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Saturday, November 17, 2018




The classic way to carry luggage on a Brompton for touring is a T-Bag and a Rucksack at the back. If you don't need as much stuff or want to reduce your overall weight here is a lighter weight way to carry a full camping setup on your next bicycle tour by Brompton.

View full video here
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Sunday, November 11, 2018


Lately I have been throwing around the idea of getting a folding bike for bicycle touring. I took a test ride on a Brompton and a Bike Friday but haven’t pulled the trigger and bought one yet. I have put together this list of pros and cons of touring with a folding bike to help me make a decision. Hopefully it helps you too. For an analysis of 8 of the best folding bikes for touring, skip to the second half of this article.

Read the full article here
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Sunday, November 4, 2018


If you are touring with your bike, you are likely to use your mobile phone as a GPS, as camera to film and take pictures. You then might like to bring with you a GoPro action camera to record clips of your tour. All these need charging. Here is  a video explaining what I use to keep ahead of the battery drain problem.

Watch full video here
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Thursday, October 25, 2018



The full length video of a 10 days classic adventure on the Indian Himalayas. The Manali-Leh is one of the highest motorable roads in the world and takes you a few times over passes of 5000 metres altitude. Can a Brompton climb mountains? Yes is the answer!

Watch the full video here
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Friday, October 19, 2018


If you are you looking for an alternative way to travel with a Brompton, Radical Design Cyclone Chubby brings the ability to pull a trailer with a Brompton folder.

Watch the full video here.
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Saturday, September 29, 2018


10 years before this trip, I traveled around the Indian Himalayas region of Ladakh and followed the Manali-Leh road by jeep. Confined in a car all I could do was catching short glimpses of spectacular mountains and vast plains. In the following years, every now and then I would remind myself that if ever there was a road I should cycle, it was this one. I envied the courage of those that did, yet I would have never imagined that one day I would do it myself on a Brompton folding bike.

View the full video
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Saturday, September 15, 2018


A thorough and detailed video on how to pack your Brompton bike ready for air travel. I have used this system for over 5 years and about 20 flights and it has always allowed me to begin my tour without any problems to the bike.

View full video here
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Monday, August 20, 2018


Transporting a Brompton bike by airplane to your tour destination is easier than with any other type of bicycle. The way a Brompton folds is not only clever as far as reducing its size to a minimum but crucially in the way the fold protects the most vulnerable parts of the bike. Derailleur and gear shifters as well as brakes and chainset are all neatly tucked inside the fold and not easily damaged if mishandled. 

Hard Case vs Soft Case

For those who want a bullet proof system to carry the Brompton by plane the B&W Hard Case though not cheap, will protect the bike better than most suitcases as it is designed around Brompton bikes.
Personally I find that this limits your choices as far as touring goes. I like to be free to design my tour as I wish and more often than not this means starting from one location and ending somewhere else. A hard case is not ideal for this as you will need to find a place to store it once you start your tour and get back to the same location when it is time to return home. If you mostly take tours that start and end in the same location this won't be a hard thing to plan as most hotels if you stay on the first night will be happy to store your empty case and let you collect on your return.
If you are willing to trade a little security and ship your Brompton in a soft bag that you can pack small and carry with you during your tour, you have the perfect setup to be free to make choices as to where you start and end your trip and always know that all your gear is with you and ready to be backed whenever you need. In my experience so far and reading from other people who do use soft bags to check in the bike on planes the likelihood of the bicycle being damage is pretty slim.

How I Pack my Brompton



I get hold of some heavy duty soft bag that will fit the bike without leaving too much space. Ikea Dimpa Bags are just perfect for Bromptons. I always carry a spare along with me as they are really light and compact and can be used to quickly pack the bike whenever you need to take a bus or train along the way.
I remove the saddle and remove the clamps and screws that hold the folds of the bike. The only extra thing I then do is to tightly tie some heavy duty rope between the frame and the front wheel as you can see from the picture. This is an extra step to further secure the bike fold and ensures that the plastic hook that keeps the front wheel attached to the frame is not over strained. 
I line the bag with few pieces of cut cardboards to the bottom, the top and all sides to further protect the package.



