19 March 2011

Brompton Handlebar Brace

Brompton manufacture an optional handle bar strengthener for the M type handlebars. As I was planning to install some bar-ends on the bike I thought the strengthener would be a very good idea to help counteract the extra bending force I’d be applying when I used the bar-ends. Aside from stiffening the handlebars the strengthener also has a couple of other things going for it:

  • It lengthens the lifespan of the handlebars - they are aluminium and will eventually fail. Brompton tell you to replace them at least every 5000 miles without the strengthener although they appear to be silent on how long they will last with the strengthener (reading literally you may never have to replace the handlebars).
  • It provides extra space to mount lights, cycle computers, etc (although it has quite a small diameter, so make sure the clamps for your equipment will fit).
  • It’s cheap - about £10

Anyway, fitting the strengthener was straightforward and required only one 3mm allan key and two 17mm spanners.

The instructions are clear and well written, but it’s worth emphasising a couple of points:

  1. The strengthener is not symmetrical - it has a back and a front. So make sure you get it the right way around
  2. The strengthener should not apply any force (pulling in or pushing out) on the handlebars. It should just be a snug fit.