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  • Mar 31 2014

    Meet Brompton

    You don't have to read too far in the Perennial Cycle Shopcast to know how much we love Brompton folding bikes. As a staff, about half of us have a Brompton (or two...) at home. We each have our quirks when it comes to the fold, favorite colors, and preferred handlebars. But the enthusiasm for introducing YOU to Brompton? That's something we all share, even when we're not in the shop. Whether on a lunch break ride, on a weekend road trip, or during the daily commute — we're happy to chat with those of you who smile, introduce yourselves, and ask... just what is this small-wheeled bike all about? Does it fold? How small does it get? And my favorite... Does it fit inside the front basket? Brompton S3L-X in Turkish Green This year, we've decided to bring Brompton to you in an entirely new way. Each month, we'll be sending a Brompton home with a new owner to find out what it's like to be a newly minted Brompton rider and see how it fits into each of their lives. To begin, we've loaned a Turkish Green S3L-X to Patrick Stephenson, also known as @patiomensch, a Minneapolis-based cyclist and co-founder of #30daysofbiking. When asked if he'd be interested in participating in our #meetbrompton project, Patrick leapt at the chance and suggested he borrow the bike during his favorite month of the year — April — just in time for 30DOB. So here we are: 30 Days of Biking, meet 30 Days of Brompton. For those who are curious about the details... B-Spoked especially for #meetbrompton, this S3L-X has titanium extremities, a Shimano Dynamo front wheel and lights, a front carrier block, mudguards (critical for April riding!), a telescopic seat post, and a Brooks B17 Special that Patrick will be the first to break-in. When he's not toting his offical 30DOB Banjo Brothers Canvas Backpack, Patrick will also be using a black Carradice Stockport City Folder (pictured below) and an Abus Bordo lock for those times when it's not possible to bring the Brompton in with him at a given destination. Patrick Stephenson picking up his S3L-X for #meetbrompton at Calhoun Cycle Be sure to follow @PerennialCycle on Twitter and Instagram to see what Patrick is up to with his shiny new Brompton. And if you see him out and about, stop and say hello!

    Meet Patrick

    Originally from Rochester, Patrick moved to Minneapolis in 2002 to attend the University of Minnesota. In 2010, Patrick started 30 Days of Biking along with his good friend Zach Schaap. The two created a website and launched a campaign that encouraged over 1,000 people to pledge to ride every day in April that year. Patrick still loves to ride and makes friends wherever his bike takes him. He continues to be amazed at a how 30 Days of Biking has grown in just 5 years. Folding a Brompton, step by step in pictures A copywriter by day, Patrick is a true perfectionist and hopes to abandon his folding cheat sheets within the week and is working to speed up his fold before the month is up. Stay tuned for more from Patrick about his adventure with #meetbrompton and get on over to #30daysofbiking to make the pledge yourself. It's easy, it's free, and for every 30 pledges made, 30DOB will give one bike to a girl or boy in need via Minneapolis-based Free Bikes 4 Kidz.
  • Mar 26 2014

    The Original Brompton Leather Handle by RAW

    Brompton Handle


     RAW is the company that designed and manufactures the Original Leather Brompton Handle. The owner/inventor at RAW is Karen Meissner. Karen is a clever, hard working entrepreneur who is passionate about cycling and has owned a Brompton folding bicycle for 15 years.
    RAW is a young company (incorporated in November of 2013) based in Devon, England which is about 200 miles southwest of London. As a longtime entrepreneur, Karen has her hands in a variety of businesses, but her current focus is RAW which at this point has 2 products, a carbon 29’er frame and Perennial Cycle’s latest imported product, the Original Leather Brompton Handle.

    Here’s the design brief for the Original Leather Brompton Handle:
    -  handle that positions on the bike at the perfect balance point (folded or unfolded)
    - aesthetically pleasing in a way that complements the Brompton
    - offers frame protection
    - end product must be of very high quality
    - fits onto the bike easily and quickly
    - ages well

      the Original Leather Brompton Handle
    Karen had her first prototype made in July of 2013. The prototype was a decent start, but it took several tries before she was comfortable with it as a finished product. The product as delivered to us nailed the design brief very, very well. Great work Karen! When asked what’s in the skunkworks, she said RAW’s next item on the market will be a lovely downtube frame protector for carbon bikes (are the carbon gravel racers listening!), and then down the road the Brompton Leather Handle may see a shoulder strap option and beyond that she sees a variety of leather products specifically designed to work on Brompton Folding Bikes.

    Check out our product video:

    The Original Brompton Leather Handle is manufactured in England and we just got our first shipment on March 20, 2014. We look forward to watch RAW mature and bring new products to market in the coming years. I interviewed Karen on March 26, 2014.