Finally I put saddle and T-Bag in plastic bags and insert them in the empty spaces together with my sleeping mat and wrapped bike tools I need. These will fill up the few spaces available and also function as shock absorbers if the package is put under some pressure. 
After zipping the Dimpa Bag I then put it inside a soft bike carrying bag that is easy to fold and adds some further protection and is easier to handle while transporting it to and from the airport. One such bag is the Outeredge 20-inch Bag. This is not exactly sized to a folded Brompton and leaves quite a bit of space to the back and front of the bike. This further space can be used for your tent or other non valuable and light things you might be happy to store there. To make the bag more compact I usually buy some Black heavy duty tape and wrap it tight around the bag.


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Friday, August 17, 2018


After my first big cycle trip about ten years ago I can honestly say in my mind there is no better way to see the world.  You have to problem solve and work together as a team and you are rewarded by seeing amazing sights and meet interesting people who have stories to tell.  If you have not tried cycle touring yet, get out there on a tour, start small if you want to gain confidence.  Trust me the only problem is you wont want to stop!

Read full story here
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Monday, August 13, 2018


After a chance meeting of two brands, and a few months of planning, a team of nearly 20 Brompton and Bollinger staff took on the epic journey; from Brompton Headquarters in London to Bollinger in the Champagne region of France.


Watch the video here
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Saturday, August 11, 2018



if you ever wondered how you replace a Brompton rear wheel broken spoke, here you will find a clear close up video of what it takes to do just that.

Watch video here
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Thursday, August 9, 2018


Pushing his bike, body and equipment to the absolute limits, those limits were eventually found, frustratingly in the form of a non-standard Brompton part. The Alfine hub which was fitted in order to allow enough range of gearing to summit cols of this race failed, leaving Roger to ride his final 250 km with drag equivalent to a brake being applied - not to mention a mind-numbing knocking sound.

Read the full story here
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Sunday, August 5, 2018


Cycle touring with a Brompton folding bike makes a lot of sense when you want to take away the hassle of transporting the bike to your holiday destination. Furthermore I find it the perfect option whenever I  plan to take some kind of transportation as part of my tour. When time is a constraint, you can easily skip that not so interesting stretch and rather focus on the best bits to cycle.
The initial transfer whether by plane, train or bus will be made much easier using a Brompton as you won't have to drag a large bike box to the starting point of your journey or argue with staff at check in who are often not as sympathetic towards cyclists carrying bikes.

The way I do it, perfected after several trips with my Brompton bike, is detailed in carrying luggage on a Brompton, an article where I clearly explain how I pack each bag and what I put where. Follow the link above to read the article and get good tips on how to maximise comfort and ease on your tour.

    ( 1 )

    Carry your clothes, gadgets and other valuables in the backpack with you to the airport or station or wherever you need to start the journey from.
    Inside a large soft bike bag, put the bicycle folded inside an IKEA Dimpa bag or something equivalent that can fit a Brompton bike. Depending on the remaining space, you should be able to fit in a small tent, sleeping mat, bike tools, sleeping bag if you need, etc. All these will also function as padding and allow a bit of extra protection for the bike. As a further help to protect the bike it is a good idea to slide in some thick cardboards along the walls of the Dimpa bag.
    Once arrived, the large soft bike bag can be folded and carried with you when you reach your tour starting point and begin cycling. This allows a lot of flexibility in planning your tour as the starting point and end point can be in a different location if you wish to.

    ( 2 )

    Keep the backpack on your shoulders as carry on luggage and check in the bike bag.
      ( 3 )

      Arrived at your starting destination, fold the soft empty bike bag small and fit it at the bottom of the backpack as it won't be used until your final return journey. Pack all your valuables and items that you want to keep easily accessible and safe at all times in the T-Bag while leaving clothing and other less valuable things  in the backpack. With little practice this enables you to be ready to start your tour in half an hour or little more!

      ( 4 )

      If during your journey you need to take a train or a bus to get to somewhere else or avoid cycling part of your journey, simply remove the Dimpa bag folded flat at the bottom of the T-Bag in front of the bike, fold the bike and put it inside it, shift the backpack to your shoulders and ... bingo, in a matter of 10 minutes your set-up allows you to be ready to jump on a fast train, bus, boat or car!


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        Saturday, August 4, 2018


        If you are interested in how I film my Brompton bike tours I have uploaded a tutorial explaining in details how I capture my shots while on and off the bike.

