and assembled part-by-part with the help of many individual eyes and hands. Knowing this, what makes a Brompton Special Edition, well… especially special?

    Early Brompton Limited Edition Bikes

    Often, a special edition means a partnership with a particular company or designer — that’s how Brompton’s first collaboration came about, when the company joined forces with Tom Dixon in 2010 to create a very limited number of prototypes (more on that below). Many designers have put their mark on Brompton since. On other occasions, Brompton has released limited editions in honor of a specific event or person as they did with the Royal Wedding Brompton in 2011, the first edition with a significant production run made available to a wider market, and the Jubilee Brompton in 2012. In the mid-2000s, Brompton also started a series of editions made to capture the essence of the world’s great cities. After the London Brompton in 2012 and the Barcelona Brompton in 2013, the New York City Brompton arrived last year.

    In addition to the NYC Edition, Brompton released multiple special edition bikes and design collaborations in 2017, including a return of the Black Edition and the Nickel Edition. At the close of the year, a fourth run of Black Editions was announced for 2018. As in prior years, a handful of colors are available in select specs. Along with Orange and Black, Turkish Green is back (see below right), and a new Black Lacquer finish is available (below left).

    Brompton 2017 and 2018 Black Edition bikes

    Special Editions In-Stock (as of 22 Jan. 2018)

    Perennial Cycle has multiple new Black Edition bikes in stock for the new year. We are working to list all incoming bikes in our online shop ASAP! Plus, a few Nickel Edition bikes remain from 2017 and are freshly marked down. There’s even one last 2016 Black Edition bike available at a great bargain.

    We are also excited to share that we expect a small number of additional CHPT3 Edition Bromptons to arrive this spring, and we still have one 2017 S6E-X in stock and ready to ship or pick up in-store — though who knows how long it will last!

    Brompton 2017 Nickel Edition, folded

    For more details on the Brompton Special Edition bikes, read on.

    Brompton x CHPT3 collaboration with David Millar

    Limited + Special Edition Brompton Folding Bikes + Design Collaborations, 2010–2017

    Brompton differentiates between Special Editions and Collaborations, mainly because not all collaborations lead to a bicycle. Brompton has developed bags and other accessories with like-minded brands and designers on several occasions, including the Game Bag, a collaboration with Chapman bags. And of course, as noted above, a special edition bike is sometimes the fruit of a collaboration with an outside designer or design team — but not always! We’ve put together a comprehensive look at Brompton Special and Limited Edition bikes and Design Collaborations from 2010 through the close of 2017. If you’re new to Brompton, this will be a step into history. If you’re a long-time fan, consider this a trip down memory lane.

    A visual timeline of Brompton Special Editions and Collaborations, 2010–2017

    2010

    Our timeline begins with Brompton’s collaboration with British designer Tom Dixon. Today, Dixon is known for his lighting designs incorporating reflective surfaces in copper and brass (Minneapolis diners will recognize his work at restaurants like The Bachelor Farmer), so it’s not surprising that Dixon’s take on the Brompton involved a special process of copper plating the bike’s frame. While it never actually produced the bike for the public, Brompton created a small number of prototypes, one of which was displayed at Dixon’s booth as a part of London Design Week 2010. In addition to copper plating, accomplished with a base nickel plating and a finishing touch of an electrophoretic lacquer coating, the prototypes featured Brooks saddles but otherwise varied in specification. The bike pictured in the timeline here is an S2E with a green Brooks saddle and grips. The actual bike suspended above Dixon’s booth in 2010 was even more basic, an M1E fitted with Eazy Wheels and a Brooks B17 Special in honey.

    2011

    After the Tom Dixon collaboration, Brompton released its first Special Edition in commemoration of the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, who wed on April 29, 2011. Dubbed The British Royal Wedding Brompton, the bike was released in an edition of 300 in 2011 only in East Asian markets. As you can see in our timeline, the bike was an M3L in “Sake White” with special decals featuring William and Catherine’s names as well as their wedding date. A Brooks B17 Special in antique brown and an S Bag with a specially designed, hand-sewn Crown Flap for the occasion finished the look. The S Bag flap featured Prince of Wales check woven from UK-sourced wool.

    2012

    The year 2012 brought the Jubilee Brompton in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee (the June 2012 celebration of 60 years as queen) and the London Brompton, a collaboration with designer and illustrator Vic Lee. Together, these bikes were the first two Limited Edition Brompton bicycles to be released at the global level. Each was limited to 500. As my time at Perennial Cycle began in 2012, I remember when we sold our last Vic Lee and a few Jubilee Bromptons! The Jubilee bike was a classic M3L in the colors of the Union Jack and the London Brompton featured Vic Lee’s illustrations in white on an all-black S2L. The Vic Lee shipped with a numbered print, also by the artist, and a custom S Bag with a flap featuring his designs. Similar to the Royal Wedding Brompton, the Jubilee Brompton’s S Bag flap used materials from the UK and a Union Jack design.

