Folding Bikes Fascination

Hmm, but do you have to pedal twice as much with such small wheels ?


As my rides became more frequent, the realisation struck that I needed a bike better attuned to my cycling style, something beyond the realm of conventional racing bikes.

Off-road designs failed to captivate me, and I staunchly resisted the allure of acquiring another racing machine.

That’s when serendipity led me to the discovery of a second-hand fold-up Dahon Speed Pro.

With its intriguing 21 gears (a mix of a 3-speed hub and a 7-speed block), the Dahon promised a unique riding experience.

Yet, it wasn’t without its drawbacks—it proved unwieldy, with less-than-sturdy joints that felt precarious at high speeds.

Spare parts became an elusive treasure hunt, but the final blow came when a replacement back wheel threatened to cost more than the entire bike.

Undeterred by setbacks, I found myself hooked on the fold-up bike concept and embarked on a quest for a worthy replacement.

One and only

In the Land of Folding Bikes there is only logical choice, the Brompton.

Despite the lingering challenge of proprietary components, the Brompton offered a practical solution with readily available parts.

Fuelled by my seasoned cyclist sensibilities and the tantalising prospect of customising my ride, I opted for the extravagant 6-speed Black Lacquer model, boasting titanium forks and rear triangle.

My journey to the Brompton Junction in London to claim my new steed was nothing short of a pilgrimage.

However, the initial ride to Waterloo Station from the shop was less than exhilarating.

The transition from close to wide ratio gears, covering 108 to 36 inches in just 6 gears, proved a bit jarring and i wondered what I had done in buyting a Brompton.

I found myself either spinning like a whirling dervish or grinding away, but undeterred, I persevered, gradually attuning myself to its nuanced performance.

After all, when you’ve invested a small fortune in a bike, there’s no turning back.


“Yes, it was an oap on a Brompton :-)”

Soon enough, I was zipping along my local seafront routes, effortlessly overtaking a few riders on their ‘conventional’ lightweights.

My competitive spirit of chasing down fellow cyclists showed no signs of waning and I loved it.