I’m on a roll. Second repair this week for the old Brommy… and still planning more upgrades.
It’s now time to get sort out the dodgy brakes by replacing levers and set of cables. Don´t be surprised if I tell you old Brompton brake levers have very poor braking power and quality construction. They are made of cheap materials and lack of spring return. Very nasty indeed.
Because my budget is low I decided to install a pair of Tektro levers suitable for the actuation ratio of the side-pull calipers that came originally with the setup. They get on well with u-brakes and road type calipers, such us side-pulls, dual-pivots and so on… and not compatible with linear pull brakes.
These particular levers are found on many reasonably priced BMXs, and because they are small, match perfectly with Brompton tiny bars. Sure not the best choice but they do the job. Better anyway than any brake lever made by Brompton until the new 2013 models were unveiled.
There is nothing much to be said about the brake cables. Then again, I decided not to use Brompton spares and go for cheaper inner and outer cables. The original housings are known to be more flexible to accommodate sharp radii when the bike is folded and also more durable. With dry weather the difference should be negligible.
I’m not bothered about getting dual-pivots. Old side-pull brakes still work fine despite superior dual-pivot design. Original Brompton’s calipers are pricey, £65 the brakeset. An alternative would be the Shimano R450 57mm drop calipers. Even tough, I’m really tempted to get new ones. 2013 bikes must brake amazingly with new aluminium brake levers, machined double walled rims, dual pivots and better pad coumpoud.
A quick wheel truing and brake pads adjusment brought the service to an end.