It is August 21, 2017 and to celebrate the completion of our newest Brompton build, I rode out to view the total eclipse of the sun. While out riding I took a few photos of the finished bike. This build has all the features of the upcoming Brompton factory electric bike plus a couple of extras I deemed necessary for loaded touring applications. It has a 500 watt Crystalyte front hub motor capable of operating on a 36V or 48V battery so the torque power & speed is increased over the factory version. The UK has restrictions on the motor wattage and top speed of their e-bikes that we in the US territories do not have to abide by so I opted to use a motor with twice the wattage. The controller for this motor is attached to the fork yoke by a lengthened fender (mud guard) bolt and does not interfere with the bicycle fold.
There is also a pair of Tannus (airless solid foam) tires on this bike as seen in this photo. Note the lack of a valve stem. It is important to emphasize how stress free I feel when riding on these tires. Glass, nails and road obstacles are no longer a concern to me and flats are a thing of the past.
The Tannus tires ride like a Schwalbe Marathon Plus with 60psi but without the hassle of checking pressure or the worry of punctures.
Another upgrade was the addition of a new Sturmey Archer S-RF5(W) N 5 speed hub, which when combined with the Brompton
proprietary 2 speed derailleur system makes for a very effective 10 speed touring bike. Unlike some of the other after-market gearing upgrades, this one does not alter the rear triangle so the folded bike is exactly the same width and weight as a stock 6 speed.
The new Brompton factory E-bike uses a step-down power adapter so dynamo lighting can be used with their 36V E-bike battery. We incorporated a similar device into this bike which not only powers LED lighting but also allows the charging of Ipads & smart phones from the E-bike battery pack. We also installed
a THUN bottom bracket to measure the torque of the crank arms and apply an appropriate level of power to the front wheel so all the rider needs to do is hop on and pedal. All electronic specs are clearly displayed on a Cycle Analyst digital dashboard, including motor temperature, speed, battery voltage, amp-hours used, power output, odometer etc. This bike is currently being used as a commuter/grocery bike so a large heavy battery pack is not
needed. I mated the motor with a 36V 5.4ah battery which has a range of 8 to 12 miles, depending on the level of the route. This gets me to the store and back twice on a single charge but keeps the overall weight of the bike under 40 pounds. I can easily carry it up the stairs to my balcony apartment in the folded or unfolded position.
We topped the build off with a Brooks Cambium C-15 black saddle for comfort & weather proofing and a set of Busch & Müller dynamo lights. The bags used are the Brompton T-bag (Touring Bag) and the Brompton Rack Sack. This gives a total of 47 liters of space; plenty enough for a medium grocery shop.
This bicycle is for sale on St Thomas island in the US Virgins by St Thomas Bikesmith. Why not pick one up on your next Caribbean cruise?
Just an idea!