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Perennial Favorites

  • Nov 08 2019

    Brompfication: Upgrade your Brompton Game

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    Brompfication Ti Seatpost, Ti Seat Quick-Release and Ti Hinge Clamps
    Titanium Seatpost, Hinge Clamp, Axle Nuts and Seat QR

    Here at Perennial Cycle, Brompton Folding Bicycles are a house favorite. Despite the adage that says there is no such thing as a bike that 'does it all', we feel that the Brompton comes about as close as any bicycle.

    The main two reasons Brompton has earned this status at our shop is their attention to detail and the endless ways in which a Brompton can be personalized to fit the needs of their riders. This is why we are excited to talk about these upgrades from Brompfication, along with the main reason we use them as upgrades ourselves.

    Brompfication Titanium Seat Post

    This addition makes sense for Brompton because it provides additional anti-shock qualities beyond that of Aluminum or Steel.

    We find that this is an excellent solution to reduce 200g of additional weight off your Brompton. This is a big upgrade for your Brompton because it is a bike that is designed to be lifted and transported by the user on a regular basis. The pay off becomes cumulative!

    Brompfication Hinge Clamp Set

    This high quality part is made from Titanium and Aluminum. Not only do these clamps add a big ol' splash of bling to your bike, they are a serious quality of life upgrade for Brompton users as well.

    These are cleverly machined in such a way that the Hinge Clamp Plate is always aligned correctly to the frame. This saves fiddling and time while folding your Brompton! Awesome!

    Brompfication Seat Clamp Quick Release

    The simple and clean design is reason enough to gift yourself with this little gem, but if that is not enough, there is also a quality of life factor.

    It has been cleverly designed to hold its position on the bike without rotating. You'll thank your self when you see how smooth and simple it makes adjusting the seat post. It is not just candy for the eye!

    Brompfication M10 Titanium Rear Axle Nuts

    What?!? Are you nuts?

    Nope, we just love Titanium on our Bromptons! This last piece may be just for bragging rights, but there are real-world reasons we use these in-shop as well.

    Perennial Cycle is located in Minneapolis, MN. Winters here are hard on bikes and we like to install parts that will hold up to the demands of cycling in that salty slush. You'll even save a few grams over the stock ones.

    Jesús optimizing their Brompton fold with Brompfication
  • Dec 07 2018

    Introducing The Flat S Senso Light

     
    Here at Perennial Cycle we love the German Busch & Müller dynamo and battery-operated lights! Germany has strict cycle lighting laws and B&M abide by them and we benefit from that. We have recently brought their battery powered Flat S Senso light into our shop and have found it to be a wonderful upgrade to a Brompton.
     
    The Flat S Senso has both a light and a reflector, so it is legal to use this to replace a reflector on a bike. The Flat S Senso sports B&M’s LineTec technology which has a single LED as well as multiple mirrors that extend across the light in a  line, making you very visible on the road. In its Senso mode (S), the light turns on and off using light and  motion! This means that it will turn on whenever the bike is in motion and it is dark out  and it will remain on for a couple of minutes at a stop to keep you visible. If no further motion is detected the light will turn off on its own! The light works on both rack (R) and non-rack models (L/E) of the Brompton. When installing it on a L/E (non-rack or non-fender) all you need to do is replace the reflector with the Flat S Senso. The reflector/light mounts on the the bike have a slotted hole that allows the light or reflector to slide up or down a bit. When tightening the Flat S light on, be sure and have the light as low in the slots as possible. This allows clearance with the ground when folding the bike.This light also fits very nicely on our Tubus and Racktime racks (also German engineering at is finest).
     
     
  • Feb 20 2018

    The Time for Dynamo Lights is NOW

     

    dynamo | ˈdīnəˌmō | noun | a machine for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy; a generator

    Dynamo Lighting

    Dynamo setup on a commuter we recently built up

    Dynamo Lighting: A bicycle lighting system that powers lights with energy generated by a dynamo front hub. Your spinning wheel generates energy and powers the light(s). A new meaning for Pedal Power!

