Riding weight

Bike weight is a funny subject. Depending on the bike & use some people become obsessive about losing weight – although usually only on the bike? For a Brompton bike the expectation of it being a featherweight bike is probably unreasonable, considering its likely use & owner’s budget. Sure, I’ve seen some pretty light Bromptons but I couldn’t justify their cost & the trimmed-down specs wouldn’t suit my riding territories.

Another funny thing is the Brompton website giving you the chance to know the complete weight of your Brompton & accessories; you just add up the weights of everything you’re including. That’s unusual for a bike manufacturer; for other bikes the weight is some vague figure stated for one sized bike in the range & once you change the specs then you’ll only know the weight after you weigh your new purchase. (Of course, for buying lightweight components you need to remember the old saying, “light, strong & cheap: pick any two”)

Having said that Brompton list all their weights, things get complicated once you move to non-standard items. When I picked up (literally) Ralph from an eBay purchase, I really noticed the lighter weight over Robinson, my P6R. This was a surprise because Ralph has an Shimano Alfine 11-speed rear hub (& associated changes) & I thought I was going to suffer a weight penalty? Weighing the bikes showed that I wasn’t mistaken & Ralph really was about 1.5 kgs lighter. However, the good news was not to last…

Ralph needed a little TLC & I preferred some swapping or upgrading of components (eg my Brooks saddle moved from Robinson to Ralph & some Ergon grips went onto Ralph). A set of mudguards then went onto Ralph & both Bromptons were now in a similar riding state (both comfortable & ready for similar weather conditions). Lately the Bidon cages & on-board tools have been sorted out; all things that play hell (in small ways) with the bike weights but go together to make my Bromptons more ridable & useful – hence this blog title of “Riding weight”, rather than “Bike weight”.

Oh, & one last thing: I weighed my Bromptons in their new configurations & was once again surprised – this time the weights were identical. Ralph & Robinson now both weigh 12.8 kgs each. No featherweights but nice little bikes.


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