I think the Brompton Toolkit is a lovely piece of equipment. Nicely engineered & well thought-out – but with flaws included? The tyre levers have certainly come under criticism owing to breakages & I await the production of redesigned levers. (Having purchased 2 toolkits in the UK recently, I’m no longer awaiting the re-release of the toolkit; just the levers.) My toolkit purchase was made with the knowledge of the flawed levers & their expected replacement, but I thought that the levers may be sufficient “as is”? (& the rest of the toolkit was irresistible?)
The lever design is interesting; fitting together to minimize space within the storage housing & meant to be kept together when commencing a tyre removal. Once the tyre bead is levered over the rim, one lever can be clipped to a spoke & the other lever is then slid around the rim, progressively pulling the rest of the bead over the rim. However, stage 1 of the flaw is that users will read the instructions & follow them. The next stage is that the levers are not strong enough to survive usage that fails stage 1. Personally, I believe that there is a further stage in that the Brompton tyre levers weren’t designed to operate on anything other than stock Brompton rims (more later).
As for other flaws, perhaps it’s nit-picking to say that the ratchet & removable bit usage is going to be compromised depending on the positioning of the item being adjusted/removed/whatever? Time will tell, hopefully not at the wrong time & place?
The spanners that are cleverly combined within the tyre levers have been ok for my minimal use & the wheel spanner (when still fitted in the case) is very comfy – as compared to gripping it when removed?
On-bike storage within the front section of mainframe is neat & effective (far easier than my previous on-board tool set: wheel spanner, tyre levers & Allen key-set tied with a rubber band, wrapped in disposable gloves & maneuvered into the mainframe front section). I haven’t “lost” the disposable gloves; they’re now included with a spare tube, wrapped In a piece of fiberglass mesh & stored in the mainframe rear section. (The mesh makes it easier to insert the items in the frame & gives me something to grip when extracting everything.)
As an on-bike emergency toolkit, it’s seems ideal – but to date my toolkit testing has all been done in my garage & mostly of an elementary effort, although the tyre levers have been used a number of times.
Unfortunately I have to divulge the test score as:
tyre levers 3, Brompton single wall rims 0
tyre levers 0, Sun rim 1
That’s correct, the rear wheel on Ralph, my Alfine 11speed Brompton, has defeated one of the levers & snapped off a piece. Owing to the rim having a rather flat profile, there’s very little well for the tyre bead to sit in when removing the tyre & hence getting the bead over the rim is “difficult”. From what I remember, the pair of levers were good enough to get the bead over the rim initially, but when I tried to slide one lever sideways (very difficult), the thinner lever couldn’t stand the pressure between the rim & tyre (a Marathon Plus) & the end snapped off! (Ralph &/or I shall be carrying a separate set of tyre levers until further notice!)
The kit looks brilliant, but Brompton has recalled the first set of levers — might the company replace yours? Or perhaps not; I’ve been on the list for the new kit for forever, and it has yet to materialize. If and when the news ones are available, you might drop them a line; it seems only fair that they’d replace the original ones, once they’ve been found to be too weak.
Thanks for your comment, Brommie, & thanks for the prompter that I should do something about it.
I always thought that Brompton would replace any existing levers once the replacements are available, & I’m happy to await that day – & it was certainly on my mind when I bought the toolkits recently (although I was curious to try the levers, perhaps thinking that I could never be so careless?).
So, thanks to your reminder, I’ve just emailed Brompton to apologise for the breakage & flag my ownership & desire for some replacements sometime.
In the meantime I recommend a visit to the Brompton dealer in Malmesbury where they should have something that you’ll like! (They did say they had too many!)
Recently bought my Brompton so enjoying looking up Brompton sites.
I see the latest toolkit has metal tyre levers so hopefully better than the original version.
Loving your site and your ingenious inventions. Keep up the good work.