Monday, August 31, 2015

Brompton Accessories #17 : ABEC-7 Brompton Easy Wheels

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I have gone through several types of rack wheels, trying to find the best ones that roll easily even on rougher or uneven ground. I got my Brompton with the original rack wheels and found them hard to roll over uneven floors or carpeted areas as they were too small and did not give adequate clearance from the floor. So immediately I got the Brompton Eazy Wheels. Yup, they were much better but the clearance was still a bit low even when rolling over carpeted floors the rack scratched the carpet.

(Photo from Unfold & Cycle blog)
So the search for alternatives began. One consideration was to use in-line skate wheels which some of my friends used. But a couple of things nagged me on using these, firstly the wheels are broader and there is tendency to have heel scratch. Secondly, longer screws are required to take in the wider wheels. The problem is that Brompton screws have different pitch from most screws. These longer-pitch screws together with the corresponding nuts can be obtained from hardware stores in some countries; but here in Malaysia most hardware stores don't stock them and one have to search for them from shops specializing in selling screws. There is one such shop in Jalan Loke Yew.
(... to read more about the heel scratching, click here to read Unfold And Cycle blog on this mod).

(Photo from Bromfication)
A friend of mine gave me a set of these Easy Wheels from Brompfication and I tried them on immediately. These wheels looks good, narrow and streamlined.
But they were not to my satisfaction, their diameters where about the same as the standard Eazy wheels and the low rack clearance problem persisted. And a major disadvantage was that the rubber tire rings have a tendency to dislodge especially when rolling over rough surfaces; one had to carry spare rubber rings in case this happens and the rings got lost. I had these fixed, but after a few ring dislodgements I changed back to the stock Eazy Wheels - see where I come from the road surfaces are rougher. There is another model with a larger diameter which looks even better, but the ring dislodgement problem was still there (... for those keen on getting this, click here to go to Bromfication site node on this item).

I was in luck! After a few weeks of misadventure of trying out different wheels, a friend posted that he had these ABEC-7 Easy Wheels from Taiwan. The photos he posted even had wheels with different coloured rims, ones that could match the colour of individual Bromptons. However those he brought in only had black rims with a clear polymer tires. Still they look good and a bit hi-tech with stub spokes that could be seen through the clear polymer.

The good thing about these are that they came in a set of fours complete with screws of respective lengths to suit. There's no need to hunt for screw as in the case of the in-line skate wheels.

The bearings are also super smooth, making it easy to roll the bike.

A look at my well-worn Eazy Wheels which had taken me to many a places. Don't get me wrong, even looking like this, they still have miles of life in them.

A photo comparison of the ABEC Easy Wheels with the Brompton Eazy Wheels.
The ABEC is only about 3mm wider than the Eazy Wheels thus heel scratching seldom occurs.

The two wheels assembled at the suspension block end. The longer screws provided ensures that these two wheels are well anchored into the frame. Please pardon the worn rusty look of my bike; this was before I had it copper plated (.... see Copper Plating the Brompton blog).

The four wheels fixed in. The wider wheels give a better stability when the bike is folded.

The larger diameter of the wheels gives a better clearance from the floor, affording smooth rolling even over uneven ground.

An overall photo of the wheels with the bike. Though larger than the stock Eazy Wheels, they do not look as cumbersome as the in-line skate wheels.

Overall, after a few months of using them, I am happy with the performance of the wheels. They give smooth rolling, better floor clearance and they DO look good too!

You may also like :

Brompton Accessories #14 : Mini-O Bag Packing Light & Tight

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Bikes & Accessories / Brompton Accessories #17 : ABEC-7 Brompton Easy Wheels
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  1. Hi, thanks for a lot Brompton hacks, I simply love them! I've been a Brompton ride only for a few months but I definitely fell in love with the bike.
    I've just started to look for accessories to it, and the first to come should be the easy wheels. However, you described even a better option. Could you send me a link where I can buy the wheels ABEC 7, please? It will really help.
    Thanks a lot & many safe kilometers!

    1. Hi Zuza,
      Yes the ABEC-7 Wheels were most useful and as of now still performing well after more than 6 months of use.
      You did not say where you are from, so I will just give it a shot here on how to help you.
      Try messaging James Wong at his Facebook profile:
      If he does not reply do let me know, as it could have gone to his "Other Message" box.

      the AhPek Biker

    2. Hi AhPek,
      thanks a lot for the link, I will try to get in touch with him. Anyway, I have already found such wheels in eBay (accidentally, but they look exactly the same).
      Kind regards,

    3. Hi Zuza,
      Apologies for the late reply. Went on a cycling tour of South Thailand and just got back.
      Great to hear that you have managed to find what you are looking for.
      Do stay in touch.

      The AhPek Biker