In March 2017, with my Brompton M6R (12% reduced gearing), I set off for Taiwan on my first bicycle tour. I’ve read journals and watch videos of how wonderful Taiwan is for cycling, how easy it was, friendly people, and all that jazz. So I was inspired to find out.
I convinced myself that a Brompton was the bike for the job. The folded size was very appealing for transport so I picked up a 2016 model for a discount and added the Carrier Block and upgraded to a steel Nitto rear rack.
The bike is marketed as a City and Trekking bike. I’m not sure what trekking means to Brompton, but I suspect bicycle touring. Fantastic! That’s what I’ll be doing in Taiwan, the bike is a perfect match for my purpose..
You may have read somewhere that Bromptons could be brought on board an aircraft – I was not about to try that. I boxed that thing up in a 24 x 24 x Chopped-down box and checked it in.
You may notice the red straps attached to the box with the bike inside. Those ingenious straps are by Qbicle, which has casters that Velcro to the bottom which allows for easier transport around the airport or wherever you may be. The other box and the Brompton T-bag contains the stuff I thought which would be necessary for a bicycle tour.
The picture above this paragraph shows how my bike looked all loaded up when I unpacked everything in Taoyuan, Taiwan.
What is difficult to see is an REI Flash 18 pack strapped on to the Brompton T-Bag (which turned out to be a near disaster). On the rear is an Axiom Paddywagon trunk bag, and a Carradice Camper Longflap hanging on the seat rails by way of a Carradice Bagman Expedition QR Rack. Since there are no bottle cage mounts, I picked up a Bottle Holder for Brompton by Monkii Cage.
The bike is as heavy as it looks. The first time I rode it loaded up like that I almost busted my a$$, because I was not accustomed to the front bag staying stationary when you’re steering. Tripped me out for a bit. Before this trip the bike had about 20 miles on it. I wasn’t used to riding this bike – I didn’t even know if I would like it. I’ve own other folding bikes of varying quality, but Brompton is the supposed pinnacle of design and function. You’ll soon read how things turn out as the bike tour of Taiwan begins!
Please stayed tuned for Part 2.