        Watch full video here
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        Wednesday, August 1, 2018


        Bike touring is a passion of mine and my first choice when traveling and discovering new places. In the last six years, I have always used a Brompton folding bike; with some experience I can definitely say that it exceeded my expectations and performed so well that it has become my bicycle of choice for my cycling tours ever since.
        I fly packing the Brompton into a soft folding bike bag and my setup to carry all I need on my tour consists of a Brompton T-Bag at the front and a standard rucksack fitted on top of the bike rack in a way I described in this article
        Over the years it has become a tried and tested way to carry luggage on the folder and having been used by Brompton travellers all over the world. It offers a stable and well balanced ride and is extremely versatile in any multi-modal tours where some kind of transportation is an option. 
        If needed, you are able in just a few minutes to switch from a fully loaded bicycle to a packed setup that you can hold in your hands and carry on a car, bus, train or plane.
        Every bicycle traveler loathes the difficulties of transporting bikes to destinations, finding boxes to pack things, and shift around two or more panniers at the same time.
        This setup brings and end to that and makes it all very easy and hassle free.
        Concerns about the reliability of a Brompton folding bike as well as its comfort and ability to cope with hills, descents and generally long days of riding with the weight of my luggage, proved to be unfounded. Touring on a Brompton has just been a pure joy. 
        I believe there are three conditions and a few trade-offs worth considering before you begin cycle touring on a Brompton; if these don't seem too much of a limitation I would have no hesitation recommending it.

        1. You are planning a tour on decent, mostly surfaced roads.
        2. You will not be touring in extreme cold temperatures.
        3. You will not be for any extended time in remote areas where self efficiency is a must.

        ( 1 ) Brompton's are sturdy bikes and can withstand more abuse than you imagine but still their small wheels and thin tyres are not best suited to rough terrains and muddy tracks. I have at times cycled on unpaved roads and you will be able to cope with the odd exception by walking, but if that is the condition of most of the roads you will travel on, an expedition touring bike or a mountain bike will be a better choice. Mud, due to low clearance of the mudguards and limits on the choice of tyres, is something that Brompton are definitely not made for.

        ( 2 ) This might be a bit more arbitrary and you can probably prove me wrong but I have found that my setup has to be really compact and light in order to work best and provide the benefits that a folding bike brings in the first place. Traveling in freezing temperatures means having to carry much more weight and gear in order to be comfortable during the tour. Each kilograms you add to your setup will put further strain on the bike and make it harder to be carried on public transport if needed.

        ( 3 ) Bromptons are very reliable bikes but they are not bullet proof; they also use a lot of specific and proprietary spare parts. Traveling for an extended period in remote areas means that should you have a technical issue, you might not be able to fix it. Adding to that the likelihood that no transportation is readily available, your tour will not be much fun. Traveling remote areas involves being self efficient i.e. carrying a lot more stuff than you would otherwise. Carrying lots of water and food and all the gadgets and utensils that make it possible, is not an easy option on such a small bike.

        Reliability

        in over 10000 kilometres I have had hardly any reliability issues to report, probably on a par or even less than on mountain bikes or touring bikes I have used in the past. In all my tours all I had to cope with were punctures and several tyre replacements. I find the key is to properly maintain your bicycle and ensure that it is well tuned and fully functioning before setting off on a tour. My strategy here is to be more proactive than I would be on another bike. I regularly replace parts that need changing after a recommended mileage. Chain and sprockets are swapped when needed, gear cables and brake cables are also newly fitted every few years, to limit the possibility of failures while I might not be able to source spare parts.
        Marathon tyres even on such tiny circumference are exceptionally tough. One thing to consider though is that the rear tyre will wear out faster than on larger wheels. It is only natural that the small wheels increased contact results in increased wear too; I always bring one or two spare quality tyres for Brompton's 16" wheels as these are not always easy to find in bike shops around the world. In the past I have simply swapped tyres when I felt that they were not evenly worn but a tyre failure shouldn't be a reason to wreck your plans and one or two spare tyres are small, not too heavy and can be easily carried.  
        Wheels always performed faultlessly, staying perfectly tuned to the last day.
        I always carry several replacement spokes too, again due to the fact that should you need to fix the wheels, a shop might not have the right size. These are stored in the hollow tube holding the rucksack. 
        Something I am always aware of is to try and be gentle on the bike. While climbing a steep hill I refrain from any temptation of standing on the pedals and rocking the bike as I would do on a mountain bike or a racer. When the road is bumpy and uneven I ride in a very conservative way and do not hesitate to dismount and have a little walk if I believe it safer for myself and the bike.

