The art of bike folding


Mr. Bsag has just got a Brompton folding bike to replace his old Philips folder for commuting, which has now officially become a write-off (in the technical sense of costing more to repair than replace). Bromptons aren't cheap, but you get what you pay for in a very solid build quality and a tiny folded size. He managed to find an ex-demonstration model at a big discount, which was great, but it didn't come with any instructions, and arrived folded.

We spent the best part of half an hour last night trying to figure out how to turn the neat, but tangled mass of metal and cables into a ride-able bike. Like one of those infuriating linked metal loop puzzles you get in Christmas crackers, the solution was obvious once you'd actually done it. The bike folds in three places (four if you count the folding pedal — that one really stumped us for a while), so there are lots of ways to get it wrong. He's going to have to put a bit of practice in if he's going to pull off the folding/unfolding trick smoothly enough not to get laughed at by the other Brompton owners at the railway station.

Of course, we should have just looked on the web in the first place, but that wouldn't have been any fun.

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