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  • Dec 12 2014

    Ordering your Brompton at PerennialCycle.com

    In 2013 we set a goal of adding all of our in-stock Brompton folding bikes to our website. Once they'd been added, we set a second goal: to keep the listings accurate as 1 bike is sold and another arrives. All that means that today, you can go to PerennialCycle.com and browse our in-stock Brompton selection knowing that the bikes you see are bikes we have ready for in-store pick-up or shipping to your door. We've sorted our Brompton folding bikes by handlebar type, so you can shop for an S-Type, M-Type, or H-Type with the right gearing for your needs and the color of your dreams. You'll also see a special section for our in-stock Ti Brompton Superlights. If you're interested in a P-Type handlebar or don't see the bike you're looking for available, call us at 612-827-8000 and we'll be happy to help you with a B-Spoke order. Brompton Handle Bar Types illustrated As you browse through each handlebar type, you'll see a variety of different combinations of gearing and color options. From the short description for each bike you can gather quite a bit of information. As an example, a listing for an M2L in Black and Turkish Green looks like this: "M2L [Black & Turkish Green]." M is of course the handlebar type, 2 tells us it's a 2-speed, and L indicates the bike has mudguards but no rack. Black, listed first is the color of the bike's main frame. The bikes extremities are Turkish Green, the second color indicated. For a listing with only one color mentioned, the main frame and the extremities are the same color. Clicking on the listing for an individual bike, it's possible to see more details about the bike's gearing. It might say "standard," or "12% reduced." For single speeds and 2-speeds, you'll always see "standard," as we order all of our 1- and 2-speed bikes this way. For 3-speeds, you'll see a mix of standard and lowered gearing. In the case of 6-speeds, you'll see mostly lowered gearing and a handful of bikes with standard gearing. After riding Brompton folding bikes and helping customers through hundreds of test-rides, we've come to see that -12% lowered gearing is the ideal set-up on the 6-speed for the majority of riders. As of 2013, we began ordering many of our 3-speeds with the same idea in mind. Prior to 2014, lowered (or reduced) and raised gearing incurred an extra charge. Fortunately, that's no longer the case. Now you can choose the right gearing ratio for your Brompton without worrying about an added expense. What's the difference between lowered and standard gearing? All Brompton 6-speeds have a Brompton Wide Range (BWR) Sturmey Archer hub on the rear wheel and all come set up with the same rear sprocket set. The physical difference between bikes with standard and lowered gearing is in the front chainring attached to the crank. A 6-speed with standard gearing has a 50-tooth chainring, while a 6-speed with lowered gearing has a 44-tooth chainring. Practically speaking, that means the every gear on the bike with a 44T ring requires less effort on your part when pedaling. That means you'll climb hills more easily on a bike with reduced gearing. And, the average rider will be more likely to use the full-range (even the hardest gear) on a 6-speed bike with reduced gearing. If you're one for crunching gear ratios, you can find Brompton's chart here. Once you've decided on a particular bike, here are the remaining details to keep in mind:

    Seat Height

    You can choose from one of three seatposts for your Brompton. For an inseam over 84cm/33", we suggest an extended or telescopic seatpost. The latter is best for an inseam over 90cm/35", or for taller riders wishing to minimize the height of the folded bike.

    Saddle

    Several options are available to select within your bike's listing, including the brightly colored Brompton Rail Saddles. If you'd like to order a saddle other than one listed here, simply add it to your shopping cart separately. If you select an alternative saddle (e.g. a Brooks saddle other than the B17 Special in Antique Brown), you may note in the comments section with your order whether or not you'd like to have the standard black Brompton Rail Saddle as well. If you choose a Brooks saddle, we recommend a rain cover for all-weather riders and the Brooks Maintenance kit or a stand-alone tin of Proofide.

    Tires

    We order all of our Brompton folding bikes with the company's standard Kevlar tire. It's light-weight and offers good flat protection. For an upgrade fee, we are able to send your Brompton with 1) Schwalbe Marathon tires 2) Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires 3) standard Schwalbe Kojak tires or 4) folding Schwalbe Kojak tires. Please call us at 612-827-8000 or make a note in the comments section with your order if you'd prefer we swap out the standard Kevlar tires for one of these upgrades.

    Rear Suspension

    Two levels of resistance are available, to suit body weight and riding style. We recommend Firm suspension for most riders, and anyone weighing over 80kg (175+ lbs) and those who value responsiveness above comfort. If you prefer a softer ride, are a lighter person or if you ride and pedal particularly smoothly, you may opt for Standard suspension.