        Comfort

        The great benefits in portability means that you have to do some compromises in comfort; these are less noticeable than you might think. With a 6, 12% reduced gearing bike setup, you are able to climb most hills or even mountains where gradients are not too extreme. You will find them adequate gear ratios to cover most terrains, fast descents, flat sections etc. Using a Brompton makes you more conscious of how much weight you take with you; you will travel light and this makes you faster or as fast as any cycle tourists you might encounter along the road. On descents the opposite is true. Always be aware of rolling on small wheels and therefore more cautious and focused.  Your pace and the daily distances you are able to cover will likely match those of other tourers and their more traditional setups. 
        A front T-Bag with the heaviest load and a lighter rucksack at the back turns up to be a very efficient way to load the bike. It is well balanced, secure and the handling of the bike feels more stable than unloaded.
        Having a rucksack instead of dedicated bike panniers is much more versatile. If you want you have the ability to take a day off the bike and go for a trek and when you have to take the bike on buses or trains you have a fast way to put luggage on your shoulders while having your hands free to carry the folded bike and T-Bag.
        Older Brompton versions had brakes deficiencies especially on long descent but more recents models, certainly from 2013 on, come equipped with adequate brakes and feel secure on the steepest descents even with the extra weight you are carrying.

        Conclusion

        The Brompton offers in my opinion the best setup for a multi-modal tour, where the odd transfer by other means of transport is involved. There might be times where the road is too steep and you might need to break your cycling with a short walk but I turn this limitation into an advantage. It becomes a good chance to use different muscles and I have found out that a folding bike loaded this way is extremely comfortable and easy to push.
        To me these compromises are well worth it and I found touring with a Brompton folding bike, an easy and fun way to cycle travel.


        11

        Wednesday, July 25, 2018



        Ever wondered what one needs in order to travel with a Brompton folding bike? Follow this video for a full explanation on the bike and the setup to carry your luggage.

        Watch the full video here
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        Sunday, July 22, 2018


        California has so much to offer when it comes to bike touring. You can be riding 2000 km along the Pacific Ocean, up 3000 metres mountains in the Sierras or cycle through incredible forest of giant Redwood trees. Or why not if you have Brompton you might be able to combine them all even if you are a little short in time. Some of the highlights are shown on this video and there are many more to explore.

        Watch full video here
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        Friday, July 20, 2018


        Visit Brompton Traveler, a bike touring dedicated channel on YouTube where I discuss the reasons why I prefer a Brompton folding bike for my cycle touring adventures. Don't forget to subscribe too for more videos.

        Watch the video here
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        Tuesday, July 17, 2018

        This is the well tested solution for securely attaching a regular backpack to a Brompton folder. I thought I would share some pictures to show clearly how it works.
        Tested in multiple tours I have so far taken on a Brompton I can assure that this simple hack works really well. You can use any backpack but I find that a 45L capacity is about the right size. The  shoulder straps are harnessed over a horizontal bar ( I use a empty tubular metal but any thing sturdy would work. Broom stick anyone? ) attached to the saddle by means of leather straps.  A couple of large sized zip ties also do the job really well if you don't want to buy similar straps. The waist strap is tied to the seat post as a way to further secure the backpack as well as giving it more stability. The Brompton rack bungee chords are then tied to the bottom of the sack to make sure it doesn't shift forward and hinder pedalling. Another benefit of this system is the fact that it is very quick to dismount the rack and put it back where it belongs, your shoulders!
        This setup is stable and makes a rucksack the perfect cycle touring solution on Brompton.

        9

        Friday, July 6, 2018



        Video of a Brompton cycling tour in British Columbia, Canada. Starting in Lake Louise I headed towards the Pacific Coast via Yoho National Park, Mt Rogers Pass, Revelstoke, Lilloet, Duffey Lake Whistler before reaching Vancouver, the final destination.

        Watch the video here
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        Monday, July 2, 2018


        Video of a Brompton folding bike ride along the Icefield Parkway in Canada. Starting in Banff Alberta I reached Jasper after 232 km, before returning from the opposite side, arriving in the mountain resort of Lake Louise. It is one of the most beautiful journeys on the planet, winding along the Continental Divide through soaring rocky mountain peaks, icefields and vast sweeping valleys.

