Jan 30 2015

The EVO S+ Bar for Brompton… a Better S Bar?

 

EVO S+ w/S Bar Shadow

We like the Brompton S-Type bikes here at Calhoun Cycle. In fact we like the S-Type so much that we have developed a handlebar customization to make it a better fit for more riders. The stiffness of the bars gives a great feel of the road and a touch more confidence when you’re pushing it (like you might be late for work if you don’t work it a bit), but the stock Brompton S bar is quite narrow and low, which limits its practicality for many riders. The EVO S+ Bar keeps the stiffness and handling benefits, but adds width as well as height, making this setup fit a wider range of riders. The S+ bar improves the ergonomics, yet the bike keeps the clean, simple lines of the stock S-Type (arguably the sexiest of the Brompton model types).

EVO S+ Bar

Brompton customizations are different from tweaking most bikes in that the smallest change can get in the way of the bike’s magnificently fast fold or prevent the folded package from being its very smallest. Changing either of those features would be a horrible thing indeed. The EVO S+ handlebar customization does not affect the fold or the folded size, so if you are considering making the change, it’s simply a matter of whether the S+ bars would be a nice upgrade for you. We have bikes in the shop that are setup with the S+ bars. Riding one of our S+ test bikes a ride would be the easiest way to decide, but many of you know from your other bikes that you may or may not be interested. From our experience the S+ setup would be an ergonomic and handling improvement for anyone riding an S-Type bike.

EVO S+ Handlebar w/Ergon GPS2 Grips

NOTES: The EVO S+ Bar Package was designed to be a customization to Brompton S-Type bikes. Brompton stem risers are specific to each type of handlebar (S, M, P & H). The S-Type and the H-Type stems are the same height, so either of these stems will work with the S+ bar packages, though at this point we have only made the conversion using S-Type bikes. The H-Type stem has a slightly (1/2″) shorter reach from the saddle and being that Bromptons are quite short regarding saddle to handlebar reach, we would not expect many people to convert an H-Type bike to the S+ Bar. Mind you, if you came across a used H-Type Brompton or simply purchased an H-Type thinking you’d want the highest handlebar height and now you’re wanting a bit stiffer a front end, then this conversion would make perfect sense.

EVO S+ Bar Package

PACKAGES: All the cables have to be setup perfectly to keep Bromptons running and folding without issue. The S+ bar is adding 45mm of rise, which means that all the cables need to be lengthened. We have put together packages for all Brompton models. If you are using standard Brompton grips, you will need to buy new grips because they are glued onto the handlebar and can’t be removed without cutting them off. We’d recommend looking into Ergon grips (if you’re not already using them). These are very ergonomically friendly grips and if you’re looking into the S+ conversion, we’d guess that you are in the ergonomic appreciation boat (with us). If you are using a grip that is removable, you have the option to buy your package without grips.

Here are the EVO S+ Packages:
1-speed: handlebar, grips and brake cable/housing kit
2-speed: handlebar, grips, brake & shifter cable/housing kit
3-speed: handlebar, grips, brake & shifter cable/housing kit
6-speed: handlebar, grips, brake & both shifter cable/housing kit

The cable kits are assembled assuming that you’ll be re-using what is possible re-use (like using the rear brake cable as your front brake cable).
If you are not local to Calhoun Cycle, we’d recommend that you have the package installed at your local Brompton dealer. If you’re bringing the bike to a non-Brompton dealer for the install, be sure they understand that the routing of the cables is very, very specific on Brompton bikes and their techs will need to keep the routing the same as it already is (improving cable routing is something most mechanics will want to do…which is usually great, but very problematic on a Brompton).

EVO S+ w/Ergon GP2-S GripsBelow is a pricelist that includes the Packages that are available. The starting package of $59.97 assumes that you would need grips. We’d love to get you setup with the EVO S+ Package as we think it is a great customization for riders of S-Type Brompton bikes. If you’re shopping for a bike and thought that the S-Type bike was only suited for petite riders, we’d recommend that you re-think that and come in for a ride.

