Carrying Luggage on a Brompton ‘S’ Bike

Now that Spring is here, I will be using my Brompton to cycle to work instead of taking the bus. This has the benefit of saving me the 45.00GBP which I have to pay for my monthly bus ticket. I tend to take the bus to work from November to February, as it is too cold to cycle and the roads are not always free from ice.

Brompton ‘S’ Bike

My Brompton ‘S’ bike (which is the one with the flat, sporty handlebars) does not come with a luggage rack so I was thinking on how to carry my items to work without having to wear a backpack.

Carrying a bag on a Brompton ‘S’ Bike

After searching the internet I found a Brompton bag, but as it was quite expensive I thought I would try and see if any of my existing bags could be used instead.

Brompton ‘S’ Bag Frame

One of the things I noticed was that the Brompton bags are mounted on a frame and inserted into the carrier block on the front of the bike. Mine came with the carrier block so that was one item I did not need to buy. 

I then looked at the mounting racks and saw one for 20.00GBP which was for sale in a shop in England. I sent away for one and it arrived the next day, which was very fast indeed. 

Bag carrying frame for a Brompton ‘S’ model

The next thing was finding an existing bag to fit the frame. After looking at the bags I already owned, I picked up my Timbuk2 Classic Medium courier bag which I had bought last year in a sale for less then 30.00GBP.

The bag fitted well, but the base of it sagged, so I needed a rigid material to put inside the base it. I thought of the material estate agents use for their signs and searched Ebay for this, but the sheets being sold were far too big for my needs. 

Making the Bag Rigid

I then went looking round the shops for something suitable and saw a ‘Value’ cat scratching pad in ‘Pets at Home’ which was quite light and quite rigid. It was a bit long so I cut about 2 inches off the end and it fitted perfectly. 

For a back of the bag to make it quite rigid, I used a cheap plastic clip pad which is both light and rigid.

Securing the Bag on the Frame

Holding the bag secure without having to use straps or bungee cords which would be a faff, I decided to see if I could secure it using the loops on the bag. I used a system I have use in the past on my rucksack to hold my walking poles which is just a piece of cord tightened by adjustable cord toggles. I bought these in a local dress-making shop and the cord is very strong. I would prefer paracord but they didn’t sell it.

Securing the bag.

This system holds the bag nice and secure and there is no danger of it falling off. For safety, it is essential to tuck away the shoulder strap in case it gets caught up in a moving part of the bike.

I also found a cheap fluorescent rucksack cover in my local Asda which was reduced to 3.00GBP. This fits the bag perfectly and will be ideal if it is raining, to save the bag from getting wet and also to provide extra visibility in the rain.

Raincover

The raincover is also secure and shouldn’t blow off in the wind.

Rear view of raincover

So there we have it – a cheap way of carrying luggage on a Brompton bicycle. It should be noted that the ‘S’ model has lower handlebars and requires a smaller bag and frame than the ‘M’, ‘P’ and H’ models. 

If you are looking to put a bag onto a Brompton at as low a cost as possible, it is worth looking round at any existing bags you may to see if they can be used on the bag frame before buying a Brompton one.

Further info

Brompton cycles

Timbuk2

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Brompton Bicycle in Lanarkshire

A few years ago I bought a Dahon folding bicycle on Ebay. It is badged as a Raleigh bicycle but is made by Dahon. This has been a super bicycle and has taken me around London, Windsor and along the Grand Union Canal. It has also taken me to the Holy Isle (Lindisfarne), the Isle of Bute, Loch Lomond and many other areas in Scotland.  

The maximum distance I have travelled in one day is 55 miles, from Wanlockhead in South Lanarkshire to my home.   

However, I decided to buy a Brompton S3L 2014 because it folds just a bit smaller than the Dahon. The wheels are only 16 inches, but it still provides a smooth and fast ride. I took it for a spin on the cycle paths around Motherwell and Hamilton, visiting some interesting structures from the former estate of the Dukes of Hamilton.  

Brompton at Strathclyde Loch

The orange colour is quite distinctive. I wanted red but, they only had orange or white in the style with the ‘sports’ handlebars. 

Brompton at Chatelherault Hunting Lodge

Chatelherault was the former estate of the Dukes of Hamilton. The Hunting Lodge above was built in 1734 for the 5th Duke of Hamilton.

View from Chatelherault Lodge

The view above was towards Hamilton palace which was demolished in 1927 after suffering subsidence from mine workings.

On the Dukes Bridge over the River Avon

The Dukes Bridge was commissioned by William 11th Duke of Hamilton. It stands 80ft high over the Avon gorge allowing access to the ancient oaks and Cadzow Castle.

Outside the Mausoleum, Hamilton

The Mausoleum in Hamilton was the resting place of the Dukes of Hamilton and is situated in the grounds of the former Hamilton Palace. It held the record for the longest echo of any man-made structure in the world. Construction was begun in 1842 and completed in 1858.

It was a great way to test my bike and it was a bit of a head-turner as well.

Further Information:

Brompton 

Chatelherault Country Park

Vintage Leyland Titan 484 Bus

On the way home from the golf on Saturday I passed a display of vintage vehicles in the street. A great attraction was a Leyland Titan 484 bus. I could not resist going back later and checking the bus out. I also took some photographs of the cars and will post them later.

A 484 Leyland Titan Bus

The 484 Leyland Titan bus above was operated by Central SMT from 1929 until 1976. The above vehicle entered service on 4th October, 1954 running from the bus depot in Bothwell Road in Hamilton to Cambuslang and Newton starting at 04.00 and returning to the depot at midnight. The route can be seen on this map.

Central SMT 

The was formed in 1926, when the Glasgow General Omnibus Company was formed in Hamilton! A few years later it formed new ties with the Scottish Motor Traction company (SMT) of Edinburgh.

Glasgow General expanded its Lanarkshire operations through acquisition of small independents and built Waterloo Street Bus Station in Glasgow in 1929. More of the story of Central SMT can be read here.

75/76 Bus Route to Cambuslang
During that time there were many steel-making works in the Cambuslang/Newton area and as many people did not own cars, the service was well used. In March 1967 it was transferred to Nerston in East Kilbride and was then withdrawn from service. It was sold on 29th May 1969 to George Wilson of Stonehouse, who used it to transfer his workers to sites in East Kilbride for his building company.
Seat fabric

484 Preservation Group 

It was acquitted by a member of the 484 Preservation Group in October 2005 and preserved with a £50,000.00 grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Downstairs of the bus

The seat fabric was no longer available and was made specially by a local company to make the interior as authentic as possible.

Upper deck

The upper deck had long seats with a passageway to the right. The roof of the bus was low and so it was essential for passengers to bend to avoid hitting their heads on it!

Stairway of the bus

 The bus had an open doorway which would not be allowed these days in case someone had an accident and fell from the bus. It also must have been quite draughty in the winter.  

Open doorway of the 484 bus

The 484 buses had hopper windows and of the original 13 windows, only 5 were of any use. McGregor Young in Coatbridge is a company which manufactures windows and they were able to make windows for the bus to the original design. More about the work of the 484 Preservation Group can be read here.

Elvis Cleaning Co.

Keeping the cars clean were a group of cleaners from the Elvis Cleaning Co. The certainly added some entertainment to the shoppers and also were good at singing!

Further Information

484 Preservation Group

McGregor Young of Coatbridge

Central SMT

Leyland Motors