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        Tuesday, May 1, 2018


        A video interview by Brompton enthusiasts at The Path Less Pedaled. In this video presented by Clever Cycles, we view the modification on Todd's bike touring Brompton with lots of titanium upgrades and other clever solutions.

        watch the full video here
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        Monday, April 16, 2018


        Video of an 11 days tour in Morocco on a Brompton folding bike. The tour started and ended in Marrakech and included climbing twice over 2000 metres passes, the Tizi 'N Test and Tizi 'N Tichka as well as cycling along the Draa and Telouet Valleys.

        Watch full video here
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        Saturday, March 31, 2018



        Most important for any Brompton bike touring is to get some practice on how to best remove the back wheel on your Brompton something you will have to do each time you want to replace your inner tube or even replace your old tyre.
        A great 3 part tutorial from Brompton dealers at NYCE Wheels will show you in details what it takes and how to do this safely.

        Watch video series here
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        Check out the Brompton folding bike I use to tour around places like Big Sur and the Olympic Peninsula! It collapses down to a neat little package I can get into an airplane overhead compartment, but this is what it can do with a full load.

        View full video here
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        Wednesday, February 21, 2018



        A detailed video tutorial on how to rebuild your Brompton rear wheel. James Houston shows on this clear tutorial what it takes to replace a new rim from scratch. Rims will generally need to be changed every 10000 kilometres.

        Watch video here
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        Friday, January 5, 2018



        A bike touring video of the San Francisco Bay Area on a Brompton folding bike. The tour was divided into two parts and included cycling in San Francisco itself then following the Pacific coast to Santa Cruz before heading up to Big Basin National Park. The second part was mostly spent cycling around Skyline Drive, Alpine Road, Page Mill Road, La Honda, etc.

        Watch full video here
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        Thursday, December 28, 2017


        Here are some ideas regarding how to best pack and carry your gear on a tour using a Brompton. Despite being sturdy bikes, touring on a Brompton entails obvious limitations on what you can take with you but the following setup works exceptionally well provided you will stick to decent surfaced roads and travel where temperatures are not too cold. The greatest benefit of this system together with the compact fold of the bike is that in ten minutes you are ready to transform your fully loaded bike to a conveniently packed setup, ready to be taken on a shuttle bus a train or  plane should you need to take a transfer during your tour. The backpack goes on your shoulder, on one hand you hold the folded bike stored in a light Dimpa Bag, on the other simply carry the T-Bag. It really works! To secure the backpack on the rear rack of the Brompton a metal bar is fixed horizontally under the saddle by means of a couple of leather straps. This allows a secure support for the backpack shoulder harnesses that is stable and easy to remove. Further reading and close-up pictures.

        Below I listed the content of each bag on a typical setup for a tour that can last from a week to a month or even longer. Of course there is room for improvement and my list might not fit your needs but provided the load and volume is similar it will work just as well.

        Front Bag: ( Brompton T-Bag )



        Inside Compartment

        • Light tent
        • Camera
        • Go Pro
        • Gadgets cables and accessories
        • Gloves, Woollen hat
        • Gore-tex Jacket
        • Long sleeves light jacket
        • Extra space can carry food to take to campsite at the end of each day
        • Passport in zipped inside pocket
        Outside Pockets

        • Ready access food to eat during ride
        • Water Pet Bottle
        • Oil to lubricate chain
        • Repair Gloves
        • Mobile phone
        • Wallet
        • Chamoix Leather ( Perfect as a towel at the campsite )
        • Combination Lock


        Backpack:




        Top Compartment


        • Spare clothes in compression bag ( 1 light underpants, 1 merino long sleeved shirt, 1 merino socks, 1 long johns, 1 light down jacket, 1 short sleeved shirt, 1 light knee pants with zip extension ) This compression bag can function as your pillow at night!
        • Cables, plugs and chargers in compression waterproof bag

        Centre

        • Sleeping Bag
        • Toiletries bag
        • Light plastic flip flops
        • Portable Radio

        Bottom

        • Repair tools
        • 2 spare inner tubes and repair kit
        • Extra bunjee chords
        • Heavy duty gaffer tape
        • Dimpa Bag
        • Light Bike Bag ( Used only for flights at start or end of trip )
        Outside

