A few days ago I picked up a new @BromptonBicycle, something I’d eyed for many years, but lacked the smallest reason to buy this classic piece of two-wheeled design. Not everything about it is classic.
The prospect of supporting a charity rider at this year’s Ride London, cycling to the start, around town drinking lots of coffee, then to meet them many hours later at the finish, gave me the reason.
(I did say I’d been looking for “the smallest reason”, the absence of which hasn’t stopped n+1 moments in the past. I’m improving.)
As I left the shop, pleased with my new bike, I got a text from my Ride London ‘team leader’. Ride London had just been (understandably) cancelled.

Thankfully my justification was only needed for the order being placed two-and-a-bit months ago. I’m still in the clear.
If you’ve been waiting for a photo, here it is.
Options selected: telescopic seat post. Of no surprise if you know me. At 6’ 5”, I’ll already look ridiculous on it, so I went all in.
I sought, received and took on board lots of good advice for a new @BromptonBicycle owner. Several pieces of advice concerned a reported lack of grease.
I set about investigating my new @BromptonBicycle. Thought I’d start with the basics. Checking the pedal threads. Couldn’t get the pedals off. Progressed to bottom bracket. Very little evidence of grease. Crank bolts at least had a bit of threadlock.
Decided to save the front hub for another day. Back to those pedals. No amount of trying shifted either pedal. So, cranks came off. After over an hour of trying, with a 12 inch breaker bar, all my weight on it and copious amounts of language, the left pedal loosened.
I now know the result of the tightening force of Hercules on steroids and no grease on the threads.
On to the other pedal. Same approach, even more dismantling required to prevent damage to me and the bike. And 12+ overnight hours of oil lending a hand.
Did it work? Did it bollocks. I’m left with a brand new bike, put together in the @BromptonBicycle factory, for which the most basic maintenance with far more than a basic set of bike tools and my entire body weight, cannot be completed.
There were plenty of optional extras available when I specced my bike. Nowhere did @BromptonBicycle explain a catastrophic shortage of grease in the UB6 area, or offer the option to pay an extra £5 to have some grease and competence used in assembling my bike.
My advice, if you’re buying a @BromptonBicycle, negotiate a rebuild by your bike shop before you take it.
I’d like to find a friend with a vice and scaffolding-length breaker bar to help sort the pedal, probably sometime in 2021 when non-essential activities are allowed again.

You can imagine how much I’m looking forward to checking the headset.
Success! Look at how far the pedal axle had dug into the arm. Tighter than a Team Ineos skinsuit. And, of course, no grease on the threads.
Pouring boiling water over it ❎
Putting it in the freezer (don’t tell) ❎
Freezer, then boiling water ✅

All combined with a 30cm breaker bar.
If @BromptonBicycle want to add this thread to their Owner’s Manual, I don’t mind.

Let’s see what the rest of the bike has in store...
I have to give credit to the bike shop caught between me and @BromptonBicycle. They offered that I could post the crank and pedal back and they’d sort it. Stand down guys.
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