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  • Feb 23 2015

    Carradice Harris Tweed City Folder for Brompton

    Caaradice, Harris Tweed & Brompton Carradice of Nelson bike bags have long been the standard among randonnuer riders around the globe. Being 100% reliable and intensely durable are essential features in that cycling arena. Carradice has proven itself to be one of the most dependable brands through the test of time (and very hard use). Carradice of Nelson Perennial Cycle has been importing Carradice from England for nearly 20 years and were the first in North America to import the Brompton specific Carrradice City Folder (see a 2008 Shopcast post HERE). When Carradice introduced the Stockport City Folder for Bromptons (including S bar types) we were quick to bring them across the pond and introduce them to North America.

    Carradice Originals City Folder, Stockport and City Folder in Harris Tweed Edition Carradice Originals City Folder, Stockport City Folder and the new Harris Tweed Edition City Folder

    This past fall Carradice introduced their Harris Tweed bags and we fell in love with the look that tweed added to an already iconic design. Now Carradice has added a Harris Tweed City Folder and Perennial Cycle purchased the first production run (obviously we’re a bit excited about this bag). The Harris Tweed bags add tweed flaps onto the waterproof cotton duck, so the bags are just as weatherproof as the non-tweed models. Here are some pictures of the Tweed City Folder:
  • Jan 30 2015

    The EVO S+ Bar for Brompton... a Better S Bar?

      EVO S+ w/S Bar Shadow We like the Brompton S-Type bikes here at Perennial Cycle. In fact we like the S-Type so much that we have developed a handlebar customization to make it a better fit for more riders. The stiffness of the bars gives a great feel of the road and a touch more confidence when you're pushing it (like you might be late for work if you don't work it a bit), but the stock Brompton S bar is quite narrow and low, which limits its practicality for many riders. The EVO S+ Bar keeps the stiffness and handling benefits, but adds width as well as height, making this setup fit a wider range of riders. The S+ bar improves the ergonomics, yet the bike keeps the clean, simple lines of the stock S-Type (arguably the sexiest of the Brompton model types). EVO S+ Bar Brompton customizations are different from tweaking most bikes in that the smallest change can get in the way of the bike's magnificently fast fold or prevent the folded package from being its very smallest. Changing either of those features would be a horrible thing indeed. The EVO S+ handlebar customization does not affect the fold or the folded size, so if you are considering making the change, it's simply a matter of whether the S+ bars would be a nice upgrade for you. We have bikes in the shop that are setup with the S+ bars. Riding one of our S+ test bikes a ride would be the easiest way to decide, but many of you know from your other bikes that you may or may not be interested. From our experience the S+ setup would be an ergonomic and handling improvement for anyone riding an S-Type bike. EVO S+ Handlebar w/Ergon GPS2 Grips NOTES: The EVO S+ Bar Package was designed to be a customization to Brompton S-Type bikes. Brompton stem risers are specific to each type of handlebar (S, M, P & H). The S-Type and the H-Type stems are the same height, so either of these stems will work with the S+ bar packages, though at this point we have only made the conversion using S-Type bikes. The H-Type stem has a slightly (1/2") shorter reach from the saddle and being that Bromptons are quite short regarding saddle to handlebar reach, we would not expect many people to convert an H-Type bike to the S+ Bar. Mind you, if you came across a used H-Type Brompton or simply purchased an H-Type thinking you'd want the highest handlebar height and now you're wanting a bit stiffer a front end, then this conversion would make perfect sense. EVO S+ Bar Package PACKAGES: All the cables have to be setup perfectly to keep Bromptons running and folding without issue. The S+ bar is adding 45mm of rise, which means that all the cables need to be lengthened. We have put together packages for all Brompton models. If you are using standard Brompton grips, you will need to buy new grips because they are glued onto the handlebar and can't be removed without cutting them off. We'd recommend looking into Ergon grips (if you're not already using them). These are very ergonomically friendly grips and if you're looking into the S+ conversion, we'd guess that you are in the ergonomic appreciation boat (with us). If you are using a grip that is removable, you have the option to buy your package without grips.

    Here are the EVO S+ Packages: 1-speed: handlebar, grips and brake cable/housing kit 2-speed: handlebar, grips, brake & shifter cable/housing kit 3-speed: handlebar, grips, brake & shifter cable/housing kit 6-speed: handlebar, grips, brake & both shifter cable/housing kit

    The cable kits are assembled assuming that you'll be re-using what is possible re-use (like using the rear brake cable as your front brake cable). If you are not local to Perennial Cycle, we'd recommend that you have the package installed at your local Brompton dealer. If you're bringing the bike to a non-Brompton dealer for the install, be sure they understand that the routing of the cables is very, very specific on Brompton bikes and their techs will need to keep the routing the same as it already is (improving cable routing is something most mechanics will want to do...which is usually great, but very problematic on a Brompton). EVO S+ w/Ergon GP2-S GripsBelow is a pricelist that includes the Packages that are available. The starting package of $59.97 assumes that you would need grips. We'd love to get you setup with the EVO S+ Package as we think it is a great customization for riders of S-Type Brompton bikes. If you're shopping for a bike and thought that the S-Type bike was only suited for petite riders, we'd recommend that you re-think that and come in for a ride. EVO S+ Bar Kit Pricelist Check out the EVO S+ Bar product video:EVO S+ Product Video  
  • Dec 31 2014

    Using Your Dynamo Hub for Device Charging

    This post was updated November 8, 2018 by Luke

    Dynamo Light Display Bike

    Our Dynamo Demo Bike at Perennial Cycle

    It's no secret that we're big fans of using Dynamo hubs to power lights. The idea of being my very own utility power station makes me smile almost as much as knowing that my lights will ALWAYS be ready for me when I'm headed out on the road. We also have a variety of products that use the same Dynamo hub energy to charge a mix of USB devices. Your dynamo hub can charge lights, an external battery, a GPS unit or your smartphone during rides. Touring cyclists can charge USB devices on the road. In order to do this you need a  front wheel with a dynamo hub and a charging device.

