Technical Two Speed Brompton Review

Today we are going to be talking about the two speed Brompton, and what we think about it after using it the past two months every day while our other Brompton was waiting to be repaired. It won’t be a review in the sense of a Brompton, but it will highlight the good and bad points compared to our free speed Brompton, which may be you have experienced yourselves or you might like to know before choosing your Brompton. First up is a quick overview of the main differences between the two Bromptons. Noise. Without a doubt, the two speed is significantly quieter because it doesn’t have the internal gear hub. After swapping onto the two speed, you really notice the difference in noise when riding it around every day. Those that have an internal hub, such as the three speed and six speed will have gotten used to that sound it makes. So it’s quite strange to not hear it on the two speed, but it is definitely something you notice. Gears. This is obviously the thing that was the biggest difference between the Bromptons. Apart from the sound the different gears make, the two speed is more similar to a normal geared bike with a simple derailleur system.

Now, this is the main challenge I have had with the two speed and I expect it might be a similar challenge on the six speed as they are the same type of setup. My ride, daily use of the Brompton involves riding along the canal for the majority of the 24 mile commute every day. Although the canal paths are good, especially at this time of year in the UK, you do get a lot of dead leaves and dirt at some points, which inevitably ends up on the bike. The reason I bring this up is that I have had a couple of occasions where the gear would not change due to bits of dirt and leaves along the cycle path blocking the chain pusher assembly and not allowing it to move freely. In order to sort the issue out, I have just had to remove some of the dirt from it and it works fine again. But I have never had this problem on the free speed due to the internal hub cleaning. Obviously, keeping the Brompton clean is key to stop this issue. I do clean my Brompton most days after the commute and never leave it more than two days without cleaning it.

One of the other points about cleaning on the two speed, which would also be the same for a six speed, is that it is much more difficult to clean due to the spring assembly, which gets pretty dirty on a daily basis during the autumn and winter months. This is not an issue with the free speed as it does not have the swing assembly. The only other difference and something I have had an issue with is the jockey wheels. The jockey wheels on the two speed and the six speed are very different to the free speed because they have to move with the chain to allow the gears to change. I found that because they are more enclosed, they collect a lot of dirt and small stones, which again, takes longer to clean out on a daily basis. Chain. One last point I have noticed on the two speed is that the chain appears to wear out much faster than on my free speed due to the extra tension from moving up and down gears, I expect. But to give you some idea, I normally get around 3,400 kilometers out of a chain and sprockets on my free speed Brompton, but on the two speed so far I’ve managed 1,750 kilometers and it’s 100 % warm so you need to be replaced soon.

So to summarize, the two speed is much quieter than the internal hub on the three speed and six speed versions. But we have found it needs more regular cleaning, takes a bit longer to clean and would probably cost a bit more in the long run on replacing the chains and sprockets. That said, I have really enjoyed using the two speed over the past few months and it is still a very good bike. If you’re considering which type of Brompton to get, then it would be worth bearing in mind where and how often you ride it and what time of the year as in the summer I expect that the cleaning will be much easier to keep on top of and you wouldn’t expect the same challenges I have had on the gears and jockey wheels.

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