        • Sleeping mat (tied to backpack with bungee chords)
        • 2 spare tyres around backpack
        • Helmet if not worn

        Clothes:




        In the picture above you can see all the clothes I take with me while touring. It might seem very spare but I assure you it is all you need to be comfortable and warm enough to tour in most weather conditions. Most garments come in sets giving you the ability to always wear a clean set while you wash and dry the other one. In order to be light I choose clothes that are comfortable not only for cycling but also provide a good option for all the time I spend off the bike. The only cycling specific garment I take with me is one pair of cycling shorts. These I normally wear under my light trousers at the beginning of the tour when I am not used to be on the bike for long hours and the padding will make this transition more comfortable. The downside to them is that they are not quick to dry so I limit their use to the minimum necessary to ride comfortably. I still use underpants while wearing them as this will keep them much cleaner and should you wish to, you will be able to wear them a few times before a wash. I have talked about the great qualities of Merino wool in another article, suffice to say that my merino base layers and socks provide odour free and comfortable wear for many days without the need to be washed. Zipped trousers are used in their short version during the ride and the extensions can then be zipped at other times allowing for a very flexible use. Long johns are very useful to provide extra warmth with a very little addition to space and weight. I mostly wear them at night while camping. Riding long hours each day doesn't mean that one cannot keep clean during a tour. A very useful trick I figured out is that wearing light and quick drying underpants that are washed each day under the shower (perfect sponge too...) or with some water is a great way to keep clean; having two pairs of them means that you can wash the pair you used during the day, wear the clean ones for the night and the following day while the others are put on the outside of your luggage to dry. This works a treat and also brings a degree of theft deterrence while you shop! All the clothes that are not worn during the day are stacked on top of each other and rolled. I then put them inside an Exped 8 Litres waterproof compression bag. Once at the campsite I can have easy access to them when I need to get changed. Also this bag design, without buckles and straps makes for an ideal pillow.
        As far as shoes I have used a light pair of trekking shoes, again avoiding the cycling specific solution.  Yes it is more efficient to have clipped shoes that you can attach to pedal and very stiff soles that don't bend while you pedal but my view is this. Clips might had a little speed and distance to your day but come at the risk of being tied to the bike. Even those who are used to them might not react as quickly when their bike is fully loaded with weights. Bike shoes might not be as comfortable when you are off the bike too.  I next plan to try riding on Keen sandal type shoes which are much used by cycle tourists and seem to offer a good balance between riding and comfort.

        Some Further Packing Light Wisdom

        With a little experience one finds out things that work and things that don't. Often it is just about trial and error but we also learn and get inspired by what other people do. Hopefully you will find some of these tips useful and take some of them with you on your next tour!

