I'm very keen to getting a Brompton before I return to Australia ( I live in the UK).


I'd like to hear from anyone who has the 6 speed version and how it goes around Sydney's hills (such as King St Sydney). Brompton have the option of higher or lower gearing. Would these be useful or is the default gearing satisfactory


Unfortunately there are very few decent hills that co-incide with a bike shop here so I'm unable to give it a good hill test ride. M6L's retail here for GBP820 (AUD1250) so would like to buy before I return if at all possible



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MattD, Have a Brompton M6L with the Sram 3 gear hub that now has been replaced by the wider ratio Sturmey -Archer hub in the current Brompton  and I am in my late 60s. Can make it up King Steet with an effort. I also have the lower ratio chain drive ring fitted which is recommended for hilly areas ie Sydney which is another option. The lower first gear on the new hub would make it easier. In the end I also fitted a nanoBrompton electric front hub to really defy hills. Buy the bike It is a great bike and well worth the money. Cheeky Transport in Newtown will look after it for any complicated servicing. Shimano brake levers are also a worth while improvement to the terrible levers fitted and Ergon grips are a worthwhile addition as well. MattS

Hi Matt,  I have a current model 6 speed Brompton with standard gearing and think that it should handle most hills you throw it at, King St included. 


Beware though, that the Brompton 6-speed shifter setup takes a while to get the hang of.  I tend to think of it more as a three speed with a high or low range option rather than a "normal" sequential gear selection.


To run sequentially through the gears available, requires you flick back and forth between the two-speed derailleur cogs with the left shifter as you select each of the three hub gears with the right shifter.  I do find this rather tedious, but  as I tend to do most of my riding over relatively flat terrain I rarely need to use more than 3-4 gears most of the time: hub 2nd - low/high, hub 3rd -low (occasionally high).


Weird gears aside, the Brompton is a great bike and at the UK price, fantastic value.  I'd say go for it.  Should you find that the gearing is too high or low for your needs, you still have the option of raising or lowering the gearing later on by changing the chain ring (this is the Brompton way of adjusting the gearing) which isn't a huge job.

Matt/CM, Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated. Matt



I brought an M6L back from England a year ago, after riding one with stock gearing in South Wales; the gearing was too high for the hills there.  So I chose the low gear option, the lightweight Kojak tyres, and the front-mount Touring bag.  It's a great outfit.  Somehow, even though the gears don't go down super-low, they cope with Sydney's hills fine, and the top gear is still high enough for downhill-with-a-tailwind.


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