Carrying lots of Tools with a Brompton

Some swine had kicked in the door of my father-in-law’s outbuilding last night so I was on hand this afternoon to help put on a new massive bolt and padlock, which should hopefully hold it until he can get the door fixed. The weird thing was nothing was taken, not even the incredibly expensive sets of golf clubs. My in-laws live down the hill from us and two roads down, a slightly convoluted route by road despite the short distance as the crow flies. Not easy to have to haul a pile of tools there and back by hand. I hate the idea of using the car to move stuff around in the village so I thought I would bring the necessary tools down using the Brompton. It’s amazing how much stuff you can fit in the Touring Pannier.

The brompton fully loaded with tools and reading material.

Inside the Touring Pannier.

In all I carried:

  • 1200rpm Electric drill
  • Large case containing 50 piece drill bit set
  • Large fixings box containing bolts nuts and washers
  • Sharktooth twincut saw
  • 1m steel rule
  • Piece of plywood
  • Sanding block
  • Sand paper
  • Additional hole boring drillbits
  • Bradle
  • Drill chuck
  • Box of two different sizes of screws and wall-plugs
  • Copy of Rodinsky’s Room by Rachel Lichtenstein and Iain Sinclair which I am reading at the moment

There was still plenty of room in the bag. Handling was barely affected and weirdly it seemed to run smoother, even though I was wearing enormous trousers and therefore cycling with my feet half off the pedals to avoid them catching on the casters. I recall this being the case when I transported five copies of Nick Mason’s gigantic biography of Pink Floyd in the same bag along the Town Path in Salisbury. As long as the bike is kept upright it’s ok. I think that with an empty bag and the weight off the front the handling is skittish as I put the power into the cranks, the bike tends to want to pull off the ground with the effort. The weight of the bag seems to ensure the wheel stays glued to the road and the transfer of power goes unhindered to the chainwheel. Sure the acceleration is a little slower but it definitely rides along much more smoothly.

Rodinsky’s Room is excellent by the way, I can’t recommend it enough.

Published in: on September 1, 2007 at 10:02 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. One way of avoiding getting the contents of the shed stolen, is to take the contents with you (on the Brompton)…

    Agreed, the handling improves massively with a good additional 15kg+ weight on the front luggage block. Combined with 100psi+ tyres, the extra frame-attached mass helps to ensure good adherence without impacting the handling as happens with normal front-mounted pannier racks.

  2. That’s fantastic! I totally dig it. What’s it like turning corners?

  3. wow! how much weight do you reckon was on the front luggage block? I was trying to work out whether I could add something to carry another brompton on the front (so could give people a ‘lift’ to the station… and ‘pick them up’). I was wondering whether the front luggage block would take it, since I don’t have a back rack.

    • Hiya, I think it may well be possible to put another Brompton on the front. The bag I have comes with a sort of rack, which has a little shelf on. With some bungees you may be ok. I’ve carried several massive hardback books at once in it (three or four copies of the Nick Mason Pink Floyd book, each close on A3 in size) and handling was ‘interesting’. You’ll never know until you give it a go. You used to be able to buy the bag rack separately from the bags.

      Let us know how you get on and thanks for reading.

      • excellent. I think I’ll give that a go and see! I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

      • This is the front carrying frame:

        Front Carrier Frame: This frame can be purchased separately to be able to fit other types of luggage such as the Willow Basket and Carradice Brompton Bags. £27

        load up this page and scroll down to the luggage to see it:

        You might need to bolt a ‘shelf’ onto it on the bottom for the other Brompton to rest on – use a couple of big washers per bolt if you do.

        Good luck! Hope it works.

      • Actually I have one of those! I have the S type and the S type bag. Actually I took the bag off to have a look at the frame thinking about that. good idea to add a shelf onto it. I guess you have proved it can take the weight!

        I’ll give that a go today and see what happens. Cheers!

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