Making the Brompton Your Own: Colors, Luggage & Extras
You’ve chosen your Brompton essentials for optimum functioning and fit. Now comes the fun part.
For many people, color selection is the most delightful (and frustrating!) aspect of building a custom Brompton. So many choices!
Each year, Brompton offers a few premium finishes. The ever-popular trademark Raw Lacquer is a clear-coat over the metal frame, which shows off the the quality and craftsmanship of the hand-built frame. Each bike made with the Raw Lacquer finish has a unique appearance due to variations in the surface coloration of the metalwork and brazing. It doesn’t aim to look “flawless”, aiming instead for a more industrial finish. The Lacquer finish uses the same powder coating process as the other frame color options (with the plastic powder having no pigment), and it gives identical durability and protection from corrosion. The steel frame parts on all Brompton bicycles will age and a patina will form over time; the purpose of the raw lacquer finish is to allow the natural aging and altering of the bicycles appearance to be visible, and this will happen differently for every example. The phosphate treatment the Brompton steel undergoes prevents any cosmetic corrosion from becoming structural. For 2019, Brompton has added two gorgeous premium color options: Flame Lacquer, which is a clear-coat with a vivid, glossy copper tone, and Purple Metallic with a three-dimensional effect which seems to shift between purple, blue and even greenish hues depending on the light.
Several powder-coat colors are included as standard options without an additional charge. For 2019, these are Papyrus White, Hot Pink, Red, Racing Green, Lime Green, Lagoon Blue, Tempest Blue and Black. To make choosing even more fun, the standard colors can be combined for a two-tone effect. You can select one standard color for the main frame of the bike, and a contrasting or complementary color for the extremities (rear triangle, fork and steering column). If you are purchasing a Superlight Brompton, you will choose a single color for the main frame and steering column, with titanium extremities.
On a Brompton, the preferred way to carry luggage is up front. All of the bikes we stock come with the optional front carrier block attached to the head tube. This carrier block can be added to any Brompton. It will allow you to carry any of the Brompton bags, and to switch easily between them, literally with a push of a button. You can choose from a wide selection of bags depending on your needs:
Smaller bags: waterproof Mini O-Bag, Tote Bag, Shoulder Bag, and adjustable Roll-Top Bag. These are excellent options for carrying light-weight essentials.
Office bags: waterproof O-Bag, S-bag with replaceable front flap, and C-Bag (not suitable for S-type handlebar). These briefcase-style bags have laptop sleeves and interior organizers, and are large enough to accommodate files, spare clothing, lunch, etc. They also come with exterior pockets that face the rider for easy access to a water bottle and other essential items.
The T-Bag stands alone as the largest bag that can be used for touring or carrying bigger loads. It has an adjustable roll-top closure, and those same rear-facing exterior pockets (not suitable for S-type handlebar).
Brompton basket is an open-top cordura bag designed for grocery shopping.
Note that the bags are mounted to the frame of the bike rather than the steering column, therefore the don’t affect the steering or balance of the bike on turns. Many of the non-waterproof bags include a high-visibility rain cover tucked into a concealed pocket.
All the bags are attractive and well-designed, and function equally well on and off the bike as lifestyle bags. With the exception of the Ortlieb-made O-bags, the Brompton bags include a removable aluminum frame, which allows each bag to attach to the mounting block and gives the bag rigidity. Although removing the frame with each use may not be practical, it is a nice option if you ever plan to use the bag off the bike for an extended period, and prefer a soft-sided shoulder bag. The bag frames come in a few sizes, and may be purchased separately. We find that some customers use that option to create their own luggage by incorporating the frame into duffels, crates or even pet carriers.