Ever since the Mod My Ride article I’ve been mulling over taking the plunge into the folding bike scene. Having bought a Specialized Tarmac late last year I had N+1 syndrome, and finally grabbed the bull by the horns and purchased a Brompton S6L.
Now, I’ve ridden one of the courtesy Brompton’s we have at the office before and really enjoyed riding around the cobbled streets of Chester, but I wanted to see what else it could do.
I felt like the strong steel frame accompanied with Schwalbe Marathon Racer Tyres could take on different terrains comfortably, so I took mine to The Bridgewater Canal, which switches between gravel, cobbles, tarmac, and occasionally mud and stretches from Manchester to Runcorn.
I jumped onto The Bridgewater Canal in Sale having cycled from my hometown Stockport in wintery conditions. Despite being hit by rain, hail and 20mph winds, I decided to brave the weather and hope for the best. As expected, the Brompton managed the roads extremely well and was well suited to hopping off and on the segregated cycle paths when necessary.
On the canal I was met immediately by puddles and mud. To my surprise, the Brompton plowed through the terrain with ease. Thankfully the mud eventually met tarmac and I was on the home and dry, or so I thought…
As I progressed further down the canal I encountered some feathered friends who kindly jumped out of the way on a tight gravelled section which led to cobbles (not ideal in the wet, unless it’s Paris-Roubaix and your a spectator). Due to the small handlebars and tyres, I was unsure how it would handle a narrow path as any sudden movement would have meant a dip into unknown waters…. however, to your disappointment, I managed to stay dry as the Brompton handled like a dream.
Some would think the route is rather samey, with a canal to the left and bushes with the occasional gap showing farmland to the right all the way. This was far from the truth, with mixed terrain I was constantly on edge as well as some welcomed animal encounters en-route to mix up the ride.
The Brompton got me comfortably all the way to Warrington without any issues, and with the weather starting to look a little bleak once again, and having just suffered a flat tyre (thanks tree root), I decided to call it a day and get the train home from there.
Despite the small roller wheels I pulled my Brompton from the canal to the station with ease and hopped on my train home, finally using the Brompton for what it was built to do….sit in a luggage rack on a train!
I took the Brompton away from its urban home and it responded incredibly. I couldn’t be happier with my folding bike – even if my mum calls me a clown (just imagine a 6”4 lanky 23-year-old riding on 16inch wheels). To be fair I understand her point, but Mum, I couldn’t care less. I’m a fan of niche, innovative ideas, but Brompton have gone a step further and made a great idea a reality.
Below are some before and after wash pics so you can see how messy it got!
If you’re already on the way to a retailer to get this incredible folding machine, don’t forget that you can get 14 days free cover for your new Brompton or Brompton Electric here.
Now don’t worry experienced Brompton riders, we’ve got you covered too as you can get 25% off your insurance with Bikmo. Get a quote in seconds here.