        1. Merino Wool: It took me forty years to figure out but I hope it will come faster for you! Basically this is the best gift you can give yourself if you are serious about touring. These are expensive but with some care they last long and their benefits make the purchase very worthy indeed. Merino wool garments keep your body temperature cool when hot and warm when the weather gets cold but mostly can be worn for weeks on end without the need to be washed and they dry extremely quickly too. Odours are neutralised by the natural fabric and can be worn much longer than any other sport dedicated material. Recently NASA tested every material conceivable in order to chose the best for astronauts planning long stays in space and guess what material came on top... Merino Wool. I use two long-sleeved shirts that i change every week or so. They are on my skin during the cycling day, are removed while I take a shower and then are back on on my skin for a night sleep! Long sleeves I found work best no matter the temperatures and weather you will find. In hot and sunny places the long sleeves will keep your forearms from sunburns and if it gets cooler the long sleeves will keep your arms warmer too.
        2. Merino Continued: As you are there get yourself some Merino wool socks too for the same reasons...
        3. Use normal light trousers: The temptation to go for cycling gear is natural but I found in my experience that this is not a good idea. Cycling trousers have the benefit of a chamoix padding to make your ride more comfortable but they have many shortcomings too. They smell really bad after just a day riding ( yes I do take showers every day... ). This means that pretty much every day or two you will have to wash them and the padding makes the drying process a long one. Usually you would wash them in the evening at the campsite when temperatures are cool and end up drying them by putting them soaked wet, tied somewhere outside your bags during your next day ride. I usually do take a pair with me to use at the start of my tours when my rear hasn't yet become too friendly with the saddle... After a few days riding, a better solution in my opinion is using normal light short trousers possibly with zipped extensions that can be attached in the evening as this will serve a double purpose and can be used when you need to look just a little bit smarter at the restaurant, etc. Now for the most secret and intimate...underwear. A great way to stay dry and clean during your tour is to simply bring with you two pairs of light and quick drying underpants. At the end of the day you wash the one you were wearing while you take a shower ( by the way they make an excellent sponge too... ),  and put on the clean ones for the night and the next day ride. Quick drying materials mean that your washed set will be probably dry by the morning but as you only need them the next day in the evening you have plenty of time to just hang them on your luggage during the day so that they can dry in the sunshine. Pants strapped on your cycling bags are also good theft deterrents! 
        4. Use normal shirts: Again as above! Usual wisdom says that it should be good to wear lycra shirts with cycling pockets behind and so on... If you want my advice, don't! Bring with you two short sleeved shirts with buttons and pocket at the front instead, the kind you would use for trekking. I wear these over a Merino base layer. It looks much more stylish, is more  comfortable and chances are you might even be complimented on your cycling style! If you wear Merino wool on your skin the shirt will be just an extra layer on top that won't make you too hot and will be so much more useful when you are not cycling and it is time to go to a restaurant or cafe to recharge body and soul! I bring two shirts with me, one I wear and the other one is a spare to get changed after I get a chance to do some laundry. I heard people saying that they don't like Merino on their skin as it is itchy but I believe this is mostly due to the quality of Merino they have used. I don't like that feeling myself but have found that thin base layer of 100% Merino Wool are most comfortable on your skin. 
        5. Everything in twos: I just realised that it seems that everything comes in twos but the bike and the tent... Two base layers, two underpants, two socks, two shirts and even two tyres as you are not likely to find Brompton size good tyres outside main cities.
        6. Compression Bags: These can also be waterproof if needed but they mostly function very well to keep your gear tidy and in place. Cables, chargers for your gadgets, and clothes can all be organised in small packets and easily found when needed. Your spare clothes compression bag will be the most comfortable pillow at night too so try to choose compression bags without straps and buckles. Usually roll down tops work best. See an example of the kind I use here.
        7. Gadgets: That is where it gets hard and we all tend to bring too many of those... I still take a very heavy DSLR camera for my photos but more and more light gadgets that do it all come on the market and make it easy for us to carry less around. Smartphones are today capable of taking decent pictures, amazing HD videos, help you keep connected to friends, check maps on the internet and much much more. There is no reason why a smartphone is all you probably need. If you are like me you can't resist taking your iPad with you too and a small radio for weather, news and entertainment at the campsite!
        8. Cooking Gear: Come on, why did you tour on a Brompton anyway! This is a no brainer...just don't bring anything of this sort! You don't have the space for it, if you are touring with a Brompton chances are that you are not crossing the desert or Siberia and you will be just fine eating out here and there and getting stuff from groceries. Trying out local food is a great part of the enjoyment so make the most of it and stay light!

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        Wednesday, December 27, 2017


        While in Spain I spent my last week cycling through the region of Catalonia. This was not a bike trip for counting miles or conquering hills. Rather, it was a bike trip for learning the "contours of a country," as Ernest Hemingway would say.

        Read the full story here
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        Friday, November 10, 2017



        I made an appearance on this week's episode of Pedalshift with Tim Mooney, which reminded me I hadn't shared this episode from my winter bike overnight in February on my Brompton folding bike. It was perhaps more successful than Tim's most recent ride on the C&O Trail, albeit shorter, a few degrees warmer and solo (sans dog). Notice how there was no snow in Denver but about four feet at my apartment just 75 miles west (and 4,000 feet higher) in Breckenridge.

        Jeremy Mendelson

        download the podcast here
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        Thursday, November 9, 2017


        This is a detailed video explanation on how to install a rear rack on your Brompton. While touring on a Brompton in my experience this is one of the parts that is vulnerable especially when transporting the bike by airplane.

        watch the video here
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        Wednesday, August 9, 2017


        Video highlights from the Western Express Route in Utah and Colorado completed on a Brompton folder bike. The 1350 kilometres included a detour into Zion National Park. Some of the other wonderful parks crossed included Bryce Canyon, Red Canyon, Escalante, Petrified Forest, Capital Reef and Canyonland.

