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X Model Brompton

  • Oct 03 2013

    What Makes a Brompton Superlight a Superlight?

    Brompton Superlight with S Bag with Hose Flap

    Ever since becoming a Brompton dealer, we have seen great value in superlight models and have always made them available to customers as a part of our Brompton inventory. You may have heard them referred to as "Titanium Bromptons," "Ti Bromptons," "Superlights" as above, or "X-Models." All of these refer to the same product — Brompton's superlight frame option. At the start of this year we received several superlight bikes in various configurations, including all three of our standard handlebar types and a variety of colors.

    For 2013, we also added a third bike to our demo lineup: an S2L-X that was later transformed into an even lighter S2E-X when Luke travelled to England for the Brompton World Championship. Several of you have test-ridden our new demo and all agree: the S2 is a very zippy Brommie! With more and more Brompton riders gaining interest in Brompton racing, Superlight Bromptons are more popular than ever. Of course when it's not race day, one of the superlight's main advantages is not in riding it but in the moments you need to carry it. Going up a flight of stairs or through the airport with your Brompton in tow is all that much easier with a superlight bike.

    But just what makes a Brompton Superlight so very super? And just how light is it? You'll find the answers to those questions and more below.

    The following components on a Brompton Superlight or "X" model differ from a standard Steel Brompton. These changes combined contribute to a weight savings of 1.63 pounds (.74 kg) on any given Brompton.

    Titanium Brompton Superlight Explained

    1 - Aluminum Headset

    2 - Xtra-Light Front Hub (not only lighter than Brompton's standard front hub, this is a sealed cartridge bearing hub, a big step up from their standard cup and cone hub) built into the front wheel, along with butted spokes for additional weight savings***

    3 - Titanium Front Fork

    4 - Titanium Front Mudguard Stays

    5 - Titanium Rear Frame

    6 - Titanium Rear Mudguard Stays

    7 - No pump is supplied with a Superlight bike

    What parts of a 2013 superlight bike are steel?

    Two key parts: the Main Frame including the stem riser (both painted) and the seatpost.

    Why Titanium?

    While not as stiff as steel, titanium is equally strong and weighs about 50% less, all of which adds up to mean that Titanium has the highest strength-to-weight ration of any metal. Brompton has long seen its advantages, as has our favorite touring rack manufacturer, Tubus.

    Titanium has excellent resistance to corrosion; it won't rust. This makes it a great choice for all-weather riders and those who bike in areas where roads are salted in the cold months.

    Because of its corrosion resistance, titanium doesn't need to be painted — and, we might add, the silvery-grey color of the raw metal is very attractive.

    As a West London-based manufacturer, Brompton has one more thing in coming with the metal we call "Ti" for short: both have English roots! Titanium was first discovered in Cornwall, in South West England, in 1791 by William Gregor.

    Is it possible to B-Spoke order a Superlight Bike?

    While it is usually possible to B-Spoke (custom-) order a Superlight Brompton, as of September 2, 2013, Brompton is not taking any new orders for Superlight bikes. (Should that change, we'll post an update here.) Many of our stock-superlights have already gone out the door, but we still have Brompton Superlights available for purchase. You can see a selection of our in-stock Superlight Bromptons here. Except where noted, all of the bikes listed on our website are in-stock and ready to ship to your door. Each has a front wheel built with the Brompton Xtra-Light Front Hub.

    I have a standard, steel Brompton. What else might save weight?

    Standard reflectors and battery lights are lighter than a dynamo lighting system

    Single-speeds, 2-speeds, and 3-speeds will be lighter than 6-speeds

    E-Version bikes without mudguards will be slightly lighter than L-Version bikes

    E-Version and L-Version bikes will be lighter than R-Version bikes fitted with a rear rack

    Standard or Extended Seatposts are lighter than a Telescopic Seatpost

    Brompton Kevlar tires and Schwalbe Kojaks save weight over Schwalbe Marathon tires

    The S Type is lighter than the M, H, or P Type

    Standard rollers marginally save weight over Eazy Wheels

    Saddles, in order of lightest to heaviest: B Saddle < B17 S Special < B17 Special

    Some Brompton owners choose to retro-fit superlight parts, like the Xtra Light Front Wheel, to an all-steel Brompton

    Carry only the necessities in your Brompton luggage

    Ride your Brompton every day!

    If you're interested in purchasing (or simply test riding) a Ti-Brompton, stop in any time or order online now. We ship Brompton bikes on a regular basis to U.S.-based Brompton enthusiasts and Brompton fans abroad. Shipping in the continental USA is just $35-40. International shipping quotes are available upon request.

    ***Since the publication of this post, Brompton has had some stocking issues with the Superlight front hub. As a result, not every Ti bike will ship with a Superlight front hub. To compensate, Brompton (and we at Perennial Cycle) has reduced the price of all bikes that ship without a Superlight front hub. These bikes will still feature butted spokes in their wheel builds but will use the standard Brompton front hub, unless a dynamo hub is fitted. If you are interested in ordering a specific in-stock Brompton and are curious about what type of front hub it features, please call us at 612-827-8000.

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