Monday, May 5, 2014

Brompton Accessories #12 -Titanium Spring Hinge Clamps

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Bikes & Accessories / Brompton Accessories #12 - Titanium Hinge Clamps
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(This blog is not a review, it's more on my foray in purchasing accessories for my 3rd Foldie - a Raw Lacquer Brompton P6R. Pricing are indicative and is at time of this blog post; for accurate pricing please refer to the relevant dealers or distributors.)
I have been able to accessorized my Brompton with a few DIY items and with some other items that are rather inexpensive. The most that I have spent so far is for the Kamoya Jenny Suspension and perhaps the Akslen Headlights; both of which I spent just slightly more than MYR100 each.

This time round I will be going for some Brompfication accessory - their Titanium Hinge Clamps for which I forked out more than I usually do. Brompfication site lists this item's price as 64 Euros. I got it at the spur of the moment, or more honestly put, it was impulse buying.
A few of us had just completed a Brompton Basic Maintenance Workshop held at Vans Urban's shop, when few of my buddies went a shopping in the shop. Vans normally don't open on Sundays, but since we were borrowing their premises for our workshop, they accommodated our little shopping spree. A couple of my friends had these Titanium Clamps fixed...

... Hey! and WoW! These looks cool, and my mind lost it's battle with my heart - I just had to get them. The cost for these clamps in Malaysia was the equivalent of 108 Euros, almost double getting it direct from Brompfication. I consoled myself and rationalized that if getting them direct, these items would be subject to our Malaysian customs scrutinizing eyes and who know what taxes would be imposed.
But seriously, are they a worthwhile buy? Let's take a look then.

I got the one with black clamp plates and polished brass lever handles. Here's a photo of the Brompfication clamps together with the standard Brompton clamps. Looks-wise, the former is ahead.
The brass lever handles looks much slimmer, and suddenly my original clamps looks clumsy. One up for Brompfication!

While Brompton's have both ends of their clamp-plates of equal length, Brompfication's have one side longer than the other, there is a practical reason for this. And there is also a spring that comes with it.

When installed, the longer end should be at the fixed side of the bike's top or head tube. The spring pushes the clamp-plate out so that they are always in the correct position and only a minimum of turn of the lever will lock the clamp.
In this photo, the lock-nut at the right has not been full screwed in yet, it should be full screwed in so as to lock the titanium lever bolts at the right position.

This is a view of the bike unfolded but with the clamps not locked in yet. The design allows the tube to be swung into position with just a minimum clearance to the shorter end. The longer end with the (spring tension holding it in place) prevents the clamp plate from swinging and straying out of position. With three or four turns of the brass lever and the tube post is locked in position, efficient isn't it? TWO up for Brompfication.

The trick is to have these clamps installed so that both levers will be in a vertical position when fully locked in. This is just for aesthetics, but it looks more pleasant.
Brompfication had finely engineered these clamps so that when properly installed this will happen.

Now for a disadvantage.
If for some reason the clamp for the top tube (i.e. crossbar) need to be un-installed, eg. :
1. As a precaution of the lever bolts being bent by mis-handling when packing the bike for air-travel (... see Bagging The Brompton For Air Travel), OR
2. For some who store their spare tube in the cross-bar, the lock-nut and protrusion of the bolt into the crossbar may block the way of getting the tube out.
With the standard Brompton clamps it is just a matter of unscrewing the whole contraption out, but here the lock-nut prevents that.

This is where my Brooks Saddle #13 (which fits that nutty nut) comes in handy for unscrewing the lock-nut. Now I keep it with my tire levers inside the other end of the cross-bar.

So is it value for money? It does help in keeping the clamp-plates from straying and speeds up locking in the clamp. AND it does really look elegantly cool.
I love my Brompton... and every once in a while I should pamper it.

You may also like :
Brompton Accessories #9 :
Bagging The Brompton For Air Travel
Bagging the Brompton for air travel is distinctly different from putting it into buses or trains. 
It will be out of our hands for a while and will be in the hands of strangers - airport luggage handlers.
So it's best to take additional precaution for any rough handling.

Brompton Accessories #8 :
Securing The Brompton #2
Hassle free ways of securing the un-bagged Brompton while on trains, boats, etc.
Leave the bike secured and have a more comfortable ride.

Brompton Accessories #7 :
"Akslen" Two-bulb 10-Lux Headlights
A headlight that mounts onto the Brompton handlebar post snugly.

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Bikes & Accessories / Brompton Accessories #12 - Titanium Hinge Clamps
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