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


When we crossed the complete line following a mere 9.5 hours the other riders who had now finished applauded. I attempted a bow, but wobbled—everything damage. Andrew admitted he hadn’t imagined we would make it.

“So what transpired when you obtained to the downhills?” just one rider requested. “Did you just send out it?” Sure I did. I sent it. I only desire there was some footage of that.

Brompton had supplied me with three more tubes in scenario I blew a flat. I was concerned I would want all 3, but I didn’t pop a one tire on the trip. Alternatively Karin and I kept whizzing by adult men altering out tubes on their location-acceptable bikes. It built me really feel effective to know that not only ended up we two out of number of girls, but that we have been crushing this trip on two of the silliest bikes in the field. Total the Brompton held up far better than I did. I arrived out with much more scratches and hurt (and precisely 3 bugs in my suitable eyeball) than this lovely piece of engineering.

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

Ironically, borrowing it has designed me truly feel significantly less tempted. I applied to have again complications as a child, and a week of using on the Brompton reminded me that I am not invincible. I do have a extended torso and shorter legs than most folks, so it’s attainable the bike is not optimal for my wonky proportions. Two days after our epic ride I hopped on a aircraft household, which might’ve had more influence on my again than the journey by itself. Also, as I pointed out, this bicycle is created for commuting, not lengthy-length road rides or touring. Of course, it is shocking, I know. It turns out the bike performs far better doing accurately what it was developed to do.

The titanium T-Line cost double what you’ll spend for the steel-framed model of in essence the identical bike, and in return you get a body weight price savings of 5 lbs. If you have a spare $5,000, the titanium Brompton is a pretty amazing toy. It definitely feels zippier—and is a lot simpler to have folded—than the metal version. But what I truly want is a titanium Brompton made specially for my unusually proportioned entire body that I can trip for extra than 20 miles with no pain. How substantially would that cost me?

Photograph: Karin Christenson

So it’s possible I’ve resolved I do not want to experience a superlight Brompton close to the environment just after all. And I have the metal edition for any adventures I do want to choose, so I don’t need to have the T-Line. Why purchase a Ferrari when a Ford does the job? I hosed the mud off the T-Line and returned it without having any regret. As an alternative of swapping out my personal Brompton for a titanium version, I plan to repair all those two broken gears and just take my pretty tiny purple clown bike—that was affordable (just kidding, I paid $2,200)—on my up coming excursion.

Two months just after North London Grime, I signed up for the Tour de Paris, a bicycle rally in Paris, Texas. The organizers had included a 24 mile “off-road” selection, which sounded like the perfect duration for a ride in the Texas July warmth. Enthusiastic, I informed my mates about it.

“Ask me what bicycle I am going to get,” I smirked.

“Oh, god. Make sure you really don’t say the Brompton.”

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