Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Resurrecting a dead Brompton

My good buddy came across a "Brompton" at the bike cemetery recently. The former owner had actually made it into a motorised tricycle by welding part of a golf cart onto its rear frame and I'm not sure if it worked. But it certainly was extremely neglected and worst still, a truly disgusting Frankenstein project. An abomination to all foldies!
Punctured tire, cobwebs, seat and chain nowhere to be found, rust everywhere, missing parts etc. Only his very sharp eyes spotted the faded Brompton decal on its red frame.
As a founding member of the SPCF (F for foldies and not animals), he had had to rescue it and restore it to its full glory. After all, who has ever heard of a neglected Brompton? This must surely be the greatest sin in the folding bike kingdom.

First things first was to repair and repaint the frame. A specialist frame builder in Spore, trained all the way from Medford, Oregon undertook the task of welding and fixing the bits, and Sul did an excellent job. Next, a brand new coat of black paint applied judiciously for that classic look.

Phase 3 was to order all the missing parts from the UK. Not as easy it sounds as this was a 1980s Brompton and the rear hinge frame was somewhat smaller. Some new parts too would not fit this ancient Brommie and thus, the arduous task of actually making and machining those parts one by one, by hand. He even managed to find a 1970s Sturmey Archer hub that fitted in beautifully.

It took 3 months to slowly undertake the restoration and the resurrected Brompton is finally ridable. Save for a chain that keeps falling off during the fold (soon to be rectified), it is able to hold the honour of being a Brompton once again.
Here it is in all its British splendour. Looks good , doesn't it?
Total cost for parts: S$545 . Labour: Priceless

ps: I asked him why bother with this and not just get a new one. He replied anybody can plonk money for a new bike but he is not anybody. I think my buddy is the Saviour for sick and dying foldies but unlike the real Saviour who took 3 days to rise from the dead, he took 3 months and a whole lot of perseverance and determination. An early Easter project, you might say!
They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. Acts 10:39,40

1 comment:

TC said...

Nice work & love the story!

Always happy to see a bike brought back to life. I agree with you - can't see why anyone would destroy their Brompton & convert it into a franken-tricycle.