Stu is no stranger to some kilometres. He commutes on his bike each and every day from out in the hills around Eltham into our shop(s) in Carlton North. Consequently, he’s also no stranger to some hill climbing. So, following Ed’s lead, he thought he’d give the Mt Pleasant Ride a bit of a spin.
Stu’s regular ride is a more standard commuter – flat bar 700c wheels, although it does have an internally geared hub and a gates carbon belt. To that end, the Brompton folding bike is somewhat different with its 16″ wheels, although on the 6 speed, the gear range is more than comparable – from 29″ – 88″ is quite similar to what you’ll get on most bikes with a compact crankset and standard cassette. So, having ridden one a few times (both on his daily commute, and in a few other rides such as the 2016 Around the Bay) he thought, hmm… I wonder what it’ll be like to do a hilly road ride.
Now don’t scoff – the smaller rolling radius means that every bit of effort you put into the pedals comes straight out the wheels, so Bromptons climb surprisingly well!
Stu’s steed was one of our Apple Green demo fleet, an H6L with a telescoping seatpost to give him the extra height he requires. He’d actually have preferred the lower handlebars of an M6L or an S6L however the more relaxed riding position has its benefits as well.
To be honest, I just wanted to go and see some kangaroos. But, the ride was a little easier than I expected. Although it wouldn’t be my first choice, I’d happily ride it on a Brompton again*. In fact, I’m thinking of trying it on a 2 speed. As long as I have either the extended or telescoping seatpost to give me enough extension, it’d be fine. They really can climb! Perhaps I’ll do it tomorrow!
Although they’re ‘Made for Cities’, Bromptons have a growing following for touring. They’re an accommodating ride, so the prospect of getting back on day after day, with good climbing ability, we’re not surprised. A few were seen on this year’s Great Victorian Bike Ride.
*Stu is actually riding the 2017 210km Around the Bay ride on a 2-speed, S-Bar Brompton. Stay tuned.