    Are you looking to get off the grid... at least a little? Us too! At Perennial Cycle we are big fans of dynamo lighting. The concept of never having to replace or charge batteries but always having quality lights seems truly magical, but in reality it’s not magical at all; it's completely attainable. We have lots of experience setting up bikes with Dynamo Lighting.

    What’s needed:
    - Dynamo front wheel  
    - Front dynamo light
    - Rear dynamo light (rear lighting is optional, but highly recommended)

    The cost to getting dynamo lighting is similar to any other part on your bike. There are several options with a large price range. The most basic setups (front wheel, front light & rear light) would be $250, while high end setups can be over $900.

    The majority of the dynamo lighting packages that we install are $375-$500 (parts and labor included).

    Dynamo Front Wheel

    Dynamo Front Wheel

    DYNAMO WHEEL: Over half the price is going to be spent on the wheel. This makes sense in that the actual mechanical generation of power (the magical part of the equation) is coming from the coolio front dynamo hub. In the basic dynamo package (totaling about $250 complete), the front wheel cost is less than $200. The high end package would have a wheel cost of $500-$600. The most common dynamo wheels we build sell for $245-$280.
    All of our dynamo wheel listings (online) have options offering many front and rear lights. This makes it easy to compare a variety of package prices simply by choosing the diffferent lights from the menu and watching prices adjust accordingly.

    Dynamo Front Lights

    Dynamo Powered Front Lights

    DYNAMO FRONT LIGHT: The range in lights is from under $50 to over $200. The entry level light is impressive, though we sell more lights in the $75-$115 range. The very top end (the Luxos U) gives you a light AND a USB port to charge your phone or other device.

    Dynamo Powered Rear Lights

    Dynamo Powered Rear Lights

    DYNAMO REAR LIGHT: The rear lights range from $25-$70. This will partly be determined by where you want to mount the light: on the seat post, rear rack or on a fender. Many of our taillights have a reflector built into the light.

    Dynamo Lighting on Luke's commuter

    EXTRA (for the more curious types):
    - All of our lights hold a cache of power. This means that the front and rear light will stay lit when you’re at a stoplight. Not at the same brightness, but enough to keep you visible.
    - The rear lights are powered (and wired) through the front light. This means that you only switch on the front light to get both the front and rear light on (or off).
    - As mentioned above, one of our headlights (the Luxos U) has a wire that mounts on your handlebar with an on/off switch and a USB port. This can be very handy if you are doing long rides and want to be able to keep your phone working (even with a maps app running). We carry a few other device charging products that can be added to your dynamo kit at any time. BTW: it is not uncommon for touring cyclists to set up a dynamo hub with a device charging unit and no light(s) at all. I wrote a different post about charging devices HERE.
    - If someone tells you how much a dynamo lighting system slows you down, we’d guess that they were early adopters of old dynamo lights that used halogen bulbs or even earlier adopters that used halogen bulbs with tire rubbing generators. While the hubs constantly evolve, the huge leap in practicality, reliability and minimizing drag came when LED lights arrived on the scene. This was about 10 years ago now, but they were pretty expensive, so halogen lights were still fairly common even just 5 years ago.
    - If you want to set yourself up with the most efficient system, your key item to spend the $$ on would be the dynamo hub. LED lights (all lights we currently sell) are very efficient, so your best bet to reduce drag will be to get a premium hub. The Schmidt/SON Hubs are the very best hubs on the market.
    - If you really want THE most effient hub possible, get the SONdelux hub which was originally designed for a small wheel (16" or 20"). By using the hub designed for smaller wheels on a 700 or 26" wheel you decrease drag considerably. This hub has the least drag of any hub we've seen (by quite a bit). The rub is that this hub needs you to roll a bit faster to get full power output. Below speeds of 7-9 MPH your lights will begin to pulse. I have 2 bikes running this hub and both have 700c wheels. I am perfectly satisfied with the power output and both bikes have lights as well as charging devices (one uses a Luxos U and the other uses The Plug III).

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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.

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