Brompton have been busy with their 2013 range and have updated many of the smaller parts that are essentiall to the ride experience. They've improved ergonomics with a newly reshaped brake lever, stronger wheels, a magnetic water bottle and a smart integrated toolkit.
The brake lever has been redesigned. A new aluminium lever replaces the old plastic/aluminium brake lever so it's lighter and stiffer. It's also off-set with a new cam profile that changes the leverage ratio: you get a higher leverage when you first pull the lever for improved pad clearance before the power gradually ramps up the more you pull it. The lever also takes up less space on the handlebars.
Changing tyres on small wheels can be difficult (I know, I've tried). Brompton have designed a new double wall rim – previously single wall – that not only makes the rim stronger, but the deeper well in the rim makes fitting and removing tyres a little easier.
At the rear wheel are new angled spoke drillings. With small wheels and a hub gear the angle between the rim and spoke is very tight and this places a lot of stress on the spoke. The new angled drillings decrease the spoke tension in the wheel making them stronger and more durable.
The new cranks use a regular 130 BCD five-bolt design so it's easier to fit any size chainring you want. You could even fit a non-circular ring if you wanted to imitate Bradley Wiggins on your commute. The cranks are also stiffer, and will be fitted to all 2013 bikes.
Brompton have partnered with Vincero Design to produce their own magnetic water bottle. Using a retrofittable clamp allows them to be easily fitted to the handlebar support and makes for much easier bottle removal.
This neat toolkit fits inside the main hinge of front triangle of the frame and houses all the essentials you need to get your Brompton back on the road after a mechanical.
It even includes patches. So no excuses for forgetting spares then.
Other smaller changes include new profile grips and a new all-black tyre. It's still dual-compound underneath.
All of these new upgrades will feature on 2013 bikes.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.