Thursday, May 31, 2012

Video: Barclays Cycle Hire

Very informative instructional video on the Barclays Cycle Hire. Makes me want to explore London on bike. : )

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The rear rack's bungee cords

To be honest, I didn't install the rear rack to carry things. I have my Touring Carrier (T-Bag) in the front for that. I bought the rear rack mainly for balance and mobility when the Brompton is folded.

When my bike was still an "L" it would tilt (or lean to the side) when folded. Also, I had a difficult time pushing it with only 2 eazy wheels. Now, with the rear rack attached, it is so much easier to roll the bike.

Anyhow, the other day, I finally got to use the rear rack for its intended purpose--to carry things. The missus asked me to buy ice from the convenience store and I was not about to place a bag of ice, dripping with water, in my T-Bag. No, sir.

The rear rack had bungee cords. All I did was place the bag of ice on the rack, secure it with the cords, and "Voila!" (I'm glad Brompton has these bungee cords on all of its racks. My Trek rear rack doesn't)

When my 2 year old is older and bigger, there'll be another purpose for the rear rack--as a child seat. : )

Monday, May 28, 2012

Alternative Bags for the Brompton (Demano)

These Demano bags are an alternative to the Brompton stock front bags (A-type, C-type, S-type and T-type). They're made in Spain and are available over at

They are pretty expensive though ($175!). I think my friend Nitya of Yadu Store can fabricate a local version at a fraction of the price.

Paging Nitya! :D

Friday, May 25, 2012

1st Manila Folding Bike Festival

On June 23, 2012, we'll be having the 1st Manila Folding Bike Festival. It's going to be held at The Collective on Malugay Street, Makati.

Last year, Paul and Pia spearheaded Kuklos also at The Collective. That event was a bike fair for all  kinds of commuter bikes, including fixies, BMXs, folding bikes, vintage bikes and low-riders.

This year, Nitya, Abel and several other friends wanted to organize a bike show focused on folding bikes. So you'll see Dahons, Stridas, Peerless, Gogos, Giants and, ofcourse, Bromptons. This event is going to be a great time for folding bike enthusiasts to exchange notes and ideas. There will also be retailers/LBS present who'll sell bike parts and accessories. I'm sure the MFBF will be fun!

Hope to see you all on June 23!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Livestrong Twilight Ride

Last Sunday, May 20, I joined a CMR of the Livestrong people. They called it the Livestrong Twilight Ride. It was supposed to be a 24-kilometer evening ride from Circulo Verde to Tiendesitas to Ortigas Center; then to Greenhills, turning right on Santolan; then proceeding to Katipunan, White Plains and then back to Circulo.
I was with FBPeeps Abel, Al, Zaldy, Lucio, Charlie and Stephen. The participants of this CMR were not all folding bike enthusiasts. In fact, we were the minority. Most of those who joined were on mountain bikes. Anyway, we left Circulo at 4pm. The CMR was okay (brisk pace and well marshalled) until we reached Ortigas Center in Pasig when it started to rain.
I was not prepared. I didn't have waterproofing for my iPhone and wallet. So did Abel and Lucio. So we decided to break away from the peloton, which proceeded to Greenhills, and sought shelter. We found a waiting shed along Ortigas Ave. Then we transferred to Tiendesitas. It was still drizzling when we got there so we decided to have merienda (barbeque and iced tea) while waiting it out.

By 6:30 the rain had stopped. Since there was no way of catching up with the Livestrong people, I decided to go home. I had biked just 15 kilometers. Sayang. Will be more prepared next time.

PS: Thanks to Al Castillo for the photos.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Video: 30 Years of Dahon

Thanks to Dr. David Hon and his brother Henry! Without them, folding bikes wouldn't be as popular and accessible as they are today.

Happy 30 years, Dahon!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Just when you think you have everything...

Ariel's Brompfication Hinge Clamp Set
When I bought the replacement EZ wheels for my rack and the rubber bung for my seatpost last March in Flying Ball, I thought that would be the end to my Brompton upgrades. And for brief time that was that.

Until I saw my friend Ariel's Brompton. He had the Brompfication Hinge Clamp Set. The Brompfication Clamps perform way better than the stock set because the former do not rotate when unscrewed.

Let me explain. The stock hinge clamps, when screwed, lock the hinges of the Brompton (both on the handlebar post and the main frame). No problem there. But when you unscrew the hinges so that you can fold the bike they become loose and rotate all over the place. And then when you want to fold the bike, you have to position the clamps properly before before you turn the lever bolt. Sometimes, this gets irritating.
With the Brompfication Hinge Clamp Set this problem goes away. An internal spring pushes the clamp away; a locknut prevents it to come loose; and the clamp is designed not to rotate. With the Brompfication Hinge Clamp Set on, folding a Brompton becomes seamless.

