Brompton Nine Street Edition H6L

Yes, I’ve gone and done it: I’ve bought one of those ridiculous-looking folding commuter bikes, but in my case a strictly limited-edition one with a rather nice paint finish.

When I say “ridiculous-looking” it’s not been one of those bikes that lends itself to too much in the way of ridicule unlike the MAMIL (Middle Aged Man In Lycra) shots or at least that was until the BBC’s “W1A” satirical show featured them:

Anyway, I’d long thought about riding in to the office on my Carrera Kraken 09 20″ mountain bike but its lack of mudguards, our lack of a shower at the office and more particularly my lack of anywhere to keep a full-sized bicycle safe whilst I’m inside had put paid to that idea so instead I’ve been walking both ways, which is fine in itself other than arriving a tad sweaty in a suit and spending around 35 minutes each way walking the 3½km each way.

The downside of that is my getting through a pair of Nike shoes every year and it taking so long.

By chance a review of Brompton’s new electric bike appeared on my Twitter feed the other day and that got me to thinking about a Brompton as a sensible choice for the short journey, given I can fold it and bring it into my office each day… a la W1A.

So I had a look on their website and decided that they looked quite good, but what colour to specify? Easy: when i saw the Nine Streets limited edition, I was sold.

“Originally launched in 2017 to celebrate the opening of the Brompton Junction Amsterdam.  Nine Streets sports the never before seen, special fade finish. The effect is a special fade finish of Red and Blue lacquer which is created using a hand sprayed [sic]. The process leaves a unique finish on each Nine Streets bike, meaning no 2 bikes are the same.

“Nine Streets is produced in the Brompton factory in London. Each bike is handmade with the highest quality craftmanship to create the Nine Streets unique finish.

“Inspired by Amsterdam 9 Straatjesis well known for it’s stylish shops and creative influence, Nine Streets is a nod to the iconic canal-district area in the Netherlands.

“Only a small batch of Nine Streets Edition bikes have been produced…”

Brompton Nine Streets

The paint job is fantastic, starting with blue at the front and fading into red at the back:

Red at the back…

and blue at the front

Click on the first image to see it at larger scale.

I’ve gone for the higher-barred H-series handlebar version and a longer seat post for my 33″-34″ inside leg measurement. It comes with the 6-speed set of gears: 3 internal hub and 2 external rings.

H-type handlebars

Gearsets

It also comes with dynamo-driven front and rear lights powered from the dynamo mounted in the front wheel hub:

Front Wheel Hub

As it’s limited in numbers, I couldn’t order one direct from Brompton but found one at Evans Cycles near Waterloo; I pick it up tomorrow. This is the spec.:

  • Model: H6L
  • Edition: Nine Streets Edition
  • Handlebar Type: H
  • Gears: 6
  • Mudguards / Rack: Mudguards, no rack
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Main Frame Colour: 2-tone fusion of Red and Blue lacquer
  • Extremities Colour: 2-tone fusion of Red and Blue lacquer
  • Gear Ratio: Standard
  • Seatpost: Extended
  • Lighting: Shimano Hub Dynamo
  • Saddle: Brompton Standard
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon Racer
  • Front Luggage Mount: Yes
  • Luggage: No
  • Bike Cover: No
  • Toolkit: No
  • Additional info: Unique Serial Number plate

I’ve also ordered a cadence sensor from Garmin to grab a few more stats like on the Carrera onto Garmin Connect.

Five Years Old

So today it’s five years since the Death Star – as it’s been called – came home.

I celebrated by taking it to get its MoT done – another pass – along with an annual service at Jack Lilley Romford.

It has now covered 9,484 miles (2017 6,954 miles and 2016 5,516 miles).

I test rode the new Tiger 1200 XRt at the same time. Good power, much more upright riding position and all of the toys, including cruise control and heated rider and passenger seats as well as automagic suspension adjustment. On the minus side, after not too long riding it, I had a numb bum so how it would cope with a Eurothrash, I didn’t know. Oh and the small matter of it costing £17,800 with panniers and top box! Ouch! Remember that the Sprint GT was only £8,500 (£9,500 today with inflation).

So I’m hoping that with the bar risers fitted, the Death Star might have a few years’ life left in it yet. I’ll find out tomorrow when I’m planning a blast around Kent and East Sussex.