    Links:
    RAW
    the Original Brompton Leather Handle

    If you're looking for a different style of Brompton Carry Handle, you can see the Vincita Handle here
  • Mar 19 2014

    Save the Date! Brompton Racing Goes to Washington this July

    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with his Brompton That's right, Bromptoneers! The 2014 Brompton US Championship will take place in our nation's capital on the weekend of July 11 through 13, 2014. After two great years of Brompton Racing in Minneapolis, Perennial Cycle is honored to pass the torch that is the Brompton US Championship to BicycleSPACE in Washington, D.C. We remain grateful to Mike McGettigan at Trophy Bikes in Philadelphia for the aid he lent us when we were handed the race in early 2012 and hope to be able to help in any way we can to the staff at Bicycle Space. Bicycle Space D.C.

    (Photo by Bicycle Space)

    If you're thinking of making the trek to Washington for the race, know that you're in good hands. BicycleSPACE is run by a great group of people committed to fostering a welcoming environment for everyone from beginner cyclists to hard-core daily commuters. The shop's interior is gorgeous and many of the same great brands you'll find at Perennial Cycle are at home at BicycleSPACE—including Brompton (of course), Brooks, and Linus. When it comes to planning the details of this year's Brompton race, manager Jordan Mittelman is on familiar turf. Take a look at BicycleSPACE's event calendar and you'll quickly see that the staff is busy every week with yoga classes, in-house maintenance clinics, and group rides. Looking for further details? The date is set, but many of the specifics surrounding the event are still in the planning stages. To be the first to know once registration opens, watch for news at bromptonuschampionship.com, join the mailing list, and follow Bicycle Space on Twitter and Facebook. As you begin making your plans for race-day, get inspiration for your race kit by checking out photos from the 2013 race on Flickr. While we won't be hosting the event this year, you can be sure we'll be re-tweeting any big news from BicycleSPACE and keeping you up to speed on the Perennial Cycle Facebook page as well. And, with any luck, you may just see a member of team Perennial at the starting line! The Brompton US Championship goes to Washington, D.C. in 2014
  • Mar 04 2014

    Brompton Travel & Touring Essentials

    So you've got your T Bag [3] loaded with everything for your travels. Maybe you're headed camping for the weekend or flying half-way around the world for a Brompton tour overseas. Once you've got all of your personal items ready for whatever your adventure may be, it's time to take stock and make sure both bike and rider will be well taken care of no matter what the road has in store. a list of items you'll want to have along on a Brompton tour If you're planning a lengthy ride or a multi-day tour, you'll want to make sure you stay well hydrated. Since a Brompton doesn't have water bottle cage mounts like you'd find on a typical bike frame,  most Brompton riders are accustomed to carrying water inside their front luggage or in a jersey pocket. When one bottle isn't enough, we like the Two Fish Quick Cage [1]. It fits well on both the Brompton main-frame and the stem riser below the handlebars. Both spots are accessible while riding. And let's not forget snacks [4], a lack of which often causes conflict while traveling. With food and water covered, let's delve into the care of your Brompton on tour. For multi-day rides and longer trips, it's important to be aware of what components are specific to your Brompton. Depending where you are traveling, these small parts can sometimes be the hardest to source. Sophie, an experienced U.S.-based tourist, recently shared with the Brompton Blog that she won't leave home without a spare Gear Indicator Chain [2, bottom]. Several of our local customers who travel by plane with their bikes on a regular basis also include a pair of Hinge Clamp Assemblies [2, top] in each suitcase. We recommend that these be removed before shipping or checking your Brompton on a flight to avoid any chance of damage, but to be doubly sure a spare set is an excellent idea. Before you fly, you'll also want to deflate somewhat both of your tires. So that you're ready to air-up when you reach your destination, be sure to pack your pump [5]. And, speaking of tires... many tourists erring on the side of caution like to bring not just spare tubes [8] (an absolute must), but even a spare tire along. Sophie mentioned she'll be packing a spare 16" Marathon for future trips. If you want to be prepared but don't have space for a Marathon, a folding Kojak [6] makes for a more compact package. Care to take your chances and save room for other items? Why not pack a credit card-sized packet of Emergency Tire Boots [9] just in case? While it's not unheard of to need a new tire as a result of a flat, more often than not the problem is with the tube itself. Of course, before you jump to fix a flat with a new tube, it's often wise to use a patch first — especially if your spares are limited. If you haven't yet gotten your hands on a Brompton Toolkit [10], we recommend carrying a good patch kit, the multi-tool of your choice, and the PDW 3wrencho [7] for removing a wheel and tire in the event of a flat. For tips on wheel removal, trouble-shooting a flat, and other tricks to keep in mind when traveling with your Brompton, join us this Thursday from 5:00 p.m. until close for a Brompton Travel Clinic and a screening of The History of Brompton. Get details about the event here. You can RSVP on Facebook to let us know you're coming. If you can't make this week's movie night, share your Brompton Travel Essentials with us on Twitter or Facebook.

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