VEL Airflow TRV pump

The pump supplied with a new Brompton is their branded version of a Zefal mini pump. It is not very good. If you own a Brompton bicycle, and currently rely on the supplied pump, do yourself a favour: try deflating a Brompton tyre, and then re-inflating it using that pump. Either you turn your Brompton upside-down, or you fold it and put it on a table for better access to the valve, or you double over straining your back, or you grovel on your knees as you labour away. Then, after a couple of hundred strokes of the pump, you’re hot and sweaty, and cursing. Not a good look.

Alternatively, sell your Brompton pump on eBay (like I did), and buy this little gem instead:

VEL Airflow TRV pump (£40.00 at the time of writing)
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Time for tougher tyres

I’ve had three punctures in eight months. All of these have been on the way to or from work, rather than when touring, but I really don’t think that’s a great strike rate. Furthermore, although I have become much quicker at changing an inner tube (all three were the back wheel too), it is still something that I would prefer to avoid doing at night, in the rain, beside a busy road (yes, I know that is the worst case scenario).

My Brompton came with fitted with Schwalbe Marathon Racer tyres. These have a lower rolling resistance than Schwalbe Marathon tyres, and they are more durable than Schwalbe’s Kojak tyre (which is also an option on new Bromptons), but my own experience over eight months suggested that the Racers are not as puncture resistant as I would like.

Schwalbe Marathon Racer tyre (L), to be replaced with Schwalbe Marathon tyre (R)
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The Brompton ‘drip tray’

The Brompton bicycle’s greatest attribute is its ability to be folded up, and then tucked out of the way next to your desk, or under the stairs at home, etc. However, on rainy days, or having ridden on muddy tracks, the last thing you want to do is park your dirty and/or dripping bicycle on a smart floor.

Enter the Brompton ‘drip tray’:

IKEA’s Baggmuck shoe mat (a.k.a. The Brompton drip tray)
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