I must have it.

Even if it costs 55.80 Euros (PhP 3,000.00)!

Have to save money for this...

Sigh... and the upgrading continues... Damn you, Ariel!!!  
Other upgrades on Ariel's Brompton include a Kamoya suspension and Brompfication Eazy Wheels.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fibre Flare Tail Light

My friend Diane gifted me a Fibre Flare Tail Light back in HK. (Thanks, Diane!) It's a cool LED bike light that, according to its website, is different from other bike lights because it is omni-directional (seen from all directions). The LED light is lit from end to end via a fibre optic core.
The Fibre Flare attaches on the Brompton's seatpost (see above photo). You wrap the rubber band around the post and hook it on the other side. I like the Fibre Flare because it really is bright at night and, true to its advertisement, is visible from all directions. However, what I don't like about this product, especially for Bromptons, is that I have to remove the light everytime I want to fold the bike. Otherwise, I won't be able to hide the seatpost. It's time consuming to take-off and re-attach. I don't have this problem with a regular CatEye light. But that's my only complaint. It's still a cool bike light.  
The Fibre Flare tail light at night
The Fibre Flare was given to me as a gift so I don't know how much it was bought. However, the website states the tail light's SRP is $39.99.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Minoura BH-100C-S Bottle Cage Holder

After a long and tedious search, I finally found THE water bottle cage holder for my Brompton. It's the Minoura BH-100C!

I've tried similar products before but they just didn't work for me. I first got this unbranded black hard-plastic holder from Malabon. It clamped on the handlebar post. I didn't like it because the clamp was difficult to adjust. And when clamped, I still felt this holder wasn't secured on enough on the post.
The no-brand water bottle mount
Afterwards, I bought this Topeak CageMount. It, too, clamped on the handlebar post. It looked sleek in its packaging, but when I installed it I realized the design was just awful. I mean, the bottle cage holder branched out so far from the post that it made the whole contraption wobble whenever I ride--even on smooth surfaces. Because of this, the water bottle would bounce up and down. It was unstable. Another problem was, like the previous mount, it was hard to adjust and install.
Topeak CageMount. See how far it extends from the post?
Anyway, last March, when I was in Flying Ball Bike Shop in Hong Kong, Diane showed me the Minoura BH-100C-S. I really wanted to replace the Topeak CageMount so I bought this one for HK$150 (PhP 825 or US$19). Pretty expensive but what the heck.
The Minoura without the bottle cage
The Minoura WITH a bottle cage
I like the Minoura because it's made of stainless steel, not plastic. It feels more solid. Next, the mount clamps on the handlebar instead of the post, which I think is a better design because it feels more secured. Finally, I like the Minoura because among the three products, the BH-100C is the easiest to adjust and attach.
Bird's Eye view of the Minoura mount. Stainless steel and easy to attach on the handlebar.
If you're in Flying Ball, and you're looking for a solid water bottle cage mount for your Brompton, then get the Minoura BH-100C.

PS: The BH-100C comes in TWO (2) sizes: S (22-29mm) and M (28-35mm). The S fits the Brompton handlebars.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid advertisement.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wippermann Connex Link

Yesterday, Labor Day, I found time to go to the bike shop and have this Wippermann Connex Link installed on my chain. The reason to buy this magic chain link is best explained by the picture below.
Ordinary chain link connectors require a special tool for it to unlink the chain. I have never tried to unlink a chain using this method, but I hear it is quite burdensome.

Allegedly, the Wippermann Connex Link makes unlinking the chain easier. Hence, I bought one in Flying Ball last March for HK$65 (PhP360 or US$8).
The product is really small. It's about half an inch long. It's way smaller than the box it comes with. And the only reason why the box is bigger is to accommodate the instructions. Mang Nestor, the Brompton expert in Tryon, didn't even bother to read the legal sized document. The guy knew how to install this link. So, I let him be.
Anyway, after Mang Nestor installed it, that's the link (inside the blue circle). With the Connex installed, it's supposed to be easier to find, and quicker to unlink the chain. No need for the special tool.

PS: Apparently, there are different links for different chains (10-speed, 9-speed, 8-speed, etc.). For my Brompton, I got the 8-speed. Please talk with your LBS' mechanic before purchasing one.