Indiana Farmroads Brompton

I have found yet another bike that I need. I travel a lot for work and I have an S&S bike, but most trips are relatively quick. As much as I love my S&S bike, the threshold for travel for me 5 days with some decent riding opportunities. It’s just not worth the tear down and build up for anything less.

For work trips, I still want to stay on the bike, but I’ve traditionally been hunting down hotels with spin bike access for some indoor miles - blech. For this trip, I borrowed/stole Byron’s Brompton. I pulled the city pedals and spun on my ATACs clipless. AWESOME. I rode for 2:30 yesterday with a simple 2 speed on the flat-ish farm roads north of Indianapolis. I didn’t join one of the many group rides that I ran into up on these awesome roads because I’m still a little uncertain of the bikes handling, but in general it was great.

The first 2 hours were perfect - sunny and 75 and a slight breeze. I started to notice the sky darkening, and then POW. Full downpour and drenched with 15min left to ride. I should have grabbed a shot in the sun, but instead I just raced home and took this shot by the hotel lobby. Great ride, fun bike.

What would I change:

  • Add Hand positions: I really prefer drop bars, so I’d get a true straight bar, slide the grips in a bit and get some old Scott Rake bars. They’d have to come off each time I build the bike, but that’s fine. I’d alter the brakes to use drop levers and figure out some way to keep them from tangling.

  • Rubber bumper thing: I never quite got used to the floaty feel that the bumper creates. Perhaps the Tern bikes of similar have a more stable feel.

  • Saddle: This is an easy switch, but putting my preferred saddle would help with longer rides.

  • Peripherals: The bar as it’s setup today is limiting for mounting a light and Garmin. I was able to make it work, but perhaps some shims near the stem to get it to 31.8.

Overall I’m going to continue to “borrow” this ride from Byron when possible. For the frequent traveler it opens up a great option for blowing off some steam after a long day in the office.


I also have both a folding bike and a S&S coupled bike.  My folding bike is a Bike Friday Tikit which you may also want to check out.  I choose the S&S bike when there will be a lot of riding, the Tikit when it’ll mostly be short haul urban riding and when I might throw in some mass transit access.  In other words the Tikit goes to New York and Philadelphia, the S&S bike goes everywhere else.  On the other hand I’ve done multiple >50 mile rides on the Tikit happily.

The Brompton is the small fold champ, but both the Brompton and Tikit into a suitcase pretty quickly (much more quickly than a S&S bike).  The Tikit is nice for people who like to mod their bikes because it can easily be setup with different handlebars or drivetrains.  The only non-standard parts on the bike are the 349mm wheels (same as a Brompton) and narrow front hub…everything else is normal.

My Tikit currently has swept back flat bars, but you are welcome to try it on a longer ride when you are back in Seattle.

There are a couple of small technical details where I think the Brompton is better than the Tikit, but overall the Tikit is the better bike for me.

Thanks Alex - the Tikit looks really nice.  I’m not sure I’m looking for that much complexity, but it’s a hot setup.

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