Brompton: Take it in? Or lock it up?

BromptonsTim and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to Bromptons.

When he rides the Brompton, Tim forgoes toting around a heavy U lock and frequently chooses to take the bike with him when he arrives at his destination. In a shopping cart, in the corner of a restaurant or in a waiting room at the doctor’s office, Tim’s choice is usually to tote and stash the bike.

Tim thinks leaving the bike outside locked up with all of the normal sized bikes defeats the purpose of riding a portable folding bike.

Tim’s Brompton riding m.o.: If you can, why not take it with you?

Take it in or lock it up?I’d much rather carry around a 3 lb U Lock than a 25 lb bike so I typically lock it up outside. Yes, it’s nice to be able to take the Brompton on the bus and abstain from using the Metro bike racks. But once I arrive at my destination, I’m a locker.

Why carry around a 25 lb weight if I don’t have to? Unless the rack situation is sketchy, I usually lock it up.

What’s your preference? Are you a locker? Or a carry and stash folding bike rider?

 – Anne

18 responses to “Brompton: Take it in? Or lock it up?

  1. i almost never carry the bike: i wheel it around on EZ wheels folded. if my errand will involve lots of stair climbing, long distances, or really tight spaces that would make rolling the folded bike slow or awkward, i will lock the bike. otherwise i bring it with me.

    • Todd, I must be a moron, because I can’t make the damn thing roll when folded – at least well enough to avoid carrying or throwing it in a shopping cart.

      Maybe it’s because I’m so tall? By the time I lift it enough to reach, the angle of the bike causes something to scrape. The newer M6R is surprisingly worse for me. I could get the M6L with skate wheels to roll OK, but it was too tippy. The rack helps the stability, but not the scrapage issue. Maybe I need to stick some 100mm skate wheels on the rack — at least to tide me over until I can justify an H!

  2. It’s too cute to lock up. I’d carry it with me unless I was going in a china shop. 😉

    • Totally right, Mel. I love the attention! I did once bring it into a coffee shop loaded with lots of glass items — that was touch and go. I probably would have locked it had I brought one.

  3. I lock, and largely because I’m with Tim; I can’t make the damn thing roll. I’ve heard stories legion about some magical wheels which replace the factory jobs, and I’ve been told that roller-blade wheels are swell as well, but I’ve never dug in to find out. I also ride with a bag after finally getting the front luggage block, so carrying the lock is easy.

  4. I don’t have a brompton- so my folding and carry is not as smooth or light. So I am mostly a locker. However I have taken it with me on the train into the city for a late night out. The pain of carrying it up the train steps and then later up the station steps was worth the ability to throw the folded bike into a cab at midnight and take a cab ride home rather than a slow train ride to my home station and then a ride home in the wee hours when I’m a little tipsy.

  5. Tim takes it in

    Take It In

  6. I’m a folder, taker, wheeler all the way!
    After having a folding bike, leaving my precious bicycle outside would just feel plain wrong.

  7. I do both, although rarely do I fold up unless I’m taking my bike in a car to another city. I own a Dahon but am considering buying a Brompton for the fall since I plan to attend grad school in one of two much larger cities that has good public transit. In all honesty, I like having my bike within my line of vision if possible. Perhaps I’m crazy but I just assume that, like any one of my dogs, that anybody would want to steal it. Yes, that does sound crazy.

    • That’s a nice and detailed tutorial on the locking process. And I do agree with your reasoning — sometimes you (even me) gotta lock it. So you might as well be prepared. Thanks for the comment (and the post)!

  8. Re: rolling the Brompton – just make sure you lift the seat slightly from the fully-down position, otherwise you’re ‘driving with the brake on’. We’ve all done this I’m sure …

  9. I find it incredibly foolish and naive to leave a brompton locked outside in any large city. They are a magnet for thieves and the whole point of the bike is that you can bring it in with you where it is safe. I wouldn’t dream of locking it outside ever.

    • I have a big bike for those times when I expect to need to lock outside. Which are surprisingly rare.

      • That’s a good solution. I do nearly the opposite — I use the big bike most of the time, and the tiny bike when I expect I’ll need to bring it inside.

    • Well first of all… Thanks Jeff, for being our first non-spam comment in about 6 months;-) Secondly, I pretty much agree with you, though I think the *foolish and naive* part is a little harsh. I almost always bring mine in. I’d say *always* but someone would probably call me on *that one time* 😉

      For some people, the Brompton is just too heavy to carry everywhere. Or else they trust their lock. Or trust their homeowners insurance, or the good of humanity or whatever. For them, the chance of theft may be worth the “lock up convenience.” At least thats how it is for Anne in our family.

      Again, thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Perhaps that read as a bit harsher than I intended. Sorry.
        One of the main reasons of my purchasing a brompton was the fact that the compact fold combined with the easy wheels in “shopping cart mode”makes it so easy to bring anywhere without the need to lock it up outside and you don’t have to carry it.
        Where I live there is just no point investing in a nice bike that you would have to lock outside, it will be stolen eventually.
        But to each their own.

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