I (finally) bought a Brompton

After many months of not going to London for work, it looks like I might be going in at least a few times in the near future. And, since I don't fancy getting the tube at the moment, I have a good excuse for getting a Brompton.

After keeping an eye on eBay for a while, I bought a second hand 2017 model, and picked it up last week.

I've seen people making lots of upgrades and changes, but I'm loathe to do too much until I've used it in earnest, and worked out what is most important / worthwhile.

But I have made a few immediate changes:


I've added the same cheap set of LED lights that I use on my Elephant Bike.

These are in addition to the lights on my helmet, and they're cheap enough that, while I'd still be annoyed if someone took them, I'm not going to be too concerned.

The front light, mounted on the handlebars doesn't affect the folding, but I've not found a good place for the rear light yet.

At the moment, I've got it immediately under the saddle, but it stops the seat post from sliding fully into place. Not enough to stop the bike from locking, but enough to make the saddle a bit higher than it would otherwise be. I'll need to see whether it's still folded enough to fit in a train's luggage rack — if not, I'll either need to remove the light each time (which will be a pain), or come up with a better plan.

Phone mount

I know the way to the station well enough, and I think I have a reasonable idea of how to get around London, but I can see it might be helpful to have my phone available, in case I need mapping.

I'm aiming to avoid roads as much as possible, and stick to cycle paths, and I've yet to find anything which shows London's various cycle ways in a user-friendly manner which cycling.


The previous owner had looked after it well, overall, but one of the bar grips was a bit ragged.

I have replaced the thin foam grips with something a little more contoured and, hopefully, a little more comfortable.


I also replaced the pedals, since the ones on the bike were designed to be used with cycling shoes with clips, and that doesn’t suit me at all.

I bought a £35 set of metal folding pedals, which got reasonable reviews. I've only done a few miles on them but, so far, so good.

Seat height

I'm nervous about this, but hesitant about buying a replacement. My initial reaction is that, even pulled out to its fullest, the standard seat post is not quite long enough, as I can't fully extend my leg.

But, instead of buying a telescoping seat post, I've tried adjust ing the saddle. I've flipped the Pentaclip over, to give a bit of additional height, and I've moved the seat. So let's see. It might just be enough.

Author: neil

I'm Neil. By day, I run a law firm, decoded.legal, giving advice on Internet, telecoms, and tech law. This is my personal blog, so will be mostly about tech stuff, cycling, and other hobbies.