EVO S+ Bar Kit Pricelist

Check out the EVO S+ Bar product video:EVO S+ Product Video

 

 

Posted by Luke in Custom Modifications, News, Product Showcase



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Dec 31 2014

Using Your Dynamo Hub to charge a smartphone

Dynamo Light Display Bike                                                           This is our Dynamo demo display bike
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of using Dynamo hubs to power lights. The idea of being my very own utility power station makes me smile almost as much as knowing that my lights will ALWAYS be ready for me when I’m headed out on the road.
Now we have a variety of products that use the same Dynamo hub energy to charge a wide variety of USB devices. Your dynamo hub can charge your GPS unit or your smartphone during long rides. Touring cyclists can charge USB devices on the road. All you need to make these products work is a  front wheel with a dynamo hub.
Here are our Dynamo powered USB charging options:

Busch & Mueller Luxos U                           Busch & Müller Luxos U Dynamo Headlight/USB charger

IQ2 LUXOS U HEADLIGHT: This is what we think the future of dynamo lights will be. Weird to say, being that it is a product available today, but we expect all the high quality dynamo lights to eventually have a USB charging port built-in (like the Luxos U has). If you’re looking for a high power dynamo light AND the ability to charge USB devices, this unit is what you’re after. Up to 90 lux of light (floodlight) with a lithium battery cache that charges while riding and powers the floodlight, standlight and USB. The Luxos U has overvoltage protection which is a great feature being that you’ll have your expensive devices plugged into it.

Busch & Mueller USB WERK
                                                                           Busch & Müller’s USB-Werk

USB WERK: Busch & Müller’s USB-Werk uses dynamo power to charge USB devices. Like the Luxos U, the USB-Werk uses a small buffer battery cache to safely charge your iPhone, Android phone, MP3 player, GPS or other USB devices at any speed. The USB-Werk can be used as a stand alone item that is connected to your dynamo hub, or it can be wired along with your dynamo light.

Biologic Reecharge Dynamo USB Charger
Biologic ReeCharge Power Pack


REECHARGE POWER PACK: The Biologic ReeCharge Power Pack is another way to charge your smartphone, cell phone, GPS, iPod or other USB rechargeable device. The Lithium battery on the ReeCharge Power Pack is a bigger battery that you can plug your USB chord into and charge while riding, or simply charge the Reecharge Power Pack’s battery on the road and then use as backup battery power at the campsite. This system also provides a steady current to your device no matter what speed you are riding at. Also of note is that the ReeCharge Power Pack’s battery can be charged by a USB from a computer or a USB wall plug power source (not included).
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If you are starting from nothing, we’d be hard pressed to recommend anything other than the Luxos U as the light is very high quality (and high powered) and the USB plug is wired to be on your handlebars along with the light’s control button. If you already have a dynamo light, or want something different from the Luxos U (the Luxos U seemed a bit large for my Brompton folder), then the USB-Werk or the ReeCharge Power Pack are excellent options for keeping your smartphone or other USB device powered up.
We are the midwest’s largest dynamo specialist with a large assortment of dynamo hubs, wheels, lights and accessories in stock. We also understand the importance of getting these systems setup properly and we have the expertise to do that very well. Give us a call or stop in if you have questions about getting a dynamo setup for your commuter or to get setup for an around the world tour. Here’s a link to view our Dynamo related items at the shop: Dynamo Lighting

Dynamo Lighting @calhouncycle.com
NOTES:
 Dynamo hubs have limited power output and thus cannot charge all USB rechargeable units. If your device needs 1 amp or more, then you will need to use your dynamo power to charge the ReeCharge Power Pack’s battery which in turn can be used to keep your iPad running. Also you could use the Luxos U or the USB-Werk to charge a small backup battery which could then be used to charge your device. iPads are known to require more than 1 amp to charge and thus cannot be charged off of dynamo power. The output of these dynamo USB ports is .5amps which is actually the same as a USB port on a PC. The reality is that if your screen is off, charging will occur, but very, very slowly so in reality it’s best not to consider it a working option.
MORE NOTES: Good quality dynamo hubs have an output of 6 volts/3 watts of power. These are the huge majority of dynamo hubs in use, BUT there are some 1.5 or 2.4 watt hubs that are made. These are quite low quality and will not work with any of the USB charging units. No worries if you have purchased your dynamo hub from a reputable bike shop, but if you’re an Alibaba or eBay troller you’ll need to be aware…

Posted by Luke in Product Showcase



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Dec 12 2014

Ordering your Brompton at CalhounCycle.com

In 2013 we set a goal of adding all of our in-stock Brompton folding bikes to our website. Once they’d been added, we set a second goal: to keep the listings accurate as 1 bike is sold and another arrives. All that means that today, you can go to CalhounCycle.com and browse our in-stock Brompton selection knowing that the bikes you see are bikes we have ready for in-store pick-up or shipping to your door.

