After waiting a few weeks, my new bottom bracket for the Brompton finally turned up. A titanium axled TA Axix Light Pro. I was staggered how light this was! 165 grammes (compared to about 320 for the Shimano unit I have fitted currently).
Well, what a weekend that's been! This weekend was the Brompton World Championships. It's the third year it's been run and the first time it's been run in the UK.
It's being held at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and features about a 13Km ride around the grounds. Brompton are hoping to have around 500 entries. The rules are fairly simple - it's timed rather than based on position and you have to wear a suit.
Only found out about this through the (rather geeky)(but that suits me just fine)) BromptonTalk Yahoo group It certainly puts my little trip next week into perspective.
So, if you were planning to ride around the world, you'd probably choose some kind of expedition or touring bike from someone like Thorn , or certainly, I think I would.
This chap, however, is choosing to go around the world on a Brompton!
I was impressed the other week on the Dunwich Dynamo with people riding 120 miles on a Brompton (and secretly thinking I will do it on my Brompton next year!) - but around the world??!?!?!?
He looks to have a pretty cool set-up with a trailer etc. and a double chainring (manual) up front for the hills.
I think my biggest concern would be spares and the rough stuff. A lot of stuff on a Brompton is pretty unique - for starters, there's the wheels. If you've got a 26 inch wheeled bike - you can be almost anywhere in the world and find a tyre, a rim or even a whole new wheel. Not so easy with 16 inch wheels!
Cables are really odd on Bromptons - they have to be exact lengths (mainly because of the folding) - so I guess if he's not planning to fold it then he'll be alright.
Just to highlight the problems with spare parts, here's an article in the Financial Times stating each bike has 1200 parts of which 70% are unique to Brompton.......
And then it's going to be a question of what happens when the going gets rough? A Brompton is lovely on smooth fast tarmac. Even on London's less than smooth, rough tarmac however, things can get a little jarring and hard work! He might have a Pantour hub fitted - I do hope so, or he's going to have sore arms!
Anyway - I don't want to put him down at all - he's clearly a braver man than I and all the best of luck to him! He's writing a very complete blog at the moment and it's worth a read. I look forward to him getting further into his trip.
Have a read - all very interesting