    Lighting

    We order a percentage of our Brompton folding bikes with Shimano Hub Dynamos and the accompanying front and rear lights each year. The majority of our bikes arrive to our door with reflectors only in front and back. We are, however, happy to add a dynamo lighting system to any in-stock bike. We stock both the Shimano and the SON hub systems and a variety of dynamo lights. Note that pricing here may vary from the B-Spoke order form as factory-installed systems are offered at a lower price than the sum of the parts in our store. We do offer free labor when installing dynamo lighting or battery lights on any new Brompton. Still, for the greatest savings on a dynamo system with Brompton's stock headlights and taillights, it's best to B-spoke order your Brompton. If you're interested in a headlight other than the B&M Lyt (standard for the Shimano hub) or the B&M Cyo (standard for the SON hub), or a taillight other than the standard Brompton dynamo rear light, you may either place your order by phone or choose "reflectors only" and add the necessary parts to your order one-by-one. You'll need to add a front dynamo wheel (Shimano or SON) and a Hub Dynamo/LED wiring loom to your order along with the lights of your choice and a Hub Dynamo/LED wire form bracket. Should you be shopping for more powerful battery lighting in lieu of a dynamo system, you may consider pairing the Brompton rear battery light with a rechargeable front light from Light and Motion's Urban series. Simply choose "reflectors only" and add the lights of your choice to your cart separately. We'll install the Brompton rear battery light for you and include the headlight in the box with your Brompton.

    Front Luggage & Accessories

    Choose a front carrier block alone or opt for a bag set (a front carrier block + the bag of your choice). You will see a few options in our list not included on Brompton's B-Spoke order form. Learn more about the Carradice City Folder here. Or, view of the Carradice Stockport here. If there are other parts and accessories (e.g. a rear rack or non-standard pedals) you'd like to add to your order, simply add them to your cart as you would with any other order at PerennialCycle.com.

    Shipping

    Our standard shipping charge on Brompton folding bikes is $40 per bike. Choose "folding bicycle" under other options at checkout. Check our homepage or sign up for our newsletter for information about shipping promotions throughout the year. We'll install parts like the Front Carrier Block or Eazy Wheels for your convenience prior to shipping and include items such a Carradice Saddle Bag inside the box with your bike as space allows. For larger accessories like Brompton's B Bag, we may package your bike and the chosen accessories in separate boxes under one tracking number. If you're ordering a Brompton Travel Suitcase, we'll ship your bike inside the case in one box. We welcome your questions by phone or email. If you're in the neighborhood, come on in for a test-ride any time.
  • Dec 09 2014

    Holiday Gift Guide - Brompton Edition 2.0

    Calhoun Cycle Holiday Gift Guide Brompton Gift Guide 2014 by Calhoun Cycle It's been a while since our last Brompton Gift Guide and we have a few more things to share that pair well with any Brompton Folding Bike. Treat the Brompton lover in your life, or treat yourself to one of these accessories for your favorite folder.
    1. Brompfication's Hinge Clamp Set is more than just an aesthetic upgrade to your Brompton. These spring-loaded clamps stay just where you need them with every fold and every unfold.
    2. Introduced earlier this year, the Game Bag will brighten any Brompton owner's ride.
    3. The Nitto BMR3 Rack for Brompton is one of our newest additions to the shop and we are smitten.
    4. Abus's Bordo Lite folding lock is the perfect pair for any Brompton. It's easy to carry even if you don't have a bag with you as the included sheath attaches easily to the Brompton frame.
    5. Minneapolis designer Erin Smith designed this brightly colored keyfob, a perfect home for your Bordo lock's key. It is available through Smith's shop Ship & Shape.
    6. We brought in the Giro New Road line this year and are loving their wool tops, like the Merino Polo, and their men's and women's shorts.
    7. If you bought your Brompton prior to 2013, consider upgrading to the new Aluminum Brake Levers, you'll be glad you did!
    8. A pair of Grip King EZY Superior pedals are the perfect upgrade for anyone who commutes regularly by Brompton or enjoys long distance rides on their folder.
    9. The Brompton Leather Handle has been a big hit this year. We still have plenty of Brown and Black handles in stock. Order yours now!
    10. B&M's newest and tiniest headlight Eyc (sounds like bike) is just the right scale of headlight for the Brompton. Don't have a dynamo front wheel? Make it a complete package and retrofit your Brompton with a dynamo front wheel from Shimano or SON, the light of your choice, a wiring loom, a light bracket, and a taillight.
    11. Why stop at a leather handle for your Brompton when you can wrap up a Minnesota-made leather coffee sleeve from the Walker Shop's MN Artists Marketplace, too?
    12. Not everyone is a Brompton racer, but Folding Kojaks make a great gift for the bike tourist who wants to bring a spare tire along for the long haul... just in case.
    13. And speaking of just in case, a tube in any Brompton lover's stocking can't hurt.
  • Nov 18 2014

    Nitto Rack for Brompton Folding Bikes

     

