Very excited to be writing this post at last! I could/should have written it a week ago, after we trudged through at least six inches of snow to go and get my brand new bike! I'm pleased to report that it is absolutely perfect:
My very own bike! In fact the first ever bike I have owned from new.
At the time of writing this, we are now also a two Brompton household! When we picked mine up last weekend I hadn't paid off the balance on Trev's bike, so he was able to look at it longingly in the shop, practice the fold and then leave it there! We have since picked it up so it's not sat there all lonely anymore.
The shop had received a delivery of five Bromptons the day before – you can see them in the below picture, with the black handlebar grips (new for 2013). The eagle-eyed will also observe there's only four in the below picture – another customer had ordered an all-orange bike but picked it up before we got there. Don't they look cool together!
After precariously trying to get it home on the bus, it rested safely in our living room:
Doncha just love the colour? More on that in a sec after another gratuitous photo of my bike outside in the snow:
Thankfully now there is not really any snow left so we took the bikes out on their first outing yesterday and I'm pleased to report that they performed admirably! Neither of us have cycled in over ten years (not once in the time we have been together!) but it seems that what they say about riding a bike is true (although it's clear my bum is not use to sitting on a saddle!). We went out for about a 4 mile ride in the end, interspersed with lots of walking – on some local cycle paths and into the park.
We met a group of people who were fascinated by the bikes and asked us to demonstrate the fold, by competing against each other. I'm pleased to say that I won!
My bike is classed as an M6R – the M denoting the height and type of handlebars, the 6, six gears and the R for having a luggage rack and mudguards. Trev's is a H6R – as he's quite a bit taller than me he's gone for a bike with slightly taller handlebars and a telescopic seat post.
The six gears we have are reduced gears – making them better able to cope with hillier terrain – perfect for making them suitable for the kind of longer trips we'd like to do once we improve our fitness.
I love having the rack – it makes the bike more stable when folded so you can wheel it about more easily and even use it as a sort-of shopping trolley which I'll demonstrate another time.
The only other special options we went for were the battery lights, super tough Marathon tyres and Eazy Wheels – again to make the bike roll a bit more effectively. While these are the only mods on fresh from the factory, we have plenty more planned to try ourselves which I'll blog about in later posts!
Finally, colour. When I picked up my bike, the guys in the shop kept saying “that's SUCH a cool colour”. The claret I've gone for isn't particularly common. While its been available for purchase for a couple of years now, mine is only the fourth I've seen pictures of. There's a couple which have had claret details, but all-over claret is unusual. But I think it's such a classy colour – a mix of red, purple and fuchsia. You can check out The Path Less Pedaled and Primo Cyclorina (who has called her bike Clarice!) for more claret bike goodness. If you join the Brompton Flickr group (yes I'm a total geek!) there's also a lovely claret bike owned by a lady in South Korea.
Trev went for good old classic Racing Green and has named his bike Stirling after Stirling Moss and his green car. I have to admit the two colours look pretty good side by side:
One of the many things I love about Bromptons is the level of attention to detail on the bikes. Everywhere, little bits of the bike are accented to remind you of the bike you're riding. For example the brake levers :
On the back of the battery lights:
And of course, that perfect sticker on the frame:
There's lots of detail hidden in other places on the bikes too that we're still discovering. I'm confident that these will give us many years of faithful service.
On a final note, I've still yet not been able to determine whether my bike is he or she and what its name is. I don't tend to name things, except for my vintage Singer sewing machines and I think that a piece of engineering of this calibre deserves a name. I did fancy the name Clarice (as in “hello Clarice…”) but that could get a mite confusing with there already being another bike with the same name. I'm sure I'll figure it out.
With it being the Bank Holiday weekend we want to try and get at least one more ride in. We both need to work on improving our confidence before we tackle the open road and my commute in particular. Tomorrow is also supposed to be a bit warmer, so here's hoping. I'll be back with more pictures and info soon 🙂