    Dynamo powered USB charging options:

    Busch $ Müller's Luxos U Light and USB charger

    Busch & Müller's Luxos U Light and USB charger

    IQ2 LUXOS U HEADLIGHT: This is a very technically advanced product in that it's a very powerful light that comes out of the box with a USB port for charging devices. If you're looking for a high power dynamo light AND the ability to charge USB devices, this unit is what you're after. Up to 90 lux of light (floodlight) with a lithium battery cache that charges while riding and powers the floodlight, standlight and USB port. The Luxos U uses the cache battery for overvoltage protection. A great feature being that you'll have expensive devices plugged into it.

    Busch & Mueller USB WERK

    Busch & Müller’s USB-Werk

    USB-WERK: Busch & Müller's USB-Werk uses dynamo power to charge USB devices. Like the Luxos U, the USB-Werk has a small buffer cache battery to safely charge your iPhone, Android phone, MP3 player, GPS or other USB devices at any speed. The USB-Werk can be used as a stand alone item that is connected to your dynamo hub, or (more commonly) it can be wired along with your dynamo light.

    Cinq5 The Plug III

    The Plug III, Dynamo USB Power Suppy

    Cinq5 Plug III: The Plug III is a USB charger and a 1-1/8" topcap for your threadless stem. It would be difficult to integrate a charger any more eloquently. It is a bit bulkier than a typical top cap, but there's a USB port! The PAT II technology used in converting the dynamo energy into a current that your device can pull from does an awesome job of allowing your device to charge even at slow speeds. I have used this device a lot (most often with an iPhone SE) and have found it to be very reliable. It successfuly charges my phone even when I'm running map aps and have bluetooth running. The Plug III is a lovely and very reliable charger. I'd recommend it whatever your needs are.

    The Sinewave Revolution

    Sinewave Revolution: The Revolution is Sinewave's USB charging unit. Sinewave manages the power flow to your device without utilizing a cache battery. It's the lightest option that we've seen and without a battery in the mix, it could potentially run indefinitely.

    Cinq5 Smart Battery Pack II

    Cinq5 Smart Battery Pack II

    Cing5 Smart Battery Pack II: This is not a charger, but it's worth adding to the page. We have found that some phones or devices struggle to get a steady flow of power to them for charging. Sometimes a device seems to lock onto a stream of power before the flow of power is at it's peak. In this situation the hub is pushing a higher amperage of power than the phone is letting in. I don't have that problem, but a friend of mine is sometimes challenged to charge his phone on the road. To get a steady charge he needs to get the bike up to speed, let the charger build up a cache of power and then plug in the phone so that it locks onto a higher amperage. With the Smart Battery Pack II in the middle, this problem is solved. You can simply charge the battery and later use the charged battery to charge the device, or you can use the battery as a buffer by having it plugged into your dynamo charger and your USB device at the same time. Another reason you might need the Smart Pack is that your device requires higher than .5 amps to charge it. No dynamo device is going to push more than .5 amps, so potentially you need to charge the battery and later charge the device with the battery. An iPad would be an example of something needing more than .5 amps.

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    If you are starting from nothing, we'd be hard pressed to recommend anything other than the Luxos U as the light is very high quality (and high powered) and the USB plug is wired to be on your handlebars along with the light's control button. If you already have a dynamo light, or want something different from the Luxos U (the Luxos U seemed a bit large for my Brompton folding bike), then the Busch & Müller USB-Werk,  The Plug III or the Sinewave Revolution are excellent options for keeping your smartphone or other USB device powered up. We are the midwest's largest dynamo specialist with a large assortment of dynamo hubs, wheels, lights and accessories in stock. We also understand the importance of getting these systems setup properly and we have the expertise to do that very well. Give us a call or stop in if you have questions about getting a dynamo setup for your commuter or to get setup for an around the world tour. Here's a link to view our Dynamo related items at the shop: Dynamo Category

    Dynamo Lighting @ Perennialcycle.com

    NOTES: Dynamo hubs have limited power output and thus cannot charge all USB rechargeable units. If your device needs 1 amp or more, then you will need to use your dynamo power to charge the Smart Power Pack II which in turn can be used to power your iPad. iPads are known to require more than 1 amp to charge and thus cannot be charged off of dynamo power. The output of these dynamo USB ports is .5amps which is actually the same as a USB port on a PC. The reality is that if your screen is off, charging will occur, but very, very slowly so in reality it's best not to consider it a working option.

    MORE NOTES: Good quality dynamo hubs have an output of 6 volts/3 watts of power. These are the huge majority of dynamo hubs in use, BUT there are some 1.5 or 2.4 watt hubs that are made. These are quite low quality and will not work with any of the USB charging units. No worries if you have purchased your dynamo hub from a reputable bike shop, but if you're an Alibaba or eBay troller you'll need to be aware... *The reason I believe my dynamo system is inferior to my friend's is that I use a hub designed to small wheels (SONdelux), though my bike has 700c wheels. These hubs have a little less rolling resistance, but in theory you would need to be going faster to get full power out of them. He uses the SON 28, which is designed for the 700c wheel, which is what his bike has.

  • 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.

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