        Watch full video here
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        Saturday, June 10, 2017


        A diary from a 1350 kilometres bike tour through the National Parks and Mesas of Utah and Colorado. Once again the Brompton little folder proved to be most reliable and not a bad climber either.

        Read the full story here
        5


        I had the chance to try the Anker PowerPort Solar Lite on my latest cycling tours of Utah and Colorado as well as Morocco. The two panels solar chargers worked really well, keeping an Anker battery charger always full and ready to charge my gadgets at the end of each day. Conditions were ideal during the tour as I got plenty of sun most days, but it certainly produced enough charge; for the 20 days touring I never had to plug in my gadgets. If camping in a tent is the main way to spend the night it is always a challenge to keep everything in charge due to the lack of electricity. In the past I would try my best and spend time in cafes and restaurants in order to do so but this time I was able to not do that thanks to the solar panels. On a Brompton as you can see from the picture, the panel can be opened on the top of the T-Bag and secured by way of carabiner to the two plastic loops that are available by the side of the bag. Plate was not included but as you can see the panel offers a great opportunity to elegantly display that too.
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        Sunday, March 19, 2017


        Last year Nick from Brompton Australia, asked us if one of our demo-hire Bromptons would like to go on a trip to Sri Lanka. So we asked it, and it said “you betcha”. Yes, they’re made for cities, but it’s a testament to their brilliant design that Bromptons are capable of so much more.

        Watch the video here

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        Tuesday, February 21, 2017


        Why such a long way on a small bike? a passer-by asked me on the Sidmouth promenade as I prepared myself for the climb out of town.
        He listened as I tried to tell him that beautiful things come in small packages but as he began to talk about his Bmw Gs I realised he was beyond redemption.
        What I didn’t tell him were my plans to ride a Brompton from San Diego to Vancouver (BC) along the Sierra Cascades, the cycle route that shadows the better-known Pacific Crest Trail across the Unites States. To describe the SC in one word, it is mountainous. The route conquers seven ranges, the greatest of which are the Sierra Nevadas in California and the Cascades through Oregon and Washington, for a total ascent of about 150,000′ over 2400 miles.

        Read the full story here

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        Sunday, February 5, 2017

         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_1bL__n8y4

        Watch a very interesting video from the guys at pathlesspedaled detailing the main options worth considering when you want to take your Brompton bicycle on a tour.

        View the full video here
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        Sunday, January 1, 2017


        Packing a Brompton folding bicycle to go cycle touring is not the same as packing our tandem or one of our own bikes. This may seem obvious, but took us slightly by surprise as we began seriously preparing for a Christmas Day flight to Devonport, Tasmania.

        Bromptons can carry a fair bit of gear. The front T Bag holds 31 litres and the rear rack sack holds sixteen litres. This is comparable with a pair of our usual Ortlieb Back Roller Classics, which have a 40 litre capacity. Surely the gear we normally cart in two sets of Ortlieb panniers on our tandem would easily fit in our Brompton bags! After all, we will have two Bromptons complete with T-Bag and Rack Sack rear bag…

        Read the full story here
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        Sunday, December 18, 2016


        Die hard road cyclist and creator of plus women’s clothing brand Wheel Women Tina McCarthy put aside preconceptions when she bought a folding bike to ride around Japan. This is what she learnt…

        Read full article here
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        Tuesday, December 13, 2016



        On my journey from Europe to China in 2016, following the ancient Silk Road on my Brompton,  the Pamir Highway was of course on my agenda. Having cycled already more than six thousand kilometres, I wanted to ride this famous road on my folding bike, not knowing how tough these fourteen days would turn out to be.

        Read the full story here

        Jonathan blog is in german  and gives a full account of his amazing journey.  www.gonewiththeroad.com
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        Sunday, December 11, 2016


        Inspired by the promising colours of the autumn leaves I set off for a thousand kilometres Brompton tour in New England. Starting in Boston Massachusetts, the ride took me to New Hampshire's White Mountains National Park, before crossing into Vermont and its magnificent Green Mountains National Park searching for a perfect maple leaf. Back into Massachussetts and the Berkshire hills after a short visit to Connecticut, it was time for a couple of days of riding in New York City.

        See the full video here
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