Upgrades to Bessie the Brompton

Getting a Brompton brought me into whole new level of cycling. When I first got Bessie (the Brompton), the first thing I noticed was how little bike there was compared to how fast it could pick up speed. It was the next best thing to having a personal jetpack.

You see less of the bike in the cockpit. You feel less of the bike because a Brompton’s center of mass is lower, and you accelerate much much faster owing to the interplay between its smaller wheel size (16" x 3/8") and a higher gear ratio.

That nimble character lent gave me the feeling that I’d just relearned how to cycle again.

As time goes by, the ride becomes more familiar and the rider more knowledgeable about some of the variables of the experience. Upgrading is a means to introduce new variables to keep the sport or lifestyle interesting and to extend the traits of the bike that matter the most to the rider and the kind of riding done.

Quite some fistfuls of hard earned cash have been sunk into upgrades purely on the bike itself.

As-is Upgraded Cost Weight saved
crankset 50t chainring on a pre-2013 crankset crankset 54t chainring on a spider crankset 110 GBP ~320g
crankset cut down aluminium riser bar crankset cut down carbon riser bar 19 GBP ~100g
crankset old-style brake caliper crankset 2013 Brompton calipers 30 GBP ???
crankset standard steel seat-post crankset Hylix carbon seat-post 50 GBP 250g
crankset 1 x Brompton kevlar front tire
1 x Schwalbe Kojak rear tire
crankset 2 x Schwalbe Kojak tires 40 GBP 400g rotational mass
crankset Wellgo M-20 pedals crankset MKS MT-EZY pedals 34 GBP -50g

Upgrades to outerwear

It’s common knowledge that drag force increases as speed increases. The most effective way to negate these effects are to wear clothing that induces the least amount of drag due to wind resistance.