Monday, November 21, 2011

Installing a 44T chainring on my Brompton

A few days ago, I blogged about a Brompton chainring I bought from Flying Ball (courtesy of my friend, Claro Alcantara) which recently arrived from Hongkong. I ordered a size 44T to replace my 50T stock chainring.
I would have done the installation myself (yeah, right, Kris!), but I did not have the right tool to remove the existing chainring. So last weekend, I went over to Tryon over at JP Rizal in Makati and had Mang Nestor, our Brompton expert mechanic here in Metro Manila, work on it.
The above photo shows Mang Nestor removing the 50T chainring from my Brompton. He used a special kind of wrench to un-bolt the chainring from the bike. Below naman is the side by side comparison of the 44T chainring and the 50T chainring. 
44T (on left) and 50T (on right)
Here is Mang Nestor installing the 44T chainring on my folding bike. The whole process (removal AND installation) took less than 5 minutes.
Hopefully, with a smaller chainring I'd now be able to use all 6 gears of my M6L and, more importantly, get to pedal uphills more easily.
The 44T Chainring installed on my Brompton.


  1. Quick question, Kris. I'm assuming that you retained your old left crank arm (since the 44t comes with the right side one) and your old chain?

    I'm looking to do the same to my B and wanted to know the 44t is working for you. Thanks.

  2. Hi. Yes, I retained the stock left crank arm and the old chain. I had Mang Nestor take out 2 links in the chain so that it won't sag.

    The 44t is working well for me. I like it that I get to use all gears. I won't be the fastest bike in the planet, but I'm not complaining.

  3. HI, if i want to do a reverse, currently am using a 44t and want to change to a 50t i just add 2 links to my existing chain. Does it work like that? THanks.

  4. Plan to order a custom Brompton, basically an S6E-X, standard seatpost, stock saddle, Schwalbe Kojak Tires, firm suspension, and standard lighting (reflectors only). Undecided on the standard (50t), lowered (44t) or raised gearing (54t) though.. I'm a pretty good athlete in very good shape and usually gear higher than most people but I have zero experience with Bromptons (are they generally overgeared or undergeared?) so help from someone who does will be greatly appreciated. Will be using the Brompton mostly on flat roads with some hilly parts for high-intensity weekday runs (I trail-ride on weekends).

  5. Hi, Jhessica. I'm a weak rider so I use 44t. If you're in good shape, I suggest the 54t for you. :)

  6. I think I'll go with 54t for my daily cardio runs- anyway I can make changes later on to 50t (occasional touring) and 44t (for mountain rides). I see the chainring sets aren't too expensive and not much of a pain to install, without any additional adjustments needed aside from adding or taking out a link or two. So glad to have discovered your blog. What can I say- it's brilliant stuff.

    Would you know the best way to order a custom Brompton? Right now I know of two feasible options- order one from the US (Nycewheels) and have it shipped to a freight forwarder like Johnny Air, or have someone in HK go to Flying Ball to place the order, and then pick the bike up myself when it is ready. Any suggestions?

    1. Nycewheels would be the best for custom Brompton, but it will take a bit longer. Flying Ball would be cheaper and faster, but they don't control color-combinations (you just get what they have in stock). So if you have a color-combi in mind, go with Nycewheels. I have many friends who bought their Bromptons via Nycewheels. Good luck in your purchase and hope to see you soon on the road!