We’ve sorted our Brompton folding bikes by handlebar type, so you can shop for an S-Type, M-Type, or H-Type with the right gearing for your needs and the color of your dreams. You’ll also see a special section for our in-stock Ti Brompton Superlights. If you’re interested in a P-Type handlebar or don’t see the bike you’re looking for available, call us at 612-827-8000 and we’ll be happy to help you with a B-Spoke order.

Brompton Handle Bar Types illustrated

As you browse through each handlebar type, you’ll see a variety of different combinations of gearing and color options. From the short description for each bike you can gather quite a bit of information. As an example, a listing for an M2L in Black and Turkish Green looks like this: “M2L [Black & Turkish Green].” M is of course the handlebar type, 2 tells us it’s a 2-speed, and L indicates the bike has mudguards but no rack. Black, listed first is the color of the bike’s main frame. The bikes extremities are Turkish Green, the second color indicated. For a listing with only one color mentioned, the main frame and the extremities are the same color.

Clicking on the listing for an individual bike, it’s possible to see more details about the bike’s gearing. It might say “standard,” or “12% reduced.” For single speeds and 2-speeds, you’ll always see “standard,” as we order all of our 1- and 2-speed bikes this way. For 3-speeds, you’ll see a mix of standard and lowered gearing. In the case of 6-speeds, you’ll see mostly lowered gearing and a handful of bikes with standard gearing. After riding Brompton folding bikes and helping customers through hundreds of test-rides, we’ve come to see that -12% lowered gearing is the ideal set-up on the 6-speed for the majority of riders. As of 2013, we began ordering many of our 3-speeds with the same idea in mind. Prior to 2014, lowered (or reduced) and raised gearing incurred an extra charge. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. Now you can choose the right gearing ratio for your Brompton without worrying about an added expense.

What’s the difference between lowered and standard gearing? All Brompton 6-speeds have a Brompton Wide Range (BWR) Sturmey Archer hub on the rear wheel and all come set up with the same rear sprocket set. The physical difference between bikes with standard and lowered gearing is in the front chainring attached to the crank. A 6-speed with standard gearing has a 50-tooth chainring, while a 6-speed with lowered gearing has a 44-tooth chainring. Practically speaking, that means the every gear on the bike with a 44T ring requires less effort on your part when pedaling. That means you’ll climb hills more easily on a bike with reduced gearing. And, the average rider will be more likely to use the full-range (even the hardest gear) on a 6-speed bike with reduced gearing. If you’re one for crunching gear ratios, you can find Brompton’s chart here.

Once you’ve decided on a particular bike, here are the remaining details to keep in mind:

Seat Height

You can choose from one of three seatposts for your Brompton. For an inseam over 84cm/33″, we suggest an extended or telescopic seatpost. The latter is best for an inseam over 90cm/35″, or for taller riders wishing to minimize the height of the folded bike.

Saddle

Several options are available to select within your bike’s listing, including the brightly colored Brompton Rail Saddles. If you’d like to order a saddle other than one listed here, simply add it to your shopping cart separately. If you select an alternative saddle (e.g. a Brooks saddle other than the B17 Special in Antique Brown), you may note in the comments section with your order whether or not you’d like to have the standard black Brompton Rail Saddle as well. If you choose a Brooks saddle, we recommend a rain cover for all-weather riders and the Brooks Maintenance kit or a stand-alone tin of Proofide.

Tires

We order all of our Brompton folding bikes with the company’s standard Kevlar tire. It’s light-weight and offers good flat protection. For an upgrade fee, we are able to send your Brompton with 1) Schwalbe Marathon tires 2) Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires 3) standard Schwalbe Kojak tires or 4) folding Schwalbe Kojak tires. Please call us at 612-827-8000 or make a note in the comments section with your order if you’d prefer we swap out the standard Kevlar tires for one of these upgrades.

Rear Suspension

Two levels of resistance are available, to suit body weight and riding style. We recommend Firm suspension for most riders, and anyone weighing over 80kg (175+ lbs) and those who value responsiveness above comfort. If you prefer a softer ride, are a lighter person or if you ride and pedal particularly smoothly, you may opt for Standard suspension.

Lighting

We order a percentage of our Brompton folding bikes with Shimano Hub Dynamos and the accompanying front and rear lights each year. The majority of our bikes arrive to our door with reflectors only in front and back. We are, however, happy to add a dynamo lighting system to any in-stock bike. We stock both the Shimano and the SON hub systems and a variety of dynamo lights. Note that pricing here may vary from the B-Spoke order form as factory-installed systems are offered at a lower price than the sum of the parts in our store. We do offer free labor when installing dynamo lighting or battery lights on any new Brompton. Still, for the greatest savings on a dynamo system with Brompton’s stock headlights and taillights, it’s best to B-spoke order your Brompton.

