Folding tricks

Brompton Folding Competition

Another of the fun events of the Brompton Australian Championships is the Folding Competition, held after the BAC race. The challenge is to be the fastest to complete the fold of a Brompton; in our case a white demo M3L. Some hot times amongst the initial competitors & seeing the standard folding pedal to be part of the fold (something I’ve always fumbled in my limited exposures – all my bikes use MKS removable pedals) had me heading back to chatting with BAC attendants. Later, I mistakenly strolled too close to the competition area & Adam from Cheeky Transport suggested I should participate. My excuse about the pedal was to no avail & Adam gave me a quick tutorial.

So, there I was: beside the unfolded bike & with the count-down starting. “How hard can it be?” came to mind (again) & I was off… Funny how a Brompton other than your own can feel “different”? With the M handlebar positioning feeling strange, in parking the bike I neeaarrly jammed the front mudguard between the wheels! Next I lifted the stem slightly & started undoing the mainframe hinge clamp. Wow, I forgot how my long-term use of Brompfication hinge clamps & springs eased the process. Here, I was noticing the extra turns of the hinge clamp bolts & the lack of spring pressure helping to open the hinge. A bit clumsy but I had the front wheel folded & mentally preparing for my next phase: flipping the stem/handlebar down while dropping the seat! Easy-peasy?

Whoa! Disaster! I couldn’t undo the hinge clamp! Dunno if it was sabotage but with the previous competitor unfolding the bike after their folding attempt, they’d done up the clamp “very firmly”! Precious seconds ticking away & I persisted; finally getting it undone once realising I needed to use far more effort. Another clumsy undoing of the clamp bolt & the seat down I was ready to face my nemesis: the pedal fold! Ooh, quite good really, I was surprised!

The clock was stopped & there was the evidence: 20 seconds?! Not too good but some satisfaction/relief that the effort was over! Next time…

Thanks to Adam for the excellent tuition & providing the video on my phone. A even bigger thanks to Adam, Donald & others for running the whole competition & getting over half the BAC participants to challenge/embarrass themselves? Oh, & congrats to the winner of the final, held as part of the BAC presentations (sorry, can’t recall who won: too busy laughing?)

Finally, a YouTube link to the video of – My attempt


4 thoughts on “Folding tricks

  1. Unfolded NYC 25/10/2014 at 21:57 Reply

    Valiant effort, Ian! Brompfication just moved up a few notches on my wish list.

    • Aussie on a Brompton 25/10/2014 at 22:54 Reply

      Ta Cathy – & some say that audience size doesn’t help? I’m not a fan of fancy hinge bolts but really appreciate the special clamps & springs (in fact, another order went in today!)

  2. The Brompton Diarist 29/10/2014 at 06:00 Reply

    Nice form, Ian, and a noble attempt! Not being able to use one’s own B levels the playing field, but it’s surprisingly more tricky, as we found, too, on the Brompton competition obstacle course. But it’s all good fun!

    • Aussie on a Brompton 30/10/2014 at 07:49 Reply

      To participate without too much embarrassment is what counts – thus I shall never attempt the “dual hinge simultaneous fold” in public.

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