    2013

    In 2013 Brompton added a second city-themed bike to its Limited Edition collection with the Barcelona Brompton, designed in collaboration with multidisciplinary designer David Torrents. The release was limited to 400 S6Ls, each fitted with a matching S Bag, a custom orange Brompton saddle, blue Brompton grips, and custom orange mudguards. Torrents writes that he based the bike’s design concept “on something that is part of the city’s anatomy: the grid of the Eixample district. Eixample is a transitional area between the old Barcelona and its former surrounding towns. Barcelonans are very proud of this district, where aesthetics and functionality meet.”

    2014

    For 2014, Brompton created limited edition bikes available only through its “Pop-up Factory” at The London Design Festival 2014. Each bike was unique as shoppers were able to choose from five frame colors rather than the usual limit of two. Brompton even released a limited number of colors just for the show, including gold and grey (now a regular part of the color palette). 2014 was also the year Brompton joined forces with Chapman Bags to develop the Game Bag, now a regular part of the bag line-up, and a series of leather goods with luxury British leather good manufacturer Ettinger made available through Brompton Junction shops.

    Brompton's pop-up factory at The London Design Festival 2014

    2015

    As for 2015, the release of the very first Black Edition, detailed on the Shopcast in the run-up to the release, may have kept the Brompton factory a bit too busy for many other releases, save for their collaboration with London design duo Thornback & Peel on a series of hand-printed handkerchiefs featuring illustrations of Brompton bikes.

    2016

    Brompton “upped the swag factor,” as Momentum Magazine put it at the time, with the launch of the Nickel Edition in 2016. The same year, Brompton marked the occasion of Brooks Endland’s 150th anniversary with the production of 150 Brompton x Brooks Limited Edition bikes. These were available only through Brompton Junction stores and the Brooks B1866 London shop. Another rather limited edition from 2016 was the Brompton World Championship bike, an S6L from a run of only a few hundred bikes sold exclusively through Evans Cycles in the UK and select additional shops.

    Branching beyond their UK neighbors, Brompton began another collaboration with Korea-based Line Friends with the release of 50 Line Friends “Brown” Brompton bikes in South Korea. The partnership was so successful that the companies came together again in 2017 for a larger production of the Line Friends “Sally” Brompton in a greater number of markets.

    Brompton x Line Friends Sally and Brown

    2017

    When it comes to special edition bikes, 2017 was the biggest year yet. Brompton launched a new addition to the City Series, the New York City Edition, and celebrated the opening of Brompton Junction Amsterdam with the Nine Streets or “De 9 Straatjes” Edition. A new crop of Nickel Edition bikes arrived along with the 2017 Black Edition, and Brompton teamed up with Barbour, CHPT3, Line Friends, The Cambridge Satchel Company, and Vespertine to develop not just bikes but front bags, apparel, and other accessories. Brompton even opened a Brompton Café at Rough Trade NYC. Special Edition 2017 Brompton bikes

    • Brompton x Vespertine New York City Edition, limited run of 1500 (we are SOLD OUT of bikes but still have shoelaces, scarves, and hats)

    • Nine Streets “De 9 Straatjes” Edition, available exclusively through Brompton Junction Amsterdam

    • Brompton x Barbour Limited Edition (we are SOLD OUT of bikes, but still have the Merton Jacket available in a range of sizes.)

    Brompton x CHPT3 Limited Edition, initial run of 500 (we have one S6E-X in stock and ready to ship as of 22 Jan. 2018)

    • Brompton x Cambridge Satchel Co. Edition (we are SOLD OUT of bikes but still have Cambridge Satchels available in a range of colors.)

    • Brompton x Line Friends “Sally” Edition, available in Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and New York City’s Line Friends store

    Brompton x CHPT3 collaboration with David Millar, detail
  • Jan 17 2018

    Cateye Rapid Mini - 😻 Light up the Night

    cateye rapid mini

    We have many lights
     to choose from at Perennial Cycle as we like the idea of being seen on the road. When it comes to keeping it light and simple, the Cateye Rapid Mini has you covered. We have brighter and/or longer running lights available, but this current shop favorite is simple and minimalistic. At just 2 inches in length and 3/4 inches wide it is easy to throw in a pocket when locking your bike up.

       

    The Standard Rapid Mini comes with a tool-free seatpost mount and a USB charging chord.
    The Brompton specific Rapid Mini comes with a Brompton saddle mounting bracket.
    Late in 2016 Brompton Bikes started coming with a slight modification to their saddles. On the underside of the saddle they made a mount that is there specifically to fit a little bracket for the Cateye Rapid Mini light.



    Brompton Specific Rapid Mini                 Standard Cateye Rapid Mini

     

    Cateye also makes a separate saddle rail mount that is compatible with the Rapid Mini, so you can easily switch your light from bike to bike.

    Cool Video below 

     



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