I Shredded a 70-Mile Dirt Ride on a Brompton T-Line Folding Bike


When we crossed the end line after a mere 9.5 hours the opposite riders who had already completed applauded. I tried a bow, however wobbled—all the things harm. Andrew admitted he hadn’t thought we might make it.

“So what happened when you got to the downhills?” one rider requested. “Did you just send it?” Yes I did. I despatched it. I solely want there was some footage of that.

Brompton had provided me with three further tubes in case I blew a flat. I was nervous I would wish all three, however I didn’t pop a single tire on the journey. Instead Karin and I saved whizzing by males altering out tubes on their venue-appropriate bikes. It made me really feel highly effective to know that not solely had been we two out of few ladies, however that we had been crushing this experience on two of the silliest bikes within the discipline. Overall the Brompton held up higher than I did. I got here out with extra scratches and harm (and precisely three bugs in my proper eyeball) than this lovely piece of engineering.

So would I spend $5,000 for the titanium Brompton?

Ironically, borrowing it has made me really feel much less tempted. I used to have again issues as a child, and a week of using on the Brompton jogged my memory that I am not invincible. I do have a longer torso and shorter legs than most individuals, so it’s attainable the bike isn’t optimum for my wonky proportions. Two days after our epic experience I hopped on a aircraft house, which could’ve had extra impact on my again than the experience itself. Also, as I talked about, this bike is designed for commuting, not long-distance highway rides or touring. Yes, it’s surprising, I know. It seems the bike works higher doing precisely what it was designed to do.

The titanium T-Line value double what you’ll pay for the steel-framed model of primarily the identical bike, and in return you get a weight financial savings of 5 kilos. If you may have a spare $5,000, the titanium Brompton is a very cool toy. It undoubtedly feels zippier—and is way simpler to hold folded—than the metal model. But what I actually need is a titanium Brompton designed specifically for my unusually proportioned physique that I can experience for greater than 20 miles with out discomfort. How a lot would that value me?

Photograph: Karin Christenson

So perhaps I’ve determined I don’t need to experience a superlight Brompton around the globe in any case. And I have the metal model for any adventures I do need to take, so I don’t want the T-Line. Why purchase a Ferrari when a Ford does the job? I hosed the mud off the T-Line and returned it with none remorse. Instead of swapping out my very own Brompton for a titanium model, I plan to repair these two damaged gears and take my pretty little pink clown bike—that was low-cost (simply kidding, I paid $2,200)—on my subsequent journey.

Two months after North London Dirt, I signed up for the Tour de Paris, a bike rally in Paris, Texas. The organizers had included a 24 mile “off-road” possibility, which gave the impression of the proper size for a experience within the Texas July warmth. Excited, I advised my mates about it.

“Ask me what bike I am going to take,” I smirked.

“Oh, god. Please don’t say the Brompton.”



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