New old new levers

I’ve recently received a new set of the original Brompton Toolkit tyre levers. As mentioned in my blog post “Toolkit testing”, I’d had a little whoopsie when trying to remove a Marathon Plus tyre from the rear Sun rim on my Alfine 11-speed Brompton & was left with a broken tyre lever. When Brompton withdrew the Toolkits from sale, until the latest design of tyre levers is available, I was under the impression that Brompton would eventually replace the levers for current owners of the Toolkits. Initially I was happy to await the release of the new levers but then I decided to email Brompton to confirm how the replacement process may take place & to flag my ownership of some Toolkits. The communications raised some interesting aspects to the likely outcome.

First, the Brompton prompt response to my query disclosed some information I wasn’t aware of. Their email said,
“Thank you for your enquiry. As you may be aware we have offered temporary replacement tyre levers (the lever has a longer metal tip than the original) to customers via their Brompton dealer or distributor who have experienced a snapped tyre lever. Once the improved version has been finalised and passed inspection we will be issuing dealers and distributors with the tyre levers so they can forward this onto customers who have a Brompton toolkit. I would recommend contacting the dealer you purchased the toolkit from or the Australian distributor for a replacement.
Also I noticed on your blog post you mentioned that you used the tyre lever on a Marathon Plus. We would not recommend using it on a product that is not used or recommend by Brompton (Standard Marathon, Brompton Kevlar and Kojak will be fine).”

So, there have already been changes to the levers? – & I believe my broken lever was of the later design, rather than photos I’ve seen of broken levers that seemed to be composite material? (double-whoops?) Next, my use of the levers is not recommended for Marathon Plus tyres? – & I guess that includes any other rim, tyre or bicycle type? Hmmm…

Anyway, I thought I’d contact the Australian distributor (rather than the UK dealer where I’d purchased the Toolkits) & check what they could do. However, the response here was that as this part of the world never received any Toolkits they also were never supplied any of the replacement levers that Brompton’s email mentioned. All was not lost as they would happily provide new replacement levers when they came available if I was unable to obtain replacements from the UK dealer or directly via Brompton.

Things then got a bit more confusing with emails between all parties. I was trying to say that I was happy to wait for the replacement levers (or obtain them via a trip to the UK, whichever came first?) but I’m unsure what others thought “replacement levers” meant. Before I knew it, Brompton were sending some directly to me (with the explanation that, “…we do not offer direct warranty replacements as the contract of sale is between the end user and the dealer. However given the circumstance I am happy to send you a set of replacement tyre levers…”!?

Overall, a very impressive customer-contact process! Perhaps even “very Brompton-esque”?


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