As well as using my Brompton Electric around town I also use it to get into the hills. Any e-bike is ace at enticing you onto hilly minor roads but sometimes I want to hike up a peak as well. So what to do with my valuable bike, and what about all the stuff needed for hiking?
I never leave my Brompton unattended in town. For a rural hike I do but I park away from any car park and I hide it part folded behind a tree! After lots of research I bought two LiteLok Silver locks which can be used separately, or together in a long 1.7m loop. (If you buy them at the same time their locks are identical so they use the same key.) They are fairly slim and flexible (more so than Litelok Gold) which is necessary to fit through a Brompton’s small gaps. They offer a good level of security in a low risk environment and are versatile for securing to trees and to thick fence posts.
Each LiteLok Silver weighs 830g, so not that ‘lite’! They will fit, just, in the City bag, or they can go on the rack. You can also wear them around your waist but the heavy duty lock isn’t too comfortable.
I find that my hiking boots give good grip on the Brompton’s pedals so I often cycle in them. For hiking where I don’t need to use my hands (ie not scrambling up rocks) I’ve found the City bag to be surprisingly useful. Indeed this is the only aspect where it excels over the non-electric bags. At your destination undo the Velcro straps and remove the frame from the City bag. Click it onto the luggage block. Click the battery onto the frame. Then cover it as a precaution against the weather - I use a hi-viz cover turned inside out so as to be less visible. The City bag’s vacant battery space is well shaped for hanging close to one hip. Without frame or battery it weighs 900g and its sections for food, water bottle, spare clothing make it surprisingly practical for a walk of this type.
For mountain climbing where balance is important and hands needed - and also when going on holiday - I bring a rucksack. This sits on the back end of the rack away from my heels with its straps looped over a short bamboo cane suspended from the saddle. You can loop two rubber O rings through the saddle frame and then twist the bamboo cane through the O rings into position. Once there it never needs to be removed except for aesthetic reasons. O rings cost 30p from Plumb Centre. They can stretch and break so buy a few! A short bungy strap stops the rucksack’s straps from falling off the bamboo, while the rack’s own stretchy ties keep the rucksack securely in place.
If I’ve a rucksack mounted I can fit a telescopic walking pole to it. If I only have the City bag I put the pole on the rack inside that hi-viz cover mentioned earlier, secured with the rack’s stretchy ties.
My bike by the way is a 6 gear -12% ratio, fitted with rack as an extra. I also have Ergon GP3 grips for comfort.
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