If you’re interested in a headlight other than the B&M Lyt (standard for the Shimano hub) or the B&M Cyo (standard for the SON hub), or a taillight other than the standard Brompton dynamo rear light, you may either place your order by phone or choose “reflectors only” and add the necessary parts to your order one-by-one. You’ll need to add a front dynamo wheel (Shimano or SON) and a Hub Dynamo/LED wiring loom to your order along with the lights of your choice and a Hub Dynamo/LED wire form bracket.

Should you be shopping for more powerful battery lighting in lieu of a dynamo system, you may consider pairing the Brompton rear battery light with a rechargeable front light from Light and Motion’s Urban series. Simply choose “reflectors only” and add the lights of your choice to your cart separately. We’ll install the Brompton rear battery light for you and include the headlight in the box with your Brompton.

Front Luggage & Accessories

Choose a front carrier block alone or opt for a bag set (a front carrier block + the bag of your choice). You will see a few options in our list not included on Brompton’s B-Spoke order form. Learn more about the Carradice City Folder here. Or, view of the Carradice Stockport here.

If there are other parts and accessories (e.g. a rear rack or non-standard pedals) you’d like to add to your order, simply add them to your cart as you would with any other order at CalhounCycle.com.

Shipping

Our standard shipping charge on Brompton folding bikes is $40 per bike. Choose “folding bicycle” under other options at checkout. Check our homepage or sign up for our newsletter for information about shipping promotions throughout the year.

We’ll install parts like the Front Carrier Block or Eazy Wheels for your convenience prior to shipping and include items such a Carradice Saddle Bag inside the box with your bike as space allows. For larger accessories like Brompton’s B Bag, we may package your bike and the chosen accessories in separate boxes under one tracking number. If you’re ordering a Brompton Travel Suitcase, we’ll ship your bike inside the case in one box.

We welcome your questions by phone or email. If you’re in the neighborhood, come on in for a test-ride any time.

Posted by Martha in Custom Modifications, Instructional



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Dec 09 2014

Holiday Gift Guide – Brompton Edition 2.0

Calhoun Cycle Holiday Gift Guide

Brompton Gift Guide 2014 by Calhoun Cycle

It’s been a while since our last Brompton Gift Guide and we have a few more things to share that pair well with any Brompton Folding Bike. Treat the Brompton lover in your life, or treat yourself to one of these accessories for your favorite folder.

  1. Brompfication’s Hinge Clamp Set is more than just an aesthetic upgrade to your Brompton. These spring-loaded clamps stay just where you need them with every fold and every unfold.
  2. Introduced earlier this year, the Game Bag will brighten any Brompton owner’s ride.
  3. The Nitto BMR3 Rack for Brompton is one of our newest additions to the shop and we are smitten.
  4. Abus’s Bordo Lite folding lock is the perfect pair for any Brompton. It’s easy to carry even if you don’t have a bag with you as the included sheath attaches easily to the Brompton frame.
  5. Minneapolis designer Erin Smith designed this brightly colored keyfob, a perfect home for your Bordo lock’s key. It is available through Smith’s shop Ship & Shape.
  6. We brought in the Giro New Road line this year and are loving their wool tops, like the Merino Polo, and their men’s and women’s shorts.
  7. If you bought your Brompton prior to 2013, consider upgrading to the new Aluminum Brake Levers, you’ll be glad you did!
  8. A pair of Grip King EZY Superior pedals are the perfect upgrade for anyone who commutes regularly by Brompton or enjoys long distance rides on their folder.
  9. The Brompton Leather Handle has been a big hit this year. We still have plenty of Brown and Black handles in stock. Order yours now!
  10. B&M’s newest and tiniest headlight Eyc (sounds like bike) is just the right scale of headlight for the Brompton. Don’t have a dynamo front wheel? Make it a complete package and retrofit your Brompton with a dynamo front wheel from Shimano or SON, the light of your choice, a wiring loom, a light bracket, and a taillight.
  11. Why stop at a leather handle for your Brompton when you can wrap up a Minnesota-made leather coffee sleeve from the Walker Shop’s MN Artists Marketplace, too?
  12. Not everyone is a Brompton racer, but Folding Kojaks make a great gift for the bike tourist who wants to bring a spare tire along for the long haul… just in case.
  13. And speaking of just in case, a tube in any Brompton lover’s stocking can’t hurt.

Posted by Martha in Holiday Gift Guide



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