    Nitto Rack for Brompton Folding Bicycles

    NEW IN THE SHOP: An alternative rear rack option for Brompton folding bicycles made by Nitto Japan. Specializing in original designs ranging from handlebars to stems and seat posts, Nitto is known best for their hand-made, fillet-brazed tubular chromoly steel bike racks. Nitto racks are nickel-plated for extra durability with a lovely silver satin finish. The Nitto BM-R3 for Brompton folding bikes is no exception. The BM-R3 is a lovely rack to look at, and we know it will hold up to years of use. All Models of Bikes w/ Nitto Rack We've fit the Nitto Rack for Brompton bikes onto all versions of Bromptons:
    • For the fender-less Brompton (E version) the included hardware will mount up the rack perfectly.
    • For the Brompton with fenders and no rear rack (L version) you can mount the rack with the optional bolt and washer kit (keeping your existing fender).
    • If you are getting the Nitto Rack to replace your existing Brompton rack (R version) the included hardware is perfect and you will be able keep the R version fender.
    Note: If you are buying a fender specifically to use with the Nitto Rack, you have 2 options: - the R fender  works very well as long as you plan to keep the rack on the bike at all times (this fender requires the rack for support) - the L Fender along with a Stay set  is a great option that allows the versatility of being able to be used with or without the rack Nitto Rack w/Eazy Wheels

    One of the big benefits of a rack on a Brompton is that the folded bike sits on 4 points instead of 3, making for a much more stable and smoother rolling package. While the Nitto rack comes with casters, adding Brompton Eazy Wheels make it possible to effortlessly roll the folded bike. This is as true for the Nitto rack as it is for the Brompton rack.

    Nitto Rack for Brompton

    The Eazy Wheel kit for the Brompton rack are not the same as what you'll need to mount Eazy Wheels to the Nitto rack for Brompton. To simplify things, we have put together the kits necessary to add Eazy Wheels to a Nitto Rack no matter your current set up. See them HERE.

    racktop bags on Nitto rack

    The Brompton Rack Sack works nicely with the Nitto rack, though other racktop bags will also work well. A shop favorite is the Arkel Tailrider, as the velcro mounting straps are quick and secure and the bag is loaded with nice features. The Banjo Brothers Rack Top Bag also fits nicely. Keep in mind that when you have a racktop bag attached to the rack, you will not be able to flip the rear wheel under the the bike to put the bike in kickstand-mode. Reflector Mount, Rackstrap @ B & W Case A Few Details:

    • Nitto has not produced a bracket for a reflector or light. The bracket that we sell as an optional add-on is produced here in Minneapolis for Perennial Cycle. This bracket is not sold as a separate item, but is an option when buying the rack. It will work with the Brompton reflector, battery light or a dynamo light.
    • We like using the Highland Fat (and flat) adjustable bungee with the Nitto. Fits nicely on the rack, but can be removed if you want to keep things minimal.
    • The Nitto rack, like the Brompton rack, does not increase the folded package dimensions so packing the bike away in your B & W hard case, or your Brompton B-Bag will not be hindered by adding the rack.

    Off-Set Rear Wheels If you're wondering why the caster wheels are offset to the drive side (this is true of the Nitto Rack and the Brompton Rack) it's because the FOLDED Brompton is weighted to the drive side. The off-set wheels provide additional stability to the folded Brompton.

    nitto BM-R3While a hand-made rack from Japan is not an inexpensive option, Nitto has proven itself a very good value in the market of premium bicycle racks. The versatility and high-quality construction make this rack a sure recommendation at Perennial Cycle.

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  • Nov 12 2014

    Test Riding the Brooks Cambium

    Brooks Cambium
    • Naturally Flexible
    • Immediately Comfortable
    • Waterproofed with Numac
    • Maintenance Free
    • Built for Life
    • Ready to Ride
    kat_cambium2 Several of our staffers took the Cambium out for a weekend test-ride when the saddles first arrived at the shop last fall. Here are our first impressions: Kat, test riding with a Surly Long Haul Trucker:
    The Cambium was comfortable right out of the box. The women’s model has a longer nose than [Brooks's] traditional leather B17S, and I personally prefer the shape of the Cambium to my leather saddle. It has a bit of natural flex, but is stiff enough for long rides. While it is touted as waterproof, the cotton tends to absorb water, rather than shed it, so I still opt to cover the saddle in wet conditions. In the long run I may switch over to [the Cambium] and give my leather B17S to a good home."
    Luke, test riding with a Rawland Dakkar:
    The slight suspension of the slung rubber saddle is a huge benefit when doing a hard gravel grind. The saddle I rode in the past was a typical slightly padded road saddle and I found that I didn't miss the padding at all."
    Martha, test riding with a Brompton M6L:
    Kat mentioned her preference for the C17S' longer nose, but I found myself missing my B17S Special's shape and length. While I found the C17S rideable, I will continue to ride the B17S and Flyer S, despite the break-in time required to reach these saddles' optimum comfort levels. If you love your leather Brooks saddle, stick with it!"
    Test Riding the Brooks Cambium For local customers, we allow free 24-hour test rides of the Cambium C17 and Cambium C17S. Stop in to our location at Hennepin and 34th in Uptown Minneapolis for a chance to try the Cambium risk-free on your own bike. The complete Brooks Cambium line is available in-store and at PerennialCycle.com, including the C17, the C17 S, and the C15 in a full range of colors. Look for the C17 Cambium Carved — with cut-out — later this fall(/winter?) and early next spring.

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